About Us

Team

With the combined experience of our team, across all facets of flower growing, exporting and marketing, Zest has the expertise and experience to deliver the highest quality product and service to our global clients.

Meet the key members of our team and learn more about each of them.

Carol Jacobs, Managing Director

Carol Jacobs, Managing Director

As a founding shareholder, Carol started Zest in 2001. Carol looks after the Asian and European market regions alongside her role as Managing Director. What she loves most about her role is the challenge of finding completely 'new' markets that are difficult to export to and 'cracking' them. When not at work Carol enjoys hanging out with family and friends preferably by the sea or in the bush. Although New Zealand is Carols favourite country, Scandanavia is on the top of the list for places to visit. 

Denise Newman, Director and Purchasing

Denise Newman, Director and Purchasing

Denise is a founding shareholder of Zest and has recently returned to working in the company now her children are off to school. Denise is a Director of Zest and works in purchasing along side Scott. What she enjoys most about her role is talking to the growers. Denise loves Thai food, and would love to travel to Eygpt one day. When she is not working she enjoys reading, gardening, and spending time with her family.

Michael Yu, Finance and IT Manager

Michael Yu, Finance and IT Manager

Michael is the specialist linguist at Zest International – speaking five languages fluently. He has lived in Japan for six years while studying a Business Degree. Michael has now worked in all areas of the company specialising in the Japanese and Asian markets before settling in to his current role of Financial Controller and IT manager for Zest.

 

Wiki Jacobs, Sales Manager North America and Australasia

Wiki Jacobs, Sales Manager North America and Australasia

Wiki joined Zest in 2002. Throughout her time with the company she has worked in every role of the business. Sales is her forte and now she has found her niche managing the North American and Australasian market regions for Zest. What she enjoys most about her role is the different personalities from many different cultures that she works with on a daily basis. Her favourite food is Pizza and when she is not at work she loves to play basketball. Greece is on the top of her bucket list for places to visit but her favourite country in the world is New Zealand.

Nicole Glover, Sales - USA

Nicole Glover, Sales - USA

Nicole has been employed in a wide range of horticultural roles throughout her working life before joining Zest in 2002. After working for New Zealands leading orchid grower Ruby Nurseries for 8 years, it is safe to say that Nicole is an expert on orchids! In her role as a USA account manager at Zest, Nicole gets a kick out of satisftying her customers with really nice quality and aiming for 100% fill on their orders every week She also relishes the opportunity to promote our new varieties to her customers. 

Laxman Singh, Middle East and India Sales Manager

Laxman Singh, Middle East and India Sales Manager

Laxman is from the beautiful Himalayan State of Uttarkhand in Northern India, where they have peaks up to 7800m. In this region there is a world famous valley called "The valley of Flowers", where over 2,500 species of flowers grow naturally without any human assistance, it's all about nature! Laxman moved to Dubai and worked for 7 years in the flower industry before joining Zest in 2007 to develop and manage the Middle East and India market regions. Since joining Laxman has brought a wealth of knowledge and understanding to build a solid platform of sustanable customers buying year round from Zest. In his role he loves to sell high quality flowers in particular Hydrangea and Cymbidiums. Hanging out with family and cooking are faourite past tomes for Laxman and he loves to eat anything with mushrooms in it. Laxman loves his homeland first and foremost however, Tahiti is on the top of his visit of places to visit.

Scott Bettridge, Purchasing Manager

Scott Bettridge, Purchasing Manager

Scott is Auckland born and bred.  He completed a Bachelor of Commerce at Auckland University majoring in Management and Marketing before joining Zest in 2005. Over his time at Zest, Scott has experienced all areas of the operation to aquire the knowledge and experience required for his pivotal role as purchasing manager. What Scott enjoys most about working for Zest is that every day is different! When Scott is not at work his favourite past time is fishing. He loves a good barbecue and Italy is his favourite country. One day he would like to go to Macchu Picchu in Peru.  

Madhu Singh, Accounts and Office Administration

Madhu Singh, Accounts and Office Administration

Madhu came to New Zealand in 2007 with her husband and two sons seeking a better life and more opportunities for her family. In 2008 Madhu joined Zest working in office administration and accounts. Madhu is always looking to upskill herself and is studying part time towards a National Diploma in Business Studies. In her spare time Madhu likes to cook and spend time with her family and friends. Her favourite foods being Indian and Thai. Madhu loves New Zealand but would love to vist Dubai one day in the future.

Kimi Liu, Quality Control and Sales Support

Kimi Liu, Quality Control and Sales Support

Kimi came to New Zealand in 2008 from a city with a population of 1.5 million in China called Suzhou. Kimi has a love of plants and gardens that he gets from his mother. This love of plants brought Kimi to study at Massey University where he graduated with a Degree in Horticultural Science. After graduating he joined Zest in 2012 and has been learning the ropes through his involvement and overall responsibility of our Quality Control Programme.

Ray Hakeai, Warehouse Manager

Ray Hakeai, Warehouse Manager

Ray moved to New Zealand from Tonga with his family in 1986 and spent the first 13 years with a large local flower producer. It was there he developed his experience in all aspects of flower handling including picking, quality control, packing and cool chain management. Since joining Zest in 2003, this intimate knowledge of the production process is invaluable in his role ensuring the quality and consistency of flowers sourced from Zest's specialist growers remains at the highest possible level. When Ray is not at work you will find him sideline on the athletics track, proudly supporting his two daughters Tina and Ofa Hakeii who are now world class in their fields of discuss throwing and shot put. Tina recently represented New Zealand at the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in discuss. Although Rays favourite country is New Zealand, one day he would love to return to his homeland , Tonga, Rays favourite food is Thai.