[01 May/Otago Daily Times]

John Penno, Synlait Founder is receiving an honorary doctorate from Lincoln University. Dr Penno stood down as Synlait Milk Chief Executive last year after co-founding the Synlait Group in 2000. Dr Penno received an emerging leader’s award from the Sir Peter Blake Trust in 2009, a Prime Minister’s Business Scholarship in 2012, and the Excellence in Leadership award at the 2015 New Zealand International Business Awards. In 2009, he was named Federated Farmers inaugural agribusiness person of the year. At the time his departure from Synlait was signalled, Dr Penno said he was looking forward to getting back to his entrepreneurial roots and would be looking for opportunities to get involved with start-ups and young companies with his wife Maury Leyland Penno, a former Fonterra executive. Other honorary doctorates from Lincoln are Naturalist High Wilson and Farm Advisor John Tavendale. About 570 students will be receiving certificates, diploma and degrees at the Lincoln Events Centre.