The 2018 North Canterbury Business Awards judges are very experienced, carefully selected business experts who have an excellent understanding of business operations, specifically in the Canterbury region. They all have a wide and varied background in many aspects of business ownership, development and management and they bring their exceptional business knowledge and expertise to the awards judging role.


Leone Evans

Leone Evans Business Awards Judge 2018 cropLeone Evans is a baby-boomer with life experience relevant to her generation.  She is a qualified life coach with a desire to support people to live their lives to their fullest potential.  Leone is also an accredited business mentor and she supports business owners and executives to align their business and lifestyle aspirations to create a sustainable legacy.


Leone has extensive experience in international business development, business coaching and mentoring.  Her skills have been gained from working in a wide variety of primary sector industries over a period spanning more than 30 years.  She commenced her own business providing management support services, business coaching and life coaching upon leaving 'corporate 9 to 5' in 2011. 

Prior to commencing her own business, she worked in New Zealand's state owned international trade promotion and economic development agency for 14 years, mostly involved in the primary industries as well as FMCG. During the period after the September 2010 earthquakes, when seconded to CERA (The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Commission); she was involved with providing co-operative national and local government support for quake affected businesses. 


Keith Harris

Keith Harris Business Awards Judge 2018 cropKeith has a career spanning more than 30 years as a Director and Senior Manager in the professional sales and marketing arena – with major multinationals such as Coca Cola, Smith Klein Beecham and Goodman Fielder. Complementing his track record is the distinction of having run one of the most successful KiwiHost Training franchises ever in Auckland.

Taking up a role as Construction Manager for Habitat for Humanity, Manukau he became a member of the Board of Management providing housing for families in need. Keith’s major achievement with Habitat was to build five houses in seven days whilst managing and motivating 600 volunteers.

When Keith moved back to Canterbury he once again operated his own company as a Business Coach and Training Programme Writer. With qualifications and experience in General Management, Financial Management, Sales, Marketing, Presentation Skills and Programme Writing, his real passion is for Customer Service, Relationship Marketing and Team-building.


Steve Wilkinson

Steve Wilkinson Business Awards Judge 2018 cropSteve brings to the judging panel over 30 years’ experience in CEO and General Management roles with small to medium sized businesses in New Zealand and Australia.

His broad commercial skill set has been developed through a wide variety of industries including banking and finance, automotive, hospitality and property. His responsibilities have ranged from developing and managing the execution of strategic plans to financial management to developing, motivating and managing staffing levels from 10-200.

In addition, Steve has gained board room experience through chairing both Enterprising Manukau and Touch New Zealand over a combined period of 12 years. During this time he gained valuable insight into the key differences between the governance and operational aspects of a business.

Now the owner of The Alternative Board in Christchurch city, Steve is using his background and experience to provide much needed coaching and support to the business community of Canterbury.