Our executive
team and board

Executive leadership team

Board of directors

Willie Wiese, CEO of Alliance Group

Willie Wiese

Chief Executive

Willie was appointed CEO in March 2023 after his appointment to Interim CEO in February 2023. He holds the CEO position alongside his responsibilities as General Manager Manufacturing which he has held since December 2017.

Willie has led significant manufacturing operations in both Australia and South Africa. He has extensive experience in the implementation of strategies to deliver performance improvements in complex manufacturing operations.

Willie has a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering, Engineering Science and Business Administration, and Supply Chain and Business, from the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg.

Murray Behrent

Murray Behrent

General Manager Livestock and Shareholder Services

Murray was appointed General Manager Livestock and Shareholder Services in October 2023 after carrying out the interim role from June 2023. Having joined the company in 1990, Murray has held a variety of roles from Livestock Representative in the North Otago region, Group Livestock Services Manager through to General Manager Livestock in 2007, a role he held until 2016. In recent years, Murray has been responsible for the large corporate and key account farming businesses, along with managing the Northern Regional Livestock team.

During his 32 plus years with Alliance, Murray has led or been involved with a number of key projects including the introduction of the Farm Assurance Programme, Livestock Transport Accreditation programme, the management of on farm trial work, the Central Progeny Test used to identify superior sheep breeds, and the implementation of the Via Scan Yield Grading. He was also was part of the development team to bring the Handpicked programmes to fruition.

Murray has a Dip. Business Management.

Nigel Jones

Nigel Jones

General Manager Supply Chain and Planning

Nigel was appointed General Manager Supply Chain and Planning in May 2023, after holding the position of General Manager Strategy since September 2015. Prior this this Nigel spent 16 years in the dairy industry, including General Manager roles in strategy, supply chain and logistics with Fonterra. Nigel has significant experience in business strategy and planning, marketing, key account management, procurement, supply chain and logistics and has worked in a range of international markets.

He has Bachelor of Business Degrees in Accountancy and Finance, a Master of Science in Supply Chain and Logistics (Cranfield University, U.K.) and has completed an executive programme in Strategy at Stanford University.

Rachel O'Brien

Rachel O’Brien

Chief Transformation Officer

Rachel was appointed Chief Transformation Officer in May 2023. With a track record of shaping and delivering global programmes that drive performance transformation, build capability, and deliver growth, Rachel also brings expertise in programme governance, strategy, and digital innovation.

Rachel has a bachelor’s degree in education from Massey University and a Post Graduate Diploma in Secondary Education. She joins us from Ravensdown where she spent 12 months as Chief Transformation Officer. Prior to Ravensdown she held similar roles for both CWT and Santander in the UK.

Stephanie Manning

Stephanie Manning

General Manager People & Culture

Stephanie was appointed General Manager People & Culture in June 2023 after 18 months as Group Manager Human Resources for Alliance.

Stephanie has held public and private leadership roles across complex stakeholder environments, including manufacturing, health, financial services and the legal sector. She has significant experience delivering people and workforce strategies, operating model transformations and service redesigns. An employment lawyer by training, her career over the last decade has been spent delivering people strategy, finding and nurturing great talent, connecting people with purpose, enhancing culture with values-based leadership, and reimagining the experience we give people at work.

With a Bachelor of Laws with First Class Honours Law Stephanie was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand in the early 2000’s.


Wayne Shaw

General Manager Safety and Processing

Wayne joined Alliance Group in the role of General Manager Safety and Processing in December 2023. He has 32 years’ experience in the red meat processing sector, including 23 years at Silver Fern Farms where he covered a number of senior roles, with his final role being Operations Manager of their Sheep and Venison operation. In that role Wayne was responsible for 12 plants, livestock procurement, cold stores and transportation reporting, as well as a shared responsibility for Group Engineering. Most recently Wayne was Chief Operating Officer, Processing and Special Projects at Harvest Road Group in Western Australia, which covers beef processing, farming/feed lots and oyster farming.

Wayne has a Bachelor of Technology (First Class Honours), biotechnology and bioprocess engineering, Massey University and a Master of Business Administration (Distinction), Massey University.

James McWilliam

James McWilliam

Global Sales Director

James took up the role of Global Sales Director in January 2024 having previously held the roles of Group Planning & Optimisation Manager, Levin Plant Manager and Global Sales Manager, Specialty Ingredients & Materials for Alliance.

Prior to joining Alliance in 2019 James had spent his entire career in the red meat industry. He started as a Management Graduate at Ovation New Zealand and has led teams across multiple geographies and spent the eight years prior to Alliance in-market in the UK and USA leading global sales functions for Ovation across the world.

Alongside James’ people leadership skills, he also has strong existing relationships with key internal and external customers and stakeholders. He successfully led the Levin Plant to record performance across safety and processing metrics and has a deep passion and end-to-end understanding of the red meat sector.

He has Bachelor of Physical Education and Bachelor of Commerce Degrees from the University of Otago. He has completed post graduate study at The London School of Business and Finance – Managerial Finance and an Executive Leadership programme in Leadership at Stanford University, California.


Sheena Henderson

General Manager Global Marketing

Sheena is a successful commercial senior business leader who has a passion for strategy, people, science, and primary industry. She’s led brands internationally and large full value chain businesses locally, including Fonterra. 

Sheena has been a professional director for over 15 years and continues to consult and provide business advisory services alongside her professional governance work.

Sheena has over 30 years’ experience in food and agribusiness globally.  She has a BSc and a BBS, both from Massey University.

Aneesha Varghese-Cowan

Aneesha Varghese-Cowan

Chief Financial Officer

Aneesha was appointed Chief Financial Officer in April 2024. Aneesha has significant red meat experience in both NZ and Australia having spent time at Silver Fern Farms and JBS. She has also completed her Doctor of Business Administration in NZ Red Meat Farming.

Aneesha has a strong track record of transforming finance functions, systems, and processes through a focus on providing key data and insights to inform decision making and drive business performance.

Sarah Brown

Sarah Brown

Board-appointed Farmer Director

B.Sc. (Home Science)(Distinction)
Chair of People Committee and Member of Enterprise Resource Planning Committee

She lives in Manawatu where she owns a sheep and beef farm. Sarah has held a number of senior management positions in marketing and consumer insights with high profile companies including Lion Nathan, Colmar Brunton, Australian Pork, Coca-Cola Amatil, Diageo and Goodman Fielder International. She sits on the board of Dairy Goat Co-op and runs an International Marketing Consultancy for clients such as Boehringer Ingelheim (Australia, Asia, NZ), NZPork and Frucor-Suntory.

Sarah, who has been an independent director since 2018, is currently a temporary board-appointed farmer director until December when she will revert to an appointed independent director.


Jared Collie

Supplier Representative
B.Com.Ag (VFM)
Member of Enterprise Resource Planning and People Committees

Jared was elected as a supplier representative in 2015. He operates a 1,400 hectare sheep, cattle and dairy farm in Central Southland and is also an independent advisor for Arrow Dairy Ltd, a director of Benmore Downs Ltd, chairman of Platinum Dairies Ltd, deputy chairman of the Jeff Farm Management Board and a facilitator for the Takitimu Discussion Group.

Phone 03 248 5246
Mobile 027 295 9987

Jason Miller

Supplier Representative
Member of People Committee

Jason was elected as a supplier representative in 2015.  He was also a director on the Alliance board from 2007-2013. Jason operates 800 hectares of sheep and cattle farmland in Southdown, Southland.

Phone 03 230 6142
Mobile 021 977 926

Don Morrison

Supplier Representative
Te Ao Kakone – Shareholder/Director
Member of Audit and Risk Committee

Don was elected as a supplier representative in 2013. He is a director of DG & BC Morrison Ltd, farming sheep and cattle on 465 hectares at Waikaka Valley, Southland. He is also a director of Pure Taste New Zealand (NZ) Ltd, Ahika Journeys Ltd, chairman of W9 and a member of the Alpha Sheep Genetics Group.

Phone 03 207 1857
Mobile 027 487 7088

Simon Robertson

Independent Director

Simon was appointed as an independent director in June 2021.

An experienced director with an extensive corporate and governance background Simon also sits on the board of Ballance Agri-Nutrients. Previously he was Chair of Synlait Milk, on the board of Independent Timber Merchants Cooperative (ITM), Apata Group and Flick Energy, and was chief financial officer at Auckland Airport.

Ashleigh Dobson

Associate Director

Based in Southland, Ashleigh has over 10 years’ experience as a clinical veterinarian and has worked with the Ministry for Primary Industries on the Mycoplasma bovis eradication programme. She tutors at the Southern Institute of Technology and advocates for best practice farming, animal welfare, and food safety.

Ashleigh is a member of the Agri-Women’s Development Trust Escalator 2022 cohort and has built corporate governance capability through Institute of Director courses and leadership development. She is an Associate Director of the Southland Demonstration and Research Farm and a Board Member of the Thornbury Primary School.

She and husband Mark milk 540 pedigree Jersey cows, and are platinum suppliers to Alliance, and Te Tihi status suppliers to Fonterra. Ashleigh is actively involved in their farm business as well as being a mother to their two children.

We welcome Ashleigh to the Alliance Group Board. Her first meeting was in August 2023.

Mark Wynne

Mark Wynne


Mark was elected Chair in 2024. He has extensive experience in agribusiness, including 20 years in the dairy industry.

Mark was previously President South Asia for Kimberly-Clark, growing the United States multinational’s market share with brands like Kleenex and Huggies. He has a respected international track record for building brands and in managing mergers and acquisitions.

Mark is passionate about growth, innovation, and talent. He has invested in and advised innovative New Zealand export-oriented growth companies and holds a number of Board Directorships.

Ross Bowmar

Supplier Representative

Raised in Southland, Ross and his wife Jess and their young family now own and operate, a high country sheep and beef station in the Rakaia Gorge in Canterbury.Ross brings a wealth of international experience and knowledge to the role, having completed a Masters in Agricultural Economics at Michigan State University in the United States before spending 10 years with one of the world’s largest agricultural processing companies, Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).).

Mobile 027 528 8525

Richard Greer

Supplier Representative

Richard was elected in 2023 to the board as a supplier representative. He, along with wife Kylie, farm Sunnyside station in Blackmont in Western Southland. The farming operation is 1600 hectares and runs Sheep, Deer and Beef. As well as farming livestock they are also involved in a tourism business.

Mobile 027 223 5493