Our Vinepower Team


Gus Struthers | CEO

Originally from Hawkes Bay and a graduate from Massey University, Gus has spent the last 20 years in the wine industry in the Gisborne and Marlborough areas.

Before joining the Vinepower team as CEO, he held positions that primarily focused on viticulture for large multinational and NZ wine companies. He was the GM of Viticulture for Ara and the GM of Bankhouse Estate for Indevin.  

Gus has been based in Blenheim since 2010 and owns his own 8ha vineyard in Hawkes bay.


Marcel Biever | RSE & Systems Manager

Calling New Zealand home since 1990, Marcel has worked in Viticulture for the last 12 years, joining Vinepower in 2019.

His main responsibilities include the recruitment of our RSE workers from around the Pacific and Thailand and their Pastoral care.

The latter is his team's focus, ensuring the workers' welfare, 24/7. Assisting them with their banking needs, religious observance, recreational activities and keeping them healthy and fit so their productivity and earnings are optimised.


Michelle Birch | HSE and Fleet Manager

Arriving in Blenheim in 2016, Michelle started at Vinepower as Administration Assistant and now looks after the Health and Safety side of the business and company vehicles.

This is a large and busy role within Vinepower as Michelle takes care of the transportation and induction for up to 380 staff. In addition to HSE, Michelle is Fleet Manager and takes care of anything with wheels within Vinepower.



Kevin Bright | Client Liaison Manager

Kevin comes from a Marlborough farming family and was destined to be involved in the viticulture industry.

After completing a mechanical apprenticeship out of school, he met wife Nicky. Together in 1999, they entered the apple and pear industry, eventually converting to grapes in 2005.

Kevin and Nicky have a daughter, Christina, who is a groundwater scientist! They love nothing more than spending their spare time in the Marlborough Sounds.


Fred Escalle | Production Manager

Fred and his family have moved from France to New Zealand in 2007. He received New Zealand citizenship in 2014.

Fred has a background in large horticulture organisation management in Africa, France and New Zealand. Previously he worked at Indevin - Bankhouse Estate (formerly Ara) as Vineyard Operations Manager for 12 years. With Gus and Marcel, they form a very effective team.

Fred is about 'growing people' in a team to achieve common goals in a win-win relationship.


Cynthia Neal | Office Manager

Cynthia has worked in the industry for more than 20 years having started out in vineyards with Stoneleigh and working her way to Assistant Vineyard Manager and Winery Operations Administrator with Constellation Brands before joining Vinepower in 2016. 

Cynthia loves working with the Vinepower team and keeping everyone 'in check'. Attention to detail is very important to Cynthia and she loves getting outdoors and experiencing the countryside.

Vinepower owners, Jason Kennard and Jono Bushell

Jason Kennard | Jono Bushell

Jason Kennard and Jono Bushell have been working together as Owner Managers of Vinepower since 2006. 

The business has grown significantly in this time and reflects the vision they had of improving the quality of work and professionalism of the contracting industry.