Posted By: Kym Klein - 25 Feb, 2019
Bob Kerridge shares with us a little insight on what he's been up to post-SPCA, his long-standing relationship with Jet Park Hotel Auckland, our pet stay rooms, and future projects he's involved with...
Jet Park Hotel: Welcome to your "home away from home" Bob. Great to see you again at Jet Park Hotel. Can you give us a brief background and highlights of your association with Jet Park Hotel?
Bob Kerridge: Well, it goes back a very long way- It started just as a paddock and because are just across the road we could keep a close eye on it so we watched it grow. We came to the opening of the very first wing, then the second accommodation block and just recently to the opening of the magnificent conference centre. It has been a wonderful story of success and growth.
Jet Park Hotel: In your long association with us dating back to 1998, what are the main changes you have seen?
Bob Kerridge: I think if I had to summarize it, I would say that everything is getting bigger and better. The beautiful thing is that it was such a vast area to start with - a paddock. So that gave plenty of room for expansion and maturity. So, with the planting and the way things have evolved, plus the vision of providing top quality to guests, it's just become more sophisticated, and more and more attractive. And I now see parking going right down to the road, which of course provides space and new airport services.
Jet Park Hotel: I believe we have over 250 carparks now.
Bob Kerridge: Yes of course that adds to the service. Really what I've seen is the development of a very compete and beautiful hotel complex.
Jet Park Hotel: With the conference centre as well, that's added quite a large facility here?
Bob Kerridge: It's really a brilliant complex because it caters obviously for conferences, both in and out of Auckland, so people can come here as a "one-stop shop". The conference area is just superb. And of course with the downstairs and upstairs, you can have wonderful combinations- big meetings or smaller, intimate meetings upstairs, flexible spaces, and they work so brilliantly together. We've had a large number of events here. My farewell from SPCA was one of them I remember with immense great pleasure utilising the entire area.
We started downstairs with nibbles, followed by a special a one to one interview with Brian Edwards, and then we went upstairs for a most sumptuous supper and other formal speeches.
Jet Park Hotel: We're proud that we are major sponsors of the SPCA. Can you tell us some of your stand-out moments of our sponsorship?
Bob Kerridge: I think the wonderful thing is it really is a reflection of your leadership here … there is the passion for animals which is shared by the staff and is reflected in the way they perform as a team. There have been events here which have included our very special volunteers who are very important to us in operating and providing services to the SPCA. But on the other hand, when we are here, we are very conscious that this is a team effort - the staff here, in their various capacities, no matter what it is, whether big or small, they are all personally involved. And that I think is the ingredient of great hospitality … people working together as a well-knit team, interacting and working together with passion – Jet Park has it all which is why it is indeed our home away from home!
Jet Park Hotel: Now you have retired from the SPCA, this hasn't slowed you down, I understand you have other projects on the go?
Bob Kerridge: At the moment one of the projects that is in place, which is sponsored by Jet Park Hotel, is the Animal Welfare Fellowship I have established. This is an annual grant that is provided to people who provide solutions to various human, animal and environmental problems ... The "Fellowship" is a very personal thing to me because one thing I've always undertaken in my career is to recognize and reward people who make a difference to the welfare of all.
To see full interview, watch this space for video link, or go to our Facebook page.
A bit of background:
Jet Park Airport Hotel and Conference Centre owners, Liz Herrmann and John Lateulere have long been avid supporters of the SPCA both in South Africa and here in New Zealand; "SPCA is a cause close to our hearts, and is a charity supported by Jet Park Hotels. Ever since we bought the property on which we built the original hotel Bob Kerridge has been a wonderful neighbour and friend to Jet Park Hotels". The relationship has gone from strength to strength, and in 2012, we became a major 'Bed and Board' sponsor of the SPCA Auckland.
Take a look at our other community initiatives, including our latest partnership with Make-A-Wish New Zealand.