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Circling and then landing

6 October 2022

With thirty years in the steel industry generally, Cherie Milne has finally got round to the good stuff — working for the past two years as a dedicated Administrator for the NZSSDA.

If you’ve had a helpful voice or email down the line from the New Zealand Stainless Steel Development Association, it may well have come from this dedicated (and at times rather funny) team player.

Cherie’s knowledge of all things stainless steel is still a work in progress, perhaps because while she has had thirty years experience in the New Zealand steel industry, little of that time had been working directly with our favourite alloy.

“I worked at NZ Steel for nearly 32 years as part of Sales & Marketing and Customer Services teams. About the same time the mobile phone came out, I became an on-the-road key account manager for the company and toured the country. Back then, my phone was a brick and came with its own suitcase – perfect for travelling lol.”

Leaving NZ Steel in 2019 and working at HERA House for Steel Construction New Zealand in 2020, a series of coincidences led her to being recommended to NZSSDA Executive Director Paul Gapper, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Cherie is the first to admit her years of experience at NZ Steel were quite different from her stainless steel role – ‘When I first started at NZSSDA some of the stuff the members talked about was almost like a different language’.

However, her long experience does have practical application in another way.

Cherie is dealing with many of the same colleagues, acquaintances and friends from every corner of the industry that she has met over the years – from hot and cold rolled steel, and Colorsteel® through to metallic coated steel companies and the many other branches of our industry.

Sometimes a look at someone’s personal life can speak volumes about their character and if Cherie’s daughter’s pastimes are any indication, then Cherie herself is made of strong stuff.

Her teenage daughter races ministocks in her free time but Cherie says some of her most challenging life moments have been sitting next to her darling (and daring) daughter while she was learning to drive on the open road!

So, experienced in the industry (with a personal interest in stainless steel’s spectacular credentials when it comes to sustainability) and with life-forged personal connections throughout the wider industry, Cherie is the person likely to be in contact from the NZSSDA.

Her roles as Administrator are as wide as the applications of stainless steel itself. These include newsletter creating, editing and distribution/social media posts/membership updates / invoices and account queries/Blue Book enquiries and assistant to the Executive Director.

All-in-all, Cherie Milne is an experienced NZSSDA team member with a go-getter attitude — although if you play the sound of a ministock revving up down the phone to her you might find you’re testing that fortitude.


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