The Coonawarra Vignerons have appointed Ockert Le Roux as its new executive officer, following the resignation of Olivia James from the position in January.
Currently a lead manager in the marketing and operations division for OneFortyOne in Mount Gambier, Ockert will assume the new role in May.
He has extensive experience in management, marketing and finances.
Between 2008 and 2012, Ockert was instrumental in developing hardwood chip-export facilities in Western Australia and Victoria.
He was also responsible for negotiating the hardwood export price for Australia with Japan.
In 2014 Ockert relocated to Mount Gambier from Melbourne, where he currently resides with his wife and three daughters.
He spent a year assisting the South Australian Government with their forward sale of its softwood assets in the Green Triangle.
From 2016 onward, he dedicated time to help to develop a visitor economy for Mount Gambier.
As a member of the Tourism Mount Gambier Board, Ockert was instrumental in strategic development, playing a lead role in establishing the Discover Mount Gambier rebrand and the Guides of Mount Gambier Project.
Ockert was the ideas man behind establishing Ghost Mushroom Lane, which now attracts tens of thousands of visitors per year to Mount Gambier.
Association president Pete Balnaves says, “We are delighted to welcome Ockert to the Coonawarra Vignerons.
“He is a highly regarded senior management professional, who is not only passionate about our region and the Limestone Coast, he also brings a wide range of skills and experiences, which we are certain will raise the profile of Coonawarra as a destination for visitors and ensure our world-renowned wine region remains globally competitive.
“Ockert will be instrumental in maintaining the strategic direction of the association and promotion of the powerful Coonawarra brand.”
Ockert says, “It is undoubtedly a unique opportunity in taking the renowned Coonawarra brand and wine region to its next level of prominence.
“I do look forward to working with the Board, members and employees to achieve an excellent outcome for all.”