Executive Member Profiles
Kevin Gilbert became president in July 2016.
Kevin Gilbert started baking straight out of high school and has never left the hospitality industry, having spent time in kitchens as well as running restaurants and bars. Now in Dunedin running Gilbert’s Fine Food and its gluten free division Lievito Bakery, Kevin couldn’t be happier.
Lievito Bakery focuses on gluten free products, but he is probably best known for the Gilbert’s stall at the famous Otago Farmers Market where he sells at least a dozen varieties of breads, with a special emphasis on sour dough, and upward of 15 Danish varieties, not to mention several "whims” each week. Kevin says he has a deep passion for the baking industry as a whole as well as the traditions, recipes and techniques that have developed over centuries.
In 2011, Kevin graduated from Otago Polytechnic with a Bachelor in Culinary Arts. He is a sought-after guest speaker, demonstrator and consultant on baking in general as well as more specialised talks ranging from product design to gluten free. Having spent so much of his life in baking he is excited to have the chance to give something back to an industry that he loves.
James is the managing director of Maketu Pies. He brings a wealth of valuable experience and expertise in key areas, particularly wholesale manufacturing.
James trained initially in hospitality but then made a change to become a flight attendant and eventually a crew trainer with Qantas. Over the years he always maintained an interest in his parent's business, Maketu Pies, which they founded 32 years ago. He became more closely involved six years ago as they developed ideas about how the business could grow. He began familiarising himself with all aspects of the operation and three years ago became the general manager.
James says he loves working in the food industry because it is everchanging and there are lots of facets to it. In his role on the BIANZ board James aims to focus on helping large manufacturers gain from their BIANZ membership.
Michael was elected BIANZ President in June 2013. He was Vice-President prior to this. Michael has stepped down for a much needed break as President in July 2016. He has been involved in his family’s business ever since he could climb on a box to reach the bakery bench. The business was originally established by his father in 1975. Having been bred into the industry he has an amazing passion for everything to do with baking and the baking industry, including networking and travelling the globe in search of new ideas. He happily enjoys the hours it takes to produce some of the best baked goods while successfully leading the team in the business.
Michael has developed great relationships with all suppliers to the baking industry and this is important in his work on the executive. Michael is knowledgeable and approachable and is always looking for ways to help people as well as to take the Association and the industry forward.
Craig is a fully qualified Chartered Accountant and Business Development Specialist by trade. However 16 years ago Craig and his wife Janine made the decision to purchase Divine Cakes to show people that consultants can practice what they preach. This has certainly been proven as Craig and Janine have taken Divine Cakes from its humble beginnings to now being a large specialist bakery based in Christchurch operating a separate purpose built bakery, 4 retail stores and a large wholesale client base.
Craig has chosen to return to the BIANZ Executive to give back to the industry he loves and to bring his Finance and Strategy Skills to the Board.
I have been in the baking industry for 34 years and still enjoy the challenge, Life business and baking is just a game and you just need to know the rules and play it as good as you can lol. My motivation for standing again on the board of the BIANZ was to take on the portfolio of food, health & safety under the support of the past portfolio holder Kevin. We know this is a challenge for all of us in the industry but its the new world if we like it or not, so I am keen to work through the process. This is a reform not just a small change in legislation. Do you all remember the song "Hang on help is on the way? well it is, and I am happy to talk to anyone about what is happening.
I started with BIANZ in May 2017. I have come from working for New Zealand Oil Services, which was my first role after finishing my BA/BCom in English Literature and Marketing at Victoria University of Wellington. I am currently Wellington based.
What's next? My role is to support you through BIANZ, helping you gain all the benefits of membership, ensuring you have the all information you need and keeping you up to date with the industry. I will be continuously sourcing new membership benefits, including discounts. I will also update our website members area. If you need my help, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. My cellphone number: 027 22 55 185