When you meet Glen and Tracey McLachlan, they appear a deceptively normal couple. Their story begins like many, with Glen being raised in South Canterbury and Tracey in the Wairarapa. A meeting of minds occurred when they headed to Otago University to further their studies (Glen in Surveying and Tracey in Physical Education, Design and Teaching). Once they had both grabbed honours in their varying studies, Glen and Tracey began their working careers in Central Otago and then in the United Kingdom on their OE.
By 2011, Glen was working as a surveyor in South Canterbury and Tracey had landed her ‘perfect’ job at Craighead Diocesan School teaching Physical Education and Technology. Following the 2008 Global Financial Crisis, the business world in South Canterbury was suffering. South Canterbury Finance had crumbled, as had the city of Christchurch with the earthquakes and there was an undeniable feeling of doom and gloom in the region. Needless to say, launching a business was the last thing on most people’s minds. Except, it would seem, Glen’s!
‘We knew this was a risk,’ he states, ‘but having a toddler and a newborn baby changed our perspective on life and what’s important. We were determined to take control of our own destiny and had nothing to lose. Overseas, my experience saw me gain insight into large infrastructure projects, and cemented my interest in civil engineering and land development along with urban and rural planning. I had a genuine passion for business and knew I had the drive and skills to help people turn their vision into reality so they could make the most of their land.’
‘I encouraged him to go for it!’ shares Tracey. ‘I shared his vision and knew Glen was extremely capable, passionate and never doubted he would make it work.’
She was not wrong. Davis Ogilvie & Partners (Christchurch) recognised the drive and vision Glen had, and not long after going out on his own, he merged with them to become Davis Ogilvie (Aoraki).
Tracey continued her dream role but was noticing a decline in her health. ‘I am an upbeat and energetic person,’ she recalls, ‘but I was constantly exhausted. I was eventually diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder Coeliac disease (a permanent intestinal reaction to dietary gluten); I had chronic fatigue and two young children while trying to hold down a full-time physical job and support Glen – something had to give.’
Tracey has always had a very enquiring and creative mind and business also interested her, so they decided on a leap of faith with no expectations and she joined Glen in the business. Five years on into the ‘leap of faith’, and the couple are running a very successful Land, Infrastructure and Subdivision Consultancy with 12 employees, and are now proudly sporting a 2019 South Canterbury Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Award.
‘Winning the award was a great achievement for us and our team,’ says Glen. ‘We love working together and utilising our complementary skill sets. We have surrounded ourselves with great mentors and built a strong, unified and effective team.
‘Living our values daily, and creating an inspiring and supportive work environment translates into a strong team culture and a crew that works hard every day for our clients, ensuring they get the very best outcome for their land and vision – every time.’
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