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Waikato visionaries to receive Wintec Honorary medals

Waikato visionaries to receive Wintec Honorary medals


Four Waikato leaders in the fields of hospitality, architecture, manufacturing and health will receive honorary medals from the Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec) for their longstanding contribution to the region.

Peter Stark, general manager of Montana Catering, Richard Hill, co-founder of Chow:Hill Architects, David Fredericksen, founder and chair of Convex Plastics and Maureen Speedy, nurse manager for Waikato Family Centre will formally receive the medals at a special community ceremony at Wintec in June.

Wintec chair, Mary Cave-Palmer says: “We’re delighted to be awarding Wintec medals to people of such high calibre within our community. They’ve all made exceptional contributions to Wintec, the Waikato and the nation in their own unique ways and we’re pleased to acknowledge them with this prestigious honour.”

Meanwhile, Anthea Simcock, founder and chief executive of child protection trust, Child Matters, received a Wintec honorary Bachelor of Applied Social Science (Social Work) at Wintec’s Centre for Health and Social Practice graduation ceremony last week.

Wintec awards fellowships, degrees and medals to people who have made a significant contribution to Wintec, the region or the nation through innovation in industry or business, scholarship and research or enhancing New Zealand society.


Peter Stark, General Manager, Montana Catering
Peter will receive a Wintec honorary medal for 40 years of outstanding commitment, professionalism and service to the Waikato hospitality sector.

Peter grew Montana Catering from the back door of his Victoria Street restaurant 25 years ago where he began providing sandwiches and cakes for workplace lunches. He pioneered Corporate Catering and ran it out of what was then known as Rugby Park before setting his sights on the new Waikato Stadium, shortly after winning the bid to become its exclusive provider. Montana Catering has now become one of New Zealand’s largest privately owned catering companies.

Since then, the business has catered to major Hamilton events including Super 14, All Blacks test matches, the University of Waikato and Wintec graduation events, Hamilton 400 V8s, Taupo’s International A1GP of Motor Sport, Gisborne’s Rhythm and Vines festival and international cricket test matches. Montana is also one of Wintec’s preferred caterers.

“This award is very meaningful for me as it’s rare for people within the hospitality industry to be recognised in this way,” says Peter.

“I’m proud of what I have achieved in what is a challenging and demanding industry. But more importantly, I’m proud that Montana’s success has provided jobs, security and opportunities for a huge number of employees over the years, and that through the business, we continue to play our part in being good community citizens to our fantastic province.”


Richard Hill, Design Consultant and Former Chairman, Chow:Hill Architects
Richard’s contribution to complex and forward-thinking building design, including his work on a number of large-scale Wintec projects including the Gallagher Hub, the refurbishment of Wintec House and the engineering and trades building at its Rotokauri campus will see him receive this institutional honour.

Other high-profile projects include the redevelopment of Waikato Hospital, the new Braemar Hospital and the master planning and redevelopment of much of Waikato Diocesan School’s campus among many others.

Richard co-founded Chow:Hill in Hamilton 23 years ago and has since applied the creative principles of design to the growth of the practice, particularly in business development, staff recruitment and training. With offices in Hamilton, Auckland and a team in Christchurch, Chow:Hill has become a national design firm.

“It’s our all-embracing total design philosophy that has ensured the company has remained agile and sustainable for the long term,” says Richard.

“More recently, as a volunteer member of the Waikato River Leadership Group for the last 18 months, I have found that a creative approach to addressing complex strategic issues has again been of great value.

“It is most gratifying to receive this award alongside leaders of innovative organisations and our Chow:Hill design teams will share with me the pleasure of seeing good architecture celebrated in our community.”


David Fredericksen, Founder and Chair, Convex Plastics
David was chosen for his innovation and vision that saw him grow his business from manufacturing a single product – a plain plastic bag - into Convex Plastics, a company that now manufactures plastic packaging nationally and internationally.

David started out making plastic bags on a machine he built in his garage in 1976. His small business soon morphed into a company manufacturing plastic packaging on a large scale.

Today, Convex Plastics manufactures and supplies a range of award-winning packaging solutions around the world.

“Working for other businesses, I always felt like a cog in the machine. I wanted to be the engine – to have the freedom to drive innovation and creative development where I could see benefit for our business and customers,” says David.

Maureen Speedy, Nurse Manager, Waikato Family Centre

Maureen’s honour comes in recognition of more than 30 years’ worth of commitment to maternal and child wellbeing within the Waikato. Through her work as nurse manager at the Waikato Family Centre, Maureen has helped ease the challenge of parenting for thousands of Waikato mums and dads.

Also a registered nurse, midwife and trustee of the Waikato Family Centre, Maureen works with new parents on everything from breastfeeding to reflux as well as well as running support and educational groups for teen parents and families dealing with post-natal depression.

Maureen was instrumental in keeping the centre open after it faced closure due to funding issues in 1996. The centre now receives visits from more than 3500 people per year.

“My vision was to use my nursing background to meet the needs of mothers and babies through listening to issues and offering professional, hands-on practical guidance to solve them,” says Maureen.

“Receiving this award honours my belief that the Waikato Family Centre plays an important part in supporting families in the Waikato community, and it gives me great pleasure to accept it on behalf of our staff, trustees and many family and community supporters.”

For a full list of Wintec honorary recipients, click here.

-ENDS-

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