Ian Emmerson

Don’t ask people to do something you wouldn’t do yourself, and expect to give back to the community that helps you.

These are two of the core principles of this year’s recipient of the Leader of Year Award, a person who is a passionate advocate for his own industry and an active supporter of key community projects.

He is described as a positive person who encourages other people, humble, respected, forward-thinking, a good sounding board and a good person to work with.

Farming was his first career after leaving school. But on a farm, there’s a need for a few trucks to move feed and livestock. So, from that practical need - the value of “do something yourself” - the family transport business was established in 1977.

He has been the managing director of the successful family transportation business based in Hastings for 30 years. The company is now a leader in the industry with a fleet of more than 80 truck units across the North Island and depots in Auckland, Tauranga, Levin, Whanganui, and Cambridge.

He is responsible for the growth and direction of this business. He provides leadership and motivation for all employees and is the link between the company, its shareholders, industry bodies and the community.

He is also an active advocate for the road transport industry and is widely respected in this role. He is the President of the National Road Transport Association of New Zealand and the association’s Central region and serves as the vice-president of the local Hawke’s Bay association.

He also represents the transportation industry on the Regional Transport Committee, a joint committee of councils and transport interests which plans for safe travel for all road users in Hawke’s Bay.

The leadership skills he’s developed over many years have been generously given in return to the community.

He supports the Life Education Trust “because it gives children a good foundation.” Last year he was made a 

Life Member of the Trust, acknowledging his 20 years of service.

He is a founding member of the ‘Ride in a Truck Day’ event which started as a treat for children undergoing treatment for cancer who get to a ride in a truck. It is now a large public event that raises funds for community cancer care projects in Hawke’s Bay.

The Little Elms project in Hastings is one of the projects that has benefited from the Ride in a truck event. He further supports the project with leadership and administrative support. Little Elms provides accommodation to families with children in the hospital. It is renowned for having been built in six days, with the $1.8 million needed to build it all donated. Over its 10 years, it has housed over 32,000 guests supporting their loved ones.

For his contribution to the community, he was named Hawke's Bay Today Person of the Year in 2015.

On Friday, 15th November 2019, we recognised his leadership in business and industry, as well as his commitment to his community.

The Linden Estate Leader of the Year in Business Award recipient is Ian Emmerson.