PDV ap­points new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor

Hamilton News - - NEWS -

Long-time en­gi­neer­ing man­ager Ger­ard O’con­nor has been named as the new man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of lead­ing Hamil­ton-based global process and chem­i­cal en­gi­neer­ing firm PDV Con­sul­tants.

Mr O’con­nor has been with the firm for the best part of 22 years and is well-re­garded by col­leagues, in­dus­try peers and clients.

“I’m very ex­cited and hon­oured,” says Mr O’con­nor. “PDV has been my life for more than two decades and I feel very priv­i­leged to be now lead­ing the com­pany.”

As PDV’S for­mer en­gi­neer­ing man­ager for the Asia-pa­cific re­gion, Mr O’con­nor has suc­cess­fully de­signed and man­aged many large scale client projects in New Zealand, In­done­sia, the USA, the UK, Aus­tralia and China over the past two decades.

PDV Con­sul­tants is a global ex­pert in food pro­cess­ing tech­nolo­gies and sys­tems de­sign, head­quar­tered in Hamil­ton, with an of­fice in Belfast, North­ern Ire­land. Many of their projects for global food man­u­fac­tur­ers in­volve spray dryer and evap­o­ra­tion tech­nol­ogy.

The com­pany was founded 28 years by David and Anne Platts. The cou­ple an­nounced their re­tire­ment from the firm at the end of Novem­ber. Mr Platts is step­ping down as MD, a role Mr O’con­nor will take over on 30th Novem­ber.

“I’m re­ally pleased that Ger­ard will be tak­ing on the role,” says Mr Platts. “Ger­ard is very ex­pe­ri­enced and knows our busi­ness well. Un­der his lead­er­ship it’ll be busi­ness-as-usual.”

Since open­ing in 1990, PDV has grown from two to 25 staff — in­clud­ing 21 in the firm’s Alexan­dra Street head­quar­ters and four in­ter­na­tional staff based in Ire­land.

PDV’S team of highly qual­i­fied chem­i­cal, process and me­chan­i­cal engi­neers have de­liv­ered projects for clients in­clud­ing Fon­terra, Tatua, the Dairy Goat Co­op­er­a­tive, Danone, Glan­bia (Ire­land and USA), Dair­con­cepts (USA), First Milk (UK), South West Cheese and more.

Mr O’con­nor says that PDV Con­sult­ing is a New Zealand suc­cess story.

“Anne and David have built PDV Con­sul­tants — or Platts Drievap En­gi­neer­ing as it was then known — from small be­gin­nings. To­day it is a mul­ti­mil­lion dol­lar in­ter­na­tional con­sul­tancy that de­liv­ers sig­nif­i­cant projects to in­ter­na­tional food and nu­traceu­ti­cal pro­cess­ing in­dus­tries. It’s an amaz­ing achieve­ment, and one they should be proud of.”

He says the there is a high level of ex­per­tise at the com­pany.

“We know that clients trust our abil­ity to de­sign in­no­va­tive, safe and hy­gienic sys­tems that are tai­lored to client and plant re­quire­ments. I’m proud of the knowl­edge, skills, ex­pe­ri­ence and in­tegrity at PDV,” says Mr O’con­nor. He says the po­ten­tial for growth in the in­dus­try is ex­cit­ing.

“The New Zealand dairy in­dus­try is the global leader and the rest of the world looks to us for the lat­est tech­ni­cal so­lu­tions and sys­tems, which is some­thing PDV de­liv­ers on.”

Mr O’con­nor is a char­tered chem­i­cal and ma­te­ri­als en­gi­neer and has also pre­vi­ously worked in the United King­dom for No­var­tis and Zeneca Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cals af­ter start­ing his ca­reer at Na­clo NZ. He qual­i­fied from Auck­land Univer­sity and is orig­i­nally from the Waikato where he was raised on a dairy farm.

He has been a share­holder di­rec­tor along­side David, Anne and en­gi­neer­ing man­agers Steve Lowe (En­gi­neer­ing Man­ager — De­sign and Draft­ing) and Rod­ney Lu­cas (En­gi­neer­ing Man­ager of Europe).

“We have a strong, col­lab­o­ra­tive lead­er­ship team at PDV,” says Mr O’con­nor. “I in­tend to carry on the vi­sion for the com­pany that David and Anne cre­ated. PDV has a rep­u­ta­tion for ex­cel­lence, and as a team we will con­tinue to de­liver that to clients and hon­our PDV’S core val­ues.”

Mr O’con­nor said the com­pany will con­tinue to fo­cus on its core val­ues: team­work, in­no­va­tion, fun, in­tegrity and ex­cel­lence.

The lead­er­ship team has been strength­ened by the ap­point­ment of Lynn Wa­ters, for­mer group fi­nan­cial con­troller at Liv­ing­stone Build­ing, who is PDV’S new busi­ness man­ager.

“Lynn is a very ex­pe­ri­enced busi­ness man­ager and will be an as­set to PDV,” says Mr O’con­nor.

Prior to join­ing PDV, Mrs Wa­ters was group fi­nan­cial con­troller at Liv­ing­stone Build­ing for more than 10 years. Be­fore that she worked at Nor­ris Ward Mckin­non as a fi­nance man­ager. Her daugh­ter Grace Wa­ters works at PDV as an en­gi­neer.

“It’s nice to have that fam­ily con­nec­tion, and given PDV Con­sul­tants has been a fam­ily busi­ness for 28 years, we wel­come that,” says Mr O’con­nor.

PDV has been my life for more than two decades and I feel very priv­i­leged to be now lead­ing the com­pany. Ger­ard O’con­nor

Photo / Sup­plied

New PDV Con­sul­tants man­ag­ing di­rec­tor Ger­ard O’con­nor.

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