From promoting chamber music to running his own venue selling antiques and artwork in Beijing, Glenn Schuitman’s career has gone down paths he did not expect.
Now, he is the new general manager for the Central Otago Winegrowers Association (COWA) and looking forward to exploring the region’s opportunities.
‘‘Life’s been a wandering and meandering path full of great adventures, ” he said.
He started work with Cowa in December as part of the board’s new strategy to further nurture and promote the regional wine industry for its members.
The strategy is built on three pillars to move the industry forward: connect; enrich and promote.
That includes creating stronger links with the wine communities and consumers, developing a greater general understanding of the sector, including a focus on education, further promoting the Central Otago wine brand, and event delivery.
He is also working with Otago Polytechnic on an outreach programme for its students, and with Tourism Central Otago to add to its image library.
Mr Schuitman comes from Christchurch and his family spent many holidays at Paradise, near Glenorchy.
‘‘My training was primarily music with a bachelor of music (performance), a long time ago.
‘‘That was a segue into arts management.’’
He was communications manager for the Chamber Music New Zealand and the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra in the late 1990s, before being shoulder-tapped to work for Montana Wines in 1999.
From there, he set up his own marketing consultation company, and as he had clients in Beijing, he moved there, spending 14 years in China as well as some time in Japan.
‘‘That was not something I had expected to do but I have gone through life open to experiences.
‘‘China was a diverse experience, and Beijing is more diverse than most of China.’’
While there he established ‘‘Pop-Up Beijing’’, which was in the ‘‘hip’’ part of the capital city.
It was a retail, performance and cultural hub and wine bar, and he sold antiques and local art.
He moved back to New Zealand in January 2020, as he wanted to return to his family.
‘‘I was very fortunate I had gone through the whole moving process prior to Covid.
‘‘The world was being a little unstable and I looked at opportunities here and this [COWA] door opened. ‘‘I feel completely blessed to be here.’’