Adam Pinkard

Co-Founder - Adams Distillery

Bryan Cherry

Marketing and Merchandising Manager - Super Liquor

Bryan started in the liquor industry over 15 years ago, initially starting in one of his favourite subjects wine with NZ Wine Society (NZ Wine Cellars) as a Buyer before moving to the Country Manager role and eventually managing the Cellarmasters Australia business in Sydney. Bryan returned to New Zealand and started at Super Liquor Holdings, the Support office for the Super Liquor group of stores. Bryan now manages the Marketing and Merchandising for the 175 store group, and launched The NZ Whisky Awards (The Drammys) and The NZ Gin Awards (The Junipers) to help promote the categories in New Zealand, educate consumers and drive sales.

Dr. Edwin Massey

General Manager Sustainability - New Zealand Winegrowers

In September 2019 I took the role of General Manager Sustainability at New Zealand Winegrowers. My team is responsible for the implementation of the wine industry Environment Strategy to protect and enhance our industry’s reputation as a world leader in sustainable production. I joined New Zealand Winegrowers in January 2016 as Biosecurity and Emergency Response Manager. Prior to that I worked for central government between 2005 and 2015, first in fisheries management and from 2010 in biosecurity response. I completed a PhD in Geography from the University of Auckland in 2006 where I first developed a passion for sustainable resource management. I am originally from Auckland but am currently based in Blenheim.

Eve Kawana-Brown

Business Development Manager - Massey University 

Eve works as a Business Development Manager for Massey University embedded within, and co-funded by, Venture Taranaki (Taranaki’s Economic Development Agency). In this role for the past 10 years, it’s been her privilege to work with businesses and sectors within Taranaki, connecting Massey University expertise towards supporting innovation and new ventures in Taranaki. This work sees her forging new R&D partnerships and collaborations, sourcing funding streams and talented students and grads, and helping design and manage R&D projects across a broad range of sectors and initiatives.  

With a focus on supporting diversification of Taranaki’s Food & Beverage sector, and a years’ long love of gin, Eve was super delighted when Jo and Dave James returned to live in Taranaki in 2016, with a new gin making venture in their sights. Along with others from Massey, Eve and the James’s have been enjoying working together since before the birth of the wonderful Juno Gins. And our work together continues. With Begin Distilling’s impact on the local economy already evident, it’s our pleasure to be working with Begin Distilling towards developing local supply chains for juniper and other gin botanicals, as well as supporting some of their other innovative projects.  

Professor Joanne Hort

Fonterra-Riddet Chair in Consumer and Sensory Science - Massey University

Professor Hort is an internationally renowned sensory scientist, previously SABMiller Chair of Sensory Science at the University of Nottingham (UK) and now Fonterra-Riddet Chair in Consumer and Sensory Science at Massey University (NZ) where she is director of FEAST, the Food Experience and Sensory Testing Lab.  She is also a Principal Investigator at the Riddet Institute, a NZ Centre of Research Excellence. Her research focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to understanding the factors affecting consumer perception of food and beverages and consequent choice behaviours, as well as developing effective methods to measure them.  She has also been a head judge for the NZSpirits awards for its four years in operation. Prof Hort has over 100 research publications and is co-author and editor of several key texts in Sensory Science.  She sits on the editorial board of Food Quality and Preference and Pangborn Sensory Science Trust.  She is a Fellow of the UK Institute of Food Science and Technology (IFST), Member of the NZIFST, and a founder member and past Chair of the European Sensory Science Society and the Institute of Food Science & Technology’s Sensory Science Group. 

Kane Stanford

Country Manager - Bacardi

Kane has been working in marketing for over 20years and more than half of that has been spent in marketing spirits right here in Aotearoa.

He’s currently the Country Manager for Bacardi NZ and manages Bacardi, Bombay Sapphire, Grey Goose, 42BELOW, Patron and others. He is also the current Chairman of Spirits NZ and a Marketing Judge in the Auckland Westpac Business Awards.

In previous lives he’s done marketing for RTDs, beer, water, cleaning products, health products, digital services and promo items.

He ran a marathon last year and takes every opportunity to tell people about it.

Patsy Bass

Founder and Chief Executive - Reefton Distilling Co

Patsy was born in Reefton, on the West Coast of New Zealand’s South Island in the 1960’s.  She returned in 2018 after a successful career in Human Resources, Change and Project Management to contribute to the revitalisation of her small, rural hometown.   

Wanting to create sustainable employment so young people didn’t need to leave the Region unless they wanted to, and to create another reason for people to visit and to stay, Reefton Distilling Co. was established.   

It seemed everyone was telling Patsy why you couldn’t set up a viable business on the West Coast, but with a fierce pride in the gutsy people who have made the West Coast their home, and a love of the lush rainforests and abundant rainfall, Patsy had set her mind to ‘making the rain sexy’.  Creating world class spirits was the logical next step.   

To date the distillery has created approx. 25 jobs, was most recently valued at $26M and has expanded into a new, larger distillery in the town and commenced production of their Moonlight Creek single malt whisky.  Australian distribution was secured late 2022 with other markets to follow. 

Their Little Biddy Gin quickly secured the position of No. 2 super-premium NZ gin in New Zealand (source, Nielsen), a position it has retained.  Their products have won awards at some of the world’s most prestigious spirits competitions, including Platinum, Consumer’s Choice and Double Gold. 

Patsy attributes roles with Te Runanga o Ngai Tahu, Outward Bound New Zealand and some of New Zealand’s largest cooperative and not-for-profit organisations, with leading her back home to create a business with an intergenerational focus.  The enormous support of the community and pride in ‘their’ distillery is attributed as a huge part of the success.   

Professor Richard Archer

Logan Campbell Professor of Food Technology - Massey University 

After nineteen years in dairy processing Richard Archer returned to Massey University in 2004 to head Engineering, and then the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health.

He has led several large research programmes on food process engineering and on plantation Mānuka honey. He is now Director of the FoodPilot and mostly undertakes very applied large development projects directly for the food and beverage industry.

Richard was a founder director of the FoodBowl and of NZ Food Innovation Network Ltd. He consults extensively to Food Innopolis in Thailand and is immediate past President of NZIFST.

Robert Brewer

Chief Executive - Spirits New Zealand 

Robert has held the role of Chief Executive, Spirits New Zealand for ten years and has worked in public affairs, marketing and government relations roles for 30 years.  Over this time Robert has worked for both public sector and private sector organisations on staff and as a consultant. He cut his teeth in the public affairs world by working on a range of challenging policy and organisational issues such as genetically modified organisms, animal welfare practices, transportation of plutonium and legacy issues relating to dioxin contamination for Dow AgroSciences in New Plymouth.  In his spare time he allows himself the luxury of pretending to enjoy the odd game of golf.

Sarah Ruddell

Senior Process Engineer - Beca

Sarah has over seven years’ experience in the Industrial sector. Working with a variety of market segments, Sarah has supported clients to understand, quantify and mitigate their health and safety risks. Sarah has held a variety of roles, including project manager, design manager and technical lead. 

Sue Mills

Business Manager - IMCD

Sue has been at IMCD for nearly 26 years. During this time she has been involved with the Wine, Beer and Distilling areas, promoting and selling products for fermentation, clarification and filtration. For the last 10 years Sue has been representing Lallemand yeasts for Biofuel Ethanol and Craft Distilling. Sue is a member of the IBD (International Brewing and Distilling) and the ADA (Australian Distilling Association).

Tim Russell-Jarvie

Technical Sales Specialist - Master Cask

With more than 20 years across the premium beverage sector in operational, sales, marketing, project management, analytical and strategic skills, combined with passion for delivering positive practical customer centric solutions. From winning the Gourmet Traveller Jaguar Award for Excellence and now managing Master Cask, one of the worlds most diverse spirit and wine maturation partners, with cooperages in Hobart & Adelaide, and partner cooperages in Kentucky and Bordeaux. Having spent years throughout America and Europe developing an understanding of sensory components and how these can be used in practical applications. Now residing in Tasmania servicing local, national and international customers. A Member Australian Institute of Company Directors, and Ministers Nominee for Animal Welfare Advisory Committee, Tim has insights across the full agriculture and consumer spectrum.

Valerie Adams

Managing Director Food Safety Team - All Systems Go Ltd

Valerie is the Director of the Food Safety team at All Systems Go Ltd (est 2002),  and the Director, and Senior Verifier, at All Systems Go Auditing Limited (est 2011). 

She has been involved in the Food and Beverage sector for 35 years in various roles, from the factory floor, to auditing Management and Operational processes, both in New Zealand and abroad.  

The ASG Food Safety team work with clients to ensure that their processes and associated documentation meet New Zealand Regulatory requirements, Customer requirements, or Global Standards, that are required for their sector and market.  

The ASG Auditing team have been verifying against the Food Act 2014 from its inception and has provided National Programme 3 verification services for many Distillers in New Zealand.  

In both roles, it has been great to be able to support the growth of these clients.  Many started out as a dream,  a passion project, and have developed into full time sustainable business models.

Valerie is enthusiastic about the role she plays within the industry.  While not tempted to start up manufacturing herself, she did set up the “Prohibition Ginners Club” with friends during lockdown to connect  and discover the ever expanding world of Gins. This fellowship of like-mindedness continues to this day.  

Zhen Lim

Senior Process Engineer - Beca

Industrial process engineer with over six years of experience across food & beverage and chemicals projects. Have provided hazardous substances regulatory advice across a range of markets, including breweries, water treatment plants, hospitals and airports. Held various technical, design management and project management roles for national and international projects.


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