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Accolade's Paul Schaafsma joins NZ's Invivo wines

Accolade's Paul Schaafsma joins NZ's Invivo wines

New Zealand crowdfunded winery Invivo has announced the appointment of Paul Schaafsma, former CEO of Accolade Wines, to its board as an independent director.

Invivo notes in a statement: "Under Paul’s leadership, the fifth largest wine company in the world exceeded AUD$1billion in revenue with a team of 1700 employees across Australia, New Zealand, UK, China, Japan, South East Asia, USA, Chile, Canada and South Africa. His work in the industry culminated in Paul being awarded "Man of the Year" by Drinks Business magazine in 2015."

Schaafsma's surprise resignation from Accolade was announced in August 2016, on the eve of the since-abandoned $1-billion float of Australia's second biggest wine company. 

The Australian Financial Review reported: "An internal note to Accolade staff is understood to say that Schaafsma didn't want to commit to the role for the next few years but is happy to stay on and help with the listing process.

"The expectation among IPO investors is that a CEO would be in place for a few years after an IPO in the interests of stability and continuity."

Schaafsma became chief executive of Accolade in October, 2015.

Schaafsma's appointment an "incredible coup"

Invivo co-founder Tim Lightbourne says having Paul on board is an incredible coup for the company: "We’re over the moon to have a director with Paul’s background and understanding of the wine world. We spent a long time finding the right director to join our board, but when we spoke with Paul it was obvious he shared the same ideas about brand building and standing out from the crowd as we do. We look forward to working with Paul to achieve our global ambitions for Invivo".

"In a short space of time Invivo has established itself as a true innovator within the global wine industry. Passion, drive and a clear understanding of what the consumer wants have delivered strong results for the business. I’m honoured to be joining the Invivo board," said Schaafsma. "I have tremendous respect for Tim and Rob and look forward to working with them."

Invivo is New Zealand’s first and only equity crowdfunded winery with investment secured in a record crowdfunding raise in 2015. The winery launched the Graham Norton wine brand in 2014 with expected sales of more than million bottles this year. Invivo also recently appointed US celebrity Nigel Barker as "glambassador" to support its exports to the United States.

Last week at its AGM, Invivo announced record growth in the last year with a jump of 70% in sales, plans to further develop its winery and the launch of a Graham Norton Prosecco DOC later this year.

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