She never aspired to be a director, but Sarah Morton-Johnson was this week dubbed Waikato's emerging director of the year.
Morton-Johnson was given the honour by Waikato's Institute of Directors (IoD) at a lunch during the week.
She was up against 11 others vying for the award, before making the shortlist of four.
IoD chair Margaret Devlin said Morton-Johnson stood out for how well suited she was to the task of directorship. ''For me personally...she is very considered in her responses. She demonstrated the ability to assimilate a lot of facts and actually get to a position...and demonstrated a confidence which would be necessary around a board table.
''She would be happy putting her opinion forward, but also had maturity in terms of understanding that her opinion isn't the only one in the room.''
Morton-Johnson started focussing on governance roles after leaving a career in human resource management to raise a family. She said she never aspired to be a director, but from her early teens was charged with overseeing or directing activities, or volunteered to do so.
Her winnings will see her undertake a 12 month director development position with the Wintec Council, as well as a 12 month complimentary IoD membership, professional development opportunities totaling $2000 and a professional mentor for a year.
Wintec chair, Mary Cave-Palmer said she was delighted to be welcoming Morton-Johnson to the council ''to help her further develop the potential that made her application stand out from the very strong competition''.
Devlin said the four shortlisted candidates were all very strong and it was a very difficult decision for the judging panel.
However, she said that was a good sign for the Waikato.
''There was a great standard of people putting themselves forward which bodes well for the governance future of Waikato boardrooms.''
Between 10-15 people have put themselves forward for the award each year since it started in 2010.