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Changing of the guard at Skeltons

18 August 2011


Changing of the guard at Skeltons

The job of leading Skeltons, horticulture crop production specialists, into the future has changed hands with the appointment of Luke Hansen to the position of National Manager Horticulture.

Mr Hansen, who has held senior positions in Australasia’s leading horticulture and agriculture companies, will step into the role after Ian Gold retires later this month.

Mr Gold, who has been Skeltons General Manager for the past ten years, has guided the business through periods of major expansion and facilitated the sale of the company to Farmlands in 2008.

With more than 15 years experience in the agriculture sector, Mr Hansen brings a wide range of industry and crop experience to the role. He has held positions including NZ Agronomy Manager for Pepsico, NZ Agricultural Manager for Cedenco Foods and Agricultural Manager for Heinz Watties.

Supporting his career is a stellar academic record including gaining a PhD in Plant Science, a Diploma in Business Administration and a Bachelor of Horticultural Science and Technology, all from Massey University.

Mr Hansen is looking forward to working with a variety of growers and crops, both large and small throughout the North Island and is confident his experience on ‘the other side’ as a customer will bring a valuable dimension to his role.

“The experience I have gained from working across a wide regional spread in New Zealand including Manawatu, East Coast, Hawke’s Bay and the wider Auckland region means I carry a broad knowledge of regional characteristics and their unique opportunities.

“In my previous roles I have been a customer so I have a sound understanding of what shareholders want and need, and how we need to perform to deliver outstanding value to our customers,” he says.

Mr Hansen acknowledges the contribution of Mr Gold, who has grown the Skeltons business to the point that it has become a significant player in the market, respected by customers, suppliers and the industry as a whole.

“I am looking forward to continuing Ian’s great work and expanding the business further regionally. Although there are challenges ahead for our industry, I believe Skeltons’ strong team ethic and robust business model will meet these challenges and confidently lead us into the future,” he says.


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