Meet the 2017 judges

Jennifer Weller
Chief Judge

Jennifer runs her own business Creativeworkz and lectures at CSU. Jennifer assists businesses and individuals to grow themselves and their businesses.

Jennifer started her working life as a microbiologist at Tooths Brewery. Moving on to Technical Manager at SPC before joining Uncle Tobys as Research and Development Manager. At Uncle Tobys /GF she has held several roles including Quality leadership, Project Management and Manufacturing Benchmarking.

In her role as Corporate Consumer Sciences and Insights Manager for Goodman Fielder she was involved with conducting marketing and sensory research internationally to develop insight, brand visions, and product development insight.

Jennifer was General Manager of Hadar homes. She developed the business to win awards in both the Yarrawonga and Moira Shire business award.

Jennifer was a finalist in the 2007 Telstra Business Women’s Award in The Business Innovation Category and the Victorian Winner of the 2007 Telstra Business Woman of the Year in the corporate sector and was awarded Business Woman of the year 2004 by Business and Professional Women’s International Albury.

Dr. Gary Saliba

Prior to joining Regional Development Australia- Murray in 2015, Gary operated a management consulting practice since 1995. Gary's interests and area of expertise lie in working with people to enhance their capability to deal with complexity and uncertainty.

Gary initially trained in applied mathematics with a doctoral thesis in astrophysics. He moved from science to administration working with the Federal Government public sector. In this role he published a book on outcomes focused strategic planning, was awarded a Federal Government innovation award for developing simulation models for Human Resource Planning and featured as part of the ABC television Open Learning program.

During 2009 Gary participated in the 18 month Australian Rural Leadership Foundation leadership course.

Gary is a Fellow of the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. Gary is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Jason Schneider Fuller

Jason has worked in the property industry for over 17 years and during that time has been strongly involved in business development, sales and marketing where he brings a solutions focussed approach based around measurable results for his clients. In the last 4 years he’s created and built an entirely new business arm of the Hadar Homes group called iBuild. This business is focussed on offering turnkey homes to clients and creating and managing small to medium residential developments for and on behalf of clients.

Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson, Founder and Principal of SR Insurance Consulting, provides insurance claims consulting services to businesses. Sarah is a principal lawyer and financial services broker (Tier 1 Distinction). Prior to starting her own business, Sarah was Assistant Vice President Claims, at a global leader in insurance and risk advisory solutions. Sarah has served in a variety of insurance roles over the past 20 years, working for law firms (senior associate to partner), as an in-house lawyer and as a claims management specialist. Accordingly, Sarah has extensive experience working in insurance claims. Sarah’s aim is to take the stress out of insurance claims for businesses.

Simon Welsh 

Simon Welsh is the Director of Chorus Consulting. He brings nearly 20 years’ experience in research and analysis, and strategic business consulting. This experience, combined with a background in psychology and education, forms the foundation of our Review, Strategy, Leadership service model. Established in 2013, Chorus Consulting provides business research and strategy services to enable organisations to achieve growth, change and performance improvement. We work with our clients to help them understand their markets and internal environment, develop strategies to address the opportunities and challenges they face, and build the leadership capability to create sustained success.

Alison Reed

Alison has worked for 18 years with, and in businesses across Australia as a Marketer and Marketing Coach; sharing knowledge and developing people and businesses. Her unique marketing evaluation processes quickly define what works and what doesn’t. Strategies, ideas and marketing support provide focus, direction and methods that help people find more clients and grow sales! Alison uses special techniques in referral and relationship marketing and curates content that grows connections, market share and customer value; especially in the digital space. Her favourite clients are business with heart and purpose, marketing their uniqueness and celebrating clients’ growth over time.

Wendy Buck 

Wendy is the first female Chairperson, by Ministerial Appointment, to the Goulburn Valley Waste and Resource Recovery Group one of six regional WRRG’s linking State, Local Governments, community and industry to the planning/delivery of infrastructure services a 2 times winner of the Premiers Sustainability Awards. She is a successful business woman that has owned and managed several successful businesses. Wendy is on the Australian Local Government Women’s Association, ALGWA, State Executive, a Moira Shire Councillor, twice deputy mayor, acknowledges the 100 years of women in local Government recognising 23 Women Councillors through her history project. In addition to her experience, Wendy is a graduate of Swinburne University of Technology Melbourne with a Diploma of Sustainability and Advanced Diploma Event Management.

Pete Millett

Lecturer, Human Resource Management at Charles Sturt University

Pete has over twenty years of experience in the HR field as a specialist, manager, director and now teacher. He spent 15 years working abroad in Japan, Thailand and Hong Kong, and has career experience in fortune 500 firms such as Pricewaterhouse Coopers Consulting (PWC) and General Electric (GE). Pete is a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute (AHRI), and holds a Masters of Global Human Resource Management from the University of Liverpool in the U.K. He also has experience as a founder/operator of a small business abroad.

Nicky McMillan

Frustrated with living someone else's dreams and ambitions, Nicky returned home from a parliament sitting in Canberra and broke news to hubby that she wanted to live her own business. She swapped her suits and political career for flannies and farming, and while helping to sow the crop, Nicky reflected on what it was that she wanted to do.

While enjoying life as a farmer, Nicky grabbed any opportunity to dress up and swap her boots for heels. What she realised was, when she looked good, she felt good. And confident.

She realised image consulting was the path she would take, determined to help others feel confident, to reach their potential. A member of the Association of Image Consultants International, Nicky is exploring the science and psychology behind image and our emotions, and how it can be used to our advantage; passing that knowledge onto her clients. 

Dr. Bill Keeton

Dr. William (Bill) Keeton is the Executive Director of Research and Company Director of the Centaur Institute Pty Ltd. Dr. Keeton is a retired United States Army Lieutenant Colonel and was designated as a Distinguished Military Graduate in 1986 when he entered the Army. From 2000 to 2003, he was the US exchange officer for the logistics, leadership, strategic military planning and Diplomatic Relations for the Australia Army. Dr. Keeton returned to Australia in 2006 after retiring from the Army and since this time he has been involved in researching the community engagement and conflict management space while consulting to industry and military organisations. Dr. Keeton is also a lecturer and qualitative researcher at La Trobe University for the last 10 years. Dr. Keeton’s Ph.D. was titled “Managing Community Engagement: A Cross-Case Analysis of Water Management Organizations in Australia”. He was recently appointed to the Company Board of Directors at Westmont Aged Care Services (a not for profit company in Victoria).

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Karen Habermann

Karen is the left hand of Albury Precision Engineering. Having spent her entire working career involved in all facets of manufacturing (from jeans to weapons and everything in between) she assisted her husband Linton in the setup of their company back in 1989. With her industrial engineering and business management background, they have established a niche engineering facility boasting some of the most modern CNC equipment located between Sydney and Melbourne, employing over a dozen specialist tradesmen and affiliated personnel. In her spare time, she plays the piano, expands her ability in Japanese inspired cuisine, and encourages her adult children on a daily basis to fly the coup.

Jason Cox

In Jason’s role as a Recruitment Consultant for Eworks Employment Solutions Inc. Jason engages with local industry and businesses to assist with their recruitment needs whilst supporting our candidates in their chosen career path. Jason’s passion is working within local community programs and groups to generate innovative ideas to create employment opportunities that benefit our community as a whole. “Promoting positive community and economic growth amongst the local labour market in Albury/Wodonga”

Deb North 

Deb North is the Founder and Managing Director of Aquazone Waterparks Pty Ltd. An inflatable waterpark located on Lake Mulwala, in Yarrawonga Victoria. The 1st of its kind in regional Australia. “A group of friends who believed in this vison came together to do something unique. Something that could bring laughter and everlasting memories to many others. Something that could bring change at a wider level. Something that we could hang our hat’s on.”
Moving from the Dandenong Ranges in 2005, Deb and her family made the Nth East their home. Bringing with her extensive experience in Retail Management, Real Estate Sales and Private Enterprise. Passionate for Regional Australia to have access to “world class” attractions and leisure activities that are otherwise “Capital City Centric”, Deb and her collaborative Team are Committed to supporting the growth and development of Rural Australia. ….. “Fun, it’s what we do!”

Bev Hoffman

Bev went on a big adventure to the Norther Territory after completing her Bachelor of Education, working firstly as a nanny and then as a teacher in five Aboriginal community schools across the Barkly Tableland. Since returning to North East Victoria in 1999, she has been employed in a variety of roles in the education, community development, health, local government, theatre, cultural development and human services sectors. In 2011, Bev completed a Master of Youth Health and Education Management, which has provided her with a strong theory-into-practice view of the multi-layered circumstances of young people and their families.

David Coleman

Senior consultant with extensive experience in environmental compliance, energy efficiency, operational management and business development in freight transport.

After 20+ years diverse experience in various transport modes and customer sectors, I now help transport companies, their customers and governments apply green transport practices and technologies for profit and strategic value.

Susan Owens

For over 25 years Susan has managed business projects; organisational change initiatives and provided consulting services to public and private sector organisations in a diverse range of industries including: Financial Services; Telecommunications; Supply Chain / Logistics; Law Enforcement; IT; FMCG; Outsourcing; Manufacturing; Construction and Engineering. Susan has also held senior management roles driving strategic changes to improve the overall competitiveness of companies. Susan’s formal qualifications include an MBA(AGSM), a Diploma of Project Management and she is an accredited Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Steve Owens

With over 45 years experience business, accounting, change and project management, Steve understands the challenges facing businesses and executives today. He has worked closely with senior executives and organisations’ boards facilitating the achievement of business objectives through their change initiatives. Steve uses his executive management experience to assist clients identify, achieve and measure business benefits. Steve has managed complex technology and business change programs, across multiple geographical locations, consulting to a wide range of industries. His formal qualifications include a degree in Accounting, Diploma of Project Management, and he is an accredited Graduate Australian Institute of Company Directors(GAICD).

Alicia Keogh

Alicia Keogh established Vivid Consulting in 2013 following an extensive career in private and public sector economic and business development, marketing and communications. Alicia works with a wide range of councils and industry groups to deliver strategic projects designed to increase the viability and vitality of communities and to strengthen industries and economies.

Mark Tracey

Founding Director of Twin City Roller Doors, Mark Tracey started his entrepreneurial journey in 1998. Starting his career as a carpenter, Mark saw a specialist opportunity for a garage door dealership based locally in Albury Wodonga. From years of hard work and determination and a passion for standing out in the market, Twin City Roller Doors has become a group entity that now encompasses two dealerships in Albury and Wagga with an online expansion that proudly consists of a national ecommerce garage door selling platform with customers now based all over Australia.

Karen Seinor

Karen operates her business ‘Transformational Therapy’ right here in the centre of Albury. She specializes in working with adults and teens suffering from anxiety based problems. Karen works ‘across the board’ on a one to one basis, supporting her private clients to resolve a range of conditions and problematic behaviors, as well as mentoring new therapists and teaching in the area of business growth and management. Karen has run her private practice in Albury for the past 7 years, prior to that she worked in the community services and finance sectors.

Tracey Fraser

Tracey is the CEO of local not for profit company, The Personnel Group. Tracey has an MBA, and extensive experience across manufacturing, HR and business development. Tracey leads of team of over 120 employees delivering services from 14 full time and 30 outreach sites across North East Victoria and Southern NSW.

Under Tracey’s leadership, The Personnel Group has increased its revenue by over 20% in the past two years, recently as a result of strong performance, being awarded government contracts in the ACT/Queanbeyan region.

Living and working in the region for over 30 years, Tracey has a great deal of knowledge of how our business community ticks and what it takes to move into the excellence space.

The Personnel Group has previously won the Best Large Employer, Employer of Choice, and Staff Training and Development categories at the Albury/Wodonga Business Awards

Other roles that Tracey has undertaken include human resources at HD Lee Pty Ltd, and management recruitment and planning for Kodak Australasia.