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Meet Our People

Richard Waddell – son of Lance & Glenn

Acto General Manager – Lister/Supershear R&D team – Shearing Judge – ex Shearer

Richard, his wife Vanessa and their 2 teenage children, live on 30 acres in the Hunua ranges, farming Coopworth X sheep.

With shearing machinery in his blood, Richard’s career started nearly 30 years ago with an engineering background in the family business, manufacturing sheep shearing machines and components.

In 1992, the opportunity came up to travel to the USA with Alan & Nancy Barker. Alan taught for the NZ Wool Board for many years and travelled a number of times to the USA to take shearing courses. Journeying half way around the world to learn to shear seems like madness for a New Zealander but Alan was an amazing instructor and stood Richard in good stead for a flourishing shearing career in New Zealand with local contractor Mike Embling and then on to several seasons in the UK.

As a competition shearer, Rich shore right through the grades until re-entering the family business in his late 20’s and now leads our team of 12 in all aspects of the business. In 2005, Richard worked intensely on changes to the design of shearing machines and won Innovation awards for his implementation of the first types of safety cut-out systems which we now see in all modern shearing machines.

Richard is a shearing judge and is closely involved in the competition circuit; installing & overseeing the Lister competition machines, as well as judging and operating the scoring/timing system. He travelled to Ireland as part of the Shearing Timing & Scoring team for the World Shearing Champs in 2014 and was again part of the team for the World Champs in Invercargill in 2017.

In his spare time, he loves to farm, fish, watch the odd rugby game or two and is a Certified Diver who loves a good shark encounter (apparently there is such a thing!!).

And as we are keeping it in the family, Richard’s wife Vanessa also works in Acto’s apparel division, she specialises in making shearing moccasins and shearing accessories as well as Fagan shearing jeans. The locals affectionately call Vanessa the ‘Lamb Lady’ as she is the go-to person for the local schools supply of Ag Day lambs.

Richard and Vanessa’s son Jaden has also been to his fair share of shearing competitions from a very young age, helping either Dad or Grandad. In 2017 Jaden was an integral part of the Shearing Timing & Scoring Team for the World Shearing Champs in Invercargill.

Lynley Waddell – daughter of Lance and Glenn

Acto General Manager

Lynley and her partner Mike and their two young daughters live on 50 acres to the western side of the Hunua ranges, farming Coopworth X sheep. Their block was originally cut off a much larger property, and 16 years ago when they bought, it had a more than ample share of gorse, thistles, possums & rabbits and only 2 fences – one that could loosely be called a boundary fence and the other to divide off the 25 acres of covenant bush & pine trees. Mike and Lynley built temporary accommodation 1km off the road, installed an off-grid power system and bought a chainsaw each. The block is now a lot tidier, there are a few more fences, the house has been built, children have been added into the mix, and most recently the family bought the company Able Solar where Mike had worked for all those years.

Lynley’s career started in the family business right out of school, diving into the sales and despatch role along with a spot of machining. The Waddell family had recently also purchased NZ Shearing Supplies and she quickly became involved in shearing competitions, helping Lance with sales and becoming enlisted on the Counties Shears committee for a number of years in the late 80’s and early 90’s.

The opportunity to travel overseas a number of times for the company has meant trips to Brazil, England, and Australia and most recently to Ireland as part of the Shearing Timing & Scoring team for the World Shearing Champs in 2014.

The latest World Shearing Champs were held in Invercargill in 2017, and Acto were approached by the committee to organise the memorabilia and raise money for the event on their behalf. Acto accepted, Lynley coordinated the World Champs mementos and, along with a great deal of help of our friends at Stockowners Shearing who came over from Australia to support us, we managed to get more than a little slice of the Invercargill show out to the worldwide shearing community.

2018 marks 31 years at Acto for Lynley and her focus is now on building the marketing of the company; co-ordinating strategies between our business customers and out to the end users; advancing and streamlining our business systems; building the Acto brand with our sales team.

If she had any spare time, Lynley would absolutely love to go fishing; get the kids into more activities and catch up with friends more; try and create that amazing garden around the house, win the losing battle against the possums in her vege garden.