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Mrs Hesson is a qualified barrister and solicitor who started her own consultancy firm, Hesson Consultancy, in 2018.
She is also an intern director at Delta Utility Services, chairwoman of St Bernadette's School board and a trustee of the Dunedin Charitable Prison Trust.
The emerging director award, announced at an event in Dunedin last night, was established to foster upcoming talent in governance through mentoring, formal training and access to leading speakers at events across Otago and Southland.
The IoD selection committee said while Mrs Hesson (42) was primarily focused on her own professional growth and development, she also demonstrated good awareness of the external environment in which directors were operating, including both future challenges and opportunities.
Invercargill-based Nick Hamlin, managing director of Maxis Projects and an independent board member of Motorsport NZ, was named runner-up.
-A profile of Mrs Hesson, who is married to former Black Caps and Otago cricket coach Mike Hesson, will follow.