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Xero Awards New Zealand 2021: Meet the judges

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Craig Hudson

Sep 28, 2021

We’re excited to announce our official judging panel for the New Zealand Xero Awards in 2021. This year some of Aotearoa’s most inspiring industry leaders and experts are taking on the difficult task of selecting our winners for the 11 award categories.

It’s time to meet the judges!

Michelle spent two decades as an engineer building nanotechnology solutions for the hi-tech industry. In response to the lack of diversity she observed during her engineering career, in 2016 Michelle co-founded Nanogirl Labs, a socially conscious business dedicated to creating innovative and accessible ways for everyone to have a positive relationship with science and technology.

Jamie is an experienced business adviser with a big background working with small and large Maori businesses across the motu. He currently splits his time as the GM Commercial Strategy & Investments for Tauhara North No.2 Trust and Whariki, which gives Maori business owners a platform to come together and a greater voice in celebrating success and advocating business policy change.

Jolie is Chief Executive and an Executive Director for Spark New Zealand. Prior to joining Spark, Jolie held a number of executive roles at Lion Group Australia and, before that, at Deloitte New Zealand. She is a passionate supporter of women succeeding in business.

Mary is a well-recognised, commercially astute thought leader in New Zealand with a passion for social change. In 2020, Mary was appointed to Timely’s executive leadership team, responsible for HR functions globally, cultural transformation, equity, diversity and inclusion strategy, organisational development, leadership capability and public relations functions.

Rochelle has been with Inland Revenue for more than 13 years. One of the three portfolio’s Rochelle sits across focuses on tax intermediaries and their professional bodies, and she’s responsible for representing them and their clients internally. Rochelle is passionate about supporting intermediaries by improving services and working together to make tax easier for their mutual customers.

David is a business leader, public servant, consultant, board director, speaker, and CEO of New Zealand Story, an ambitious government-funded organisation marketing New Zealand to the world. At the beginning of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown, David co-founded Spend on Small Businesses, a not-for-profit initiative that has, to date, sold close to $3 million in vouchers for over 2,500 small businesses.

Kendall is the co-founder and CEO of Banqer, a financial education platform used by more than 180,000 Australasian primary students. Kendall has a background in accounting, having worked at KPMG, before retraining as a software developer. With Banqer at the crossroads of these two industries, Kendall enjoys the challenge that comes with growing a mission-driven business where she can make a difference in our communities.

Since 2017, Rick has led the New Zealand operations of global accounting body CPA Australia. With more than 20 years’ business development and leadership experience across financial services, recruitment and international education, Rick is passionate about developing and supporting members within the accounting and finance industry.

Elizabeth founded chnnl in 2019, an award-winning psychological safety and wellbeing solution that provides an anonymous, safe space for employees to get support and that organisations can use to prioritise and protect the human side of the business. As a medical doctor, she’s passionate about helping workplaces combat issues such as employee burnout, depression, anxiety and suicide, and is an active researcher in this space.

Mark has more than 20 years in public practice with the majority of that time as sole director of Quay Accountants in the sunshine capital of New Zealand, Whakatane. In 2014, he sold his firm to focus on his true passion – helping accountants accelerate small business success.

Frances is dedicated to pushing Aotearoa forward as a global leader in innovation to build a stronger, more resilient future for all New Zealanders. A leader and innovator in her own right, Frances founded Tech Futures Lab in 2016 to foster the skills needed to develop a culture of innovation, critical for Kiwi businesses to thrive in this era of fast-paced technological advancement.

Proudly driving member and membership outcomes, Jeanette is regional manager for the Auckland and Northland regions of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand. She works passionately with members, organisations, academics and employers every day, with the aim of building and supporting a dynamic and vibrant professional community.

A champion of the chartered accountants community, Neal has been regional manager for the Central North Island region of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand for the past six years, following senior relationship management roles with Fonterra, ANZ, ASB and Fisher & Paykel.

It’s your time to shine

Submit your nomination for the Xero Awards today. Nominations are open until 11:55pm NZST on Friday 15 October 2021. Finalists will be announced on Tuesday 2 November.

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