Melissa Hunt of S & D Logistics Wins GCCA NextGen Award

Melissa Hunt, director of S & D Logistics in Australia, was named the winner of the Global NextGen Award during the 125th International Association of Refrigerated Warehouses (IARW) and World Food Logistics Organization (WFLO) Convention held in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Organized by the Global Cold Chain Logistics Alliance (GCCA) and now in its second year, the Global NextGen Award recognizes talented young professionals who have the potential to become future leaders and make positive contributions to the development of the cold chain industry around the world. Those competing for the prize demonstrated excellence on the job, the potential to excel within the industry, and keen insight into their organization's strategic values and direction, policies and ways of working.

As part of the selection process, each nominee was interviewed and judged by a panel of cold storage logistics leaders from around the world. They were evaluated on personal knowledge level of the industry, track record of excellence, communication skills and leadership ability. In addition, each candidate delivered a five-minute presentation to jurists and the IARW-WFLO Convention attendees.

There were three finalists in the competition, each having been nominated by national refrigerated warehousing organizations to compete for the top prize. Hunt represented Australia as the recipient of the Refrigerated Warehouse and Transportation Association of Australia's (RWTA) 2015 Frank Vale Award.

winner melissa hunt 300Melissa Hunt is presented the GCCA Global NextGen by IARW 2015-16 Chairman Angelo Antoci (left) and 2015-16 WFLO Chairman Greg Brandt.

Colin Longmuir, a warehouse manager at Henningsen Cold Storage Co., competed for North America as the winner of the 2016 World Food Logistics Organization’s Don Schlimme Future Leader Award.

Kane Thomason, UK and Ireland logistics solutions – operations manager for XPO Logistics, represented United Kingdom as the 2016 recipient of the UK Young Manager of the Year Award.

"It is so important to call attention to the talented young professionals that are coming up in the cold storage industry," said Greg Brandt, immediate past chairman of the WFLO and chief executive officer of Nor-Am Cold Storage. "These nominees represent the future of our industry and their ideas will usher in the next wave of innovations that enhance the movement of perishable products to consumers around the world."

"It is a great honor to have been nominated for the industry's Global NextGen Award," said Hunt. "To win the award after being up against two extremely talented individuals and become the first female recipient is very rewarding."

Hunt was presented with an engraved 2016 GCCA Global NextGen award, and will receive a travel stipend to attend a GCCA or GCCA partner event anywhere in the world during 2016.