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Haydn Jones is Wine Category Manager for Countdown Supermarkets. After graduating from Auckland University of Technology with a Bachelor of Design, Haydn commenced his wine retailing career with New Zealand Wine Cellars where he worked for 10 years, penultimately as Sales and Operations Manager. Haydn joined Countdown as Wine Category Manager and over the last four years has been responsible for the retail stewardship of around 1 in 3 bottles of wine sold in the New Zealand market.
Kyle Skene holds the position of Group General Manager at Giesen Group Ltd., a renowned privately-owned beverage enterprise. His journey began over a quarter of a century ago in the rapidly evolving beverage sector, where he honed his expertise working alongside some of the world's top-tier soft drink and spirit brands.
During his close to 15-year tenure at Giesen Group, Kyle has steered the company through the intense global market competition. Under his leadership, the company has fortified its legacy brands, ventured into new acquisitions, expanded its foundational winery, and spearheaded new brand launches across various beverage segments. Along with this, there has been an emphasis on premium grape cultivation from the Clayvin vineyard, this has led to international accolades for the Clayvin Marlborough Syrah, yes that’s right Marlborough Syrah.
Kyle's vision for expansion is further exemplified by his pivotal role in crafting the global market strategy for the group. This initiative has facilitated rapid growth in primary export regions while also nurturing prospective long-term growth avenues. With brands like Giesen and Ara firmly established in crucial global markets, Kyle's drive for innovation extends to leading Giesen Group's foray into the non-alcoholic wine sector, setting new standards with world-class offerings.
Ali Adams is ChristchurchNZ’s Chief Executive. She leads the city’s economic development agency with the support of five general managers who lead teams in pillars that each support a vital part of the agency’s work.
“Leading ChristchurchNZ is the best role in the world. It is a privilege to have that kaitiakitanga, that responsibility on behalf of all who call Ōtautahi Christchurch home now, and on behalf of my children and the children who will live here in the future. I love that I have responsibility to help grow this amazing place.”
Ali has a background in economic development, having led New Zealand Trade and Enterprise’s work in Europe and before that, in the South Island. She has also worked in marketing, tourism and sports leadership, spending four years as the domestic manager for New Zealand Cricket. A Cantabrian by choice since 2003, she started her business career as a brand manager for Unilever after graduating from Cambridge University with a first-class honours degree in natural science.