The Wanaka business community is getting an opportunity to celebrate its success with annual business awards. The Wanaka Chamber of Commerce, known as Ignite Wanaka, has initiated the awards.

The awards are being championed by a new Wanaka resident , Simon Telfer, who is convening the high profile judging panel. Simon is the founder of governance initiatives Appoint Better Boards and Stimulus, who serves as an independent director and advisory board member to several privately-owned companies.

The key focus of the judging panel is to look for five key things from entrants: We want to know about businesses and individuals who excel in their sector or industry, we want organisations that are growing or performing really well, we want to see  a great culture and relationships with their employees, evidence of innovation and a commitment to the Wanaka community and its environment.

Categories are: Outstanding in Infrastructure/Trades, Outstanding in Professional Services, Outstanding in Tourism, Outstanding in Retail/Hospitality, Outstanding Innovators, Outstanding Individual and the Supreme Business Award. Entries close on September 21, with finalists announced on September 30.

The independent judging panel consists of four high-profile and successful businesspeople living in the Wanaka region.

Telfer is joined by Anne Urlwin, a business consultant and current director of Chorus Ltd, Steel & Tube Holdings Ltd, Naylor Love and Summerset Holdings Group Ltd; Bill Day – founder of multi-million-dollar business Seaworks and a past winner of Ernst & Young’s New Zealand Entrepreneur of the Year; and Tarras-based director and lawyer Giselle McLachlan – General Manager of commercial and agri-business law firm Tavendale + Partners.

The awards are seen as an opportunity for the thriving and diverse business community to celebrate their success and showcase this success outside the region.