YPO Recognizes 3 Outstanding Members With Leadership Awards

During the recent 2019 YPO EDGE in Cape Town, South Africa, three YPO members were recognized with the organization’s Leadership Awards.

Hickok Distinguished Service Award

YPO’s highest honor, the Hickok Distinguished Service Award, recognizes a YPO member whose commitment and service exemplify the legacy of YPO’s founder, Ray Hickok. YPO presents this award to members who have advanced and strengthened YPO in a lasting way, who exude excellent character and impeccable integrity.

Hester Chew, CEO and Chairman of the Executive Committee at McThai Co. Limited in Thailand, is the 2018 recipient of the Hickok Distinguished Service Award. A member of YPO since 1998, Chew has been active at the local, regional and global levels for the organization, including serving as the chair for two YPO global events and being a member of a YPO international committee.

Developing new leadership skills in communication, negotiation and emotional intelligence was a significant benefit and motivator for Chew to continue taking on new volunteer roles with YPO. “YPO members all run successful companies. But volunteering with YPO is an opportunity to work with peers from various industries and backgrounds, so it’s a different set of leadership skills that you develop in order to convince them,” says Chew, who comes from a military and organizational background. “Whether leading or serving on committees, working together with peers to get things done has provided great learning experiences, including the importance of patience and personal integrity.”

“Every single day I feel absolutely driven to do my best to make the world a better place.” Audette Exel, Founder, Adara Group

Global Impact Legacy Honor

The YPO Global Impact Legacy Honor recognizes a member whose commitment to making a difference is leaving a lasting legacy on the world. The award celebrates members who are dedicated to leading YPO and for whom social responsibility is a vital aspect of their business and personal lives.

Audette Exel, Founder of the Adara Group, based in Sydney, Australia, is the 2018 Global Impact Legacy Honor recipient. A member of YPO for 24 years, Exel is a world-renowned leader of the “for purpose” business movement. Her passion and commitment to support the most vulnerable communities both inspire and challenge business leaders who want to extend their reach. The Adara Group is a unique combination of “for purpose” corporate advice businesses, which generate revenue for Adara’s international not-for profit work. Adara directly provides service to tens of thousands of people in poverty every year, and countless more through their knowledge sharing.

Exel has been working to eradicate the boundaries between for-profit and for-purpose for more than two decades. Her motivation and grit have only grown stronger over time. “Every single day I feel absolutely driven to do my best to make the world a better place,” Exel says. “And if anything, that feeling gets stronger as I get older. I don’t remember a time, even as a young woman, when I wasn’t aware of the appalling fact that hundreds of millions of people live in extreme poverty, just because of where they are born. I have always felt a sense of immense good fortune being born a little girl in New Zealand. I know that if I was born in another place that my life would have been so different.”

Terry Plochman Award

The Terry Plochman Award is the highest honor related to YPO forum. Every CEO needs somewhere to turn to for the insight and perspective only trusted peers can provide. In YPO, this comes through forum, a concept originated by YPO in which small groups of members meet in an atmosphere of confidentiality, respect and trust to learn from one another and exchange ideas.

Jonathan Nitschke, President of the Nitschke Group in Hahndorf, South Australia, is the 2018 recipient of the Terry Plochman Award. A member of YPO since 2009, Nitschke worked passionately as the Forum Officer for the YPO South Australia Chapter.

“For me, forum is why I’m in YPO,” Nitschke explains. “My forum has helped me grow and develop in so many ways, providing me with tools in negotiations and an understanding of people at a deeper level. Being the Forum Officer provided me an opportunity to pass on these benefits to others.”

For more than 30 years, Heather has been creating innovative content for a myriad of communities including business leaders, nonprofit, energy, health care, education and aviation. She has been with YPO since 2014, currently serving as Communications Director leading the member communications team.