Two more join Columba business hall of fame

Susan Berry
Susan Berry
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 governance.

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.

Sarah Ottrey
Sarah Ottrey

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.




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