Mark Paterson has achieved the two main goals he set for himself early in his career with the Mataura Licensing Trust – gaining a position in the trust’s head office and, now, becoming general manager.
Mr Paterson, of Waimumu, has been appointed MLT general manager and will replace long-time incumbent John Wyeth.
The part-time lifestyle farmer said the trust gave people who worked their way up the ranks the opportunity to reach the top job.
He started out in 1986 at Tapanui’s Forest Lodge as assistant manager, then went on to manage the Longford Tavern in Gore in 1989.
He achieved his first main goal in 1992 when he gained a position in the head office in Gore as systems development manager.
Brought up in Crookston, West Otago, Mr Paterson described himself as a down-to-earth sort of a person.
When asked why he thought he got the job, the short answer was that he applied for it and got it.
However, single-mindedness appears to have played a part in securing the top job.
“I didn’t want to run any other company bar this one,” Mr Paterson said.
“It’s the pinnacle of anyone’s career when you work in an industry this long.
“It’s good that you can come through the ranks and still get to the top.”
He paid tribute to the training Mr Wyeth had invested in him.
He planned to continue running the trust the way it had been since it was established more than 60 years ago, Mr Paterson said.
He particularly enjoyed the role the MLT board had of granting money to individuals and community groups for special projects.
His job was to ensure the business was profitable and remained that way so money could go back into the community.
The trust employed 140 full and part-time staff, he said.
“There is a fair amount of HR required.”
There had been many highlights in his career, from the building of the new head office to the development of cafe-bars such as Howl at the Moon and The Thomas Green Public House and Dining Room and the major renovation of Heartland Hotel Croydon.
Mr Paterson paid tribute to the support he had received from his wife Deborah and son Matthew.
Having a farmlet gave the new head an opportunity to “potter”, he said.
He enjoyed all sports, duck-shooting and the “odd” flutter on the races.