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The Waratah Difference

by Aroha Saxon

When I sat with Mary Atkins, Owner and Manager at The Waratah, it was easy to see what makes her facility stand out.  “It’s their home” she says about her residents.  “Everyone likes to have a choice – whether its food, activity or simply how they want to dress”.

Mary first built The Waratah in 1992 and opened in 1993.  58 Residents and 35 staff – give or take.  Mary says that a lot of the staff also stay for a very long time. Mary herself has been there for 26 years along with her Clinical Nurse Manager, Mary Preston.  Kim, the cook has been there 10 years and Annie in administration, 15 years.

When I asked her to name something big that has happened to them, Mary said that 18 months ago they received their Private Hospital License.  This meant that if the resident’s needed special care they could provide it all on-site.  Each room has dual purpose beds and a private en suite.

Because it’s a home, Mary says that they don’t wear uniforms and everyone is encouraged to join in on their activities – whether its Balloon games, Memory games to get the trophy, Pet therapy or simply sitting back and talking about all the things they all used to get up to.

Great stuff Mary!  You and your team are awesome!

Business success stories – Kiwibank

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Lesa Davis – Boss with the X factor

by Tony Potter

GO TO Google, or if you want to be totally impartial the search engine of your choice, and tap in the word Nitrogenx (pronounced: nitrogenics). Then go to “Our team”.
There you will meet – in descending order – Lesa Davis, managing director; Megan, customer services/sales support; SaraJane (daughter), admin/finance; Samantha (daughter), health and safety/compliance; Sandy, accounts; Aroha, sales; Laura, marketing/business development.
Getting the picture here? Seven women, three of them mother and daughters.
Finally, five blokes – Chris, warehouse and delivery driver (he’s also Sara-Jane’s fiancé); and Darryl, Shane, Ross and Scott, all delivery drivers.

That’s it. The 12 of them make up Nitrogenx, who entered the last Westpac Auckland Business awards for the first time and won Best Small Business (West) Lesa Davis Boss with the X factor by Tony Potter and Employer of the Year (West) out of three categories they were up for. A batting average any test match cricketer would give their eye teeth for.
And in charge is a woman who left school (Kelston Girls’ High) at 15, studied shorthand and typing and got her first job as an office receptionist. Lesa Davis isn’t afraid of hard work. “I believe if you work hard in life, things will open up for you. People will recognise it.”
Well, the Westpac judges certainly did.

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