Business and Innovation Celebrate and honour People

Top staff don’t have to be Aucklanders to be winners

Nyia Strachan holds her award
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Winner of the New Zealand executive assistant (EA) of the year award Nyia Strachan may come from one of New Zealand’s smallest cities but she would still be the best EA if she worked in Auckland, her boss Alpine Energy chief executive Andrew Tombs says.

Strachan was named the best NZ executive assistant of the year award in Auckland on Wednesday night fittingly on the day celebrating 125 years on the Kiwi suffrage movement.

Tombs says Strachan has substantially amazing qualities that would see her be just as successful working for Air NZ, Xero or a Spark company in Auckland or Wellington.

People don’t have to live in our biggest cities to be appreciated and successful. That’s the message from this award success last night. Our lives here are easier because of her.

“I already knew what the rest of New Zealand has woken up to today. Over the last decade South Canterbury has bucked the trend of most other regions in terms of growth and opportunity and Alpine Energy has been a big part of this success. Alpine has many super stars, Nyia’s recognition confirms what we already know.

“Nyia was awarded the South Canterbury Employee of the year just last month at The Business Excellence awards. She goes above and beyond the call of duty and is an inspiration to staff, management and the board.

“She has even been able to get our board to switch from paper to digital agendas – which has been no mean feat.”

Alpine Energy runs an electricity distribution network in South Canterbury to more than 30,000 customers from the Rangitata River in the north to the Waitaki River in the south and from the east coast to Mt Cook in the west.

Strachan joined Alpine Energy two and a half years ago and has been the executive assistant to two CEOs, three boards and four general managers. She leads a team of receptionists, administration staff and a communications advisor.

“Nyia’s bubbly and fun-loving personality is infectious around the office and invigorates staff meetings. But she is an outstanding strategic contributor and valued member at executive management meetings,” Tombs says.

“Her insight or perspective helps shape good decisions and outcomes for the company, its staff, and the community. She gets executives out of operational thinking to the bigger picture, bigger value, better results strategies.

“Just one example was when she collated our health and safety initiatives into a specific programme to write a Deloitte Energy Excellence Awards entry for which we were named a finalist. It is the first time Alpine Energy has been named a finalist in the nine years the awards and that’s very much down to Nyia’s efforts and commitment.

She gets people excited and passionate about the challenges at Alpine Energy. Her ability to cut through the jargon and get to the heart of the matter has earned her respect from staff across all sectors of the business.

“Nyia has also led the redevelopment of Alpine Energy’s website, bringing it into the 21st century in style.“She also coordinates three company group board meetings, bringing in seven directors from around the country, as well as one from overseas, plus organising the executive team. Nyia puts together agendas and takes the minutes at each meeting. We all feel we are so much more organised – thanks to her.”

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For further information contact Alpine Energy’s Rebecca Flannery 0272121528 or Make Lemonade NZ editor in chief Kip Brook on 0275 030188

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