Otago business consultant Kate Hesson has been named the Institute of Directors (IoD) Otago Southland Branch Emerging Director 2019.
Kate is a qualified barrister and solicitor who started her own consultancy firm, Hesson Consultancy Ltd, in 2018. She is an intern director at Delta Utility Services Ltd, chair of St Bernadette's School board and a Trustee of the Dunedin Charitable Prison Trust.
In choosing Kate for this annual award, the selection committee said Kate's drive, self-awareness and maturity would serve her well in a governance career.
“Kate impressed the panel with her planned and structured pathway to initiating her governance career, including the securing of a position in the Dunedin City Holdings Limited intern director programme," the judges said.
"She is engaging, inquiring, positive, reflective and self-aware. While Kate is primarily focussed on her own professional growth and development, she also demonstrated a good awareness of the external environment in which directors are operating, including both future challenges and opportunities.”
Kate says diversity of thought is a key part of good decision making at board level and, although legal training is a valuable skill to bring to the board table, Kate says it is her unique perspective that she hopes will prove most valuable to the boards she sits on.
"While my legal background has its benefits such as analytical thinking and the knowledge to spot issues, I am also interested in other areas that are important for directors such as sustainability, technology and branding.
"What motivates me to enhance my governance career at a conceptual level is the need for board members to put diversity of thought into action, whether it is between themselves at the board table, or in the interplay between directors and the executive (plus other stakeholders). I believe my background and interpersonal skills help to break down barriers between directors, the executive and other stakeholders so that effective conversations are had and decisions made."
Invercargill’s Nick Hamlin, managing director of Maxis Projects Ltd and an independent board member of Motorsport NZ, was named runner-up. The committee recognised Nick for his practical and thoughtful approach to his governance roles and his range of experience in the commercial and not-for-profit sector. As runner-up, Nick will receive mentoring with an experienced director.
The branch committee would like to congratulate all those who entered the award, in particular Kate and Nick and look forward to seeing them build their governance careers in the region.
The Otago Southland Branch Emerging Director Award was established to foster upcoming talent in governance through mentoring, formal training and access to leading speakers at events across the region.