Meet our independent judging panel

  • Share

The award programme is about delivering "value-in" participation to all nominees. The independent judging panel is made up of people with business expertise and entrepreneurial spirit who will provide valuable insight and feedback to award participants during the judging process.

EY- Diane Foreman

Diane Foreman, CNZM
Chair of Judges
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2009, EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year judge 2011, EY Entrepreneurial Winning Women ambassador

Diane Foreman is one of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurial businesswomen.

As founder, Chairman and CEO of the Emerald Group, Diane has had investments including healthcare, manufacturing, recruitment and a boutique hotel. Diane created the Emerald Food family of brands, Movenpick, Killinchy Gold, Heavenly Treats, Lite Licks, Chateau Premium and iconic brand, New Zealand Natural. The Emerald Foods business was sold to offshore interests in June 2015.

Diane’s charitable endeavours are various but include being Chairwoman of the Ferguson Foreman Foundation established to support education, child health and deaf education. She was presented with Companion of the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to business in 2012.

Diane was named in Forbes Asia Magazine as one of Asia’s 50 most powerful women. In 2015 Diane wrote, ‘In the Arena’, a hand book for entrepreneurs, reaching #2 on the best seller list.

EY - Anne Norman

Anne Norman CNZM

Anne and David Norman are legends of the retail sector. Their company - the James Pascoe Group - owns iconic retail brands including; Whitcoulls, Pascoes, Farmers, Stewart Dawsons, Goldmark, Stevens, Prouds and Angus & Coote. They employ more than 9000 staff in New Zealand and Australia.



EY - Bridget Coates

Bridget Coates (Liddell)

Bridget is currently Chair and CEO of White Cloud Dairy Innovation, a New Zealand company which has recently launched a new consumer dairy brand into the US retail market – Kura Nutrition – with a product range based on high quality NZ dairy proteins.

Bridget was formerly Director of New York-based 212° Equity Management LLC, a group which invests in high growth businesses in the healthy living space. Bridget helped form ArcAngels in New Zealand, an angel group focusing on women-led growth companies and she retains a portfolio of early and growth stage investments in the US and New Zealand.

She is currently a Director of the Reserve Bank of New Zealand, a Director of BRAC USA (a global economic development organisation) and a Director of Communal Brands (a New York based wine branding and distribution company).

Bridget has been a Director of the New Zealand Superannuation Fund as well as public companies, Sky City and Fisher & Paykel Appliances Holdings. She was formerly CEO of Carter Holt Harvey Plastic Products and Director of Research for CS First Boston NZ, and the inaugural Chair of Auckland-based incubator THE ICEHOUSE.

Bridget has held Board governance roles with New Zealand/U.S. Beachhead Programme – a New Zealand Government programme offering strategic advice and mentoring to businesses seeking access to the U.S. market; Industry New Zealand, a precursor to NZTE; Competitive Auckland, a regional economic development organisation; and Auckland Uniservices, a technology transfer business. She holds degrees in economics and finance and also holds the Chartered Financial Analyst qualification.

EY - Dan Radcliffe

Dan Radcliffe
Founder and Executive Director, International Volunteer HQ (IVHQ)
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year 2014 New Zealand

Dan, a young, disruptive entrepreneur with a global mind-set, is the prototype of what the next generation of entrepreneurs will aspire to. Established in 30 countries IVHQ is the world’s leading volunteer travel company, providing responsible, high-quality, affordable volunteer programs in countries including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal, Peru, China, Morocco, Bali and Madagascar. IVHQ is having a positive social and economic impact on communities around the world and changing the lives of millions with over 48,000 volunteers having dedicated more than three million hours of community development in areas of Teaching, Childcare, Community Development, Medical, Construction and Wildlife Conservation.

His future plans centre around expanding into unexpected regions and developed countries, whilst continuing to diversify volunteer travel to include language learning and studying abroad experiences


Dr. John Penno
Products category winner – Entrepreneur Of The Year 2013

John co-founded the Synlait Group in 2000 and has been a full-time executive for the Synlait Group for the last 11 years.

John began career as a consulting officer for the New Zealand Dairy Board before joining Dexcel as a research scientist. In 2000, John was appointed General Manager of the NZ National Dairy Industry Extension Program which serviced farm owners, workers and rural professionals. 

John was appointed as Managing Director of Synlait Milk in 2013. John is also currently a director of SML New Zealand, Synlait Milk Finance, Synlait Farms, Synlait Farms Finance, Robindale Dairies, Thorndale Dairies and Riverlands Four. In the past five years John has also been a director of Dairy Insight, Axe Brasil, Synlait and a number of companies associated with the Synlait Group and/or dairy farms. John was the inaugural Chairman of the Dairying and Environment Leadership Group. John is a member of the New Zealand China Council Advisory Board. In 2009, John received an emerging leaders award from the Sir Peter Blake Trust and was also awarded the Federated Farmers inaugural agribusiness person of the year.