The finalists in this year's Waikato Chamber of Commerce Business Awards supported by Foster Construction Group have been announced, with 22 businesses named in the line-up.
Head judge Dr Heather Connolly of Waikato University's Management School said the 29 judges were impressed with the quality of the finalists.
"It was wonderful to see the calibre of entrants this year, and we are always encouraged when we see businesses enter for the first time," Connolly said.
"As judges we feel privileged that the entrants again have provided us with the opportunity to find out more about what makes them special. And as businesses in the region, there are some amazing things happening.
"Thank you to all the judges for taking time out of their busy schedules to visit and engage with the entrants and provide such valuable feedback. To the finalists a huge congratulations."
Chamber chief executive Don Good said there were also two new sponsors this year.
"We welcome 2degrees as a sponsor of the judging process. Their slogan is 'Fight for fair for Kiwi business' which is a great alignment with the chamber in terms of shared values and purpose," Good said.
"The award-winning Hamilton Airport has come on board as the sponsor of our new People & Culture Award. The category will recognise a business that has demonstrated strategies and initiatives to create a stimulating, high performing and supportive workplace environment to maximise the full potential of its team and create a values-based culture."
This year the Community Contribution Award has been split into two sub-categories: non-commercial (sponsored by Montana) and commercial (sponsored by SkyPoint Technologies).
Tickets for the gala dinner, to be held at Claudelands Event Centre on November 4, are available for purchase at https://www.waikatochamber.co.nz/business-awards/.
The finalists are: Companion Vets Ltd, Discover Waitomo, Driving Creek, EAS – Electrical and Automation Solutions, FC Boats, HMS Trust, IT Partners, MilktechNZ, Mitre 10 Mega Hamilton, MS Civil Construction Limited (representing the Group – Dynamic Civil Group Limited), My Mortgage, MyNoke, Profile Group, Profile Group – AGP, Profile Group – PPL, Raglan Food Co, Riverside Adventures Waikato, Safety Genius Ltd, Shift 72, The Chopping Block Limited, Waikato-Hauraki-Coromandel Rural Support Trust.
The Emerging Leader of the Year finalists are: David Bunting, Ezra Hirawani, Jo Mickleson and Kate Rawnsley.
The Waikato Business Awards are supported by Foster Construction Group, while the category sponsors are Chow:Hill Architects, Company-X, Deloitte, Hamilton Airport, Mitre 10, Montana Food & Events, SkyPoint Technologies, Sleepyhead, Tompkins Wake, Trust Waikato, the University of Waikato and Wintec.
The judging process is sponsored by 2degrees, while other support sponsors include ACLX, Air New Zealand, Barker Photography, Claudelands, Emblems, Fairview, INDx Media and Waikato Business News.