Te Whare Whakahōnore i ngā Rakahinonga Wāhine o Aotearoa

Meet Our 2023 Inductees to The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs

Nominations for 2024 are welcomed from all women.

Hall of Fame Media Realease

The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs - Te Whare Whakahōnorei ngā Rakahinonga Wāhine o Aotearoa

Serial entrepreneur, global IP strategist and sustainability warrior, inducted into The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs.

Instigated in 2012 by leading professional and business development organisation, Co.OfWomen, the twelfth annual ceremony sees Roanne Parker, Kate Wilson and Brianne West inducted into The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs Te Whare Whakahōnore i ngā Rakahinonga o Aotearoa

CEO and founder of Co.OfWomen, Tara Lorigan, says, "the Hall of Fame is a unique endeavour to champion the significant business achievements and generosity of the country's most successful entrepreneurs and creates explicit, diverse examples encouraging women working on owning their success."

"Commercial drive matched with innovation and a compelling desire to make a difference feature strongly in women’s success. And this year's inductees are prominent examples. Our country and economy are all the better for their extensive mahi and kaupapa," said Tara.

The women inducted were selected from an open nomination process launched by Co.OfWomen in July 2022.

Chosen for induction by a selection panel of their peers, Chaired by Dr Lee Mathias ONZM, and including Co.OfWomen founder Tara Lorigan MNZM, Sharon Hunter, Ranjna Patel ONZM, Wynnis Armour and Co.OfWomen board Chair, Sophie Gilmour. These women were selected according to the four criteria of significant achievements in business resulting in a national or global business, industry impact, support for other women, and philanthropic activities.

Women-owned businesses make up more than 36% of New Zealand businesses, according to Statistics New Zealand, and the number of women opting for business ownership over employment continues to grow.

Co.OfWomen’s mission focuses on delivering the practical tools, world-class learning and trusted connections for developing next level entrepreneurs and employed leaders in support of their purpose to champion more women into more positions of influence globally.

Partnering with organisations like ASB who have, for almost a
decade, been part of this important initiative, embodies Co.OfWomen’s philosophy of choosing partners with a track record of supporting women in
business. ASB Chief Executive Vittoria Shortt said, "Congratulations to this year’s inductees as they play their part to move the diversity dial for
Aotearoa New Zealand. It was a real privilege for ASB to celebrate these inspiring and talented women and host the Hall of Fame ceremony.”

Tara Lorigan
+64 21 926934

Following the 2023 inductions, the Hall of Fame will feature 37 of the
country’s most experienced, generous and influential entrepreneurs – they are:

2022 Inductees

Frances Valintine CNZM
Maxine Simmons CNZM
Rhonda Kite ONZM

2021 Inductees

Dame Suzie Moncrief DNZM
Theresa Gattung CNZM
Christine Sharma
Kiri Nathan MNZM

2020 Inductees

Cecilia Robinson
Marisa Fong
Dame Hinewehi Mohi DNZM

2019 Inductees

Dame Bronwen Holdsworth DNZM
Josephine Gagan
Wynnis Armour

2018 Inductees

Dame Pieter Stewart DNZM
Peri Drysdale MBE
Mavis Mullins MNZM

2017 Inductees

Carmel Fisher CNZM
Audette Exel AO
Karen Walker CNZ

2016 Inductees

Glennie Oborn
Erica Crawford
Cilla Hegarty

2015 Inductees

Dr Lee Mathias, ONZM
Annette Presley ONZM
Dame Julie Christie DNZM

2014 Inductees

Ranjna Patel, ONZM
Dame Trelise Cooper DNZM
Diane Foreman, ONZM

2013 Inductees

Anne Norman CNZM
Naomi Ballantyne ONZM
Linda Jenkinson

2012 Inductees

Colyn Devereux-Kay*
Anita Finnigan
Sharon Hunter

Colyn Devereux-Kay passed away in May 2021 from an extended illness. She was the inspiration behind the Hall of Fame’s and its first inductee.

About Co.OfWomen

Co.OfWomen instigated The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs Te Whare Whakahōnore i ngā Rakahinonga o Aotearoa in its founding year.

Founded in 2012 by Tara Lorigan MNZM, Co.OfWomen is a business and professional development organisation. With a membership-based model open to all who identify as women, their membership focuses on the practical needs of employed and self-employed women with a community of thousands of women across Aotearoa, at every stage of success. 

Co.OfWomen equips women with world-class practical training and resources, relevant peers, and experienced
champions to propel their success journey. They have
developed a globally unparalleled service delivery model built on their unique Three Pillar Model approach that encompasses deep expertise across gender, high-performance and commercial &
organisational contexts. Their expansive digital platform features videos, podcasts and articles focused on delivering practical tools, wisdom and stories that have a New Zealand-centric focus.

Co.OfWomen are the creators of co. magazine, a title dedicated to sharing ‘the how-to of success’ by women, for women.  They have developed three major platforms focused on championing the diversity of women’s success.  They are Women Power Week, Women Entrepreneurs Week, and The New Zealand Hall of Fame for Women Entrepreneurs Te Whare
Wakahōnore i ngā Rakahinong o Aotearoa

Co.OfWomen have proudly partnered with ASB on a range of activities since 2014 including the hall of fame.

For further information:

http://coofwomen.biz and http://taralorigan.com

- 2023 INDUCTEES -

Roanne Parker

Roanne Parker, Ro, is a highly
experienced serial entrepreneur, who has built several businesses from start-up to exit.

A big picture thinker who loves technology and innovation, to date Ro has built companies in
franchising, entertainment, digital marketing, software
& hospitality with two significant exits to date. Businesses include Hire a Hubby, Jericho, Calibrate Marketing, The Heke and Waiheke Whisky.

Her current focus is a
world-class sustainable tourism and hospitality venue, The Heke, on Waiheke Island alongside her partners. This multi-million dollar build is the brand home for a premium brewery and distillery.  In just 14 months since its first bottling, Waiheke Whisky has won 21 medals including Best New Zealand Whisky two years running.

Ro credits her success to the
combination of early adoption of digital technology with hard work and skills honed from an early start in direct sales. In building her ventures she has always given high priority to developing strong teams, great partnerships, and a focus on outstanding customer experience.

Ro also built a significant portfolio of directorships, serving on State Sector boards
including Metservice and Lotto NZ, and a range of private
companies, challenging the status quo with her entrepreneurial viewpoint.

Her experiences have made
her an expert in building vibrant, successful teams and she loves the challenge of creating something out of nothing. Having created many hundreds of jobs and reinvesting profits into each successive venture, Ro is committed to walk the talk and build wealth for Aotearoa New Zealand through business. 

Ro was one of Co.OfWomen’s earliest champions, spending time with founder Tara Lorigan to help her think through their model and providing her wisdom for Co.OfWomen members.

She is Chair of Talk Peach
Gynaecological cancer education. Enduring life-threatening cancer surgery and
chemotherapy treatment five years ago slowed her down but has focused her philanthropy on women’s issues, primarily for womens health, abuse recovery, and Budgeting Services. 

Outside of a modern family with her husband Mark, several children and 4 tiny new mokopuna, Ro’s happiest moments are when she works with other entrepreneurs, and has been an active mentor in the start up community for over 20 years. Investing and cheerleading other women-owned companies, judging StartUp competitions and every day mentoring with a strong bias towards growing women in business. 

Kate Wilson

Kate is a globally recognised IP strategist and attorney who co-founded of the one of the country’s most prestigious Intellectual Property (IP) firms, James and Wells. She has quite literally helped literally thousands of entrepreneurs and
inventors over her 30+ year career that has also included many entrepreneurial off-shoots.

Kate was the first New Zealander to be recognised as one of the world’s top IP strategists. Her international accolades include being the first kiwi to feature five times
consecutively in the IAM 300 IP Strategist listing, first New Zealander to be awarded Expert of Experts in IP Strategy by Managing IP magazine,
top 1000 patent practitioner by IAM and receiving the Lexis Nexis Client Choice award in patents.

With degrees in both physics
and chemistry, Kate originally aspired to be a Nuclear Physicist. After working in environmental physics research she then segued and became a founding Partner of intellectual property firm James & Wells at the age of 22, qualified as a patent attorney and became one of the countries youngest partners in a law firm at age 27.  Kate built her firm from a three-attorney start-up to national prominence with close to 90 staff and offices country-wide.

She achieved this by adding
value to New Zealand businesses and setting up systems to successfully develop
and manage the IP portfolios of many iconic NZ organisations including Zespri, Gallagher Group, AgResearch, Bomac Group and Waikato University.

Her hands-on approach included brainstorming with inventors to design around others’ rights and develop new
patentable and commercially successful products. Some of her clients’ IP portfolios were subject to intense due diligence by multinationals such as Bayer,
Pfizer and Lely which led to the successful acquisition of those clients for many millions of dollars.

Kate has worked hard to help
Kiwis succeed on the global stage and generally raise awareness in New Zealand
of the importance and value of their innovations.  She has presented extensively locally and internationally, judged numerous business and innovation awards including the National Fieldays Awards for 10 years. The author of many articles, she also instigated publication of the textbook Inventors’ Guide to Success which provided a pathway for Kiwi innovators from concept
to export.

Kate mentors individuals through NZ Business Mentors as well as many others informally.  In addition to professional directorships, she has been a trustee on numerous boards promoting innovation such as the Kudos Science Awards and provides various not-for-profit organisations with free
strategic planning sessions.

Kate is a self confessed ‘extreme foodie’ who with her husband Allan grows, cooks and preserves much of their own food from their lifestyle block in the Waikato. She has appeared on MasterChef, published a
cookbook, been a food judge and written food columns. 

While at the top of her game in
IP and Managing Partner, Kate left her firm James & Wells to follow her foodie passion in hospitality with the Prof’s
Group. This started with buying and transforming the Woodlands Cafe to the cafe/restaurant/bar Prof's@Woodlands which became a family affair with her husband and two children working on and within the
business. They doubled turnover in the first 18 months and significantly increased the visibility of the restaurant and the Woodlands Estate in which it was based. A CBD based tapas bar followed along with a national award for one of
their condiment range, and an Australasian award for the grill cleaner that Allan developed. The grill cleaner is another side venture that Kate & Allan still operate.

Leaving the comfort of her
professional firm and starting from virtual scratch in an unrelated business was an eye-opener and much was learnt – often the hard way. Fortunately, family relationships have remained intact and Kate is incredibly grateful for the
significant contributions made.

Having scratched the hospitality itch for six years, Kate & Allan sold the business and she
reverted to her old love of IP strategy, this time as a sole practitioner. This pure focus along with the hard lessons learnt from her businesses and professional directorships has enabled her to apply her skills to a greater variety of projects and clients locally and internationally
- including providing IP strategy for a Netflix TV series.

Kate’s career has been largely
in a field under-represented by women. She was one of only two women doing a Masters in physics at Waikato, only one of a handful of women Patent Attorney partners in New Zealand and conscious that less than 2% of women become Managing Partners in the US and only 13% of inventors are women. One of her Masters papers delved into gender
representation in science education and she was commissioned by Waikato University to study why girls are underrepresented in Physics at high schools.

Kate’s approach to supporting
women focuses on her belief that one of the best ways to gain acceptance of diversity is to understand the barriers to entry, and then overcome those and
lead by example – case in point, one of her mentees at her old firm has gone on to establish her own national law firm. 
Kate is a life coach for Reclaim Another Woman participant, she
advised Co.OfWomen in its genesis, was instrumental in introducing greater flexibility in work practices in her firm and as a consequence of her profile
in the innovation ecosystem has naturally accumulated a significant number of women mentees and entrepreneurial clients.

She still manages to indulge in
her personal interests including foodie exploits, gardening, playing squash, fishing and has several side projects including writing books and painting and
is the proud mum to adults now forging their own career paths.

Brianne West

Brianne is the founder and
former CEO of Ethique, which with brought about a significant shift in the beauty industry with the regenerative beauty and lifestyle brand conceptualised, created and commercialised from the heartland of Aotearoa New Zealand.

From kitchen beginnings, Brianne grew Ethique into a global business with distribution in more than 22 countries with 8000 retailers and achieving a company valuation of more than
$100 million. The brand is renowned for its deeply passionate customer base that features some of the glitterati of Hollywood amongst it’s most
passionate consumers.

Brianne has a degree in biochemistry and a deep-seated passion for environmental conservation, Brianne channeled
these passions into Ethique. Her goal was clear: to reduce plastic waste in the beauty industry, a mission that has led to the prevention of over 25 million
plastic bottles worldwide from manufacture and disposal.

True to its roots, Ethique continues to craft its solid beauty bars from vegan, cruelty-free, and palm oil-free ingredients. The products, wrapped in certified compostable packaging,
reinforce Ethique's status as a founding BCorp in New Zealand. The company maintains a climate positive stance, supports a living wage, plants a tree with every order, and ensures that 2% of its annual sales go to charity.

Through Ethique's Super Soap
Project, Brianne's commitment to serve the community shines, with 50,000 bars of soap donated to vulnerable communities since 2020. This commitment extends beyond Ethique, with Brianne dedicating time to mentor mission-driven
entrepreneurs and serving on the boards of various non profits. She also established the Ethique Foundation to channel funds towards ocean conservation and the support of women entrepreneurs.

Brianne was a founding partner
in the Million Tree Pledge, which is led by a group of independent small businesses where participants pledge to plant a over a million trees by specific dates and to getting two other pledgers to do the same to ensure the initiative grows exponentially.

In addition to her Foundation’s
commitment to supporting emerging women entrepreneurs, Brianne was an early supporter of Co.OfWomen as a member and generously sharing her experience for the benefit of emerging entrepreneurs through their digital platform.   

Brianne's success and leadership have been widely recognised. Honuored as an EY Young Entrepreneur of the Year,
Stuff NZ Women of Influence, and an Obama Foundation Leader, Brianne’s dedication to sustainable business practices and women success remains at the core of her professional life, informing her efforts in her latest start-up, Business, but Better.

Amongst her many commitments Brianne manages to nurture her profound love for the ocean and nature. Drawn to
the vast, captivating underwater world, diving offers her a quiet contrast to her bustling professional life. On dry land, she channels her restorative
instincts into rewilding her property in Ōtautahi Christchurch, transforming it
into a thriving sanctuary that mirrors the sustainable ethos ingrained in her enterprises. This instinct to revive and restore extends to animals, with many
of Brianne's 65 animals rescues.

As she continues to explore the
world's untamed corners, she carries with her the tenacity and determination that have fuelled her entrepreneurial success. For Brianne, it's not merely a love for nature; it's a dedication to cherishing, protecting, and interweaving the beauty of our natural world into all her endeavours, inspiring others to
follow suit.

Te reo

Kim Muriwai led the development for the te reo translation, consulting with other reo experts as there was no specific word for women entrepreneurs.

The 2023 have been selected

We're looking forward to celebrating these wāhine toa at
the 2023 induction ceremony on June 29th and we hope you'll join us.
But if you know a women entrepreneur who deserves to be recognised for her achievements and generosity and she meets the criteria below, we'd love to hear from you.

Nomination Criteria

Nominations are open to all women entrepreneurs, members and non-members who meet the nomination criteria. Please email all nominations to marketing@coofwomen.biz

1. Business Success
Have achieved significant national or global success, the business is mature of exited.

2. Industry Impact
Their work has had a significant, tangible impact on their industry.

3. Supporting Women
Involved with initiatives dedicated to championing women success.

4. Making a difference
Applying their resources/profits for the good of others in philanthropic endeavours.

Selection Panel

Our selection panel is convened annually by founder Tara Lorigan and is chaired by Dr Lee Mathias. The panel features Co.OfWomen board member and Hall of Fame Inductees.

Tara Lorigan MNZM

Co.Of Women founder

Dr Lee Mathias ONZM

Induction Panel Chair
Inducted 2015

Sharon Hunter

Ex Board Member
Inducted 2012

Sophie Gilmour

Co.Of Women Board Chair

Ranjna Patel ONZM

Ex Board Member
Inducted 2014

The Ceremony

Let's connect and kōrero