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Devin Wins NZPPI 2018 Young Achiever

The Southern Woods team would like to congratulate Devin Westley, who was named NZPPI 2018 Young Achiever at this week’s NZ Plant Producers conference in Rotorua.

Up against three finalists from across New Zealand, he competed in a series of written and practical challenges, testing a wide variety of skills across the horticultural sector.

“It was a great experience! I got to meet other young passionate horticulturalists and test my skills against them. The challenges have given me some excellent feedback, and have pointed out some gaps in my knowledge to improve upon”  

Devin is a 25 year old Sales Consultant at Southern Woods in Christchurch, with diplomas in Horticulture and Horticultural management from Lincoln University. Post study, he worked for the Christchurch Botanic Gardens and Terra Viva, before taking a more senior role with the retail & consulting team at Southern Woods.

With a passion for fruit & nut trees, Devin is looking to further his knowledge and practical experience in the industry.  “This was a great career development and learning opportunity for me. I will have access to the mentorship of industry leaders to coach me for the next challenge, and I’m excited for what’s ahead”

Devin’s manager, Chris Smith from Southern Woods says competitions such as this give bright young talent the opportunity to challenge themselves and plan for their future.

“We’re hugely proud of where Devin has come from since he started at Southern Woods fresh out of Lincoln University.  He had a passion for plants and trees that you don’t see every day, you could see the potential in him from day one. He’s an extremely valuable member of the team and contributes well to a culture of learning and development here at Southern Woods.”

Devin is Southern Woods’ second winner of this competition in recent years, with Thomas Ferguson winning the award in 2015.

For winning the NZPPI Young Achiever, Devin wins a 5 day trip for two to Melbourne, taking in the Melbourne International Flower & Garden Show.

The next stage of Devin’s journey takes him to Auckland where he’ll compete in the Young Horticulturist of the Year competition in November. He’ll represent the nursery and garden industry against all sectors of the horticulture industry.

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