Tauranga’s property and business industry advocates, Urban Task Force (UTF) recently announced the winner of their first annual Leader Development Scholarship intended to encourage, support and retain skilled emerging business leaders in the region.
The 2022 scholarship has been awarded to Greg Steele, owner of Steele Projects, a construction project management consultant and owner of the Bay of Plenty franchise of Navigation Homes.
UTF Chairman Scott Adams says the application from Mr Steele stood out from the beginning of the shortlisting and interview process.
“Greg is a really strategic thinker. He came prepared and delivered his messages with a high degree of professionalism,” says Adams.
“His background is diverse with both the benefits of corporate training and the hands-on experience that comes from small business ownership. The Board were really impressed with his vision for the Bay of Plenty and his social awareness,” he says.
As the first beneficiary of the UTF Leader Development Scholarship, Mr Steele will receive a seat on the UTF Board, a career mentor in his field and a financial contribution towards further study.
“We’re looking forward to having Greg on the Board over the next twelve months. He has extensive experience in engineering underground utilities from his time with Downer Bay of Plenty and his passion for developing this critical infrastructure is a real asset to our mission to improve the city’s facilities,” says Adams.
UTF established the annual scholarship earlier this year to support the growth of Tauranga.
“Our work is guided by eight key priorities which include advocating for strong leadership of the city and investing in people. If we don’t retain quality emerging leaders in the city, we will return quickly to the limited, small-town thinking that has plagued Tauranga for years,” says Adams.
“I’d challenge any other business or organisation in the region to join us in doing this. It would be great to see other leaders do their bit to encourage our young people to build their careers in the Bay, to make Tauranga a long-term home for their families and have a real stake in the future of the city,” he says.
Adams believes innovation and partnerships are the key to resolving many of the city’s issues.
“We’ve all seen the problems Tauranga faces. UTF encourages all those who want the city to grow into its potential to work alongside our members advocating for strong working relationships between business, iwi, local government, and central government. Your skills are desperately needed to build a city that we can all enjoy and be proud of,” says Adams.