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Congratulations to our inspiring business people who have been selected as finalists for Business Person and Young Business Person of the Year. These awards celebrate our extraordinary business people from the Nelson Tasman region who inspire our business community, demonstrate an excellent level of business standards and ethics, and have proven business achievement.

The winner will be decided by public vote. Voting is open to the public, and you are welcome to vote for one finalist in each category. Simply read through the bios for our finalists below, and cast your vote at the bottom of the page. (Please note you only have two votes, and these cannot be used to vote for the same person twice, nor can you vote twice in the same category).

The winner from each category will be revealed at the 2018 NPI Nelson Tasman Chamber of Commerce Business Awards evening on Friday 2 November.


Thanks for voting, and for supporting our extraordinary business people in the Nelson Tasman region. Good luck to all our finalists!

2018 Business Person of the Year Finalists:

Andrew Board Managing Director, Nelson Weekly/Nelson App

Andrew Board

Managing Director, Nelson Weekly/Nelson App

Andrew Board is the managing director of Nelson Weekly Ltd, which publishes a community newspaper, monthly lifestyle magazine and two community apps.

Andrew is an award-winning journalist, an executive board member of the New Zealand Community Newspaper Association and a born and bred Nelsonian.

In 2010 he was one of four people to launch Nelson Weekly, along with his wife Sarah Board and Waimea Weekly owners Steve Page and Jenny Bates.

Sarah and Andrew bought Steve and Jenny out of the company in 2016 and have since grown the business to include the Nelson App, Nelson Magazine and Marlborough App.

Nelson Weekly Ltd is all about helping to celebrate our region, whether it’s through telling good stories or helping businesses increase sales with an effective advertising platform. Over eight years, Nelson Weekly has built up a reputation for keeping the community informed and supporting causes that matter to Nelsonians.

Darryl Wilson CEO, Wilsons Abel Tasman

Darryl Wilson

CEO, Wilsons Abel Tasman

Darryl Wilson is grounded by People, Place and Passion.  Then, profit is necessary to sustain his family’s 8 generation commitment to the region

The family’s 41-year-old tourism business, multi-award winning Wilsons Abel Tasman, has introduced this region to the world with popular services and extensive marketing.

From being a “free range kid” at the family bach in Torrent Bay, today Darryl shares his experience with visitors and 70 staff. Choices include kayaking, walking, boats & lodges with combinations from 2 hours to 5 Days.

Darryl’s commitments to the community and the environment include:

  • Founding member of The Abel Tasman Bird Song Trust and Great Taste Trail.
  • Recipient of 2010 NZ Tourism Award for Innovation, based on work to lower visitor impacts on the environment and park communities.
  • First local operator to be awarded Qualmark Enviro Gold (2013) and setting this standard each year since.
  • In the past year, “Local’s Deals” discounts and charity/school sponsorships total over $90,000

Watch the video People, Place and Passion.

Janis Ord Director, Motropolis, Global Kiwi and Jazz Graphics

Janis Ord

Director, MOTropolis, Global Kiwi Directory and Jazz Graphics

After suddenly losing her husband 5 years ago, Janis re-grouped and opened the hugely successful ‘MOTropolis’ business hub in Motueka, providing meeting rooms, hot-desks and offices for small businesses and the self-employed – the first of its kind in the region. Janis also owns the Find it & Do it Visitor’s Map for the Nelson Tasman region, and Jazz Graphics Design (designing for Proper Crisps, NZ House & Garden, Cuisine, NZ Gardener and Feltex Carpets to name a few).

Janis has recently added the Global Kiwi Directory to her portfolio. This grew out of her tourism publication needing to go digital, initiating a user-friendly website for locals and visitors to connect to NZ businesses, products and tourism ventures. Through Global Kiwi Directory, Janis sponsors Team Motueka, a multi-sport team. Jazz Graphics sponsors a local motorcycle drag bike, supports Motueka Kai Festival, is vice-chair and designer for Our Town Motueka - plus helping people in business whenever she can, employing and training.

Janis is an innovative business woman who contributes immensely to the Motueka area and wider region.  

Pic Picot Pic’s Peanut Butter

Pic Picot

Pic’s Peanut Butter

In 2007, Pic Picot, a visually impaired 55-year-old, began making peanut butter in his garage and selling it at the Nelson Market.

The company now employs 45 people across three Nelson locations, produces 20,000 jars of peanut butter daily and its premium peanut butter is sold in 13 countries, including China and the USA.

In 2015 Picot Productions was overall winner of the Commerce Nelson Business Awards, and in 2019 Pic was made a member of the NZ Order of Merit for services to business.

Pic’s Peanut Butter World, a 4000m2 purpose-built factory and visitor experience will be opening in Saxton Road early 2019.

Stephanie Fry Owner, IdealCup

Stephanie Fry

Owner, IdealCup and Celcius Coffee

Stephanie Fry co-owns and manages IdealCup and Celcius Coffee with her husband Nick. Award-winning company IdealCup was the first to design and manufacture a New Zealand-made reusable cup, and provides leadership with its vision for a cleaner, greener Aotearoa by giving Kiwis the option to reuse, and reduce waste in our landfills.

Stephanie is making a national and international impact via IdealCup’s CupCycling™ initiative. The scheme has been adopted by large corporates such as NZ Post and Ngāi Tahu Tourism, and is operating in Upper Hutt, Wellington, Nelson Tasman, and Otago, with further NZ and international roll-outs pending. Since its inception less than a year ago, CupCycling™ has resulted in more than 12,000 single-use cups being diverted from landfill in Motueka alone.

Stephanie demonstrates outstanding and visionary leadership in the sustainability space, and is regularly asked to be a guest speaker around the country.

2018 Young Business Person of the Year Finalists:

Andrew MacDonald Managing Director, Absolute Wilderness Freeze Dried Meals

Andrew MacDonald

Managing Director, Absolute Wilderness Freeze Dried Meals

Andrew is the co-founder and managing director of Absolute Wilderness Ltd. The Nelson-based company makes premium freeze dried meals for outdoor adventurers.

Passionate about the outdoors from a young age, Andrew came up with the idea for the business while studying at university in Auckland. After finishing his degree he moved back to Nelson to turn his idea into a reality. Starting out as a one-man operation in a converted garage, over six years he has grown the business into a brand that is now in high demand all over the world.

When he’s not running Absolute Wilderness he spends his time tramping, caving and photographing New Zealand’s endangered native species.


Benjamin Clark Master Jeweller, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Benjamin Clark

Master Jeweller, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths

Benjamin is a young and talented jeweller and entrepreneur, who launched Benjamin Black Goldsmiths in 2013 alongside his partner Amy.

Over the past five years they have built a Deloitte Fast 50 award-winning business manufacturing, retailing and wholesaling jewellery to domestic and international markets.

Driven by Benjamin’s vision to help people leave a legacy, Benjamin Black Goldsmiths works with people around New Zealand and the world, creating custom, personalised jewellery that is made by hand and made to last for generations.

His diverse approach to business has included implementing multiple revenue streams, including the introduction of a sister brand, Black Matter Jewellery.  Catering to a niche market, Black Matter has very quickly grown in popularity, most recently being picked up by a leading department store in New Zealand and international buyers in New York.

Benjamin is a proficient business person with a humble nature and exciting future ahead.

Chloe Van Dyke Founder and CEO, Chia

Chloe Van Dyke

Founder and CEO, Chia

Chloe is the founder and CEO of CHIA, an innovative and health-focused beverage business.

From selling her first bottles at Nelson Fresh Choice, Bodywise, and Red Gallery and dispatching from her Dad's garage, CHIA can now be found in supermarkets worldwide. Chloe is recognised as a New Zealand leader by the Asia New Zealand Foundation, SHEEO and the EY Winning Woman Programme. 

CHIA won the health category of the New Zealand Food Awards and the Functional Beverage of the Year. The company’s rapid growth and promising future was acknowledged by Deloitte at the most recent Fast 50 Awards.

Nelson is part of Chloe’s success story. She believes Nelson can be a hub for young entrepreneurs and startups. CHIA is a mentor for the local Young Enterprise Scheme and Start Up Weekend.

This year CHIA became Nelson’s first Living Wage certified company - a reflection of its dedication to ethical business.

Emma Smith Owner/Director, The Hair Boutique

Emma Smith

Owner/Director, The Hair Boutique

Emma Smith is the proud owner of The Hair Boutique. Emma has been in the hair industry for 13 years and a business owner for 3.5 years. 

Since purchasing the salon it has rapidly grown into a busy modern salon with Emma’s client base growing 20% per annum. Emma personally finds this a huge accomplishment as there are many salons to choose from in the Nelson Tasman area.

During this time Emma has doubled her staff numbers and have built a team of talented and in demand stylists. 

Emma takes social media very seriously as this has been a huge advantage to the success of her business. She takes pride in the presentation of her salon and recently renovated to fulfil her vision and to make room for the high demand of clientele. 

Emma’s life is very busy being a mum, partner, full-time hairdresser and business owner but she absolutely loves it!

Johny O’Donnell Owner, ShiftOn

Johny O’Donnell

Owner, ShiftOn

Johny was born in Motueka, returning to the area 4 years ago after working in Wellington and Dunedin. Johny's career has spanned all media having worked across newspapers, radio and digital. 

At age 15, Johny founded Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE) as a youth-led response to family violence issues which spread around NZ and led him to speak internationally. SAVE picked up the Supreme Award at the regional Trustpower Community Awards in 2010 and received special recognition by Hon. Tariana Turia. 

Since then Johny has founded ShiftOn which has now delivered training to over 1,000 New Zealand businesses and helped dozens of clients with 1:1 consulting in the digital space. He has been the Chair of Our Town Motueka and heavily involved in the growth of the visitor sector in Nelson Tasman including working with start-up ventures, existing operators and with promotions agencies such as the NRDA and TBPA.