“Who me” was Signature Gardens Retirement Resort general manager Jo-Anne Dryden’s initial reaction after being namedBusiness Person of the Year 2017 at the Hunter Local Business Awards.
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WHO ME?: The moment when Jo-Anne Dryden reacts with joy after being named Business Person of the Year 2017 at Belmont 16s last Wednesday.

Up against a top class field of local business leaders, she gave herself little chance of winning.

HEART AND SOUL: Jo-Anne Dryden, general manager of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort, accepts her award for Business Person of the Year 2017.

“I felt overwhelmed with the thought that my peers felt this way about me and also I thought of how proud my parents would be for even being nominated,” Jo-Anne said.

Signature Gardens Retirement Resort is an over 55’s retirement village at Rutherford catering to singles and couples looking to downsize and enjoy the lifestyle and facilities the resort offers.

“I feel the entire team at Signature Gardens Retirement Resort contributed to me winning the award,” Jo-Anne said.“We are a team here and as Henry Ford said, ‘If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself’.

“Phillip Cater, the owner of Signature Gardens Retirement Resort has mentored me over the last 26 years, so in business I am what I am today due to his guidance and knowledge.”

Jo-Anne said it was an honour to be even nominated alongside such an incredible selection of business people.

“With so many well established nominees for the Business Person of the Year, I really did not think I would win,” she said.

“It is an incredible feeling and when I look at the award I still pinch myself.

“I have learnt so much over the past 26 years working/being mentored by Phillip Cater. This finally proves to me that following my heart and doing what I love and am passionate aboutis worth all the hard work.”

Jo-Anne said the award would enable her to connect with more people on a bigger scale and create positive change for her peers, the business and the employees.

Signature Gardens is a family-owned business without multi-level management. It has been in operation for six years.

“Our residents want to be part of a community that enhances their choice of independent living and who are able to live an active healthy life that offers safety, security and peace of mind,” Jo-Anne said.