Waikato Milking Systems has appointed Jamie Mikkelson as an independent director to its board.

Waikato Milking Systems chairman Randal Barrett said the company's international growth trajectory called for the inclusion of a director with immense international experience and expertise.

Mikkelson's 30-year career in the international dairy industry includes the formation of milking systems company, Milfos International, which was subsequently acquired by GEA in 2012.

Shortly after the acquisition Mikkelson relocated with his family to Germany to take up a global role with GEA as Senior Vice President-Head of Product Engineering in the Business Area Equipment.

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Career progression and the desire to raise his family in New Zealand led to his decision to return home.

Jamie Mikkelson. Photo / Supplied
Jamie Mikkelson. Photo / Supplied

Barrett said Mikkelson had a depth of knowledge and passion for the New Zealand dairy industry.

"His leadership in the global milking systems market will provide unique and valuable perspectives which will help us achieve our growth targets.

"He is an outstanding business leader with attitude, skills and competencies which will complement and extend the existing strengths of the Board," Barrett said.

Mikkelson said he was excited to be joining the board as he transitioned his career from executive to governance.

"I've a long-held deep respect for the Waikato brand and what it has achieved and am looking forward to contributing to a New Zealand success story. I'm excited by Waikato's growing product portfolio and especially their world class rotary technologies."

Waikato Milking Systems is owned by Pioneer Capital, Tainui Group Holdings and Ngāi Tahu Capital in equal shares.

The company exports its range of dairy technology to more than 30 countries with offices in Australia, USA and the UK.

The company says international demand currently accounts for around 50 per cent of its business, the growth strategy aiming to increase this to more than 70 per cent in three to five years.

Mikkelson is the first independent director appointment to the Waikato Milking Systems' board.

He joins chairman Randal Barrett representing Pioneer Capital; Paul McGilvary previous CEO of Tatua Co-operative Dairy Company representing Ngāi Tahu Capital and Lyndon Settle, Tainui Group Holdings' General Manager Strategy, Investments and Finance.

Mikkelson's appointment became effective on April 1.