Catering company Montana Group can dine out on its results at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards after scooping the Supreme award.
The accolade comes on the back of expansion in the Auckland market which, together with its Waikato operations, makes it the largest independently owned catering and events firm in New Zealand.
Also featuring strongly on the night was high-flying Company X, which won the Service Excellence and Global Operator Awards, continuing an impressive run of award wins since the software business started in 2012.
A who’s who of Waikato business was joined by politicians including Cabinet Minister Stuart Nash and National Leader Simon Bridges at the black-tie dinner on Friday November 2.
The event, which drew a crowd of 600, was MCed by journalist Paddy Gower, with live entertainment from Hamilton Operatic, and catering by Montana.
Montana Group also won the Innovation award, Strategy, Planning and Governance award and Business Growth award.
Its supreme win was marked by the catering team on the night also taking the stage.
Marketing manager Pat Mellsop, accepting the award, said they were “unbelievably well led” by co-owners Dallas Fisher and Troy Reid, who is general manager of the Auckland part of the business.
“It’s been quite amazing the vision of Dallas and the work of Troy, and changing the rules,” he said. “It’s great to be a Waikato company that’s going north and making a big impact.
“It’s the people who make the difference.”
The Group includes Montana Food and Events, Flame Tree Kitchen at Auckland University, Kahurangi Catering at Waikato University, Augusta Kitchen at Auckland Grammar, Village and Sudano as well as catering for St Peter’s Cambridge.
The judges described Montana Group as an inspirational Waikato success story. “Dallas Fisher’s vision and drive provides the impetus for strategy development, corporate planning and operational alignment - with an ongoing focus on customers, quality and staff,” they said. “Innovative forward thinking is the norm in this company, whether it be customer service, marketing, risk awareness and mitigation, sustainability initiatives or community contribution. By any measure, Montana Group is an outstanding corporate success.”
“We knew we had grown significantly and now had a partnership formula and business model that worked for us. We didn’t expect this level of success at such a prestigious event,” said Troy Reid.
“I join Troy in being immensely proud of our achievement and the recognition of the work that troops, Troy and I have put in,” said Dallas Fisher, who was in Europe when the awards were announced.
Company X’s awards come as part of an impressive run of award wins for the rapidly growing Hamilton software specialist firm, which was founded by directors David Hallett and Jeremy Hughes, and now has a team of more than 50, and offers its solutions around the world. As well as a slew of awards over the years, it has ranked on the 2017 Deloitte Technology Fast 500 Asia Pacific. Jeremy Hughes said the Westpac awards were particularly satisfying for being their first Waikato ones.
Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Chris Simpson said Waikato continues to play a significant role in contributing to success in New Zealand and this was endorsed by the extensive range and quality of those businesses and business leaders that were recognised at this year’s event.
Businesses that participated have benefited in several ways. Those that made the finals have had their business profiles raised, strengthening existing commercial relationships and laying the groundwork for new relationships to develop.
“This year has again seen intense competition driven by the quality of entries. We love the fact that our judges continue to remark that it gets harder and harder to select the Supreme Winner because of this quality,” Chris Simpson said.
Westpac Waikato Business Award 2018 Winners
STRATEGY, PLANNING AND GOVERNANCE AWARD
BUSINESS GROWTH AWARD
Maisey Harris & Co
SERVICE EXCELLENCE AWARD
GLOBAL OPERATOR AWARD
CEO OF THE YEAR AWARD
Jon Calder of Tompkins Wake
EMERGING LEADER OF THE YEAR AWARD
Renae Smart, managing director of Civtec
COMMUNITY CONTRIBUTION AWARD