Women take out top accolades at CFO Awards

Photo credit: Oliver Li, Stuff

For the first time in the event’s nine-year history, all women received the three individual accolades at the 2018 NZ CFO Awards.

 Jennifer Whooley, CFO of Stride Property Group, is the first woman to receive the top honour of CFO of the Year, with Dame Alison Paterson recognised for her Contribution to Business and Finance, and Hannah Howard, financial controller of My Food Bag, winning the Emerging Finance Leader of the Year Award.

 “In an often male-dominated industry, it is inspiring that these three exceptional women have come out on top to be recognised for their outstanding accomplishments in the New Zealand financial industry,” says head judge, independent director Jonathan Mason.

 The judges – including Jonathan Mason, fellow independent director Julia Hoare, Foodstuffs North Island GM r of merchandise David Stewart, and former CFO Robert McDonald – were impressed with Whooley’s passion and leadership at Stride Property Group.

 “Jennifer Whooley’s ability to devise and implement innovative solutions to the major challenges and obstacles Stride faced, as well as her humble attitude to the extraordinary outcomes she has accomplished, were key reasons as to why she won the award,” says Mason.

 Dame Alison Paterson, who has played an active role in New Zealand’s financial community for more than 50 years, was recognised for her remarkable contributions to all sectors.

 “Through this stellar governance career, Dame Alison has continued to be committed to finance excellence,” says Mason. “Dame Alison has touched countless New Zealand businesses and finance employees and is the model of the award.”

Hannah Howard, financial controller of My Food Bag, won the Emerging Finance Leader of the Year Award for her significant contribution to one of New Zealand’s fastest growing companies.

 Air New Zealand, which posted one of the highest NZX returns to shareholders in 2017, was named the 2018 Finance Team of the Year for the second time, and the New Zealand National Fieldays Society took out the award for Financial Innovation Project of the Year, following a successful and ambitious programme to transform its operational and financial systems.

 The 2018 NZ CFO Awards is run by Stuff and Conferenz, and sponsored by EY, Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand, Stellar Consulting, TechnologyOne and University of Auckland Business School.

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