Cheesemakers & Team

It takes a team of great people to produce great cheese! Here are some of the faces behind our brand...

Bob Berry

Position: Managing Director
Founded Whitestone Cheese in 1987
Top five cheeses: Windsor Blue, Vintage Windsor, Lindis Pass, Five Forks and Island Stream
What he always says: "Surround yourself with talented people and support them"
Proudest moment: The awards Whitestone Cheese holds, judged by our peers
He can't do without: My strongest supporter – my wife Sue
Favourite drink: Central Otago Pinot Noirs
He gets annoyed when: There’s not enough snow to ski in the winter and when it's too rough for boating in the summer
Advice to live by: Believe in yourself and never trust a banker

Sue Berry

Position: Co-founder of Whitestone Cheese
Started at Whitestone: 1987
Nickname: Suberry
Favourite cheese: Vintage Windsor Blue
What she always says: "There’s a front coming"
Proudest moment: Induction to the Columba College Business hall of Fame
She can’t do without: Family. Enjoying outdoors and sunshine, working in a vege garden
Favourite drink: Central Otago Pinot Noir
If she were an animal she'd be: A Persian cat
She gets annoyed when: People do not have good manners
Advice to live by: Always keep your sense of humour and surround yourself with people that make you laugh.

Simon Berry

Position: CEO
Started at Whitestone: Involved since 1987, full time 2003
Nickname: Boogsie
Favourite Cheese: Windsor Blue, Lindis Pass
Proudest moment: Becoming a Dad
I can't do without: My wife Annabel and a morning double shot coffee
Known for being: Techie nerdy and enjoying quality humour
Favourite drink: Stenie Classic
Sports: Skiing, mountaineering, fishing, trail & mountain biking
I wish I could be a: Killer Whale 
He gets annoyed when: He can't remember names
Advice to live by: Focus on your strengths with pride, passion and persistence.

Click for Simon's LinkedIn profile

Shane Emerson

Position: Production Manager
Started at Whitestone: 2010
Favourite Cheese: Aged Airedale
Proudest moment: Becoming a Dad
I can’t do without: My family
Favourite drink: Jim Beam
Favourite sport: Hockey
He gets annoyed when: People can’t think for themselves
Advice to live by: Don't take anything for granted, you don't know when it might be gone

Debbie Jones

Position: Office & Administration Assistant
Started at Whitestone: 2010
Nickname:  Debs
Favourite Cheese:  Mount Domet
Proudest moment: Too many to mention!
She can’t do without: Chocolate – brain food
Favourite drink: Baileys and masters choc milk
If she were an animal she’d be: Cockatoo
Advice to live by: There are no problems, just solutions 

Jandy Simmons

Position: Pack Room Manager
Started at Whitestone: February 2006
Nickname: Herbie
Favourite Cheese: Windsor Blue
What she always says: “You can only do what you can”
Most courageous moment: Solo skydiving
She can’t do without: A morning coffee
Favourite drink: Baileys or Bombay Sapphire Gin
If she were an animal she’d be: Rainbow Lorakeet
She gets annoyed when: Sunday drivers are out during the week also!!
Advice to live by: Do what you can, with what you have, where you are

 

Tamin Wilson

Position: Marketing Manager
Started at Whitestone: 2012
Nickname: Tam
Favourite Cheese: Monte Cristo
What she always says: “Mother flipper!” (would be worse, but I have small children)
Proudest moment: Having two beautiful daughters
She can’t do without: Sleep and chocolate
Favourite drink: Central Otago Pinot Noir
If she were an animal she’d be: A dolphin
She gets annoyed with: Slow computers!
Advice to live by: Treat others the way you wish to be treated yourself

 

Adrienne Craig

Position: Dispatch Manager
Started at Whitestone: 2005
Favourite Cheese: Windsor Blue
What she always says: “Don’t panic petal”
Proudest moment: Creating two wonderful daughters with Allan
She can’t do without: My husband Allan and our family. Mascara and coffee.
Favourite drink: Gin and tonic
If she were an animal she’d be: A bird, the view must be fantastic!
She gets annoyed when: When I forget to replace my freeze dried coffee at work
Advice to live by: Take each day as it comes. Treat others as you would like to be treated yourself

Mandy Hillier

Position: Dispatch Assistant
Started at Whitestone: 2010
Nickname: Manz
Favourite Cheese: Aged Airedale
What she always says: “Hi darl”
Proudest moment: Winning photography competitions
She can’t do without: My family. My garden
Favourite drink: Lemon, lime and bitters
If she were an animal she’d be: A cat
She gets annoyed when: People do not help themselves
Advice to live by: Always do the best you can and don’t stress about the small stuff

 

Denise Conners

Position: Dispatch Assistant
Started at Whitestone: 2012
Favourite Cheese: Brie
What she always says: “Alrighty then”
Proudest moment: Having my son
She can’t do without: My family. 
Favourite drink: Bourbon
If she were an animal she’d be: A cat or a dog
She gets annoyed when: When people don’t treat others with respect
Advice to live by: Live in the moment

 

Maria Davey

Position: Auckland Sales Rep / Merchandiser
Started at Whitestone: June 2011
Nickname: Mia
Favourite Cheese: Windsor Blue  
What she always says: “Live in the moment”, “dance like no-one’s watching”.
Proudest moment: Becoming a grandma
She can’t do without:  Family/grandkids
Favourite drink: Marlborough Bubbles
If she were an animal she’d be: A pampered pooch
She gets annoyed when: Other people are right and I am wrong!!

 

Toondy Tissiman-Reynolds

Position: Christchurch Sales Rep / Merchandiser
Started at Whitestone: June 2008
Nickname: Toon or T
Favourite Cheese: Windsor Blue
What she always says: “That’ll do Pig” (from the movie Babe)
She can’t do without: My family (partner, dog, cats) and friends. Oh and my morning cuppa
Favourite drink: Marble Point Pinot Noir
If she were an animal she’d be: Any kind of bird
She gets annoyed when: People are late
Advice to live by: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you

Jonathan Emerson

Position: Cheesemaker
Started at Whitestone: 2011
Nickname:  Jony
Favourite cheese:  Windsor Blue
Favourite movie: Oldboy (the original)
He can’t do without: Books
Favourite drink: Coca Cola
If he were an animal he’d be: An otter
Advice to live by: The golden rule...

Vinnie Smith

Position: Cheesemaker
Started at Whitestone: 2011
Nickname:  Vinnie
Favourite Cheese:  Windsor Blue, Lindis Pass Brie, Aged Airedale
Favourite drink: Candian club
Favourite actor: Leonardo DiCaprio
He gets annoyed when: People expect others to help them, but won't help themselves
He can't do without: Friends, family and cars

Chris Moran

Position: Head cheesemaker
Started at Whitestone: 2000 - 2011 returned 2014
Favourite Cheese:  The one currently in development
Proudest moment: The NZ Cheese Awards 2011 medal haul and becoming a Dad
He can’t do without: My family and coffee
Favourite drink: Harrington's Pilsner
Favourite band: Led Zeppelin
Advice to live by: "It is not the mountain we conquer, but ourselves" - Sir Edmond Hillary

Amy Francis

Position: Marketing Assistant
Started at Whitestone: 2016
Favourite Cheese: Tough question!!! Windsor Blue or Five Forks or Lindis Pass Brie...
What she always says: I love you to my hubby and girls
Proudest moment: When my two daughters were born. I was also very proud of myself when I boarded a plane and went on my OE on my own.
She can’t do without:  Cheese and wine
Favourite drink: A nice cold Pinot Gris
Gets annoyed when: My daughter doesn't get dressed EVERY morning!!!
Advice to live by: Live well, laugh often, love much, be grateful for every moment - and I have a sign on my fridge reminding myself that I love to dance - I see it, i turn on some music and the girls and I have a dance party in the kitchen while I make dinner!  Dance like no one is watching!!

Franco Sessa

Position: National Sales & Trade Marketing Manager
Started at Whitestone: 2016
Favourite Cheese: Vintage Windsor blue
What he always says: Do your thing!
Proudest moment: When my dad told me he was proud of me
He can’t do without:  The love of the people I love
Favourite drink: A cold one!
Gets annoyed when: Common sense has been declared MIA!
Advice to live by: Live and let live

Helen Brown

Position: Wellington Sales Rep / Merchandiser
Started at Whitestone: 2013
Favourite cheese: Windsor Blue
She can’t do without: Chocolate
Favourite drink: Coffee