Since its reinstatement two years ago, the West Auckland Business Hall of Fame has become this region’s premier business event that has been sponsored by BNZ Partners with the support of Rosebank Business Association, Central Park Henderson Business Association and the West Auckland Business Club.
Last Friday, we proudly gathered as business representatives, community leaders and dignitaries alike to honour and celebrate two successful business leaders and their contribution to West Auckland and the wider community. With their initiatives, vision and determination, each of these people have contributed greatly to the community through economic prosperity, growth and innovation.
This year we inducted:
Simon Wickham, CEO of West Auckland Trust Services. As CEO, Simon leads a team of more than 300 people that run a range of award-winning retail and hospitality businesses in West Auckland.
Earlier in his career, Simon held senior leadership roles in the sporting sector. At just 28 years old he was appointed CEO of Yachting New Zealand. In 2005 he became CEO of the Trusts Arena and was instrumental in establishing this as a world-class sporting venue, developing the $10 million grandstand and floodlighting project on the Douglas Track and Field.
Simon was on the board of the New Zealand Olympic Committee for 12 years and continues to be a selector for the New Zealand Olympic and Commonwealth Games teams.
Simon joined West Auckland Trust Services in 2011, where he has led the transformation of this community-owned business which gives back more than $2 million each year to the West Auckland community. Under his leadership, The Trusts have implemented a strategy to grow their investments to give back more than $5 million a year to West Auckland by 2020.
Our second inductee was David Banfield, Group CEO of Methven, the market-leading designer and manufacturer of showers, taps and valves. In their purpose-built facility in Rosebank. Methven designs, develops and manufactures many award-winning products and technologies. They are committed to manufacturing in New Zealand, employing 130 people here and another 170 worldwide. In 2016, all their New Zealand-based staff became company shareholders.
David joined Methven in 2014 as Group CEO with the specific aim of leading a turnaround of the business. He brought to the role significant international experience and a passion for turning culture and market understanding into commercial success. David is focused on developing a world-class team delivering world-leading products and services manufactured in New Zealand to discerning consumers around the globe.
Under David’s leadership, Methven has implemented a ‘business transformation plan’ designed to deliver a scalable operating infrastructure and be a catalyst to grow sales towards a target of $130 million per year by 2020.
Methven is an active supporter of many local community groups and has worked with the Whau River Catchment Trust since 2016 to restore the iconic local waterways.
A special tribute and acknowledgement was made by the BNZ to The Darrah Family of Reliance Transport. The business was founded in 1955 by Ken and Elizabeth Darrah, as a West Auckland based carrier, servicing the local market garden markets. The Company today is led by their son Mark Darrah and they have enjoyed good growth and evolved into a modern well-run organisation, focused on container transport, Auckland wide. Sadly, Ken has passed away, but the Company is still owned and run by the Darrah Family.
Accepting this tribute was the sons, Mark and Grant Darrah, Mark’s wife Mandy, and their mother Elizabeth.
“We started the business in Rosebank and have since moved to Wiri. However, we were born and raised in the West and always will be proud Westies. We opened our first business bank account with the BNZ and they have been great partners for our business through the years, supporting us with our growth every step of the way” – said Mark Darrah.
Simon Dallow, a proud Westie himself, was the MC for this auspicious occasion, summed it up – What makes these West Auckland businessman a special breed:
- They are the salt of the earth
- Straight Shooters
- Can be transported anywhere in NZ and will fit in
- They care about their community
- Culture is number one!
This makes West the Best!
Finally, we would like to acknowledge the support of our sponsor, the BNZ, whose generosity and commitment to West Auckland has once again helped to make this event possible.