As Operations Manager, Luke Morrison brings eight years of experience in the honey industry, an influential leadership style, and a contagiously positive attitude to Gather By. Luke’s calming disposition puts you at ease and his witty sense of humour guarantees a few laughs. While he can sometimes overthink, he’s “a bit more sensitive than people think!”.
We were lucky enough to sit down with Luke to find out more about the man behind the honey.
A self-proclaimed early bird, Luke’s day is full from the get go. He starts the morning with a tetley tea before his four dogs, two kids, and loving wife join him. “I’ve got a son who is 17 and my daughter is 14. They don’t need to hang around me any more but I get left with the dogs!”
At work a teaspoon of honey every day for an energy boost helps him get through the many different facets of his role.
Luke’s the first point of contact once sales enquiries and plantations have come through Matt. From project managing plantations to packing honey, looking after the supply chain and helping chart strategic direction, it’s all in a day's work for Luke. What a lot of people don’t know is that while Luke tries to “keep people positive and energised”, at the end of the day he sometimes likes to ”wind down and have some peace and quiet not talking to anyone”.
Luke studied business at college and spent eleven years in the printing profession before getting into the honey industry eight years ago. He got a role with Capilano looking after their production facilities and a few years later he fell in love with the bee side of honey after starting up a beekeeping operation for Capilano in 2015.
While it’s hard to get into honey unless you’re involved with a local family beekeeping business, Luke was lucky enough to learn the ropes from 600 beekeeper suppliers at Capilano. “I had the luxury of 600 family beekeepers I could tap into and go visit and learn how they’ve done it. That was my education. Now I’m here!”
Over the years Luke has picked up leadership styles from those he’s worked for. “I’ve had one boss who really sticks in my memory who was very direct but had a really good sense of humour as well. He didn’t take life too seriously”. While his first boss was quite direct, Luke strives to empower people to do well in their job through influential leadership.“It’s good to see other people succeeding and hitting their goals rather than ticking all the boxes yourself, I get more satisfaction out of the team doing well”.
Currently, Luke’s working on his negotiation skills. He’s drawing on his own experiences, the skills of lawyers, and the iconic TV sensation, Judge Judy, to help him finesse his skills. ”We’re dealing with a few contracts at the moment so there’s a fine art to that. You need to represent Gather By in those contract talks but you also need to see the other side of the coin and try to make it work for everyone”.
Luke’s committed to ensuring Gather By’s success and believes that the company’s “right foundations” and integrity will see the startup succeed. “There's no secret marketing tricks. It is what it is and it’s a great product”. He enjoys the autonomy and trust Matt Blomfield (CEO) provides the team. It’s a positive atmosphere where the team are professionals who “don’t take each other too seriously”.
After nearly a year at Gather By, Luke’s biggest achievement has been “closing about 100 hectares of contracting growers in the last 8 months which will propel us forward”.
What you see is what you get with Luke. When he’s not closing contracts, motivating the team, watching golf or taking the four dogs for a walk in his spare time, you can find Luke at the Gather By office. If you stop by for a visit, you can even buy some honey from him.