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BEIA Outstanding Contributor Awards recognise NZ industry stalwarts

Heather Shaw, The Events Group, BEIA 2022 Outstanding Contributor Award (left) and Maxine Wallis, The Cordis Auckland, BEIA 2021 Outstanding Contributor Award.

The BEIA 2021 Outstanding Contributor Award was presented to Maxine Wallis from The Cordis Auckland.

Two of New Zealand’s top business events professionals were presented with Outstanding Contributor Awards for 2021 and 2022 at Business Events Industry Aotearoa’s (BEIA’s) industry gala dinner last night hosted at ToiToi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Event Centre.

The BEIA 2021 Outstanding Contributor Award was presented to Maxine Wallis from The Cordis Auckland.

Heather Shaw, founder of family-owned event management company The Events Group, was named the BEIA 2022 Outstanding Contributor Award.

BEIA Chief Executive Lisa Hopkins says each year one worthy recipient is chosen to be celebrated by the industry, but with the 2021 conference cancelled due to Covid, this has been a special year. “We are acknowledging and celebrating two outstanding women in our field, both of whom have contributed hugely to our industry over the course of three decades,” she says.

Maxine Wallis started her career as BEIA’s (CINZ’s) first Australia representative, putting New Zealand on the map as a business tourism destination in the key Australian market. Later she moved back to Auckland and worked with Aotea Centre. Then, moving to the North Island’s east coast as Chief Executive of Gisborne Tourism, she drove the marketing for the turn-of-the-century celebration for the first place to see the sun in the new millennium, drawing major international media attention. Then she became Senior Sales Manager Australia for SkyCity Entertainment Group, and for the past eight years, she has been Director of Sales, MICE at The Cordis Auckland.  

Heather Shaw’s career began managing events at North Harbour basketball, and the Millennium Institute, before going on to buy a team-building business 20 years ago, and transforming it into a full-service event management company with a top reputation – The Events Group. Heather’s daughter, Meredith Drucker who is General Manager of the family-owned business, accepted the award on her behalf.

The BEIA Outstanding Contributor Awards were presented with thanks to long-standing supporters David Hall, and Hunter’s Wines.

Showcasing the diversity of their spaces and their technical and creative expertise, the conference finale gala dinner, dubbed Deco, Diamonds and Decadence, was hosted by ToiToi – Hawke’s Bay Arts and Events in a magnificent setting. Guests arrived at the Opera House where a speakeasy set was revealed on stage. A moonshine raid followed, taking guests into the dining room. The seated dinner in the Assembly Room accompanied by local wine was created by Dish catering.

The celebration of flapper fashion, Art Deco design, and epic dance was produced by Toi Toi, together with creative styling by local suppliers Miss Frou Frou and Flock Events, and emceed and entertained by the multi-talented Greg Ward. Guests dressed in vintage style to celebrate the Art Deco era for which Hawke’s Bay is famous, creating a glitzy soiree atmosphere.

This was also the final event organised by Jen Henshaw, who is stepping down from her role as BEIA Events Manager later this month. She was acknowledged and thanked for her huge support and efforts in creating this event, and BEIA’s flagship MEETINGS exhibition.

The destination for next year’s conference will be Marlborough.

“We’re excited to be heading to this stunning part of the South Island,” Hopkins says.

Co-Founder & Chief Editor - TravelDailyNews Media Network | + Articles

Vicky is the co-founder of TravelDailyNews Media Network where she is the Editor-in Chief. She is also responsible for the daily operation and the financial policy. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Tourism Business Administration from the Technical University of Athens and a Master in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Wales. She has many years of both academic and industrial experience within the travel industry. She has written/edited numerous articles in various tourism magazines.