The founder and co-chief executive of My Food Bag, Cecilia Robinson, has been named the Supreme Winner at the 2017 Women of Influence Awards, held tonight at SKYCITY Convention Centre in Auckland.
Robinson launched the meal kit delivery service in 2013 with husband James Robinson, chef Nadia Lim and businesswoman Theresa Gattung.
Since then, My Food Bag has become a household name, transforming the diets and meals of thousands of families.
It has more than 50,000 customers, 120 employees and projected revenues of more than $135 million this financial year.
The Women of Influence event, now in its fifth year, is backed by Westpac and Fairfax Media, with awards judged in 10 categories.
Westpac NZ Chief Executive David McLean says Cecilia Robinson is a worthy Supreme winner, having shaped the shopping and cooking habits of many Kiwi families for the better.
“It is not only a great business idea – it has also had a wider influence on family life. My Food Bag has meant less time planning meals and shopping in supermarkets, and more invaluable time spent with loved ones. On a dietary level, it’s also delivering healthier options for many households.
“It’s a simple idea executed flawlessly and for that reason Cecilia deserves this accolade.”
Fairfax Media Chief Executive Sinead Boucher says what was remarkable about the finalists was the incredible breadth of talent across so many categories.
“There was someone to inspire in every field, whether it was law or conservation or finance or broadcasting.
“These are some of the smartest and savviest women in New Zealand, with their success exemplified by the exceptional work of Cecilia Robinson and her team.”
A special Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to former New Zealand Prime Minister and United Nations Development Programme Administrator, The Rt Hon Helen Clark, for her outstanding work over several decades.
The award was presented by the Governor-General, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy.
List of Winners
Arts & Culture - Denise L'Estrange-Corbet
Fashion designer Denise L’Estrange-Corbet is a co-founder of WORLD, one of New Zealand’s most iconic creative brands, with six boutiques across the country.
She is also an ambassador for the IHC Art Awards, Diabetes New Zealand (Auckland) and the Mental Health Foundation.
Award sponsored by SKYCITY
Board & Management - Anne-Maree O’Connor
As the Head of Responsible Investment for the New Zealand Superannuation Fund since 2006, Anne-Maree O’Connor has helped move responsible investing from a sideline activity for institutional investors to a part of their mainstream investment strategy.
Award sponsored by DLA Piper
Business Enterprise - Cecilia Robinson (also the Supreme Winner)
Entrepreneur Cecilia Robinson is the brains behind food kit delivery business My Food Bag. The business has become a household name in just four years, growing from a start-up to a team of 120, with revenue forecast to exceed $135 million for this financial year, and is preparing for an IPO within three years.
Robinson also set up Au Pair Link in 2006 to connect au pairs from overseas with host families in New Zealand. At the time of sale eight years later, the business was flying nearly 1000 au pairs to New Zealand annually.
Awards sponsored by MYOB
Community & Not for Profit - Lisa King
Lisa King created Eat My Lunch after discovering thousands of children go to school without lunch every day. For every lunch purchased, Eat My Lunch provides a lunch to a child in need.
In two years, Eat My Lunch has given around 450,000 healthy lunches to children in low decile schools.
Award sponsored by Spark
Diversity - Minnie Baragwanath
At the age of 14, Minnie was diagnosed with Stargardt’s, an incurable disease that causes deteriorating central vision.
She went on to start Be. Accessible, a social change agency shifting how Kiwis value accessibility. She is a Member of the New Zealand Order of Merit.
Award sponsored by Chartered Accountants ANZ
Global - Sian Simpson
A three-time Women of Influence finalist, Sian Simpson is a director of community at Kiwi Landing Pad, where she helps take New Zealand technology to the world.
In the past three years, Sian has worked with more than 2,000 New Zealand businesses and met with over 3,000 entrepreneurs.
Sponsored by Massey University
Innovation & Science - Hinemoa Elder
Hinemoa Elder leads Māori strategy at the Centre of Research Excellence for the Ageing Brain. She was the first to articulate a Māori theory of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and develop two evidence-based resources for Māori with TBI – an area where Māori are over-represented.
Award sponsored by Mastercard
Public Policy - Rebecca Kitteridge
As the Director of Security at the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service, Kitteridge runs an organisation that deals with some of the most sensitive information in New Zealand.
Prior to this role she spent six years in the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
Award sponsored by Ministry for Women
Rural - Professor Nicola Shadbolt
For more than 30 years Professor Nicola Shadbolt has taken a strategic perspective on global agribusiness.
She is a professor of farm and agribusiness management at Massey University and is the New Zealand representative in the International Farm Comparison Network in Dairying.
Award sponsored by Zespri
Young Leader - Sharnay Cocup
Sharnay Cocup is the founder of the Taupiri Youth Group Trust, a Taupiri Community Board member, Taupiri School Board trustee and PTA member. She started the Taupiri Youth Group Trust to restore the Taupiri Mountain track, which hadn’t been maintained properly for 20 years.
Award sponsored by Hotpoints
Lifetime Achievement - Rt Hon Helen Clark
Helen Clark became New Zealand’s first elected woman Prime Minister in 1999. She held the office for nine years before becoming the first woman to lead the United Nations Development Programme.
She was elected the MP for Mt Albert in 10 consecutive general elections and led the Labour Party for 15 years.