The Icehouse co-founder David Irving has been recognised in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.
Mr Irving has been named as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for his services to business and education.
The honour reflects Mr Irving’s passion and commitment to the growth and productivity of SMEs in New Zealand through his work with The The Icehouse and the roles he has held throughout his career.
Mr Irving is the retired CEO of Heinz Watties Australasia, Chairman of Prolife Foods, AS Wilcox and AuCom Technologies and Marstel Terminals Ltd.
Since co-founding The The Icehouse in 2001, Mr Irving has served continuously as a director, chairman and trustee. He has designed and developed content, presented and mentored on hundreds of programmes for SMEs.
Mr Irving says he feels privileged to be named amongst a group of extraordinary New Zealanders.
“My fellow recipients come from all walks of life, are specialists in a range of areas, but one thing we all have in common is our commitment to serve the New Zealand community,” he says.
“I believe our SMEs are the backbone of the New Zealand economy and I am passionate about empowering the owner managers of these SMEs to invest in themselves, their business and our country.”
The Icehouse CEO Andrew Hamilton says the honour is befitting for Mr Irving.
“David’s passion, drive and knowledge has been nothing short of extraordinary in shaping what The The Icehouse does. His innovative vision has allowed The The Icehouse to work with over 4,500 Kiwi business owners since its inception,” he says.
“David has become a champion and servant for one of the most important sectors in our community and economy. We are so proud to see him recognised and congratulate him for his commitment and on-going work to help business owners and our economy.”
Mr Hamilton says Mr Irving is tireless in his desire to see New Zealand perform to its potential.
“His career has shown how with strong conviction, purpose and effort, a real difference can be made,” he says.
The directing team of The The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme; Dr Christine Woods, Dr Deborah Shepherd and Dr Darl Kolb say Mr Irving has dedicated an enormous amount of time, energy and commitment to owner managers and their businesses.
“David is a man of immense integrity; he has a disciplined approach combined with deep empathy and understanding that makes him an outstanding leader. He gives generously of his time and wisdom to others,” they say.
Mr Irving says he is humbled to be named a part of the Merit and the recognition confirms the value of his dedication and hard work with New Zealand business owners over the years.
“It has been a special experience working with all kinds of owner managers from different parts of the country and helping them to grow, develop and become successful. I am now starting to work with people outside the business world – using my business and education life experiences,” he says.
Current Chairman of The Icehouse Chris Quin says Mr Irving has stood out as a leader with a passion for New Zealand.
“There is no doubt that David has been successful as a CEO and a leader of a critical New Zealand organisation and has gone about that responsibility with a real passion for his country and people, and the future we should have,” he says.
Last year Mr Irving was nominated for New Zealander of the Year Awards. He has published two books, is a frequent contributor to magazines, and was the recipient of the New Zealand 1990 Commemoration medal.
Mr Irving still plays an active role in The The Icehouse Owner Manager Programme and was an Honorary Professor at The University of Auckland Business School until 2011.