Past FLA Finalists

Being named a Future Leader Award Finalist is no small feat. Entrants must be nominated by a senior manager within their firm, so already they have been identified as a rising star within their company. Applicants are evaluated on a variety of factors including the ability to demonstrate leadership capability in both work and within the community. They must show a commitment to professional development and in recent years, an interview by our panel of judges. 

Those individuals who are named a finalist are high achievers who have and will continue to contribute to the success and elevation of the industry and profession of consulting and engineering. We would like to recognise those who have been named finalists as well as our winners over the years.




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Winner - Clare Tolan of Harrison Grierson

Clare Tolan was appointed General Manager-Survey at Harrison Grierson in 2016. Her role is to lead and coordinate the survey discipline across the company to ensure it achieves its financial budgets and the company's strategic objectives. A senior surveyor with 12 years of cadastral surveying and land development experience, Clare has worked in Hawke's Bay, Melbourne and Christchurch. She is now based in Auckland where she leads the company's 60 surveyors. She is well noted within HG by senior leaders for her strategic thinking, pragmatic and determined focus, and her outstanding leadership abilities within the company. She has further been praised by clients for her impressive professionalism in challenging and often complex situations and scenarios, always keeping the best attitude and representing the profession well. Clare holds a Bachelor of Survey from Otago University. She is a licensed cadastral surveyor, and is studying towards an MBA through the Edinburgh University School of Business. She is a member of the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors, Consulting Surveyors New Zealand and the Property Council's Women in Property. Clare is also an active member of graduates at Harrison Grierson.

Finalist - Catherine Morar of Aurecon

Catherine is a Chartered Process Engineer with the Institute of Chemical Engineers, and specialises in Process Safety. She has had a 10 year career spanning the oil and gas industry in Australia, Malaysia and now New Zealand. In her role at Aurecon NZ, as Senior Process Safety Engineer, Catherine supports NZ and Australia businesses in the energy, resource and manufacturing sector, to embrace process safety as an integral culture in their business. Catherine uses her leadership skills to continually improve the understanding and capability around safe design methodology in Aurecon and as a consultant in the build environment. Her goal is to be able to significantly reduce the risks to personnel and the environment throughout a projects life cycle. Outside work Catherine is developing her leadership skills as the Chair of the ACENZ Young Professionals group in Wellington, valuing the benefit of providing networking and leadership development opportunities to the future leaders in our industry.

Finalist - Carla O'Donnell of Opus

Carla is the principal Commercial Manager for Opus' global business and also the acting Business Manager for the Dunedin office. Carla has a unique skill set as both a Chartered Accountant and a lawyer. She has been working in the infrastructure sector for five years in a variety of roles with focus on commercial management. Carla has been with Opus International Consultants since 2015, after working abroad in London. Part of her role includes leading project teams through the internal governance process (Project Risk Committee) and supporting with risk and pricing reviews and commercial reviews of 'strategic projects' across the group in addition to managing the Dunedin office of 40 staff. Carla is involved in the wider Wellington community through governance work as a Wellington Regional Councillor with CA ANZ and enjoys running with the WLG Scottish Harriers.

Finalist - Steph McLeod of Stantec

Steph McLeod commended with Stantec (formerly MWH) in 2011 as a Project Manager and Geologist before being recognised as a future leader of the business and promoted to the role of Project Management and Commercial Leader for water business across New Zealand. She is a qualified Project Management Professional and has completed the MWH University's Developing Future Leader course. Steph's previous managers all agree that she demonstrates the kind of leadership and commercial acumen that is well beyond her years. She continually translates the commercial and technical lessons she learns from working 'at the coal face' into commercial intellectual property that benefits herself, her clients and the company.




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2016 Winner - Jenson Varghese of MRCagney

2016 Finalist - Matt Bishop of BVT

2016 Finalist - Andrea Jarvis of Holmes Consulting Group