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From Team Member to Team Leader

February 2016

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Previously part of the G.J. Gardner Homes Rodney team, Michael Sudfelt and Shalimar Axford have now taken on roles as business owners, becoming franchisees of our Kapiti/Porirua franchise.

Their time as staff within the G.J. team has contributed largely to both their developments. While only starting their new roles with G.J.’s Kapiti/Porirua, Michael and Shalimar can boast many years of G.J. knowledge and experience. Meaning contrary to their young age, they are an experienced team in G.J. Gardner processes. Shalimar has been with the group since 2005, with roles at West Auckland, Head Office, and most recently Rodney. Michael, a qualified builder, has spent the last four years with Rodney which has seen him cover multiple roles.

In 2014 the pair was part of a select group of twelve G.J. employees from across the country to be accepted into the groups Leadership Development Program, run in partnership with the Institute of Management in New Zealand. This program, over two years, built on their previous training and experience to develop their management capabilities from HR to Operational Management to Accounting. All contributing to the knowledge and confidence required to take on the role of franchisees themselves.

The duo is incredibly excited to roll up their sleeves and get stuck in. With appropriately big ambitions of increasing market share and accommodating customers with whatever they need. Both have initiatives they want to implement, gained from their time on the shop floor.

The decision to commit to G.J.’s was an easy one, joining what they describe as such a good bunch of people, from all parts of NZ. “The brand is trusted by NZ and this really holds a huge amount for the consumer.” A passion for building homes you are 100% confident the client will love is a driving force in their decision to become franchisees. “We think it is a pretty cool thing we do. Being able to hand the keys over to an ecstatic customer is the best feeling and I’ve had my eyes well up on more than one occasion at handovers,” Shalimar recalls.

Developing people through the business and seeing them progress is a priority for all G.J. teams around the country. We eagerly await the progress of not only the other Leadership Development Program participants, but many individuals within the G.J. group!