Four high-achieving UCOL Alumni will receive special awards at UCOL Manawatū’s Graduation in March.
Businesswoman Linda Jenkinson, BABCO co-owner Alice Hocquard, and Nodero Managing Director Mark Easton will each receive
Alumni Achievement Awards, while personal trainer Arios Toa will receive the Kaiarataki Alumni Leader Award.
This is the second year UCOL will present Alumni Awards at Graduation. The Awards recognise the achievements and
outstanding contributions UCOL alumni have made to their field, community, or the nation.
Linda Jenkinson is one of the country’s most successful entrepreneurs and was the first New Zealand woman to list a
company on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Jenkinson’s career has seen her set up several companies and act as a mentor to
businesses and non-profit organisations around the globe. She also holds several directorships, including with Air New
Alice Hocquard graduated with a Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging in 2014 and now owns and operates popular bakery
BABCO (Brick Artisan Bread Company) with her husband Jeremy. The couple also own and operate Alice Films, a photography
and videography company, and Trunk, a wooden sunglasses brand.
Mark Easton is a former UCOL Information Analyst who founded Palmerston North-based IT company Nodero. Nodero designs,
builds, and support websites and apps for clients around the world.
Arios Toa graduated from UCOL with a Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2017 and a Post Graduate Diploma in
Clinical Exercise Physiology in 2018. Toa now uses his health and fitness business Toa Hauora to promote health and
wellness within his community. He has trained local Māori to participate in the Iron Māori triathlon and runs wananga
where he educates people on living healthy lifestyles.
UCOL Council Chair Ben Vanderkolk says he is proud to see UCOL alumni doing great things locally and internationally.
“Linda has made a real mark on the business world in New Zealand and overseas, and continues to have an impact as a
company director and mentor.”
“Alice and Mark have made outstanding contributions to the Manawatū with their businesses. BABCO has become a notable
spot in Palmerston North’s vibrant hospitality scene and Nodero is helping put the city on the map for IT.”
“Arios is using his skills and knowledge to make a real difference in his community and improve his clients’ quality of
Additional information and bios:
All alumni Award recipients will receive their awards at the UCOL Manawatū Graduation ceremony on Wednesday 18 March, at
the Regent on Broadway at 1.30pm.Linda Jenkinson – Alumni Achievement Award
Palmerston North born and bred, Linda Jenkinson is one of New Zealand’s most successful entrepreneurs.
With Dispatch Management Services, the courier company she co-founded in 1994, Linda became the first New Zealand woman
to list a company on the NASDAQ stock exchange. Linda went on to set up a global customer and employee experience
platform John Paul and WOW for Africa, an NGO supporting women entrepreneurs in Senegal.
Linda has significant experience mentoring business and non-profit organisations in New Zealand and abroad. She is chair
and co-Founder of LevelUp Investments, a global mentoring and investment firm focused on supporting technology-enabled
high growth companies to break $100+ million revenue. Linda holds several directorships, including with Air New Zealand.
Linda’s work has seen her win numerous awards including the Ernst and Young Master Entrepreneur of the Year - New
Zealand (2012), Massey University’s Sir Geoffrey Peren Award (2014), and the Kea World Class New Zealander (2016).
Having been based in San Francisco for a lot of her career, the San Francisco Business Time named Linda as one of the
Most Influential Women in the Bay Area in 2014 and 2015.
Linda is also an alumni of UCOL.Alice Hocquard – Alumni Achievement Award
Alice Hocquard and her husband Jeremy own and operate popular Palmerston North Bakery BABCO (Brick Artisan Bread
Company). The couple started BABCO as a wood-fired pizza catering company and food truck in 2016 to fund the opening of
a European-style bakery in 2017. The bakery became so popular that Alice and Jeremy expanded into the shop next door the
BABCO has built up a reputation for its sourdough breads, French pastries, sandwiches and cruffins – a cross between a
croissant and a muffin. Everyday there are new creative items added to the menu, keeping customers visiting regularly to
see what’s new.
Alice completed a Bachelor of Applied Visual Imaging at UCOL, and has used the skills she acquired through her studies
in the branding and marketing of BABCO. Alice and Jeremy also own and operate Alice Films; a photography and videography
company, and Trunk, a wooden sunglasses brand.Mark Easton – Alumni Achievement Award
Mark Easton is the founder and Managing Director of Palmerston North-based IT company Nodero, and a former UCOL
Mark founded Nodero in 2012 with the vision of bringing world-class software development to the Manawatū. Nodero employs
local IT specialists who design, build, and support websites and apps for clients around the world, putting Palmerston
North on the map for the IT industry.
Nodero provides business with mobile and web development, business analysis, Sharepoint implementation, and data-based
decision-making. As a software architect, Mark is skilled in front-end, user centric interfaces, as well as
sophisticated back-end development.
Mark continues to support UCOL students and staff, providing internships and employment opportunities for students along
with stakeholder advice on programmes.
Some of Nodero’s recent projects include the development of a new database for Wildbase, the Ripple app, which allows
people affected by cancer to connect and share experiences and resources, and the Babble app for Mid Central DHB’s
NeoNatal Unit, which provides crucial information to parents. The Babble app has also expanded to serve the Counties
Manukau DHB.Arios Toa – Kaiarataki/Alumni Leader Award
Arios Toa graduated from UCOL with the Bachelor of Exercise and Sports Science in 2017 and in 2018 graduated with a Post
Graduate Diploma in Clinical Exercise Physiology. He has been using his skills to uplift his community and improve the
health and wellbeing of Māori in the Manawatū.
Arios uses his health and fitness business Toa Hauora as a platform to promote health and wellness within his community.
His clients are like his family, and praise him for his knowledge, supportive nature, and passion for helping others
improve their lives. Arios goes above and beyond to support people, often providing advice and guidance around many
facets of wellness.
Arios facilitates He Ahi Kaa Hauora, a group of Māori Christians from churches from around Palmerston North. He teaches
the group about health and wellness, and since 2017 has trained members to participate in the Iron Māori triathlon. He
also runs wananga where he educates people on the importance of nutrition, meal plans, stretching and exercise plans,
just to name a few.
While he was a student at UCOL, Arios helped coordinate the Rapu Ora fitness challenge, a 10-week weight loss challenge
run out of UCOL Manawatū’s Whanau Room.
In 2019 Arios returned to UCOL to share his knowledge as an Exercise and Wellness Lecturer.