Lonza Wood Protection’s Graeme Rees retires

Graeme Rees, long serving Managing Director of Lonza Wood Protection Asia Pacific, announced his retirement effective from 31 December 2017. Originally from Gore in the far south of New Zealand, Graeme has had a long and distinguished career in the wood protection industry starting over 30 years ago with Hickson Timber Impregnation as manager of the Mataura roundwood treating plant.

In 1986 Graeme transferred to Auckland to take up the role of marketing manager for Hickson Timber Preservatives and was instrumental in the restructuring of the Hickson’s New Zealand business into separate preservative supply and wood treatment operations and subsequently the formation of the Koppers-Hickson Timber Protection joint venture company in 1989.

In 1997 Graeme transferred to Brisbane to become the marketing manager for Koppers-Hickson Timber Protection in Australia. In the year 2000 with the acquisition of Hickson by US based Arch Chemicals, Graeme became the general manager for the renamed Koppers Arch Wood Protection company in Australia. Moving forward, when Arch Chemicals bought out the Koppers share of Koppers Arch to become Arch Wood Protection in 2007, Graeme became the regional managing director for the Asia Pacific region from the start of 2008.

The next change was the acquisition of Arch Chemicals by the Swiss based Lonza Group in 2011 and again Graeme was heavily involved in the local aspects of the integration of the Asia Pacific wood protection business with the new owners. Most recently Graeme again took a key role in a transformative stage of the business with the acquisition and integration of New Plymouth based Zelam in 2015.

Graeme said, “After 32 years I wonder where all that time has gone. It has been a great journey working with many different customers, industry colleagues and dedicated staff over the years. In the time I have seen many changes in the industry and the company. I wish everyone well going forward and I am sure that the business under the new leadership will go on to further success.”

Melbourne based Angelo Hrastov will take over as Regional Director for Lonza Wood Protection Asia Pacific from the New Year. Angelo has been with the group for 22 years and has had a series of roles in account management and customer support, general management and most recently as the sales and business manager for Lonza Wood Protection Asia Pacific.

Source: Lonza Wood Protection

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