Our people are the lifeblood of Fortuna. They keep the animals happy and are skilled custodians of the land. They make sure milk production is high, innovation is constant and we move forward with a culture of hard-work and appreciation for each other's efforts. Because it’s a team effort. We do the right thing and have a great time doing it too.
These are the people here to challenge us. They come from a diverse background, with recognised expertise and strong personalities. They are scientists, agricultural experts, governance professionals, leaders in ethics and culture. They are educated at Harvard, Massey, Pennsylvania State and in the paddocks on the tools. They are members of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and have won awards in their field, so we can achieve more in ours.
Mike has been involved with Fortuna Group since inception where he has held the roles of Executive Chair, Managing Director, Director and appointed as Chair in Nov 20. He has been involved with corporate and family-owned farming businesses for more than 20 years. These engagements have involved advisory roles, executive management roles and governance roles. Mike is a member of the Fonterra Governance Development Programme Alumni and member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.
NON-INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR & COMPANY ADVISOR
David and his wife Kay are the founders of Fortuna Group. David held the role of Managing Director for two years before becoming Executive Director. Born in the Bay of Plenty and employed as a building apprentice in Rotorua, David moved on from building and tackled sharemilking on one of the steepest dairy farms in the country, starting with 31 cows on town supply and increasing to 160 cows on factory supply. Over the past 20 years he has successfully converted and developed over 30 blocks of land and is currently milking 3500 cows, most 100 percent owned and some as joint ventures. He owns the support land on all of his dairy units, which have all been designed to a high standard with a genuine desire to look after the farmland.
Fiona has worked as a senior executive and director in the technology, banking, insurance, utilities, property and public sectors in New Zealand and internationally, accountable for human resources, payroll, property & facilities, health & safety, sustainability, and commercial business units. She has led significant health and safety and legislative workplace compliance in high risk and highly regulated private, public and listed organisations, and has won awards in New Zealand and Australia for achievement in human resources, leadership, ethics, culture transformation and industrial relationships. Fiona has a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Auckland, is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and is a Chartered Member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Dr Tom Richardson
Tom was a scientist specialising in developing and commercialising molecular genetic techniques for plant and animal breeding and ecological applications before spending over 20 years in executive roles within the New Zealand and Australian science systems. These roles included the Chief Executive at AgResearch and the New Zealand Forestry Research Institute (Scion) and Chief of the Forests and Forest Products Division at Australia’s CSIRO. Tom is a frequent contributor to advisory boards, international review panels and science and trade delegations, including both the NZ-USA and NZ-EU Joint Commissions on Science and Technology Co-Operation.He has held numerous industry, scientific and education governance roles over the past 15 years. Tom has degrees from Bucknell University and Pennsylvania State University (PhD) and in 2013 was made a lifetime Alumni Fellow by Pennsylvania State University for his contributions to science.
NON - INDEPENDENT DIRECTOR
Stuart spent his early years growing up on a Northland dairy property and completed a Degree in Agriculture and Rural Valuation, finishing his education at Massy University. Following University Stuart worked with JD & RD Wallace in the Waikato, starting as Dairy Assistant and working through management positions on various farms, to equity management/ownership and then as General Manager. In 2010 Stuart moved to the Rangitikei where he was CEO of a farming business that uses irrigation to transform sand soils to productive properties. Stuart is currently the General Manager Farming for Craigmore.
Our Senior Leadership Team
These are the people here to lead us. They have a rich history of experience standing in the grass and working on systems, spreadsheets and everything else required to get results. They are recognised leaders and are responsible for driving the very best performance from people, animals and the land.
CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Matthew and his wife learned to farm when they spent three years in Foxton. They soon doubled their farm’s production record which initiated their dairy farming opportunities. They were given the opportunity to go 50/50 sharemilking with former employers who had moved to Southland. The pair took up this challenge and have since grown their business each year. This has involved sharemilking, equity partnerships and farm ownership. In the five years before joining Fortuna Group, Matthew managed 2500 cows over three properties, gaining beneficial experience for his current role. He also has extensive involvement in board and chair roles of leading industry good organisations including the New Zealand Dairy Industry Awards, Federated Farmers, AgITO Regional Committee and Southern Dairy Development Trust.
SENIOR OPERATIONS MANAGER
A born and bred southern man, Pete started work on a sheep and beef farm straight out of school and advanced his skills in the industry with a Diploma of Agriculture and Bachelor of Commerce (Ag) at Lincoln University. He then gained two years’ experience on a 1,200 cow dairy farm in Canterbury before returning south to work on Dave and Kay’s home farm in 2004. With his partner Melinda, Pete bought into Peat View Dairies in 2011 and took over the role as full time supervisor with Fortuna Group in early 2015. Pete loves being a dad to Mia and Toby and when he catches a spare moment, he enjoys relaxing in the garden.
Tim is a true Southland local, who joined us from Great South where he was the General Manager Finance & Operations. With a Batchelor of Commerce in Accounting from the University of Otago, Tim brings with him a wealth of experience from accountancy roles in Invercargill. This includes his time at Great South (previously Venture Southland) in a complicated role where the numbers come under close scrutiny and have to be precise. Outside of work, Tim hopes that precision translates to the golf course as a skilled amateur. Down time is spent with his wife and two children, enjoying what Southland has to offer.