Wendy Schollum - Hastings District Council

Wendy was born, raised and educated in Hawkes Bay. After developing her career in Auckland, she came home to run two successful businesses, marry and raise her family.

At just 23 years old, Wendy started her first business: a digital marketing and software development agency called Xplore. At its peak, Xplore employed 18 Hawke’s Bay based people in fulltime and contractor roles and had a client base that expanded to well over 350 business in NZ, Australia and the UK.

The business model was successful as it focused on providing tailored digital services, that met the needs of each specific client (rather than the cookie-cutter approach many other companies were using at the time), and ensured a high level of customer service by operating with an internal culture of “give to receive”.

In 2015, Wendy started a second business: Upstart Media Ltd. Upstart Magazine is the flagship product of Upstart Media Ltd and the only NZ-produced and nationally distributed magazine for children aged 5 – 12 years. It is Air NZ’s children’s magazine of choice (distributed on Trans-Tasman and major domestic routes), found in most NZ Primary and Intermediate schools and has a circulation of over 30,000.

In 2017, Wendy sold Xplore to MRD and was elected as the newest Councillor to the Hastings District Council. Wendy currently holds the Community Engagement portfolio at HDC and is an active member in the Hastings community.

Wendy is also a member of the Hastings District Council Hearings Committee having completed her Commissioner Certification in 2018.

“Speaking as a business owner in the technology and communications industries, we need to think beyond our regional borders now and into the future. We’re part of a global economy and community. Our region needs to embrace the future, for education, business, employment and social development. I am excited to have the opportunity to learn more about and celebrate the finalists in this year’s Hawke’s Bay Business Awards.”


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