In touch : Young executive honoured

Jo Tarlton, general manager of Auckland’s Eco Maintenance, has won the Northern Region section of this year’s NZIM/Eagle Technology Young Executive of the Year. The judges said her excellent leadership and decision-making skills, partnered with impressive and sustained achievements at Eco Maintenance, make her an outstanding recipient.
Eco Maintenance is privately owned facilities maintenance company carrying out services such as commercial centre cleaning, litter collection, mowing, vegetation control, carriageway sweeping and cleaning and maintenance of all council assets such as bus shelters, toilets, street seats, fencing, lighting and access ways.
Tarlton joined Eco Maintenance in 1998 temporarily for three weeks to set up some reporting structures. Nine busy years later, she has played crucial role in developing the company into multi-million-dollar business with over 100 employees.
She credits her success to combination of good practical business sense, thirst for learning and developing herself, others and the business, an enormous drive and belief in what the business does and can continue to achieve through continuous improvement.
Under Tarlton’s watch, Eco Maintenance has become the dominant supplier of commercial centre and amenity cleaning and maintenance contracts within the Auckland market. She was promoted to the role of general manager towards the end of 2004 when the company was experiencing mixed results – the 03/04 financial year returned profit of just 0.52 percent. By March 2007, the end of the 06/07 financial year, Tarlton had grown the company by 16 percent and increased profitability by 2400 percent.
She says winning the regional title is an incredible honour.
“The biggest thing it means to me is recognition. Recognition that the things I am doing and the way I am leading our company is on the right path and this is recognised and awarded by people with credibility and great standing in the management world in New Zealand.”
She has implemented strategies that have given the company and wider management team focus and direction, and has introduced strategic management and planning into the company framework which has incorporated business strategies being developed across the business addressing growth, systems, staff and culture.
“Turning Eco into successful, profitable company that is known for quality and reliability has been an achievement I am extremely proud of. We are leader in our field and I will continue to lead us through our next stage of development and into the future,” Tarlton says.
•The Central and Southern winners, Mason Pratt (MD of Provoke Solutions) and Alison Collins (Landcare research scientist) respectively, will be featured in upcoming Management issues before the grand winner is announced in the December magazine.

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