Young Executive of the Year

From music to midwifery, motherhood to management, Andrea McLeod has packed an almost scary amount of achievement into the past 15 years.

The 36-year-old mother of six has already notched up tertiary qualifications in music, midwifery, women’s studies and health services management and is about to add Master’s degree in Management to her credentials.

In between studying and raising family, she has also acquired wide range of job skills – from delivering babies to managing Maternity Centre, and from sales work to her present role as manager of health promotion for Public Health South.

Along the way, she has perhaps unsurprisingly earned reputation as someone who gets things done – on time, as well as bringing welcome blast of enthusiasm and commitment to the task in hand. Passion and people skills appear as consistent theme throughout her occupational variations.

After abandoning music teaching career in her early 20s, McLeod qualified as midwife in 1996 and ran her own sole practice in Dunedin. That left her enough time to continue pursuing her talents as sales representative which included selling timeshares and tupperware, and working as area manager for Kiwi Publishing.

Health administration started to become central focus when she took on the role of managing the Lumsden Maternity Centre in rural Southland. Like many such health services in small rural towns, the hospital was teetering on the brink of survival because it lacked sufficient resources.

After submitting comprehensive reports and recommendations to the Ministry of Health (Health Funding Authority), McLeod was able to negotiate five-year increased contract. She rates that as major achievement.

“It meant rural maternity services in northern Southland and Fiordland were able to be continued and the centre was able to remain… focal point of the community.”

A desire to pursue other management challenges took McLeod back to Dunedin where she became an accreditation facilitator with the Otago District Health Board. The role required liaison with many different clinical service areas as well as an in-depth knowledge of quality standards and processes.

Since taking on her current role last year, she has successfully led her 18-strong work team through the quality accreditation process – one of several innovations she has introduced to the service.

Others, including new orientation programme, more effective delegation, and new model for individual performance appraisals highlight McLeod’s collegial style of leadership.

“I strongly believe that group decision-making is an effective and efficient means to achieving team results.”

She also believes in leading by example, though her own sets pretty demanding standard – one in which she justly takes pride.

“My continued search for knowledge both through formal study and informal networking is big achievement for me personally. Managing to juggle being mother to six children, run household, carry fulltime management position and study part-time on top of that is something I’m proud of.”

Not that McLeod is likely to rest on her laurels. She reckons her leadership capability has yet to be realised.



andrea mcleod
Andrea McLeod is an outstanding executive and superb time manager. She impresses as an engaging and outgoing personality and sets high standards of achievement for herself and her team.

She is highly articulate and well focused. She brings considerable imagination and enterprise to the challenges which she has faced – the story of the retention of the Lumsden Maternity hospital and her efforts to turn around local sentiment about using it so it would remain viable, is classic of its kind.

As an executive, she demonstrates excellence in her approach, innovation in supporting and developing her staff and an attention to quality assurance that is admirable.

She is truly Renaissance person – with diverse range of skills and capacities exercised to high level of competence. That she manages all this with the demands of family life, and remains upbeat and optimistic is in itself major achievement.

She is destined for higher roles and her clear ambition to be CEO is well within her grasp in the foreseeable future.

An outstanding individual.


Zofia Skrzynski
Zofia Skrzynski is highly effective executive with considerable potential. She has demonstrated outstanding business and marketing skills in influencing the development and direction of the New Zealand Translation Centre in highly competitive marketplace.

The NZTC is the largest translation company in Australasia and its expertise and the quality of its output has been recognised by being Highly Commended in the 1995 Trade NZ Export Awards. Skrzynski has played significant role in helping the company towards profitability, both in her work as international business development manager and in her contribution to improving systems and processes in the company. She is very focused, highly articulate and is able to adapt to changing and challenging situations.

Skrzynski is held in high regard both by her colleagues and clients and by those with whom she has worked in the community. She is regarded as natural leader.

The panel considered that Zofia Skrzynski, while demonstrating considerable achievement, had still to reach her evident potential.

She is working in highly specialised field utilising her language skills and marketing ability effectively. There is no doubting her drive and ambition and her considerable capacity for networking and business promotion. She has an engaging personality and is articulate, well organised and is not afraid to accept challenge. high calibre prospect for the future.

Steven Williamson
Steven Williamson’s role as e-business manager at Auckland International Airport has been critical to the success of this fast-growing business. His contribution to setting up new business ventures, developing operational statistics, and improving systems and processes over wide range of the company’s activities has been substantial and imaginative.

Williamson developed and implemented Auckland Airport’s “virtual mall” at among other business initiatives which have seen company revenues improve significantly.

He has highly developed business analysis skills and is sought after throughout the company as someone who can drive complicated cross-business projects to successful conclusion. He has well-developed leadership abilities and has demonstrated outstanding customer relations management skills.

Williamson’s commitment to the community is demonstrated by his participation in the Manukau Business Forum and mentoring students at Aorere College.

Steven Williamson is project manager par excellence. solid citizen, dependable and reliable. Using sailing analogy he sees himself as occupying an analyst/tactician role. He is very effective, highly self-motivated executive, well presented and articulate.

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