Alan Stewart and Prue Hamill were honoured at the Wairarapa Awards. PHOTO/SUPPLIED

KAREN COLTMAN

karen.coltman@age.co.nz

Business gurus Prue Hamill and Alan Stewart were honoured with business excellence awards at the Wairarapa Awards on Thursday night.

It’s the equivalent of Hall of Fame status.

Hamill has operated Hamill Realty Limited for 23 years and been in real estate for longer.

She said she strives to run a company with good values – “It’s run like a family”.

“Family is really important to me, I have eleven grandchildren in my life. The young girls come and sit in my chair, put my Harcourts scarf on and pretend they are me, it’s so funny.”

Hamill has three generations working with her. All her four daughters have real estate licenses.

She doesn’t limit her energy output to her business, being a key driver in the ‘Bring it to Colombo’ netball courts development. She is also on the St Matthew’s school board and treasurer of Masterton Rotary.

She prides herself on attention to detail – but enjoys seeing her people thrive.

“I develop individuals to be who they want to be, and I love making dreams come true.”

Hansells Masterton chief executive, Alan Stewart said he was not expecting anything and said “it was, very nice, a lovely surprise.”

In 1966 Stewart started work in a Masterton accounting firm. The experience carved a pathway for him to help many Wairarapa companies sort out their books and get back on their feet, to the point they could continue to operate or be in a position to sell.

He assessed that his skill was to sort out the operations at the top while leaving the team on the ground to get on with it.

“I’m there when needed and still hands-on but management need support and mentoring rather than being told what to do,” Stewart said. “They need space to grow in their job.”

Stewart has helped the Masterton RSA and other chartered clubs, and recently assisted the Martinborough Wine Centre.

He has three sons, one in Auckland who helps out with the company’s computer networks, another in Palmerston North in transport, and another in Australia with a big thing for racing cars.

“I supported Greg Murphy’s super car races for a while, buying him a racing car. Now I see my granddaughters race super cars in Australia. It’s a hobby of mine.”

The recipients of the tribute awards were chosen by members of the Business Wairarapa board.

“Wairarapa punches well above its weight in excellence in business leadership and there are a number of truly outstanding people we could have chosen this year,” board chair Rebecca Sayer said.

“Alan and Prue and very worth recipients, they have both worked tirelessly to ensure that local people are employed, local business succeeds and as a result the local economy grows, and they are also totally committed to supporting our community.”

Last year’s inaugural recipients were businesswoman Mavis Mullins, known for her work in shearing and governance, and Graham Napier from Henergy.