Two Emerging Directors Win Top Spot in Institute of Directors’ Annual Awards

Melinda Baillie and Cam Finlayson have each won an Emerging Director Award from the Institute of Directors (IoD) Canterbury Branch.

The IoD presents its Emerging Director Awards annually to people who show leadership, integrity and enterprise in their careers. Each recipient receives a financial contribution towards IoD governance development courses, a year’s complimentary IoD membership, a board internship and mentoring from an experienced director.

Melinda Baillie has over 17 years of management experience and is Head of Trents Wholesale, a large food and beverage wholesaler owned by Foodstuffs South Island. As well as a BCom from the University of Canterbury, she has graduated from Foodstuff’s Executive Development and Advanced Leadership programmes.

Melinda is on the St Bede’s College Board of Trustees and is currently a member of their Finance sub-committee.

The judges were impressed by Melinda’s extensive CV and believe her technical expertise, communication skills and management experience, combined with her strong drive, would make her a valuable addition to any board.

Melinda said the internship, mentoring and training opportunities provided with the award would be hugely beneficial in furthering her governance knowledge. She planned to attend the IoD’s five-day residential Company Directors’ Course as part of her pathway to Chartered membership.

“My desire to be a director is motivated by a wish to use my skills, knowledge and time to add value to an organisation. I bring a diversity of professional experience through a rewarding career focussed on stakeholder engagement, customer satisfaction and strategic success.”

Melinda will intern on the board of Ashburton’s locally owned co-operative electricity company EA Networks. IoD Chartered member and Chair of EA Networks, Philip McKendry, was looking forward to Melinda joining the board.

“Melinda’s corporate experience positions her well for governance and we’re delighted to have access to her ideas and insights,” he said.

Melinda Baillie


Cam Finlayson has a background in business management and marketing and is a manager at Lyttelton Port Company, the South Island’s largest port.

Cam currently sits on the board of the Templeton Golf Club and said the opportunity to develop his governance knowledge and skills through IoD courses will be put to good use in this role.

“My goal for the club is sustainability. I hope it will be around for many years to come, so if my son or daughter want to play golf then the club will be there for them to enjoy, too,” Cam said.

When asked about the highlight of his career, Cam says completing his MBA under some very difficult personal circumstances was a huge achievement. He also has a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce-Marketing and Management from Otago University.

Cam has a passion for leadership and says he’s a big picture thinker, an attribute that will serve him well in the boardroom. “I combine my learning with real-life experience to ensure the best possible outcomes for an organisation. I’m determined to make a positive difference,” he said.

The judges said Cam showed drive and tenacity and had a planned pathway to further his governance career so he could fully contribute around a board table.

As part of his prize, Cam will intern for a year on the board of Christchurch-based contracting firm, Connetics, chaired by IoD Chartered member Geoff Vazey.

“I can learn many new skills from being in a room with other professional directors. I also believe in being open to alternative ways of thinking, which provides an excellent opportunity for personal and professional development,” Cam said.

Melinda and Cam will receive their awards at a function on Monday 14 September at The George in Christchurch.

Cam Finlayson