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

Gary is Executive Officer at Regional Development Australia- Murray. He manages a team of 5 people who are dedicated to supporting business, community and government to economic and social development of the Murray region. Gary’s interests and areas of expertise lie in working with people to enhance their capability to deal with complexity and uncertainty. Gary specialises in working with groups and organisations to assist them to develop: the nature and direction- sense of identity of their organisation, strategy, organisational design, cultural change and business models. His work is based on the principles and practices associated with systems thinking, futures work (scenario planning), cybernetics and complex adaptive systems. 

Phil Clements

Phil has been a Director of his own consultancy business since December 2006 and provides project management and advisory services in the forestry, plantation and transport fields.

He has extensive, practical management and manufacturing experience in both the public and private sectors having worked for large government and private corporations as well as smaller family businesses.

He has also held voluntary leadership positions with various community and sporting organisations. This included several years as a director and Chair of the Board of the ANCC

Karen Habermann

Karen is literally 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 annoys her adult children, plays the piano and attempts to expand her ability in Japanese inspired cuisine.

Kerrie Burzacott

Over the last nine years Kerrie Burzacott has built the region’s largest independent bedding and furniture store, Homemakers Sleepzone Wodonga; and along the way received awards for Sleepzone Store of the Year 2016 and 2017 and Stressless Best Sales Performance 2016.  In 2016 Kerrie and her partner opened the region’s only prestige furniture store in Albury – Gallus & Rea Design Furniture.

Originally from Ballarat, Kerrie spent 16 years living and working in Melbourne before coming to Wodonga.  Prior to setting up her own businesses, Kerrie worked in education, not-for-profit, outplacement and career management, and business incubation with a focus on technology start-ups.

Kerrie’s particular experience and interest is in marketing, communications, public relations, team culture, customer experience and business process improvement.  Kerrie is a former secretary of the Business Wodonga Leadership Team.

Sarah Robinson

Sarah Robinson is a Commercial Lawyer at Fleming Muntz Solicitors. Sarah is a qualified Principal Lawyer and Financial Services Broker (Tier 1 Distinction). Sarah is Vice-President of the Albury & District Law Society (ADLS), New South Wales. Prior to re-locating to the Albury/Wodonga region from Brisbane, together with work in Sydney, Sarah was Assistant Vice-President Claims, at a global leader in insurance and risk advisory solutions. Sarah has served in a variety of legal and business 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 the Corporate and Commercial sector with businesses..

Susan Owens

Susan is the joint owner of E2E The Change Agency. She is passionate about helping organisations be the best they can be. For over 25 years Susan has provided strategic leadership and hands on help to her clients, creating change and delivering projects that make a difference.  Susan’s clients have been large and small, private and public.  They have been in a diverse range of industries including: Healthcare; Finance; Agriculture, Engineering and Construction.  Susan’s company is a silver sponsor of Albury Northside Chamber of Commerce (ANCC). In conjunction with ANCC, Susan has founded the Project Management in Action (PMiA) professional group to support the local Project community. When Susan isn’t rolling up her sleeves helping companies succeed she can be found on the golf course or sampling our wonderful local cuisine and wines.

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.

Allison Jenny

Allison Jenvey came to work in Wodonga as an accountant approximately 15 years ago, having worked in the Wangaratta region prior to that.  She is a director of the public practice accounting firm, ATS Partners, in Wodonga, servicing many small to medium businesses in the Albury Wodonga region.  Allison has a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) gained at CSU Murray, is a Fellow of CPA Australia, and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

 Allison has a strong interest in the business and wider community of Albury Wodonga, and has served on the Boards of the Rural Housing Network and Albury Wodonga Health, was a member of the Rotary Club of Belvoir Wodonga for eleven years, and served for many years on the Committee of Management of the Wodonga Chamber of Commerce, with three of those years in the role of President.  She remains a member of the Chamber of Commerce, and currently serves as Chair of the Board of Wodonga Institute of TAFE. 

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.

Barb Toal

Barbara's background is Finance, Marketing, Media, & Technology in the Health, B2B & Retail space. 

In 1998 at the age 35, Barbara moved from near Liverpool in the UK after marrying her Australian husband. 

Working in B2B advising her clients on marketing strategies and business development helping their business's grow, from this Barbara was able to pick up the best secrets to success also identifying new opportunities, from a variety of passionate businesses. Barbara started in Telstra in 2000 and became Director & Local Telstra Licensee with Telstra Wodonga / Telstra Albury Telstra Business Centre Albury.

Working seven days a week for the first seven years Barbara certainly knows the hard yards to get a business up and running from a local team of 8 to now employing over 60. Barbara cares about her team and Telstra’s local valued customers. The biggest thing in her business life is that Barbara encourages others to take risks and have a go, understand their customer needs, have passion in their business, and above all strive for excellence.

Building a solid reputation as always’ above board is her “Thing” – being sincere & ethical is her mantra. Barbara is a loyal & committed professional, giving back to the Albury Wodonga community and its charities. Whoever gets the chance to meet Barbara will remember her! 

Kerrie Bonnel

Kerrie comes from a long line of furniture manufacturers and retailers and as a fifth generation small business owner for over 20 years has a deep understanding of the highs, lows and complexities of running a business and balancing family. Kerrie was the first and only female to be appointed to the board of the Forty Winks bedding company and participated in taking this company from a small buying group to a national franchise organisation.

Kerrie’s passion for business and interior design saw her go back to study at La Trobe, Victoria and Federation universities and change careers to share her knowledge in the Vocational education and training sector. For the past fifteen years she has been leading the Creative Industries and now the Business, Leadership, Management, Finance, Human Resources and Business Administration departments at Wodonga Tafe. 

Kerrie has travelled extensively and returns annually to Europe and the Middle East enabling her to keep up to date with international business, design and education trends.    

Phil Badura

Phil invested the first 31 years of his working life building a career at Senior Management level in a number of highly recognisable Food Industry Companies. Over the past 12 years, Phil has run several of his own businesses and understands the pressures, challenges and pleasures associated with being your own boss.

His passion in life is to work with business owners and inspire them to make positive and simple changes in their business and personal lives, so that they minimise risk and avoid mistakes; mistakes that cost them Time, Energy and Money. Doing that, then allows those businesses to get on a positive growth track that allows us, together, to create more local jobs and as a result build stronger local communities and impact lives positively.

My vision is to provide the operational framework for business owners looking to achieve substantial business improvements across the spectrum of Strategy & Business Management, Sales & Marketing, Leadership & Team Building and Financial Management.

'Do not expect to do the same thing everyday and get a different outcome'.

If you want your business to change then take the first step and change what you do.

Amelia Hartney

Amelia Hartney is a Partner within the Crowe Horwath, Albury team. Amelia is a Performance Consultant, supporting local companies with strategy and growth solutions. Her specialist knowledge areas include Manufacturing, Agriculture, Government Incentives and International Trade.

Amelia’s broader consulting experience includes managing client engagements encompassing business process improvements, strategy development, research & development identification, supply chain reviews, network design development, distribution strategies, transformational project management, change management, stakeholder management and team leadership.

Amelia is part of the local Albury Wodonga and broader regional community, through supporting local sporting clubs and not for profit Boards

Deb North 

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.

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.

Deb is passionate for Regional Australia to have access to “world class” attractions and leisure activities that are otherwise “Capital City Centric”, She and her collaborative Team are committed to supporting the growth and development of Rural Australia.

Margie Gleeson

Since arriving in 1984, Margaret Gleeson has been an active member of the Albury-Wodonga community teaching at all three major Albury high schools, Riverina TAFE and Charles Sturt University. She received the Director General’s Award for Service to Public Education in 2007 and has held positions on Murray Arts Board, moMAMA, Hothouse Theatre Board and Border Music Camp Inc.

For six years she and partner Don Cameron ran one of Albury’s most innovative restaurants which began a lifelong interest in food, its origins, cooking and healthy sustainable living. They continue to travel spending 3 months in France in 2012 and 3 months in Spain in 2017.  

With a passion for life-long learning and ambition to spread the value of the arts in the lives of all, she joined 3 like minded educators to form Breaking New Ground Learning in 2016.

Breaking New Ground (BNG) engages people in the arts by providing bespoke and professionally taught sustainable, visual and performing education programs from early years through to adult. BNG work alongside educators, schools and community groups to match experts, environment, performing and visual arts programs. BNG helps the client meet individual and organisational outcomes.

Christine Jones

Christine Jones has a dynamic and extensive career in the retail sector encompassing roles as business owner, sales manager, operations manager, retail trainer and business teacher.

Christine has not just worked within the retail sector, she has studied Retail Management & Business Management as well as gaining  a teaching qualification at La Trobe University  in the vocational training sector leading to work as a retail trainer and business teacher consulting to a number of local, regional and national businesses. Christine continues to consult and mentor a number of businesses within the retail sector.

Her current working role is Sales Manager within the very successful local flooring business Choices  Flooring Wodonga which is owned and operated by her sons, Mitchell and Elliot Jones.

Christine was instrumental in driving the business to achieve national awards in sales and growth in 2016 and 2017. In 2016, Christine was also named Victorian Sales Person of Year.

Christine has a particular passion for regional business development, growth and sustainability.

Kellie Howard

Kellie Howard is the Acting Chief Executive Officer at Apprentices Trainees Employment Limited.

Kellie has spent her entire life in North East Victoria.  Moving to Albury/Wodonga from Rutherglen when she was completing her degree in Bachelor Business Accounting/Marketing part time,  whilst working full time for a small accounting firm.

After completing her studies at the Albury Campus of Charles Sturt University, she moved onto completing her CPA studies and continued working with various accounting firms in Albury/Wodonga, assisting businesses in the Albury/Wodonga region with their accounting and taxation requirements.

In 2013 Kellie began working with Apprentices Trainees Employment Limited (ATEL) in the role of Finance Manager and as member of the Executive team. 

In March this year she was appointed by the Board as the acting CEO.

Kellie loves that the organisation and team she works with at ATEL, connecting businesses and job seekers through employment, training, consulting and mentoring to ultimately build a stronger workforce. 

Maree Cables

We are excited to welcome Maree Cables to our team of Judges. Details will be available soon

Wendy Cooper

Wendy Cooper is the Commercial Director of Milspec Manufacturing Pty Ltd. Together with her husband, David Cooper, they own and have managed Milspec for 16 years, growing the business significantly during that time. They have expanded their business model to become a supplier of choice to the Australian Defence Department, in addition to many Australian and international Defence prime businesses. 

Wendy’s role in the business encompasses financial management and oversight with a small team of finance, procurement and administration specialists. 

She has also implemented an employee development program unique to Milspec. Wendy has qualifications in Emotional Intelligence  coaching and development, is a Master Practitioner and coach of NLP, and delivers workshops on Myers Briggs personality type as a development tool. In 2017 Wendy delivered a series of workshops throughout the business to introduce the concept of company values, and in late 2018 will complete a holistic review and reset of the company’s culture.

Wendy’s activities in the past have included involvement in the NSW Training Awards, where she was the chair of the organising committee, and sat on the selection panel tasked with selecting winning applicants. 

Wendy was a local Councillor for the NSWBC for many years, and chaired the HR Forum for ten years, delivering and organising many educational and stimulating discussion panels.

In 2011 Milspec were finalists in the NSW Training Awards, and in 2012 Milspec won the NSW Training Awards in the Large Business category, and went on to become finalists in the National Awards.

Karen Lyon

We are excited to welcome Karen Lyon to our team of Judges. Details will be available soon

Natasha Callewaert

Natasha Callewaert’s career spans over 20 years in accommodation, 13 of which she has owned her own businesses all within the Quest Apartment Hotel Group.  Natasha currently owns & operates Quest Wodonga & also holds an advisory position in the Franchise Advisory Council for Quest.  Her strengths & experience extend to team building & leadership, strategic planning, marketing & communications, human resources, business & risk management.  Having been a small business operator for over a decade Natasha understands some of the challenges that small business owners face in cash flow management & driving business outcomes through innovation. Natasha moved from inner city Melbourne to Albury/Wodonga 5 years ago & has been a strong advocate for growth in the twin city with her focus on promoting Albury/Wodonga & works hard to maintain strong regional business networks.  She is passionate about her community & an active participant who seeks opportunities to promote the region through her business platform.