On Tuesday 19th April 2016, Melissa Hunt - Director of S&D Logistics in Australia, was named the winner of the second annual award during a general session of the 125th International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) Convention, held in Las Vegas from 16-19 April 2016.
The Global NextGen Award, developed by the Global Cold Chain Alliance (GCCA), recognizes outstanding young professionals in the world's cold chain industry, and Hunt represented Australia as the recipient of the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transportation Association of Australia's (RWTA) 2015 Frank Vale Award.
Now in its second year, the Global NextGen Award recognizes talented young professionals who have the potential to become future leaders and who are making a positive contribution to the development of the cold chain industry around the world. Finalists for the NextGen Award are recipients of international industry awards that recognize exceptional achievement by young professionals in the cold chain in a specific region or country. Among other eligibility requirements for the award, nominees had to demonstrate excellence in their work, the potential to excel further in the many facets within the industry, and possess insight into their organization's strategic values and direction, policies and ways of working.
Candidates for the 2016 NextGen Award were nominated by international refrigerated warehousing organisations to compete for the global award at the IARW-WFLO Convention & Expo.
The other nominees in addition to Hunt included, Colin Longmuir, Warehouse Manager, Henningsen Cold Storage Co., representing North America as the recipient of the 2016 World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) Don Schlimme Future Leader Award, and Kane Thomason, Logistics Solutions – Operations Manager, UK and Ireland for XPO Logistics represented the United Kingdom as the 2016 recipient of the UK Young Manager of the Year Award.
"It is so important to call attention to the talented young professionals that are coming up in the cold storage industry," said Greg Brandt, Immediate Past Chairman of WFLO and CEO of Nor-Am Cold Storage USA. "These nominees represent the future of our industry, and their ideas will usher in the next wave of innovations that enhance the movement of perishable products to consumers around the world."
As part of the selection process, each nominee was interviewed and judged by a panel of industry leaders from around the world. Candidates were evaluated on their knowledge level of the industry, track record of excellence, communication skills, and leadership skills. In addition, each candidate delivered a five-minute presentation to the panel of judges and the IARW-WFLO Convention attendees.
"It is a great honour to have been nominated for the GCCA’s Global NextGen Award," said Hunt. "To win the award after being up against two extremely talented individuals and become the first female recipient is very rewarding."
As the winner of the GCCA Global NextGen Award, Hunt will receive a travel stipend to attend a GCCA or GCCA partner event anywhere in the world during 2016, and she was presented with an engraved 2016 GCCA Global NextGen Award.