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‘World class’ Kiwis recognised with annual awards

Media release
18 February 2007
Embargoed until 12.01 am Monday, 19 February 2007
Attention: News Editor/Business Reporter

‘World class’ Kiwis recognised with annual awards

Some of New Zealand’s most successful business and science leaders have been recognised with World Class New Zealand awards, with category winners announced today by expat association Kea and New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).

The awards recognise successful New Zealanders who give their time, knowledge and skills to help New Zealand companies and industries succeed internationally. Now in their fourth year, the awards have become one of the country’s key accolades.

The World Class New Zealand supreme award winner will be kept under wraps until a black-tie event on Thursday, 15 March at the SkyCity Convention Centre in Auckland. The supreme award winner, together with the six category winners, will receive ‘Tall Poppy’ statuettes designed by Oscar-winning Weta Workshop’s Richard Taylor.

The category award winners for 2007 are:

- Dr John Bedbrook: Vice President Research and Development, DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition (biotechnology)

- Dr Paul Callaghan: Director MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (research, science, technology and academia)

- Ralph Norris: CEO, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (finance, investment and business services)

- Brian Peace: Founder Peace Software (information and communications technology)

- Kevin Roberts: CEO, Saatchi and Saatchi Global (creative industries)

- Geoff Ross: CEO, 42 Below Ltd (manufacturing).

“We’re extremely thrilled to have the opportunity to honour these six outstanding ‘World Class New Zealanders’. Their ongoing contribution to New Zealand both at home and internationally is enormous. Their individual successes should be seen as an example for young New Zealanders looking to pursue careers in business and academia offshore and here at home.

“It is especially heartening to see the degree to which all the winners have maintained their connections to New Zealand helping to support the growth and development of our country on the international stage,” says Mr Tindall.

NZTE Chief Executive Tim Gibson says, "The awards are an exciting opportunity to recognise people reflecting, and actively promoting, a world-class New Zealand to the world."

The World Class New Zealand Awards are being held during NZTE's newthinking week '07. This is a key event in the Export Year 07 calendar, and is designed to bring together some of New Zealand’s leading organisations in enterprise and business development, and showcase New Zealand innovation in a range of sectors.


Dr John Bedbrook
Winner Biotechnology

Dr Bedbrook is Vice President of Research and Development - DuPont Agriculture and Nutrition. His current focus is “putting science to work” in the Agriculture and Nutrition context by assisting research leadership to:
- be the leaders in seed: biotechnology and germplasm
- deliver the pipeline
- develop game changing chemistry, pest management solutions
- be leaders in integrated science across the value chain.

Dr Bedbrook joined DuPont in July 2004 through the acquisition of Verdia Inc. by Pioneer. He had served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Verdia, a wholly owned subsidiary of Maxygen Inc. since its formation in March 2002. Dr Bedbrook formerly served as president of Maxygen’s agricultural business since November 1999. Prior to joining Maxygen, Dr Bedbrook was Chief Executive Officer of Plant Science Ventures, a private equity fund, and Chief Technology Officer of Savia from 1997-1999.

Dr Bedbrook also served as Co-President of DNA Plant Technologies Inc., Executive Vice President for Research and Development at DNA Plant Technology Corp., as well as founder and Vice President of Research at Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc. Dr Bedbrook currently serves as a director for Plant Biosciences Limited and on the Advisory Board for the College of Natural Resources at UC Berkeley. Dr Bedbrook has formerly served on the Board of Advanced Genetic Sciences Inc., Mendel Biotechnologies Inc. and on the Scientific Board of Plant Genetic Systems BV.

Dr Bedbrook received his Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Auckland. He was a Fulbright Scholar to Harvard Medical School and held a Jane Coffin Childs Fellowship to Harvard University. He was also a Cabot Fellow at Harvard University and an EMBO Fellow to the Plant Breeding Institute in Cambridge, England. Dr Bedbrook has published over 100 scientific papers and authored multiple issued U.S. patents.

Dr Paul Callaghan
Winner Research, Science Technology and Academia

Paul Callaghan was born in Wanganui, New Zealand and took his first degree in Physics at Victoria University of Wellington. He then completed DPhil degree at Oxford University, working in low temperature physics. On his return to New Zealand in 1974, he took up a lecturing position at Massey University where he began researching the applications of magnetic resonance to the study of soft matter.

He was made Professor of Physics in 1984, and in 2001 was appointed Alan MacDiarmid Professor of Physical Sciences at Victoria University of Wellington. He also heads the multi-university MacDiarmid Institute for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology. Dr Callaghan has been awarded Doctorates in Philosophy and Science from Oxford University.

Dr Callaghan is Past President of the Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand. He has published around 220 articles in scientific journals as well as a book on magnetic resonance. He is a founding director of “magritek”, a small spin-off company based in Wellington, which sells NMR instruments and a director of HTS-110 which produces a wide range of magnets, current leads, and coils using 1st and 2nd generation HTS wire. He is a regular public speaker on science matters and talks with Kim Hill every month on her Saturday Morning radio show.

In 200, Dr Callaghan became the 36th New Zealander to be made a Fellow of the Royal Society of London. He was awarded the Rutherford medal in 2005 and in 2006 was appointed a Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit.

Awards have included:
- Principal Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit (PCNZM) – 2006
- Rutherford Medal – 2005
- No 39 in the Listener’s top 50 ­ 2005
- European Union Ampere Prize – 2004
- Wellingtonian of the Year (Science and Technology) ­ 2004
- Fellow of the Royal Society of London ­ 2001
- Mechaelis Medal and Prize by Otago University 1994
- Cooper Medal 1991
- Hector Medal ­ 1998
- DSc by Oxford University in 1995
- Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand – 1991.

Ralph Norris
Winner Finance, Investment and Business Services

Ralph Norris joined the Commonwealth Bank as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer on 23 September 2005.

He started his working career with Mobil Oil New Zealand in 1967, before joining the Auckland Savings Bank (ASB) in 1969, which subsequently became a subsidiary of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. He was appointed Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of ASB Bank in 1991, retiring from that position in September 2001.

He joined Air New Zealand Limited as Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer in February 2002, having served on the company’s Board of Directors for three years. Mr Norris left Air New Zealand to take up his appointment as CEO at the Commonwealth Bank.

During his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of ASB, it expanded nationally, grew its profitability six-fold and increased market share by 60 per cent whilst being consistently rated the best financial services provider in New Zealand.

Mr Norris was credited with leading a turnaround at Air New Zealand by returning the company to profitability and introducing a more customer-focused culture, for which he was honoured with New Zealand’s Executive of the Year Award in 2004. He was previously New Zealand’s Executive of the Year in his role at ASB Bank.

Mr Norris was awarded a Distinguished Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business in 2006 (an equivalent of a Knighthood under the old honours system). He is a Fellow of the New Zealand Institute of Management and the New Zealand Computer Society. He is Chair of the Commonwealth Bank Foundation and a member of the NSW Premier’s Business Roundtable.

He is former Chairman of the New Zealand Bankers’Association and Business Roundtable. He was a member of the New Zealand Prime Minister’s Enterprise Council and Y2K Taskforce. He is also a director of Team New Zealand.

Mr Norris is 56, was born in Auckland and educated at Lynfield College and is married with three adult children and two grandchildren.

Brian Peace
Winner Information and Communications Technology (ICT)

Brian Peace graduated with a BSc from Auckland University in Computer Science in 1982, and returned to the University to undertake an MPhil in Management Science & Information Systems, which he completed in 1990.

Only two years after first graduating from the University, Brian took advantage of his education in Computer Science when he founded Peace Software.

20 years later, Peace Software is recognised as a leading provider of software for deregulating energy utilities. Peace employs more than 400 staff in New Zealand, Australia, Canada, the United Kingdom and the United States. In July 2006, Peace Software was sold to NASDAQ-listed global entity First Data.

In addition to running Peace Software, Brian has also worked as a lecturer in Information Systems at Auckland University, and as a consultant on system acquisition and implementation. He was named Ernst and Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 1999, and New Zealand Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2002.

Originally from Kihikihi, near Te Awamutu, Brian received a Distinguished Alumni Award from Auckland University in 2001.

Kevin Roberts
Winner Creative Industries

Kevin is New York-based CEO Worldwide of Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the world’s top ten advertising agencies.

In October 2001 Kevin became the inaugural CEO in Residence at Cambridge University’s business school, the Judge Institute of Management. In April 2002 he lectured in Stanford University’s ‘View from the top’ speaker series. In October 2003 Kevin was named as inaugural Professor of Sustainable Enterprise at both the University of Limerick, Ireland, and Waikato Management School at the University of Waikato, New Zealand.

Kevin was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the University of Waikato in 1998 in recognition of his achievements.

Kevin is a trustee of the Auckland charity, the Turn Your Life Around Trust and a director of the Team New Zealand sailing syndicate. For four years he served as a director of the New Zealand Rugby Football Union.

Kevin was born in Lancaster in the north of England and attended Lancaster Royal Grammar School. He started his business career in the late 1960s with the influential London fashion house of Mary Quant. After working in senior management and marketing positions with Procter & Gamble in Europe and the Middle East, he became CEO of Pepsi-Cola Middle East at age 32. In 1987 he became CEO of Pepsi Canada.

In 1989 Kevin moved with his family to Auckland to become Chief Operating Officer with Lion Nathan.

In 1997 Kevin took up his present position with Saatchi & Saatchi. In 1998 Frohlinger's Marketing Report selected Kevin as the Outstanding Advertising Agency Executive in the USA. The next year Saatchi & Saatchi won Ad Age International's title of "International New Business Champion." In 2002 the Saatchi & Saatchi network won creative supremacy at the annual International Advertising Awards at Cannes.

Kevin, who is married to Rowena Roberts, has two daughters and two sons. A New Zealand citizen, he has offices and homes in New Zealand, New York and St Tropez.

Geoff Ross
Winner Manufacturing

Geoff Ross started distilling his now famous vodka 42 Below, in his Wellington garage in 1996. He sold his first bottle in 1999.

42 Below won Gold in the World Spirits Awards and Gold at many other competitions. 42 Below is available in 10 countries worldwide, and the list continues to grow. The Ritz London, Beverly Hills Hotel, LA and more than 4,500 of the best bars worldwide now stock 42 Below. Late last year Geoff Ross sold 42 Below to Bacardi for $138 million.

South Gin, 42 Below’s stable mate, won Best in Show twice in a row at the Wines & Spirits awards. The latest addition to the 42 Below family, Seven Tiki is a white rum that’s been aged in oak for two years.

Geoff comes from an advertising background, having worked for DDB and with global giant, Saatchi & Saatchi for eight years. It is this creative pedigree that is highlighted in a marketing strategy for 42 Below that is both original, cutting edge and often controversial.

Educated at Papakura High School, Auckland where he met wife Justine. Geoff grew up on a farm in Paparimu also known as ‘Happy Valley’. He attended Lincoln University where he gained a Bachelor of Commerce degree. Geoff lives in Auckland with wife Justine and their sons.


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