Our People

Ballance has a team of experts covering the entire country

Claire Bekhuis
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Eastern

A born and bred Southlander, Claire graduated from Victoria University with a Bachelor of Science Majoring in Geography and Environmental Studies. She then went on to do a Post Graduate Diploma in Commerce Majoring in Public Policy with a special interest in Environmental Policies.

Claire started with Ballance in April 2014 as a Sales Cadet, before progressing into a Business Extension Specialist role for Western Southland with a focus on prospecting for new business. From there she moved into a Nutrient Specialist Role in Southern Western Southland in the Lower South Island Sales team.

Identified as a leader within Ballance, her passion for developing individuals and teams led to her role as Eastern Regional Sales Manager.

Prior to joining Ballance, Claire was employed by LIC, and has worked on both sheep and beef and dairy farms. She has a real passion for the agricultural industry and wanting to help people develop their careers within the agricultural sector. Her passion was recognised when she was nominated as the Farmax Emerging Rural Professional of the year 2015.

When Claire is not working, she enjoys playing Volleyball, Netball and Basketball socially

Andrew Sanders
Senior Sales Staff
National Sales Manager

Andrew Sanders joined Ballance as a Nutrient Specialist in the Rotorua district in May 2004, and was promoted to the position of Area Sales Manager in April 2008. After another promotion Andrew became the North Island Regional Sales Manager, and is now the National Sales Manager.

Prior to joining Ballance, Andrew ran an agricultural contracting business in the central North Island. A native of Yorkshire, England, Andrew grew up in a small farming village and says his choice of career was influenced by his grandparents, who had an arable farm nearby.

After graduating with a Diploma in Agriculture, Andrew specialised in pigs and cereals, progressing through the ranks to Assistant Manager of a 550-sow breeding unit and 500-hectare arable farm.

In 2000 Andrew and his wife immigrated to New Zealand in search of a better lifestyle, and they now feel very much at home.

Tareen Ellis
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Lower Sth Island

Tareen brings to the role of Regional Sales Manager Lower South Island previous leadership experience gained across various business sectors including Tourism, FMCG, Banking and Medical Industries. This experience has been gained both overseas and in the New Zealand business marketplace.

She has a number of University qualifications achieved in her home country of South Africa. These include a Commerce Honours degree in Business Management (with specialisation in strategic planning, marketing and organisational change) and a Psychology Masters.

Tareen and her partner have a small rural holding on the outskirts of Invercargill and they love living in Southland.  The rural property lifestyle allows her to combine her passion of a country life with a love of horses and horse riding. She really enjoys getting out walking and exploring new areas of the province. She is an avid photographer and living in Southland the stunning landscape certainly gives some great photo opportunities. 

Simon Croom
Senior Sales Staff
Key Accounts Manager

A West Country lad from England, Simon grew up in the midst of a farming environment. After university he headed down under to learn more about why New Zealand was the benchmark of world agriculture

‘I arrived in January 2003 and have worked for Altum (now Ballance) since July 2005. I started as a Nutrient Specialist in Southland as I really enjoyed farming in the area, although it gets a touch colder than back in the UK.

'I spend my spare time cycling and have to thank work for allowing me to go overseas with representative cycling teams in the past few years.’

Grahame Fitzgerald
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Northern NI

After graduating from Massey University with a Bachelor of Agricultural Science, majoring in farm management and valuation, Grahame joined the Rural Bank in Taranaki. In a varied career, Grahame has held a number of roles with different organisations across the North Island including: client relationship management, farm consultancy and leadership of teams.

Grahame has a passion for coaching others to be effective and achieving their goals and brings a wealth of coaching and commercial acumen to the sales team.

Grahame also holds a Post graduate Diploma in Business and Administration endorsed in Human Resource Management and a Diploma in Business in Property Management.

When not working Grahame enjoys a range of activities including endurance events, coaching children’s football and following a range of sports.

Hadyn Eade
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager East Coast
Scott Cozens
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Cntrl Sth Island

After spending some time travelling overseas with his wife, Scott is excited by the opportunities that Ballance has in front of it.

Prior to travelling he spent seven years working as a Senior Sales Manager with OfficeMax, managing both regional and national sales teams, shaping an organisation that not only was number one in its industry, but also continued to evolve and change to ensure that its market share continued to grow.

Scott is a strong people leader with a passion for developing individuals and teams towards achieving their goals.

David Perry
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Top South Island

David Perry joined Ballance in July 2011, bringing with him considerable experience of the wider rural sector.

Born and raised in Nelson, after he finished secondary school David headed south to Lincoln University, where he completed a Bachelor of Science degree, with a strong focus on soils and nutrients.

He then spent time working for rural merchants PGG Wrightson and for Elders Rural Holdings. His move to Ballance resulted from the desire to build on his knowledge and become more of a specialist.

When he's not working, David enjoys a range of water sports, especially boating, fishing and skiing. 

Harriet Howden
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Western LNI

Harriet Howden started her career with Ballance in September 2010 as a sales consultant for Summit Quinphos in the Manawatu/Rangitikei.

A change in teams in 2013 saw Harriet become the Business Extension Specialist for the Rangitikei/ Wanganui. In June 2014 Harriet was promoted to the Business Extension Area Sales Manager role for the Lower North Island. This role allowed her the opportunity to build a great team and develop her coaching skills. After another promotion in September 2015, Harriet has become the Regional Sales Manager for the Western Lower North Island.

Harriet grew up on a 700ha sheep and beef property on Banks Peninsula. Prior to Ballance, Harriet studied at Lincoln University completing a Bachelor of Agricultural Science with First Class Honours.

In her free time, Harriet enjoys getting out on the farm, water skiing and spending time with friends and family.

Garth Hannaford
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager Otago

With a background in banking and some 15 plus years in the agricultural and horticultural sectors both here and in South Africa, Garth is here to help with advice about nutrient management. He has gained experience both practically and in the classroom, and has a passion for helping others and loves to see farmers succeed.

Garth joined Ballance in August 2015, initially based in the Morrinsville North area. He moved a bit further south in March 2016 to take over the Te Awamutu East territory, before changing islands entirely in November 2016 to take up his current role as Regional Sales Manager Otago.

Having lived here since 2008 and an avid rugby fan (yes he supports the right team) he and his family have found it very easy to settle in to the New Zealand way of life. When not throwing a line into water, you can find him on the road hauling himself over the hills on his bicycle.

Alastair Taylor
Senior Sales Staff
Farm Sustainability Services Manager

How does a degree in Politics and Economic History lead to a career in nutrient management? With the end of university looming, four consecutive summers working for agricultural giant Cargill in the UK inspired Alastair to accept a Graduate Traineeship with Dalgety Agriculture.

Six years in the Dalgety sales team were followed by four years as its UK National Fertiliser Technical Manager. In 2004 he joined Groupe Roullier, the largest seller of RPR in Europe.

In 2008, Alastair moved to New Zealand, starting with Summit Quinphos on the day they became part of Ballance. Although a passionate Welshman when it comes to rugby, Alastair became a New Zealand citizen in 2013 and loves the freedom, safety and fun that New Zealand offers and the “give it a go” attitude of friends, colleagues and customers.

Ian Ross
Senior Sales Staff
Regional Sales Manager South Waikato

Ian Ross joined Ballance in March 2018 bringing with him experience from a number of previously held leadership roles.

Originally from Northern Ireland, Ian completed his secondary schooling in NZ and went on to Massey University where he completed a Bachelor of Agriculture.

Ian’s early career involved agronomy and grain manager roles prior to a period working in rural banking, where he held a number of senior leadership roles. Recently, that change in career direction involved Ian leading sales teams in the corporate segment of primary industry training.

With a focus on the primary sector, Ian has experience across Dairy, Meat, Arable and Finance disciplines. He brings to this role a passion for customer service and the development of people.

Outside work, Ian has a keen interest in salt and freshwater fishing, boating, game bird shooting and golf.


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