MEET THE Team
Our Commercial and Innovation team come from a strong background of building brands and NPD in various roles.
SEAN EKANAYAKE – Global Sales Director
International business development professional with over 17 years’ experience developing brands and high level global relationships in Asia, Middle East, Nth America, Europe, Pacific Islands and the African markets with various global Companies, including Asahi Premium Beverages, SPC Ardmona (Coca Cola Amatil), etc.
Entrepreneurial within his international networks providing visibility to GBB as a global innovator for the alcohol and beverage market. Works at a strategic level to develop business relationships, source and secure new clients, optimise under performing services to profitability, implementing global sales and marketing strategies, and collaborating with key partners globally.
Directly responsible for the creation of sales, marketing and joint venture programs with key clients to promote long term growth initiatives to maximise revenue opportunities
RICARDO NEVES – Head of Innovation
Over the past 10 years has built a reputation as an innovator in new product development from concept to delivery. As the sole technologist for Independent Distillers/Asahi Premium Beverages worked autonomously overseeing all new product launches and projects including the NPD formulation process including development of all Independent Distillers RTD’s including brands like Vodka Cruiser, Woodstock Bourbon, Somersby Cider.
Worked with production teams on product trials and first production of new products including training in Carlsberg & Pepsi sensory programs. Experience and expertise acting as a pivotal liaison with key stakeholders to facilitate new beverage products transition into the FMCG business.
Honed skills in continuous improvement to ensure all possible costs are saved to maximize margin potential.
DEREK BROWN – NATIONAL BUSINESS Manager
An industry icon, Derek comes to us with over 30 years' experience within the wider beverage category.
Previous companies include Fortune Brands (Jim Beam) as State Sales Manager & National Business Manager, Heineken Australia as National Sales/Account Manager across all channels, and Asahi Premium Beverages as National Sales Business Manager for all branded product accounts.
Derek is very much results driven with past successes in the areas of strategic management and forecasting, maintenance of consumer focus, and relationship development.
He demonstrates excellence in creating and implementing strategic plans by business and customer to create a solid platform for sales execution and volume growth.
Derek is responsible for all business development programs and customer centric plans across Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific Islands in line with the company vision and strategic direction.
TINA HEDINGER – Global Marketing Manager
Highly experienced marketing and brand manager most recently at Treasury Wine Estates, Australia’s largest wine group.
Management of multimillion dollar ANZ advertising and promotions budget for Penfolds and various other local wine brands.
Leads new product development based on market research and insights, also including P&L management and working directly with internal and external suppliers and agencies.
Delivers against customer and channel priorities in various regions and is responsible for briefing external agencies for Above and Below the Line executions.
Works closely with key stakeholders from Marketing, Sales, Supply, Finance, Innovation and Insights to develop brand plans, launch new products and implement new creative campaigns, to ensure a smooth transition of brand into market execution, including post evaluations of all in market activity.