Meet the Judges for our 2019 Business Excellence Awards 

Chris Godsiff - Director at Marlborough Tour Company

Chris Godsiff is a trailblazer in the tourism industry. Co-owner and Director of the Marlborough Tour Company,  passionate about tourism and the Marlborough Sounds in particular, Chris understands that people are the single most valuable asset an organisation can have. One of the pioneers in the mussel farming industry operating in the outer Pelorus Sound, Chris saw an opportunity to showcase aquaculture industry and the stunning scenery, starting off with the Greenshell Mussel cruise in Havelock. Seafood cruises and wine tours soon followed with an impressive fleet of cars, vans, coaches and boats under the MTC brand. Increased investment in infrastructure and, most importantly people, illustrates the continued passion.  The recent purchase of the lodges in Queen Charlotte Sound, Furneaux Lodge and Punga Cove, closely followed by the acquisition of Cougar Line water taxi business and the Pelorus Mailboat highlight this commitment.

Tracy Johnston - Tourism Consultant, Independent Director and Vege Grower for Dayvinleigh

Tracy Johnston is a Marlborough-based businesswoman and tourism consultant, whose work is in demand nationally and internationally. Tracy is a qualified marketer and business manager with more than 25 years’ experience working in the tourism sector. Born and bred in Marlborough, Tracy travelled and worked overseas, before returning to the region in 2007, with her husband Kevin.  She spent eight years as General Manager of Destination Marlborough proudly promoting the region as a visitor destination. Tracy and Kevin own Dayvinleigh Vineyard, in the Wairau Valley, where they grow award-winning Pinot Noir grapes. As well as operating her own business, Tracy also serves on the Council of Nelson Marlborough Institute of Technology as a Government Appointee and is an elected grape-grower representative on the Board of Marlborough Winegrowers. When not travelling for work, Tracy is home growing vegetables, propagating natives for their wetland development, and making the odd appearance in the vineyard.

Stephen Leitch - Managing Director and Design Engineer at Southern Water Engineering (SWE)

Stephen Leitch has been designing and project managing water-related projects in Marlborough for nearly two decades. Stephen’s consistently championed sustainability at SWE; culminating in carboNZero accreditation, numerous awards, and ‘Living Wage Employer’ status. SWE provides end-to-end solutions for efficient management of water, power and wastewater. SWE prides itself on acting as strategic partners for clients across the wine industry, civic and primary sectors – providing efficient and environmentally-sustainable solutions with expert design, excellent advice, and exceptional service. In 2013 SWE entered the Marlborough Chamber of Commerce ‘Business Excellence Awards’ and won the “Innovation Award”, “Adding Value to Marlborough Award”, “Medium-Large Business Award – and the “Supreme Award”. Stephen subscribes to the philosophy that ‘with success comes responsibility’ – so this year he’s accepted a judging position to give back to other businesses, via the Business Excellence Awards process from which SWE benefitted in the past.