The IWC Merchant Awards New Zealand Judges are
Sam Harrop MW, has spent more than 20 years working in the international wine industry, with a diverse career that bridges the gap between the technical and complex world of wine making and the consumer’s appreciation of the end product.
From creating profitable wine ranges for über-retailer Marks and Spencer in the UK, to consulting for small vineyards in Europe; judging and co-chairing the International Wine Challenge in London and establishing the competition’s flourishing Sake category, to providing incisive technical advice for Lallemand Oenology, Sam’s blend of technical expertise, commercial insight and commitment to preserving wine diversity have earned him the reputation as one of the most influential wine making consultants in the world.
While continuing his international career, Sam has found time to apply his expansive knowledge to his own winemaking venture in NZ. His single-vineyard project, focusing exclusively on Chardonnay and Syrah grown and produced on Waiheke Island, launches in March 2015.
After growing up on a vineyard in Marlborough, Jack initially studied Oenology at Lincoln University. A shift in focus saw him move across the Tasman to South Australia where he completed his Bachelor of Wine Marketing at the University of Adelaide in 2003. Seeking further experience, he then went on to work vintages in wineries in both the Napa Valley and Marlborough.
In 2006, Jack joined Pernod Ricard New Zealand. He was soon promoted to National Trading Manager – On Premise. This role saw him managing one of the largest sales forces in New Zealand’s liquor industry and forging relationships with hospitality personalities, outlets and venues across the country. In 2011, now with a young family, Jack moved back to Marlborough and shifted his focus to export markets taking on the role of Sales and Marketing Manager for the Mud House Wine Group – now Accolade Wines New Zealand.
Since 2007, Jack has judged wine competitions both in New Zealand and Internationally. Most notably, as a regular senior judge at the International Wine Challenge (IWC) in London. He is also currently studying towards a Master of Wine qualification.
With a family heavily ensconced in the wine business; his brother is a prominent winemaker and his parents manage the family’s vineyards and wine label; it’s fair to say Jack not only enjoys a professional appreciation of wine, but also a very personal one.
Conan O’Sullivan is Director of Experience at Clemenger-owned, technology-focused agency, Touchcast. His role covers the modern field of human experience design. With over a decade of industry experience and notable tenures at Google Creative Lab in London and EF labs in Shanghai, Conan has become a broad source of knowledge on the digital landscape. A key decision maker in raising quality standards for digital properties and redefining the experience that surrounds them, Conan is focused on current best practices, future trends and the evolution of their associated human behaviours.
Currently Grocery Manager at Pain & Kershaw in Martinborough, Bevan has enjoyed a varied retail and sales career in the FMCG market. A dynamic and goal-orientated sales professional, he was Senior Category Manager for Liquor and Grocery at Foodstuffs North Island following nine years as Senior Account Manager at Treasury Wine Estates. Both of these roles required a deep understanding of the retail environment and store operations.
As Area Manager for Treasury Wine Estates and DB, Bevan gained considerable knowledge of both on-premise and off-premise retailing. Roles with Rio Beverages and New Zealand Dairy Foods saw Bevan successfully leading sales and merchandising teams. His career has contributed to the growth and success of numerous key brands in competitive and challenging markets. Bevan’s passion for retailing has moved him into a hands-on role at the long-established family grocery business of Pain & Kershaw.
With twenty years experience in the wine industry, Mike has worked for the likes of Hancocks Wines & Spirits, De Bortoli Wines, Sacred Hill and Orlando Wyndham. In 2012, with a common love for wine (and after a late night whiskey or two), Mike joined with acclaimed winemaker Rod McDonald as co-owner and Sales Director of Rod McDonald Wines, which houses labels such as Trademark Syrah, Quarter Acre, Te Awanga Estate and One Off.
Having worked across all channels (On Trade, Off Trade and Grocery) in National Key Account and Sales Management in this time, Mike has great experience and a very clear understanding of all aspects of the New Zealand the wine trade, account management and distribution.