Three entrants were assessed by the judges (Carol Fraser, Helen van der Werff, Pip McVicar, Trina Tully and Rhys Gibbs) and attended Conference to compete in a round of activities to determine the winner.
Jacqui is the Sales & Marketing representative for Evandale Gardens in Invercargill. She has worked there for over three years, progressing from assistant in the rose department to her current role. She is currently responsible for client sales through the South Island, marketing initiatives, designing new labels, coordinating contracts and staff management. She is qualified with Level 4 advanced nursery production and Level 4 advanced production horticulture. She has recently become an accredited work place assessor so she can mentor and assist other staff working towards horticultural qualifications. Jacqui sees her career leading her to upper management in the industry and she plans to complete a National Diploma in Agribusiness Management.
Hamish, a 2013 Young Achiever finalist, works for the family owned company Grower Technology which gives him the opportunity to be involved with all aspects of the business. He is production manager of the potting mixes and blended nutrients, and does quoting and installation of the nursery systems the business sells. Hamish intends to continue to enjoy the thrills and challenges his current role provides while further developing relationships in the industry and aiming towards building and owning his own enterprise. He is working his way towards achieving Level 3 qualification with plans to complete Levels 4 & 5.
Amy works at Wairere Nursery (Auckland) as a general nursery hand, using her skills in a wide range of jobs from sales rep to propagation to pest management. By the end of this year she will have completed a Diploma in Landscape Design. She enjoys the range of work she does, in particular learning the names and attributes of the plants she works with, and creating and maintaining displays at Trade shows and Concept Botanica. She is keen to expand her horticultural knowledge by working in other sectors for example, the cut flower industry, and long term to become a sustainability consultant for Councils and DOC.
They have a full day prior to Conference completing a computer skills exercise, a range of practical tasks and face an interview with the judges. Thursday morning during breakfast they will present a 3 minute speech on a pre-selected topic to Conference delegates. And after all the points are added up, the winner will be announced at the Awards dinner and presented with the Young Achiever Trophy. We wish them all the very best during the competition.
Jacqui Jones doing her plant identification assessment