Leadership Team

PATSY BASS
FOUNDER AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE

Patsy was born in Reefton and has always enjoyed the simplicity of life on the West Coast.

Her love of the region has been a constant and when Patsy’s work as a project manager saw her return home, she began to look for ways that she could contribute to the revitalisation of her home town. Having spent her early years living on the site of the Westland Brewery, establishing a distillery was a natural step. 

GARETH MCGRAIL
GENERAL MANAGER SALES

Gareth brings 20+ years’ experience in sales and general management roles with multi category, blue chip companies, as well as entrepreneurial SME’s in the alcoholic beverage sector.  Gareth has worked across the Diageo, Pernod Ricard and many other luxury spirit portfolios.  He leads our sales and brand ambassador teams within New Zealand and internationally.

YORK SPENCER
GENERAL MANAGER BRAND

Recently returned to New Zealand, York brings extensive marketing, business development and operations experience to the team, having held global Marketing Director and Country Management roles.  Most recently York was Senior Vice President Operations for a large international alcoholic beverage company.  York’s responsibility includes our guest experience, brand and digital strategy, communications and event teams.

ANGUS HAY
GENERAL MANAGER OPERATIONS

Born and raised in Scotland, Angus brings extensive experience in whisky and white spirits distilling and is a member of the Institute of Brewing and Distilling, UK.

An engineer with the Royal Navy before commencing his distilling career at The Glenlivet Distillery, Angus was the youngest distiller ever appointed by 14 years.  He was involved in their transition from manual to fully automated operations and has a razor eye for process and cost efficiencies.  Most recently Angus was the Master Distiller/Distillery Manager at the Burwood Distillery, Calgary, where he was engaged to establish production and NPD.

WENDY THOMPSON
FINANCE MANAGER

Wendy is a Chartered Accountant with a strong background in accounting and finance disciplines, including roles in Chartered Accountancy firms, the private sector, and Local Government. Wendy leads the financial processing, budgeting, and reporting functions.

LISA DENSEM
PRODUCTION PLANNER

Lisa was Sales and Operations Planner for Westland Milk following a career in office management and health & safety, prior to joining our team.

What Lisa can do with a spreadsheet would leave NASA green with envy and she has streamlined our production planning, stock management and supply chain.

STEFFAN AND NIGEL MACKAY
AMBASSADORS AND WATER PROSPECTORS

Steffan and Nigel are very proud of both their Scottish heritage and the culture of their home town. The twin brothers who were born and grew up in Reefton, are authorities on everything there is to know about the area, its people, and its rich history. Their ability as “water prospectors” has enabled them to find the location of local springs, assisting in the establishment of the water sources for the distillery.