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Nominations Open For World Class NZ Award

Nominations Open For World Class New Zealander Award

Nominations are opening this week for the annual World Class New Zealander Award, aimed at honouring an expatriate making an outstanding contribution to New Zealand’s economic development.

Presented for the first time last year, the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) award recognises expats actively assisting New Zealand companies to compete internationally, CEO Tim Gibson says.

“Developing more global connections is critical for New Zealand exporters’ success – and Kiwi expats can and do play a critical role in that process by providing hands-on assistance and sharing their knowledge, expertise and contacts.

“The World Class New Zealander Award provides a chance to applaud those New Zealanders making the world of difference from half a world away and in association with KEA, the Kiwi Expat Association, we’re proud to invite nominations for the 2004 award,” says Mr Gibson.

KEA executive officer Mark Vivian says: “As a world wide web of New Zealanders offshore, KEA has seen first hand the value expats provide, as there is no substitute for their in-market expertise and industry networks. We’re delighted their contributions are being recognised and celebrated.”

Nominations for the 2004 World Class New Zealander Award will open on 1 July 2004 and close on 30 August 2004.

The inaugural winner of the World Class New Zealander Award was former Aucklander Andy Lark, Vice President Global Communications and Marketing for Sun Microsystems.

Now based in California’s Silicon Valley, Mr Lark is an award-winning marketing and communications professional with 17 years international experience in America, Asia, Europe and New Zealand. He founded and leads GNOK (Global Network of Kiwis) to assist technology companies break into international markets and through his membership of NZTE’s Silicon Valley Advisory Board and the KEA executive he also helps New Zealand companies entering the North American market. To date he has assisted dozens of New Zealand companies with their offshore strategies and currently sits on the board of Argent Networks and the advisory board of Number 8 Ventures.

Mr Lark says he was surprised and gratified to receive the honour in 2003 and is thrilled to have been invited to be a judge this year. “Helping New Zealand businesses has been tremendously rewarding for me and the World Class New Zealander Award was an unexpected bonus. I applaud its introduction as a way of acknowledging the valuable contribution being made by Kiwis abroad and I encourage people to nominate appropriate expats for this year's award."

Another US-based expatriate Dr Jilly Evans, Director of Pharmacology at Merck Sharp & Dohme was also recognised last year for fostering New Zealand innovation and entrepreneurship in science.

Nominations must be completed online at www.nzte.govt.nz/worldclass.

The winner will receive their award from the Minister of Economic Development Jim Anderton at a presentation in November.

To find out more please visit www.nzte.govt.nz/worldclass

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