Firm leader named Waikato CEO of the Year

by Sol Dolor14 Nov 2018

Jon Calder, the chief executive of Tompkins Wake has been named CEO of the Year at the Westpac Waikato Business Awards.

“Jon is an experienced leader with a proven record in leading change, through organisational transformation and process redesign. Jon’s passion lies in designing strategy and building organisation-wide capability to execute and deliver a superior level of performance and profitability,“ the judges said. “His success has been demonstrated through a track record of growing brands and creating sustainable performance improvement to realise value.

“Jon is courageously confident yet humble, grounded and always looking for ways to improve. He has found his own authentic leadership style,” they said.

In 2016, Calder became the leader of Tompkins Wake, the largest North Island law firm outside of Auckland and Wellington. He joined the Hamilton-headquartered firm after serving as the chief executive of New Zealand National Fieldays Society. He has also held leadership roles at NZ Bus and Air New Zealand.

He was a baggage loader at Hamilton Airport twenty years ago after dropping out of university twice. He has since earned an MBA from University of Waikato and has completed advanced courses at Harvard and Stanford.

“I am incredibly humbled to receive this award, joining a long list of distinguished leaders who’ve previously won it,” Calder said. “I realised early on in my career that when you find something you’re truly passionate about, application and success become easier to achieve. I’ve been privileged to work with some great leaders who’ve supported and encouraged my growth and development. At Tompkins Wake I am fortunate to lead a great firm, with some exceptionally talented people and a partnership that is committed to achieving excellence through the creation of a great place to work for all our people.

“Leadership is a lifelong lesson and I am grateful to all those in my network who help me learn, listen and continue to be a better leader,” he said.

Jon Calder