Inbox: West Coast & world class

For Rod Quin, recognising and celebrating the talent in his organisation is one of the most rewarding parts of his role as CEO.
Senior management at Westland Co-operative Dairy Company have had their collective eye on several current and future stars within their ranks for some time now, he says. Yet, even among this leading group, Shane Gordon consistently stands out.
Gordon is business development manager, operations, at Westland Co-operative Dairy Company which trades as Westland Milk Products.
And Quin, in nominating Gordon for this year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology southern regional Young Executive of the Year Award, reckons Gordon delivers leadership skills that are world class.
“He simply loves New Zealand and, importantly the West Coast of the South Island,” he says. “Shane has consistently exceeded our expectations in the roles and projects he has undertaken.”
Struggling to boil his examples down to select few, Quin picks Gordon’s role in fronting the company’s ‘Westland Way for Excellence’ (WW4E) as sure-fire pointer to Gordon’s leadership skills.
Gordon was appointed the programme’s values stream manager – providing clear direction, resources, incentives and goals – after 2010 strategic review project identified need to implement continual improvement programme.
Since then, the programme has added value to the company through variety of measures including: increased safety; improved quality, throughput and plant uptime; capital avoidance and fixed-cost reduction; rapid exposure of problems with minimal confrontation; and world-class benchmarking.
By 2011 the programme had developed under Gordon’s leadership to where it could be safely passed on to dedicated lean manufacturing specialist manager.
Gordon’s skills are now focused on wider strategic role within Westland.
“Yet, although no longer directly responsible, Shane continues to communicate and celebrate the successes that this programme is bringing to the business,” says Quin.
He adds that with 18 years’ experience across the organisation, Gordon brings varied and successful track record to his current role.
“He covers wide area of the business but his main focus is on identifying strategically valuable opportunities across the operations, developing business cases based on these opportunities and then delivering value via successful projects.”
In 2010, Gordon was key contributor to creating Westland’s strategic plan which is designed to lift the performance of the company with step change into producing and marketing infant formulas.
Finalists for this year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology southern regional Young Executive of the Year Award were Kate Scott (managing director of BTW South), Kauahi Ngapora (chief operating officer, Whale Watch Kaikoura) and Sean Cuddihy (international business manager, Solid Energy).
Held in three regional finals throughout the country, the NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year Award applauds and rewards the talents of New Zealand’s executives aged 35 and under.
Gordon will now go forward to the final nationwide selections where he will pitch up against Wellington central region’s Glenys Powell and the northern region’s Lauren Voyce to determine who will be this year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year.
The result will be announced at the Deloitte/Management magazine Top 200 Awards on Thursday 29 November. www.management.co.nz/top200 for more information. M

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