18/02/2010 - 00:00

Winners all in tight contest

18/02/2010 - 00:00

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WHEN I first chaired the judging for the WA Business News 40under40 Awards in its inaugural year, 2002, the prevailing view was that we would struggle to find a constant supply of talent to match the nominees and winners of that first year.

Winners all in tight contest

WHEN I first chaired the judging for the WA Business News 40under40 Awards in its inaugural year, 2002, the prevailing view was that we would struggle to find a constant supply of talent to match the nominees and winners of that first year.

But, over the next two years, the judges had the same level of high achievers to deal with and we concluded that 40under40 would always find untapped achievers.

From an editorial point of view, that has certainly been the case. The awards have highlighted some very special high-flyers – from investment banker Mark Barnaba in its inaugural year, iiNet founder Michael Malone in 2006, and Atlas Iron chief David Flanagan last year – to name a few.

Returning to chair the panel after stepping away for those intervening years, I have been pleasantly surprised to see that, indeed, there remains a rich vein of unknown achievers for us to highlight.

The judges are privileged to get a glimpse into the journeys of these individuals. They share with us their most significant achievements, their biggest setbacks and challenges, their entrepreneurial and innovative attributes, the values and behaviours that have guided them, and finally, what they have contributed to the community.

I should also extend these thoughts to those who were not selected. They too have great stories. Many put a strong case for inclusion and, as always, there are those who only just didn’t make it: be it their application, the comparison to other entrants in similar fields or simply that 40 others presented a better case.

For those who feel hard done by, I invite them to consider trying again.

The selection process, which started with written applications, also included interviews by the judging panel for the top four.

This is a wonderful opportunity to quiz the top candidates and make an assessment about who best represents what 40under40 is all about.

This year’s four were tightly matched and it was a tough decision because all had such unique strengths. In the end, though, one stood out.

As chair of judges, I congratulate Suzanne Daubney on her selection. She represents not only herself but also the 39 other winners and dozens of other nominees who share her entrepreneurial aspirations at both business and community level.

 

STANDING BY BUSINESS. TRUSTED BY BUSINESS.

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