NZ’s first Young Managing Director of the Year

A Christchurch teenager is winner of the first-ever NZICA Young Managing Director of the Year Award for his leadership of a student company producing a sustainable-energy based emergency power generator.

James Agnew, 17, is Managing Director of Advanced Clean Energies (A.C.E), a company of six St Thomas of Canterbury College students, founded to develop and manufacture their ‘Lion Emergency Power Generator’. The generator uses waste heat from boiling water to power cell phones and charge batteries.

Launched by former Prime Minister Helen Clarke in August this year, and as part of the annual Young Enterprise Scheme, the Lion generator was initially developed for Canterbury quake victims but has much greater market potential.
“As managing director of this extraordinary team of young entrepreneurs, James is a shining example of an exceptional business leader,” says NZICA Chief Executive Terry McLaughlin.

“He has provided strong strategic vision, robust managerial skills and the level of leadership that has enabled the team to work to their full capacity. Their achievements at just 17 years of age are extraordinary. I look forward to tracking this talented young man’s career,,” says Mr McLaughlin.

A.C.E has certainly achieved its vision to create a quality, sustainable-energy based product that benefits the community – domestically and internationally. The ‘Lion’ is now being sold through Mitre 10 Mega and Kathmandu stores with further camper/tramper markets being pursued and, is also being used in a village in Africa thanks to the company’s partnership with DHL.

Financially, A.C.E has also been shown remarkable success, in the short three month period from July to September 2011, with sales exceeding targets and the company boasting a healthy net profit of 8%.

As winner of the inaugural NZICA Young Managing Director of the year Award, James receives a cash prize of $1000, a trophy and an all-expenses paid trip with his fellow finance director Sean Feast to the ‘swanky’ NZICA Leadership Awards in Wellington on 30 November - a chance to mingle and network with the country’s top business leaders.

Also part of the ACE team are Sam Mackwell, Production and Design Director; Sean Feast, Communications and Finance Director; Stephen Pilton Sales and Commercial Relationship Director; Craig Stanton, Director for External Trade.

View his One News interview

More about the Leadership Awards

06 December 2011