Columba College's business
hall of fame has swelled to 13 with the recent induction of
old girls Sarah Ottrey and Susan Berry.
Ms Ottrey, a pupil from 1981-83, is a professional company
director, including with three stock exchange-listed
companies, while Mrs Berry, 1955-60, is the co-owner of
award-winning Whitestone Cheese, in Oamaru.
Ms Ottrey had a 12-year management career with multinational
companies Unilever and DB Breweries, working in New Zealand
and Asia, and became head of marketing for DB Breweries.
She said a belief in the primary effect of marketing on
shareholder value led to a personal focus on company
Ms Ottrey started Ottrey Marketing Ltd, specialising in
consumer advocacy and brand-building advice to chief
executives and boards.
Her marketing goals led to her 2001 appointment to the
Crown-owned enterprise the Public Trust Modernisation Board,
and to her subsequent full board membership.
Her present board appointments are NZX-listed companies EBOS
Group and Smiths City Group, and, on the NZX unlisted
exchange, Blue Sky Meats.
Mrs Berry, a former physiotherapist who has worked in New
Zealand and overseas, co-founded Whitestone Cheese in 1987
when she and her husband, Robert Berry, decided to diversify
into specialist cheeses from their farming interests in the
face of the rural downturn then.
From beginnings in a converted garage, Whitestone moved into
a 10-times larger, purpose-built factory in Oamaru which now
employs more than 60 people.
The complex includes the factory, delicatessen and cafe.
Mrs Berry said one of the key successes of Whitestone had
been the development of its regional cheeses. Its flagship
Windsor Blue has won 10 trophies, including New Zealand's
supreme champion in 2006.