This week's Newsmaker is Vanessa Wallace, who plays a key role in organising events in Rotorua including the Rotorua Hospitality Awards.
Tell us a bit about yourself?
Born and bred in Rotorua, I grew up in Whakarewarewa and had my two older brothers protecting every move I made, they still try to.
The two biggest role models in my life is my mum Sharon and dad Roger, we are a fairly tight knit family and see each other almost every other day.
When I left high school I completed a Diploma in Business Computing at Waiariki Institute of Technology and moved to Sydney for two years.
Tell us a bit about your role organising the Rotorua Hospitality Awards?
As the event manager my role is to co-ordinate the logistics, operations and creative components of the event.
There are a lot of 3am finishes leading up to the evening but seeing it all come together on the night makes it all worth it.
I've been involved since the inaugural event in 2012 and I am honoured to work alongside local industry professionals, we have an amazing committee and I'm proud of all we have achieved.
What made you want to get involved with the hospitality and event management?
My first job in hospitality was when I was 17 and I started working at the Sheraton as a waitress.
My mother has always worked in hospitality so growing up within the industry it was a natural progression for me. I used to work nights in banquets then days in reception, I also studied-full time and when I look back now I have no idea how I did it.
I was always interested in event management and got the opportunity to work for a local event company six years ago and have never looked back.
Tell us about some of the events you've been involved in?
I work on two key events with my brother who is based in Christchurch; Fight for Christchurch and Battle of the Rebuild.
Fight for Christchurch is a premier corporate boxing event and has raised over $560,000 for numerous charities since its inception in 2010.
The Battle of the Rebuild boxing event brings together major construction and engineering companies involved in the rebuild of Christchurch, we raised over $250,000 for charity at the inaugural event in May this year which was just amazing.
When you're not rushed off your feet organising events, what do you in your free time?
I lead a fairly busy life, I'm a wedding co-ordinator at a luxury lodge and I have two daughters, Saraya, 8, and Sophia, 4. My free time is spent with my girls at swimming lessons, netball, dancing, ballet, band practice, the odd horse ride and catching up with friends. The life of a working mum but I wouldn't have it any other way, it's all about balance.
What's your favourite thing about Rotorua?
It's home. Rotorua is where my friends and family all are, without the support networks I have I wouldn't be able to do what I love.
Tell us three things about yourself most people wouldn't know?
I'm probably the most indecisive person you'll ever meet.
I'm a night owl, most of my inspiration and motivation comes at 1am.
I'm never on time, however it's a work in progress.