A young Kiwi, Los Angeles-based, filmmaker has made good use of the lockdown period to help farmers battling with mental health issues.
With more than 30 years' experience in agricultural sales and business development, May joins GEA after an eight year stint with the Hamilton-based Gallagher Group, where he playing an instrumental role in building its international business, including leading and building sales teams in Chile and South Africa.
His formative years were spent with multinational hygiene solutions company EcoLab, where he spent 17 years playing a significant role in developing its New Zealand business, and earning the title of Asia Pacific Sales Manager of the Year and International Sales Manager of the Year.
May says he was attracted to the national sales manager role at GEA because of FIL's reputation for innovation, and the opportunities for growth that have emerged since it was purchased by GEA Farm Technologies in 2010.
He added that he enjoys working for market leaders, particularly in the dairy industry, and is very conscious of how the industry has evolved over the past 25 years.
"Farmers have gone from owner operator lifestyles to being major employers of multi-million dollar businesses with all the challenges that go with being an entrepreneur, such as being a good employer and building skilled and effective teams."
May said his team of 16 FIL area managers see their role as supporting the farming workforce to improve its knowledge and understanding of animal health and hygiene, and where it fits within the whole farming system.
May says he is looking forward to being on farm more often and spending time with farmers at the coal face.
GEA Farm Technologies New Zealand managing director Jamie Mikkelson said May's wealth of experience in sales, management, business development and animal and plant hygiene was a valuable addition to both the GEA team and New Zealand's dairy farmers and industry.
"FIL is now part of a total solution for farmers as part of GEA Farm Technologies, which includes milking machine equipment and effluent management products. Colin's primary goal is to lead his team in building a reputation as the local experts and first port of call for advice on plant hygiene – from staff training to preventing grades," says Mikkelson.