YOUR TEAM 

NATIONAL VINEYARD FUND OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The board of NVFAL consists of four directors.  Each of the directors have significant experience in viticulture and wine industries. 
BRUCE SPANGLER
FCA, FAICD
Non-executive and Independent Chairman

Bruce Spangler, a director appointed in February 2010, is a chartered accountant who has recently moved from the role of senior partner and chair of a significant chartered accounting firm to undertaking non executive directorship roles.  He has had experience in chairing local, national and international groups and has spent 35 years providing financial and commercial advice to and working with a large number of SMEs in many industries.  He has also been the audit partner on many significant clients as well as undertaking many intra-office reviews. He has a wealth of experience in the rural sector as well as the sporting and community areas.

He was appointed Chairman of the board in 2017.

BRIAN BENGER
B.Ec(Hons)(Adel Uni), Advanced Diploma of Financial Services(Supn), FAICD
Non-executive and Independent Director

Brian Benger has been a director since May 2017.  He is an experienced company director and is currently a director of 3 companies in the Mercer group, a director of GMHBA (Geelong based health insurer) and four of its subsidiaries, a director of Lendex Group Limited and a director of Enginsure Pty Ltd. Brian is a former director of the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority and a former Chairman of the FABAL Group. Prior to his board roles Brian had an extensive career in financial services holding roles with Ford, National Mutual (now AXA), GIO and his last executive role was a Managing Director of the Guild Group from which he retired in October 2009.

CHRISTOPHER I DAY
MBA (Int Bus), LL.B, B.Ec, Grad Dip App Fin, Dip Fin.Serv, FAICD, FFin, CPA
Non-Independent Director

Chris Day has been the Chief Executive Officer of FABAL Group since 1982. His responsibilities include strategic management and business planning.  Chris was previously the Chief Executive Officer of Berren Asset Management Limited, manager of the International Wine Investment Fund and also worked for the Hardy Wine Company and Foster’s Wine Estates.

Chris has 23 years’ experience in the wine industry and a further seven years’ experience in the legal, accounting, tax and merchant banking industries.

Chris is the chairman of the business development committee and a member of the audit committee.  He is currently a director of ten public companies.

DIMITRIOS GEORGIADIS 
LLB, Notary Public, FTIA, MAICD,
Non-Independent Director

Dim Georgiadis, is Managing Partner of Georgiadis Lawyers with more than 25 years’ experience in the fields of wine, commercial, securities and property law. He has been a member of the Law Society of SA since 1984, and a member of the Commercial Law and Property Law Committees.

He is a director of several wine, property and investment and eight public companies. He has been a member of the board of governors of a private college.  Dim has specific responsibilities of business development. 

He is chairman of the risk management committee and a member of the business development committee.

PETER AUDET

Graduate Diploma of Financial Planning (In Progress)
Independent Director

Peter Audet was appointed director in March 2018. He is the managing director of Varria Pty Ltd, a financial advice business employing 21 staff and servicing clients throughout Australia.

He is currently completing a graduate diploma of financial planning. 

DAVID HAINTZ
CFP, FFPA, BEd, DipFP, FAICD 
Director (Non-executive)

David is a consultant in the financial advice industry. He was previously a Principal and Head of Advice with ASX listed Shadforth Financial Group; is an immediate past director of the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA); and was the sixth adviser in Australia to be awarded a Fellow of the FPA. David is a founding trustee of the Future2 Foundation, and a director of Camberwell Grammar School.

MANAGEMENT TEAM

The Management Team, led by Ashley Keegan of FABAL Operations Pty Ltd, has in excess of 50 years’ of combined experience in the management of premium Australian vineyards.  

Ashley, the Chief Viticulturist, David Olssen and Brad Currie and their team.  They are supported by Chris Dundon, the water specialist for FABAL Operations.

ASHLEY KEEGAN
MBA (Finance), B App Sc.(Viticulture)
Chief Executive Officer

Ashley has been in charge of viticulture and infrastructure management for FABAL Operations since 2003. He previously held the position of Western Australian viticultural manager for FABAL Operations, commencing with the company in April 1999.

Ashley is responsible for the management and development of the FABAL Operations managed viticulture projects. He has more than 18 years of viticultural management experience, and has been directly involved in the development of all the Barossa Valley properties over the past 13 years.

CHRIS DUNDON
BSc (Hons), Dip Ed, Grad Dip Ag (Vit), Grad Dip Bus Admin
Chief Horticultural Officer

Chris has been a member of the FABAL team since 2002.

Chris has 38 years’ experience in the wine industry throughout Australia and New Zealand, joining FABAL in September 2002.

He previously worked with Beringer BKlass Wine Estates for more than 15 years. He was the National Technical Manager of Netafim Australia (one of the world’s leading irrigation specialists) for two years.

Chris has significant expertise in the management of water licences and rights in South Australia and is the resident expert on water supply issues.

DAVID OLSSEN
B App Sc.(Viticulture)
Group Viticulturalist & Vineyard Manager - Clare Valley

David has been a member of the FABAL Operations team since January 2005.

He has experience in warm and cool climate viticulture having previously worked in the Coonawarra for Beringer Blass Wine Estates and prior to that for McGuigan Wines in the Riverland.

He also has a working knowledge of the Clare Valley through his involvement in a local family vineyard development.

David has also spent time in New Zealand in the Marlborough and Gisborne wine regions.

Russell Schutz

Regional Manager

Russell joined FABAL in 1997 as the Assistant Vineyard Manager at Marandoo Estate at Langhorne Creek, becoming the Vineyard Manager in 2000. Russell has since advanced to the role of Regional Manager where he oversees vineyards in McLaren Vale, Langhorne Creek and Heathcote.

Russell had 10 years experience in vineyard management and vineyard development when he ran Murphy & Schutz Pty Ltd. He has also had 10 years experience in the building industry. As Regional Manager he supervises technical staff, co-ordinates vintage within the company and in conjunction with the wine and transport companies and works alongside the Group Viticulturalists to maintain the vineyards at peak production.

BRAD CURRIE
Vineyard Manager - Barossa Valley

Brad has been responsible for the Sheaoak Log Estate, Moppa Springs Estate and Barossa Rise Estate vineyards for the past 7 years.  Brad has worked on these vineyards since 2002 when the developments commenced in the northern Barossa Valley.

He previously held the position of Vineyard Supervisor and Vineyard Hand.

In 2007, Brad also worked a vintage in Sonoma County in California to further his knowledge in the winemaking side of the industry.  Brad and his friends are the owners of a boutique super-premium Barossa Valley wine brand that makes him very qualified to understand the requirements of his customers to grow A & B grade wine grapes.

TONY LEES
Vineyard Manager (Padthaway & Limestone Coast)
Tony started with FABAL in 2001, and was heavily involved in managing the contractors used at Marandoo Estate. His dedication, enthusiasm and skills saw him promoted in 2004 to Vineyard Manager for Bell’s Padthaway Entrance Vineyard.
Prior to working for FABAL, Tony spent 6 years, in the early 80’s, in the Royal New Zealand Navy before working in construction for almost 10 years and then briefly as a stock auditor. He then worked for 2 years as a vineyard hand at vineyards in the McLaren Vale area and for 2 years as an Assistant Manager at Mt Compass.
STEVE SOCHACKI
Vineyard Manager - Belvidere Estate

Steven started with FABAL 1/10/2001 as Vineyard Supervisor at our Kayinga Vineyard (240ha) in Langhorne Creek. His viticulture journey started as vineyard hand with Pernod Ricard Winemakers before joining the FABAL team in 2001.

Steven’s self-motivation, dedication and being an effective team player who demonstrated competency in all areas of vineyard operations, saw him promoted to Vineyard Manager at FABAL’s Belvidere Vineyard (152ha) in 2012.

TROY HINE
Vineyard Manager - Heathcote Ridge Estate

Troy started with FABAL in January 2015, where he manages the Heathcote Ridge Estate in Victoria. 

He has been working in agriculture since 2001, first starting on Apple Orchards and Tomato Farms in country Victoria.

He began working on vineyards in 2004, as a vineyard hand, and in 2006 he joined the Timmering Wines Vineyard. There, he was promoted to Vineyard Manager in 2010, where he stayed until he joined FABAL at the start of 2015. 

RICHARD BATEMAN
Vineyard Manager - Bantry Bay Estate

Richard commenced employment with FABAL in early 2018  as Vineyard Manager of Bantry Bay Vineyard in Margaret River, Western Australia.

Richard is a highly skilled Viticulturist with 17 years senior management tenure and 19 years full time involvement in the wine industry within numerous winegrowing regions. 

He is responsible for all aspects of the operations and management of the vineyard.

file-1.jpeg