Trustpower Business Person of the Year Nominations are as follows:

Sharlene Barnes – Founder, Skool Loop

Sharlene Barnes is an education technologist based out of Kaikoura, New Zealand. She is the founder of Skool Loop, the free parent-teacher communication app being used by nearly 800 schools in New Zealand and Australia. Sharlene is also the Managing Director of Advert Media, with decades of advertising management experience under her belt. Sharlene studied Business Communication at the University of Canterbury. Sharlene developed Skool Loop in response to her own communication struggles as a parent. The app is now widely used by over 700 schools in New Zealand and Australia, with 11 new schools signing up per week on average. Skool Loop’s vision is to make school and parent communications easier by streamlining administrative school processes into the single app. The Skool Loop App is free for anyone to use, so schools and parents can focus on their child’s education unhindered by a basic communication gap.

Ant Clarke – Owner, Clarke Construction and Haack Construction

Ant Clarke grew up on a farm in the Awatere Valley, and returned to Marlborough in 2007 to establish architectural building company Clarke Construction. In August 2018, Ant alongside wife Sarah, purchased Haack Construction, to expand their offering and extend capabilities in the commercial sector. Ant is also a director of St Andrews Property Group, a developer and provider of seasonal worker accommodation in Riverlands. The St Andrews RSE development (418 beds) is currently under construction due for completion early next year, and is setting the standard for worker accommodation in Marlborough. Ant is also working with the Ministry of Housing and Urban Development to help address social housing needs in Marlborough. Ant has an extensive knowledge of the construction industry, and combined with a calm demeanour, he is very well equipped for the daily challenges of the industry, yet optimistic about its future.

Tania Godsall – Owner, CBD Café

Tania Godsall has a passion for all things food, she has lived and breathed it all her life. From a very young age she was around her family whose careers were in the hospitality arena which is where the passion started. Always with her head in a cookbook her mum says. She joined the RNZAF and passed both her London city and guilds chefs qualifications with excellence. Learning different aspects of military catering from field camps to prestigious dinners instilled an even bigger passion for food. More recently Tania and husband Mike also a chef, started CBD cafe in Blenheim. Tania is the driving force behind CBD, living by the thought of “Take your passion and make it your career.” I couldn’t have done CBD without Mike, he’s amazing. Where to from here, well I am always coming up with more creative things so watch this space…. my dreams are huge!

Stephen Doecke – Insurance Broker, Asset Insurance Partners

Asset Insurance Partners started in 2013 with the belief that the greatest risk to a business is not Fire Flood Earthquake, but Leadership and Management. We have founded our own Scholarship to financially assist our clients to attend world leading programs to ensure their continued growth.
Currently he is an Icehouse Regional Strategic Partner and an original board member of the Angel Investors Marlborough. Previously Stephen has been PSC Connect 2016 New Zealand Broker of the Year, part of the Japanese New Zealand Business Council where he has sent seven young local business people on a free trade and relationship business trip to Japan, Marlborough College Charitable Foundation founding board member and was the Bohally Intermediate board chair and board member.

Juliearna Kavanagh – Owner/Operator, Escape Tourism

Juliearna Kavanagh is a person of multiple talents especially when it comes to running and growing a business. She has been associated with the hospitality industry for more than 35 years. Her practical experience began at the age of 15 when she started working for a cafe and gained knowledge on how a hospitality business operates. It has been more than 30 years since she first opened her own nightclub at the age of 18. Her endless passion for hospitality and people, have found herself in the limelight for countless awards within the industry over her 35 year career in hospitality. Her famous boutique hotel Escape to Picton, has just won the Best Hotel - 2018 award from Hospitality New Zealand and has won numerous other awards. Most people assume that Juliearna has a number of University degrees that have provided her with the immense knowledge of business. As a matter of fact, she dropped out of school at the age of 14 and she has had dyslexia since early childhood. Today life is as hectic as ever. She oversees a group of businesses including Escape to Picton, The Gables, Hop on Hop off Wine Tours - Marlborough. She has recently expanded Hop on Hop off Wine Tours into Queenstown and has plans to expand into other regions very soon. It is obvious that her entrepreneurial spirit won’t let her stop anytime soon.