Introducing commettee members

Posted On 18 Feb 2014
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untitledNEW ZEALAND: The AGM in 2013 saw a new committee step up to the plate and the return of some industry experience to help move the NZFGA forward. Their roles and profiles are summarised below. Any grower of cut flowers who would like to add a voice and some resource to the association is welcome to make contact with a committee member to learn more about the association and how to join up. One significant change to the Association is the revolving Chair, which means that Chairpersons serve one year as Acting Chairperson, then moving to Past Chairperson and the Vice Chairman steps up to the acting role, ensuring continuity but not overburdening one individual indefinitely with the Chairpersons role and workload.

Committee Members:

Frans van Dorsser
Frans of Shipperd Nurseries Pukekohe, grows Roses, spray Carnations, Hippeastrum and Cymbidium Orchids as part of this vibrant family business. Franz is 35 years old and is married with two young children. Born in Holland, Frans migrated to New Zealand in 1987. He studied at Palmerston North and then at Fresno State University California graduating with a B.Sc in Oenology. Frans was involved in wine making until 2006 when he decided to join the family flower business.
Trevor Robb
Trevor was educated at the University of Auckland and qualified with a B.Sc in Chemistry. Post qualification and for 35 years Trevor worked for Dulux and Epiglass as and industrial and paint chemist. In 1998 Trevor was impacted by a redundancy, and decided to purchase their existing property which was growing roses under 3,000 square metres of glass and plastic, which has subsequently been further expanded by an additional 1000sq metres of plastic. Roses are grown in soil in an unheated glassshouse so production in winter is minimal, recommencing again in October.
Jacco uit de Bosch
 Jacco of Bosch Flowers, Kumeu Auckland has been involved in supporting the industry for many years. Aged 50, Jacco is married with two children. Says Jacco, “I have been involved in the horticultural industry for 35 years. I have been growing hydrangeas for export and the local market for 18 years.”
Joanne Hurley
Joanne began her career by concurrently completing a teaching degree and a Bachelor of Commerce in Accounting. Starting out teaching at primary and secondary level, Joanne entered the private sector in an accounting, financial capacity, moving to the United States in 1983. The catalyst for immigration was marriage to Joanne’s American husband, Craiger. In 1990 they wisely decided that the land of the long white cloud was the best country to raise a family and moved back, eventually settling on Scenic Drive in the Waitakere Ranges of Auckland.Joanne went back to teaching until 1995 when the couple set up their own business providing project management of commercial construction. While running our own business and raising two beautiful daughters, Joanne worked for Multi Serve Education Trust in a financial capacity and as a software instructor until 2007 when she came to work for Van Lier Nurseries, home of fine quality cut roses. “It has been both the most challenging and rewarding position I have had in my working career and I thoroughly enjoy it.  I work with a team of people that are committed to  implementing procedures that are designed to reinforce the company’s commitment to quality, service and profitability” says Joanne.  In her spare time Joanne is an avid reader, gardener and a bush walker.  “I always appreciate a good glass of wine and continue to peruse my passion for exploring the world!”
Theo van Lier
Theo is the joint owner and Managing Director of Van Lier Nurseries Ltd, which is currently located on two properties in West Auckland (Massey & Riverhead).  It is a family owned & operated business that began in the early 1950’s when Theo’s parents, Wouter & Maria Van Lier immigrated to New Zealand from the Netherlands. Theo’s son, Harry Van Lier also works in the business as the Operations Manager.

The total growing area of VLN is just over 2.5 hectares of glass & plastic greenhouses in which are grown approximately 35 varieties of roses, including the exclusive ‘David Austin’ roses. Ven Lier’s grow in a computer controlled environment and are constantly upgrading technology to guarantee reliable product and customer services.  Roses are the main crop and trademark. In addition to these are grown Alstroemeria, Statice, Limonium, Carnations, Solidago & Breanthus cut flowers. Van Lier are also agents for several top cut-flower breeders  being Schreurs, Terra Nigra, Lex, HilverdaKooij, and Royal Van Zanten.  Van Liers import propagation material from these breeders which are then made available to commercial growers around New Zealand.

Says Theo, “My parents inspired in me a love of plants & hard work. As a young boy of around seven years I was always assisting my parents in our Massey nursery.  I thought it was a great treat to be allowed to rise at 3am & attend the flower market with my father. I never had the desire to do anything other than follow in his footsteps and so when I finished secondary school I went to Massey University in Palmerston North & studied Horticulture. Thereafter I spent a year working for Palmers Garden Centre in their propagation nursery & some time working in Horticulture in Canada & the Netherlands before coming home in my early twenties to manage the family business.

My wife, Monique, is a co-owner with me in VLN.  We have a family of four adult children, Nicole, Suzanna, Harry and Steffan.  I am an avid pigeon racer and as my family will tell you I am as passionate about this leisure time pursuit as I am about horticulture. During pigeon racing season I participate in race events in Auckland, around NZ and overseas.  There is a lot of preparatory work training the pigeons before they are raced and getting them to a race point.  Its all a lot of fun and games and very social. ”

Kevin Grout
Kevin is the National Operations Manager for United Flower Auctions Ltd. Married with five daughters  and growing number of grandchildren, last count four, but reliably informed that this will change.

“I enjoy fishing, gardening, DIY, walking, cooking and spending time with family and friends. My commercial background is  basically sales and service related, mainly in the Hardware / Security Industry.  With a keen interest in business improvement through process management and a strong background in project work.  Staff management and development has been a common denominator throughout my career. I have worked on and in:

•Business restructure projects

• Process improvement projects using lean ( ACE )principles

•Set up of an E-commerce division

•Product development work”

Kevin is a new committee member bringing a range of valuable skills to the Association.

Chris Smellie
Chris was involved in up to 1994 then built from kitset and set up 3500 metres square of heated computer controlled greenhouse to grow roses. Chris was the first rose grower in Auckland to grow hydroponically in pumice. Later another first, as the first rose grower to grow in rockwool. Chris’s business was primarily at the gate and employed two florists as part of the team of staff. Chris sold the business in 2011 and since then has imported good quality water content and other instruments and provided an advisory service to growers.

Chris has been working on a SFF Application for NZFGA for a comprehensive Floriculture Portal to service all of the NZ Flower Industry, the outcome of which should be known in July 2014.

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