Executive Team

Sanford people have a passion for the seafood industry and a depth of loyalty to our company that is truly unique. Our quality assurance, brand, sales and supply chain logistics teams are fully integrated with our fishing, farming and processing operations, to consistently deliver a superior high quality, safe product.

Our leaders’ role is to develop and nurture an environment that empowers our people to be the best they can be.

Meet the exec team.

David Mair - CEO AND DIRECTOR

David became Sanford’s CEO on 01 May 2024. He is also an Executive Director on the Sanford board.

David has significant leadership experience. He was CEO of NZX-listed Skellerup Holdings Limited from 2011 until early 2024. He was also involved in a2 Milk from 2008 until the company listed on the ASX in 2015. He remains a Director of Skellerup.

David was judged Deloitte Top 200 CEO of the Year for 2021 and in 2022 he was awarded the prestigious Johnson Partners Leadership Award from the Institute of Finance Professionals (INFINZ).

David holds a degree in civil engineering and an MBA from Canterbury University. He is a Chartered Member of the Institute of Directors.

David grew up in Dunedin. He has always been into sport and at the age of 23, he travelled to Japan to focus on martial arts. He lived there for more than ten years and married Yoshie there.

David says “For obvious reasons, my wife and I really enjoy raw fish. I’m a Dunedin boy, so my favourite species to eat are gurnard and blue cod”.

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Paul Alston - Chief Financial Officer

Paul joined Sanford in October 2021 as a highly experienced business executive and leader. His background includes CEO and CFO roles at Cavalier Corporation and Turners and Growers, two significant New Zealand businesses. Prior to that Paul has also worked in Europe at J P Morgan and Deutsche Bank. He brings with him great experience, capability, leadership and new dimensions to our team.

Paul sees Sanford as a New Zealand icon with over 150 years of history and believes there is a bright future ahead. He is helping steer Sanford forward as we work our way back from the impacts of Covid while continuing to feed the world in a sustainable fashion.

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Debra Lumsden – Chief People Officer

Debra joined the Sanford Exec team in mid-2023 as Chief People Officer and has over 20 years of experience working in senior, international HR roles for businesses such as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, Danaher Industries, IAG, BAE Systems and GEC Marconi in roles that covered Europe, North America, Africa, Asia Pacific and the Middle East.

For the last two years Debra has run her own successful HR Consulting business, using her industry experience to provide interim HR support and assist with organisation redesigns.

Debra says she’s really excited to join a long-standing New Zealand business, one which is focused on growth.

Debra hails from the UK and in her spare time loves to go to the beach with friends and her two dogs, and collect tuatuas in the early morning light and catch fish and then get it battered at the local fish and chip shop before enjoying it on the deck.

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LOUISE WOOD – Executive GM Supply Chain & Ops

Louise joined the Sanford Executive team as the Chief Supply Chain Officer in January 2022 after serving nearly 7 years as GM Supply Chain for Sanford. Louise entered the business and has built up the capacity and capability of the supply chain function over that time to be able to respond to the challenges and opportunities of moving product from the ocean to our customers and consumers. Prior to joining Sanford, Louise has worked in diverse industry sectors including Chemicals, Beverages, FMCG and Third party Logistics within the UK, Australia and NZ. She has a Bachelor of Science in Transport & Distribution from Huddersfield University.

Louise is a mother to daughters and plays an active role in the development and mentoring of other women in the Supply Chain sector, seeing that diversity is key to businesses reaching their full potential.

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Andrew Stanley – Executive GM Mussels

After almost 30 years in the business, Andrew joined the Sanford Executive team in 2023 as Executive General Manager Mussels.

He joined Sanford in 1994 as Site Quality Manager and working his way up through the ranks to Group Quality Manager within 3 years. During his time with New Zealand’s oldest seafood company, he has held many roles, including China Manager, where he was responsible for working closely with international partners to operate a seafood processing plant in China, delivering successful new product formats to international clients. His next role with Sanford was Product Development Manager, before settling into his role as General Manager, Innovation back in 2014.

Andrew and his family relocated from Auckland, to beautiful Marlborough, where he was really able to focus on all things innovation at Sanford’s mussel powder extract centre.

In 2022, Andrew proudly opened Sanford’s purpose built innovation centre in Blenheim, Sanford Bioactives, where he is based today. This centre was a labour of love for Andrew and he couldn’t be more proud of his site and more importantly, his team who produce the highest-quality marine extract ingredients.

Andrew is University of Otago alumni, having graduated in 1994 with BSC Microbiology, Food Science and in 2003, came away with MBA in Business Administration.

Andrew has a love for motorbikes and bicycles and is a keen tramper, having hiked many of the peaks in and around the Marlborough Tasman region
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Richard Miller – Executive GM Salmon

Australian born and raised Richard Miller, joined the Sanford team in 2020 as Salmon Operations Manager before moving into the GM salmon Farming role in July 2021.

In 2023, Richard was promoted to Exec GM Salmon and joined the Sanford Exec team.

Richard has been in the seafood industry for the last 20 years and has a Bachelor’s of Science, majoring in Marine Biology from Flinders University.

Based in Dunedin, Richard, his wife and two son’s love to get out and about in nature and experience everything New Zealand has to offer.

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Colin Williams – Acting Co-Executive GM Wildcatch

With over 38 years of experience in operational management and compliance within the fisheries and general maritime industry, Colin Williams brings a broad skillset and tested management style to his role. Colin joined Sanford for the first time in 1996 as a Vessel Manager for the deepwater fleet, and rejoined Sanford again in 2015, remaining since. Colin provides a wealth of experience in many aspects of Sanford’s Wildcatch business, including management and development of risk mitigation plans, strategic planning, development and delivery of Health and Safety improvement plans, and operations delivery and financial reporting. Colin also has a talent for developing individuals and teams through his infectious passion for the industry, which makes him the go-to Wildcatch Wikipedia for both newcomers to the industry, and seasoned fishers alike. He is performance-focused with a reputation for the delivery of high-quality results, and has a vast professional network within the commercial industry and its regulators.

During his free time outside of the fishing industry Colin enjoys, you guessed it, fishing. Putting his 38 years of fishing industry experience into action, Colin loves fishing for snapper (or whatever happens to be biting) in the Hauraki Gulf.

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Paul Turnbull - Acting Co-Executive GM Wildcatch

Before joining Sanford in 2015, Paul Turnbull held a successful career in commercial finance, in multiple industries, including food packaging and FMCG, qualifying as an accountant through ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants) whilst working, learning the ropes, and developing his career to become a CFO of an SME. He emigrated to New Zealand from the United Kingdom in 2012, joining Sanford in 2015 as Commercial Manager after a spell with Goodman Fielder. Initially, Paul introduced financial, sales and operational reporting and forecasting systems before moving into a project management role in 2018. Here, he facilitated divisional strategy refreshes and financial modelling, was a member of the Wildcatch Covid response team, and DMT lead for Deepwater, to name a few things.

Paul brings broad experience in all aspects of Finance, HR, and general management, with a specialisation in manufacturing and supply chain, and an interest in strategy and change management.

But through a successful career and time at Sanford, according to Paul, his biggest personal achievement has been raising his four children with his wife Teresa and seeing them grow to be great people.

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Vaughan Wilkinson - Executive GM Strategy and Innovation

With four decades of experience in the marine and seafood sector, Vaughan has incomparable knowledge and understanding of the industry, as well its customers, and has developed strong Governmental relationships, consumer insights, and industry connections.

Always having had an interest in the ocean and its inhabitants, Vaughan turned a life-long passion into a life-long career. After completing a Master of Science (First Class Honours) in Marine Biology, Vaughan covered a variety of roles from Oceanographer, to Fisheries Manager for the Ministry of Fisheries. He then moved to the business side of the industry, holding a series of senior management positions at various fishing establishments. This includes Sanford where he drove product innovation as the General Manager of Marketing and Development from 2005 until 2014. This storied career has given Vaughan extensive experience in transport and logistic supply chains in both the export and import of primary products, as well as diverse governance and public policy experience having Chaired major domestic and international seafood industry stakeholder bodies.

Outside of work, Vaughan still holds a strong passion and interest in our ocean, even being a part of the redevelopment of the Viaduct and Wynyard Quarter on the Auckland waterfront.

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