Name: Ian Firth

Role: Judge

Ian has worked in the tourism and hospitality sector for over 25 years. He moved to North East Victoria in 1998 and began working in cellar doors and restaurants. During that time was elected to the Beechworth Chamber of Commerce and was acting President in 1999.

In 2000, Ian began managing Gapsted Wines retail business and established the Cellar Door, cafe and wine club in that year. Gapsted Wines were awarded Alpine Shire Business of the year 2002 and the Victorian Tourism Award for Best Tourism Winery in 2006.

In 2008 Ian moved to Fowles Wine in the position of Customer Services Manager. After restructuring the business and overseeing refurbishment of the site, Fowles Wine won the Victorian Tourism Award for Best Tourism Winery in 2012, 2013, and 2014 (entering the Hall of Fame) and a Bronze award at the QANTAS National Tourism Awards in 2013.

Ian assisted Goulburn River Valley Tourism (GRVT) sitting on the Destination Management Plan steering committee in 2013/2014 and was subsequently invited to join the GRVT Board as Skills Based Director representing the Strathbogie Shire in May 2014.

Ian’s role at Fowles Wine evolved to encompass key strategical planning and business development and he oversaw the planning for the next stage of redevelopment for the Fowles Wine tourism destination.

In 2018 Ian moved to Warners Nurseries in the role of Marketing and Brand Manager and oversees the business development and communications for this multi award winning commercial nursery established in 1914.