ASB Perspective 2025: Meet our speakers

Top L-R: Komal Mistry, Chanelle O’Sullivan, Abby Thompson. Bottom L-R: Julia Jones, Midge Munro, Lynley Wyeth.

Perspective 2025 is an event like no other, where six female industry leaders come together bringing different perspectives from their roles and sectors across the food value chain to discuss the future of food production.

This breakfast-time event is on Thursday March 15th, 7:00am-9:00am at the Wallace Development Company Theatre. Tickets are $25.00 each.

Our Perspective 2025 speakers will address the question: Is creativity the core element in transforming food producers for the future?

Komal Mistry, General Manager Fonterra Ventures
Komal is the General Manager of Fonterra Ventures and is responsible for building new revenue streams globally for Fonterra. This involves generating future growth opportunities for the business through a diverse range of sourcing levers such as external partnerships, pursuing strategic investments and building internal ventures through the intrapreneur programme “Disrupt.” Komal has been with Fonterra since 2011 and was named 2017 Young Executive of the Year at the Deloitte Top 200 awards.

Dr Abby Thompson, CEO FoodHQ
Dr Abby Thompson was raised on a farm here in the Manawatu and has recently been appointed as the CEO of FoodHQ, a collaborative initiative that provides food companies with a gateway to New Zealand’s leading food scientists who have the expertise, skills and facilities needed to create value-added innovative products. Abby’s primary interest is in combining the science and the business of food, and in her previous role as Director of Riddet Innovation, she led commercially-focused research and development work for the Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology.

Chanelle O’Sullivan, Entrepreneur; Founder of Virtual Insights and NZ Farming Mums Facebook group
Chanelle was raised in Auckland but traded city life to live on a high country station in Mackenzie Country when she was 19 years old. She’s heavily involved with many aspects of the agriculture sector from hands on farming across sheep, deer, beef and dairy, to veterinary nursing and now digital agribusiness marketing with Grass Roots Media. Chanelle founded the Farming Mum’s NZ Facebook page in 2013, which now has 10,500 members nationwide. As a result, she’s now in the process of setting up regional groups and rural women’s mental health and wellness campaign in collaboration with the wider industry. After completing the Kellogg Rural Leadership Programme in 2016, Chanelle launched Virtual Insight, a new company using 360° videography and virtual reality to take New Zealand’s Primary Industries to the world.

Midge Munro, Group Communications Manager, Darling Group
Midge is an experienced communications professional with a passion for the primary sector. She is currently the Group Communications Manager for Darling Group – a vertically integrated fresh produce company with bases in New Zealand and Australia. Prior to this she spent eight years as Communications Manager for NZ Avocado – New Zealand’s governance body for commercial avocado production and export. Midge has experience in international public relations, marketing, consumer research, and branding.

Lynley Wyeth, Director, Spring Valley Enterprises
Lynley is a 6th generation sheep and beef farmer living in Wairarapa with her husband and two sons. Their farming operation, Spring Valley Enterprises incorporates 1600 ha and 14,5000 stock units across three properties. Lynley has a passion for supporting and empowering local rural women and co-founded and chairs the Wairarapa Rural Women’s Initiative. The couple have several farming accolades to their name including the B+LNZ Golden Lamb Awards, Ballance Farm Environment Awards and have been named Wairarapa Business of the Year, to name a few.

Julia Jones, Farm Enterprise Specialist, KPMG & Perspective 2025 Chair
Julia Jones is part of the Agri-Food team who look at the changing global face of Agri-Food and connect food producing clients with long term sustainable business solutions. Julia is passionate about New Zealand’s Agri-Food industry and sees agility and change as the gateway to relevance and ensure a better future for the next generation within the industry. In 2007 Julia completed an agri-program through Harvard Business School in China, which fired her passion for international agriculture. She was named as a finalist in the Westpac Women of Influence Awards in 2015, and more recently she received the MPI AgMARDT emerging leaders’ scholarship and attended the 2017 Te Hono Bootcamp at Stanford University.

Discover more about Perspective 2025 here.