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Tony Ivicevich receives TomatoesNZ Lifetime Membership
Two well deserved awards were handed out at the TomatoesNZ AGM.
Tony Ivicevich was awarded a Life Membership and Helen Barnes an Award of Merit. Tony and wife Joanne began growing tomatoes in 1980, they grew for 40 years before retiring. During his time as a grower Tony was part of the Auckland Vegetable and Produce Growers Society that set up Veg-Gro Supplies Ltd, which is now the Horticentre Group. Tony is still a Horticentre Trust trustee. He was chair of what is now known as Tomatoes NZ for 11 years and a Horticulture NZ Board Member for 9 years, after 2 years on the establishment board. In 2015 Tony was made a Life Member of Hort NZ. and Life Member of Pukekohe Vegetable Grower’ Association Inc.
Tony is a true champion of our industry, he has helped numerous young growers, including me, achieve their goals. This is another recognition of his standing and respect from his peers. A special mention to Joanne Ivicevich, also a highly skilled grower, who made it possible for Tony to attend all those meetings!
From left, Tony Ivicevich, Barry O’Neill (TomatoesNZ Independent Chair), Helen Barnes
Helen Barnes was the longest serving Business Manager for Tomatoes NZ. Helen has been integral in all parts of the organisation, her biosecurity work and guiding TomatoesNZ through some very tough times. Helen brought professionalism and organisational skills that always kept TomatoesNZ on track. It was a sad day when we heard Helen was moving into a new role, however, she left the product group in an excellent position.
Anthony Tringham, a long serving, and diligent director on the board will be missed. Anthony has been an advocate for NZ tomatoes continuously promoting our industry at every turn. Anthony has been a strong campaigner for Integrated pest management progress and more than that he has proven how to make it work in his, and wife Angela’s, growing operation.
Below – achievements read out by Barry O’Neil, Chair TomatoesNZ
Award of Merit for services to TNZ
Helen worked as the General Manager for Tomatoes NZ for 10 years having previously worked in different roles with both Vegefed and Horticulture NZ for a further 8 years. In her role with TNZ, she was a passionate advocate for tomato growers, strongly promoting the industry and helping to keep stakeholders informed about the key priorities and challenges for commercial growers.
She thoroughly immersed herself in understanding the industry, from researching tomato pests and diseases to grappling with the complexity of the ETS and encouraging growers to claim carbon credits. Helen was like a sponge soaking up new information and ensuring she was across a vast range of subjects to best represent “her” growers.
Helen enjoyed the collaborative side of working with a diverse board, and ensured the board were kept well informed and always happy to share her knowledge. Her attention to detail and methodical approach kept everyone up to speed.
Helen championed an evidence-based approach and was pivotal setting up sponsorship of PhD student Emiliano with Lincoln University to research novel biological approaches to pest management, which is now being commercialised within ALT.
Helen’s genuine interest and belief in the industry and its people, along with her leadership and managerial efforts been hugely beneficial for TNZ and all of us who worked with her. Thank you Helen!
Tomatoes NZ Lifetime membership Award
Tony has had a career working for and with growers since 1972 when he started growing citrus. He moved into the greenhouse growing world in 1980 and is still involved with horticulture today in his 15th year as a trustee for the Horticentre Trust. Those who have worked with Tony have noted how he has always willingly and freely shared his expansive knowledge to the benefit of others.
In terms of TomatoesNZ, Tony held various industry roles from 1986 when he was appointed to the NZ Tomato Industry Fund, going on to become a board member on VegFed’s Tomato Sector when it was established in 1989 for 16 years, including 7 years as the chair. Tony has been a regional leader as well chairing the Auckland divisional committee from 1998, 5 years as a sector committee chairperson from 2004 working on publicity for the sector.
Tony has been on so many industry groups, too many to mention them all but all focused on improving our ability to grow and prosper, such as Vegfed’s Quarantine Committee, or HortNZ’s structure and board election review working group, MAF’s Pesticides Board, NZ Food Safety Authority’s ACVM’S Advisory Committee, Ministry for the Environment’s Pesticide Risk Reduction Reference Group, or the Ministry for the Environment’s Climate Change Industry Reference Group etc, etc!
Immensely knowledgeable, generous with his support for horticulture, and a very nice man to work with – Tony its with pleasure that we give to you the TNZ life membership award.
Article compiled by Stefan Vogrincic.
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