'Superhero' wins trip of his dreams

By Laurel Stowell

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Two people who love aeroplanes and rockets have the trip of a lifetime to look forward to - an all expenses paid five days in Orlando, Florida, and a tour of the Kennedy Space Center.

Wanganui's Ed Minnell was named the Kordia IT Superhero yesterday, and he's taking his sister Kim Ahern on the prize trip.

He received news he had won in a phone call at 9am and said his wife Polli, who nominated him, screamed when she heard the news. Yesterday afternoon he was still feeling stunned.

When his sister got the news, via text, her response had a lot of capital letters and exclamation marks, he said.

Among 2000 people nominations for the award, Kordia general manager Drew Gilpin said Mr Minnell stood out because he was a selfless specialist dedicated to helping kids get the best out of their IT activities.

He could earn more elsewhere, but chose to spend much of his time working on the computer systems of low decile schools.

The prize is fitting - Mr Minnell and his sister both love everything about space and air travel.

Mr Minnell likes to go to every possible air show.

But he's never been overseas and only been up in the air himself three times - once in a helicopter and twice in planes.

He can't take his wife with him to Florida because she has to stay with their 6-year-old daughter, who has Asperger's Syndrome.

But he said she understood.

"She nominated me knowing that there would be this problem."

Mr Minnell and his sister receive five nights' accommodation in Orlando, and he has had a quick look online to see what else he can do there. He discovered many theme parks, including Walt Disney World, and is making plans to visit.

"I have never been on a rollercoaster. I've never even been to Rainbow's End."

But yesterday he had work to do. At 9am there was an IT problem to be fixed at Tawhero School, and later the Chronicle found him at Keith St School.

"I've got emails and text messages flying and I'm trying to print out a heap of reports."

He's considering taking the trip to Florida next March.

The other part of his prize was a $500 "office shout". Since he's the only one in his company, Evertec Solutions, it would have been a rather lonely celebration.

He's decided to use the money to invite pupils from four schools to a cafe instead.

- WANGANUI CHRONICLE

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