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Former Accolade CEO Paul Schaafsma joins Invivo board

Published:  12 September, 2017

New Zealand winery Invivo, known for launching the Graham Norton wine brand, has appointed former Accolade Wines CEO Paul Schaafsma to its board as an independent director.

Schaafsma, who takes on the role with immediate effect, would be working with crowdfunded Invivo to achieve the company’s “global ambitions”, said co-founder Tim Lightbourne, adding it had spend a long time finding “the right person” to join its board.

“We’re over the moon to have a director with Paul’s background and understanding of the wine world - 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,” he said.

Invivo, which has more than 400 shareholders, announced record 70% value sales growth last week at its AGM. It said it expected the three-year-old Graham Norton wine brand to sell more than two million bottles this year, with plans to add a Prosecco DOC to the portfolio in the coming months.

Invivo, which recently appointed US celebrity Nigel Barker as ‘glambassador’ to support its “conquest of the USA”, also revealed plans to “further develop its winery” but details were still under wraps. 

Schaafsma said: “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.

Schaafsma, who was appointed general manager of the UK, Ireland and Global Partners business in 2012 before becoming CEO of Accolade wines in 2015, steered the company through major restructuring after its acquisition by private equity firm Champ in 2011.

Before joining the Australian wine giant, he was the general manager UK and Europe of rival company Australian Vintage UK for eight years, after seven years running the domestic Australian business.