Ray Stevens, Double S Motordrome

Valued advice enables good decision-making


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    Ray Stevens believes in giving back and helping others.

Ray Stevens, owner of the Caltex Double S Motordrome in Wanganui is a very successful businessman but he says he wouldn’t be where he is today without sound advice.

He recalls a time some years ago when his former petrol company decided it didn’t wish to re-tank on his site, so Ray had to decide whether he would end up with just a building and a workshop, or to reinvest.

“It was sink or swim and it was way too early for me to retire, so I went and had a chat with my friendly accountant. Business decisions were made and here we are, still going strong today.”

At times like this you are totally reliant on the advice of your experts around you, he says.

The Wanganui Caltex Double S Motordrome was the second in New Zealand to be reimaged in the new corporate colours. For customers needing to fill up, they are easy to find.

“Caltex is very helpful; I have a ten-year supply contract with them and we are going very nicely. They have an investment in me and I have one in them.”

Besides his service station, Ray is also a Wanganui District Councillor and is on the Wanganui District Health Board (WDHB).

“I’ve been a councillor for 17 years and then I wanted another challenge so stood for the WDHB and was lucky to be elected twice. I enjoy having the ability to make things happen for others.”

Ray’s very much a people person and this is evident in his philosophy. “It’s not dollars I see coming through my doors, it’s people.” He is also very community minded and has spear-headed several campaigns in Wanganui to raise funds for good causes such as the bushfires in Australia in 2009, the Pike River Mine tragedy, the Northland flood appeal in 2008, and the tsunami in Samoa.

Earlier this year he came to the rescue of an elderly RSA poppy seller whose collection money was stolen from outside a Wanganui supermarket. He organised a donation box at the Double S Motordrome and was able to hand $345 back to the RSA.

So Ray Stevens is an all round good guy, but you won’t hear him blowing his own trumpet, he just gets on with what he genuinely enjoys doing and that is helping others.

Aside from work, he owns five racehorses and he is looking forward to seeing one of them race in the next few months. “They are my passion and my time out. I work seven days a week so I look forward to that.”

Ray’s advisor at Moore Stephens Markhams, Jeff Whitlock, offers invaluable support and is one of the ‘experts’ he refers to. “Jeff helps me make things happen; I regard him as an enabling accountant. He will tell me ‘it may not be able to be done this way but perhaps it can be achieved another way’.

“I regularly have informal chats with him about some venture or idea that I’m thinking of pursuing and the great thing is, I always get an answer straight away. His knowledge is incredible and he is always positive and encouraging. I can’t recall an idea of mine that’s ever been squashed.”

Ray says that Moore Stephens Markhams offers him a complete service, “Whether it is dealing with Lucy at the front desk or Cathy for payroll or Vicki in accounts, they are a fantastic company; they are accessible and very polite and they take a personal interest in my business.

“Anybody can be an accountant, but at Moore Stephens Markhams it’s like having a family corner store; you get all your services there and they treat you like one of the family.”

Published Spring 2014.




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