The directors of the Potatoes South Australia Incorporated Board of Management are:

 

GaryWhite Gary O’Neill

As General Manager, Farms for the Mitolo Group, Gary has a wealth of knowledge and experience in the field of Plant Breeders’ Rights, the development and marketing of new potato cultivars, agronomy, freight and logistics planning and the management of contracts.  Growing up on a potato farm in the Southern Tablelands of New South Wales (NSW), Gary is passionate about the industry and has worked in the seed, fresh and processing sectors. He worked for Smith’s Snackfood Company for ten years covering a region from the Atherton Tablelands in Queensland to the Riverina in New South Wales followed by ten years of employment at Elders Ltd.  Gary has served on the NSW Seed Potato Advisory Committee and as a Fresh Potato Industry Advisory Committee delegate of Horticulture Australia Limited (HAL), representing the interests of fresh potato growers nationally.

Qualifications: Diploma in Applied Science (Agriculture) (RMIHE Wagga Wagga)

 

JamesWhite James Wandel

James has been growing seed potatoes on Kangaroo Island for the past ten years.  He was raised on his family’s sheep and cattle property, buying his own farm at the age of nineteen. Following thirteen years of producing export oaten hay for the Japanese market, James was encouraged by neighbours to enter the seed industry and now has 100 hectares under production.  Seed potato production contributes 85% to his farming enterprise and it is predominantly sold to mainland South Australian growers.

 

PaulWhite Paul White

Following graduation, Paul worked in the oil and gas industry for almost twenty years. Much of this time was with Exxon Mobil where he managed a number of departments including Accounting and Finance, Economics and Planning, and Laboratory and QAQC Analysers. After leaving ExxonMobil, he worked in the biofuels industry.

His family operates a certified organic farm in the Adelaide Hills running cattle, sheep and an orchard. His interest in farming and horticulture encouraged him to join Zerella Fresh, a major grower and packer supplying major supermarkets nationally, as General Manager in early 2008.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Economics, Graduate Diploma of Accounting (Flinders University), CPA

 

AndrewWhite Andrew Widdison

Andrew is a third generation potato farmer at Kalangadoo in the southeast of South Australia and has been growing potatoes for processing for more than twenty years. His family business currently supplies potatoes to Safries/McCains Foods at Penola. He is Chair of the South East Potato Growers Association (SEPGA) which represents potato growers in the region. A passionate industry advocate, Andrew is keen to see the continuing development of an efficient and sustainable industry to meet consumer expectations.

 

JohnMcArthur John McArthur

John has been recently appointed as the Chief Executive Officer for the South Australian Potato Company, commencing in late November 2016. He was the General Manager of The South Australian Potato Company from 2001-2006. More recently John worked for a decade as the General Manager for The LaManna Group’s South Australian operations. Educated at Prince Alfred College and The University of South Australia, he holds a Degree in Business Management.

John has been involved in the Agricultural sector for over 15 years, and has worked closely with many Australian farmers across the continent, in numerous product categories.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Management (University of South Australia), Major Marketing, Minor Human Resources.

  

Pud Richard Haynes

Richard has a strong association with the land and grew up on his family’s farm in Naracoorte, South Australia. He has a strong technical background in agriculture and has worked at Elders Ltd for over fifteen years, focusing on the viticulture and horticulture industries. He began his career as a Branch Manager in the lower southeast of South Australia and spent four years working with local growers. He has spent the last ten years working with national corporate horticulture clients as a Key Account Manager.

Richard has been treasurer of Potatoes South Australia Incorporated since 2011. He has also been an advisor to the Barossa Valley viticulture technical group since 2006.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Agricultural Science (Adel)

 

webhead John Harris

John Harris is the Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Foods International Fresh Produce.

After commencing his career in consulting with KPMG, John has acquired significant experience across many industries including mining, electricity and gas wholesale, distribution and retail, tyre manufacture and retail, shipbuilding and most notably agribusiness with senior leadership roles at Costa Group and Oakville Produce.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Economics (Monash University), Chartered Accountant and MBA (Australian Graduate School of Management).

 

 

BattistellaB Bianca Battistella

Bianca Battistella is a senior corporate and commercial lawyer at national law firm, Piper Alderman, with a particular focus on food and agribusiness.

She has a wealth of experience advising clients operating in the food, wine and agribusiness sectors ranging from small family businesses to sophisticated corporate enterprises. The majority of her legal work involves advising clients operating and investing in primary production, businesses adding value beyond the farm gate and businesses involved in agribusiness research and development.  Bianca’s experience also includes advising boards and not for profit organisations on corporate governance and risk management issues.

Bianca is passionate about contributing to, and promoting, the success of South Australia’s food and agribusiness sectors and has been actively involved in these sectors for many years, in both her capacity as a legal professional and as a supporter of a number of industry bodies and initiatives.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) (University of Adelaide), Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (Law Society of SA)

 

Carolyn Francis Carolyn Francis

Carolyn has significant private and public sector experience at Executive and Board level across a diverse range of industries including tourism, major events, sport, economic development, health and vocational education and training.  

Her extensive experience in strategic marketing and communications, stakeholder engagement and transformational leadership have been key in delivering growth and success for some of South Australia’s most prominent organisations including the Australian Formula One Grand Prix, the Port Adelaide Football Club, South Australian Motor Sport Board, and most recently TAFE SA. 

Carolyn is a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM) and holds post graduate qualifications in Business Administration from the International Graduate School of Business, University of South Australia. Her professional affiliations include Fellowships of the Australian Marketing Institute and the Australian Institute of Management. 

 

BradHigginsDirectoryPic Brad Higgins

Mr Brad Higgins is Westpac’s Regional General Manager, Agribusiness, South Australia and Western Australia and is responsible for managing end to end relationships across this geography of Australia. Brad was raised on a beef cattle and prime lamb property in South Australia’s Limestone Coast region and has 30 years agribusiness experience.

Prior to joining Westpac more than six years ago, he held senior client-facing roles with the Commonwealth Bank Australia and Global Animal Health Company, Pfizer Ltd. With detailed knowledge of all facets of agribusiness and a passion for sharing knowledge, Brad successfully links like-minded participants in the food and fibre production sector to ensure thought leadership is realised. He holds a Graduate Diploma of Management from the University of New England and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 

It’s Brad’s belief that through leading research and development programs, Australian agribusiness professionals are in a strong position to share innovation, which is mutually beneficial with our trading partners. 

 
Independent Chair

 

Brian Brian Cunningham

Brian Cunningham has over 20 years of experience as a Chief Executive in both the private and public sectors. He has wide ranging experience leading organisations in the following industries and sectors in state and national markets:

  • Sports Leadership and Management
  • Training/Education/Workforce Development
  • Manufacturing and Business Sustainability
  • International Market Development
  • Science, Technology and Innovation
  • Small Business and Regional Development

Since leaving his last CEO role in 2010, Brian has developed a niche and rapidly growing business consultancy focussing on people and business strategies. Aside from consultancy work he undertakes in both public and private sectors, Brian currently serves as a Director on six diverse Boards, three of which he acts as Chairman.

In terms of corporate profile and history, Brian is probably best known in Australian Rules football states in Australia for his key leadership role in the successful tender for an Australian Football League Club franchise licence in 1994. This resulted in Port Adelaide Football Club entering the National competition in 1997. Brian subsequently drove the development of this state-based sporting club to a highly successful National football league entity in the period 1996-2004.

Brian was then recruited into senior Government roles as a Chief Executive in 2005 where he has become recognised as an initiator and driver of organisational and cultural change in two significant Government Departments.

He led the Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology (budget $480 million and over 6000 full and part-time staff) through a successful change management program and structural reform implemented in 2005-2008.

In his most recent public sector role as Chief Executive of the Department of Trade and Economic Development (2008-2010), Brian led the South Australian Government’s key agency for economic and industry development.

He has high level management experience in approaching investment opportunities, in technologies and business, in governance and structures, in budget setting, in financial statements, audit and risk management and in liaison with auditors. His fortes in business are his substantial experience in change management, in leading people, in planning and in negotiating outcomes for groups with differing agendas.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Science, Diploma in Education (University of Adelaide), Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors 


Chief Executive Officer

RobbieWhite Robbie Davis

 

Robbie has business experience in both the private and public sectors domestically and internationally, and at Board level as a Board member and reporting to a Board in the capacity of CEO. She is also a primary producer (beef cattle) in the upper south east of South Australia. She has an intimate understanding of agricultural production systems, particularly sustainable whole of industry value chains from the paddock to the end-consumer. Following almost ten years living and working in Southeast Asia (Singapore, Indonesia, Brunei), she was self-employed as an agribusiness consultant until her appointment as CEO in 2012.  Robbie was awarded the RIRDC Rural Woman of the Year (SA) 2016.

Her key roles have been to develop stakeholder networks, and to develop and implement management and financial processes, and funding and Strategic Plans.

Qualifications: Bachelor of Agricultural Science, Master of Business Administration (University of Adelaide), Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors