Simon Flowers is a Principal of LBW Business + Wealth Advisors dealing with Taxation, business advisory and superannuation matters. He is a fellow of CPA Australia, Chartered Tax Advisor with TIA, Affiliate member of CNAAZ, Member of NTAA and an Authorised Representative of Lonsdale Financial Group Ltd. Simon has been a Principal of LBW for over 10 years and prior to joining LBW was a manager at PriceWaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne. Simon has been involved in the judging of the Geelong Business Excellence Awards for the past 13 years (7 as Chair of the judging panel). He has also been a member of CPA Victorian Public Practice Committee (including Chair), a past member of the ASIC Business Advisory Committee, past member and past chair of the CPA VICPAC taskforce and has represented CPA Australia at ATO meetings. He has also presented at CPA events on tax and superannuation matters. Simon is currently a CPA Quality Assurance reviewer with CPA Australia. Simon has a Bachelor of Business from Deakin, Diploma of Superannuation Management, Diploma of Financial Planning and Maters of Tax through University of Melbourne.
Amelia Trethowan – Adelia Fine Foods
Owner and Director of Adelia Fine Foods and Bellarine Brownie Company, specialising in artisan food manufacturing and packaging.
Amelia has a Bachelor in Formulation Science (hon) from Monash University and Program Management Professional (PMP) from Project Management Institute. Working in the pharmaceutical industry for 12 years, Amelia held roles in formulation science at Acrux (an Australian biotech company), before transitioning into finance and quality assurance. These roles led her to Pfizer (formally Hospira), where she moved into program management and led several global teams, taking pharmaceuticals from laboratory scale to commercial launch.
Adelia Fine Foods has entered the GBEA every year since launch, giving Amelia first-hand experience on how the process has supported their business. This is Amelia’s first year on the judging panel.
Ben Revitt - Evologic IT Solutions
Ben is the Head of Sales & Marketing at Evologic, who offer strategic IT solutions to support growing businesses locally and internationally.
Boasting a Bachelor of Business from RMIT, Ben has spent 15 years working as a marketing professional. He uses his wealth of marketing knowledge to develop effective short and long-term campaigns resulting in qualified business leads and growth.
Previously, Ben has performed various management roles within CFM, an international marketing agency with a focus on the fitness industry. These roles equipped him with international experience as he spent time working with businesses in the UK and New Zealand.
Ben is also passionate about business leadership. This led him to be selected for the ‘Leaders For Geelong’ Program through The Committee for Geelong. His project team is developing an online educational tool for Pako Festa.
Christine Smith - Disability Advocate
Chris is a 20-year veteran of the police force specializing in child abuse, turned passionate advocate for accessible tourism and calls it “ironic” to now possess a disability to match her cause. Chris is Deputy - Chair of Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine (2016 to date) and used her position to advocate disability rights. She is a member of the Accessible City Taskforce, and volunteered her time to travel the State with her speech "Access-Orize Your Biz", encouraging businesses to employ people with disabilities.
Chris owns a disability focused tourism business in Ocean Grove. She is a State Award winner for Excellence In Creating Inclusive Communities, a 3 x winner at GBEA, GBEA Finalist "Business of the Year", and GBEA Finalist "Business Leader of the Year". She is well known in the disability community, cemented by her finalist position as Disability Leader of the Year in Australia in 2018.
Gillian Costa - GAICD Director Holroyd Pier Trust
A Geelong born and bred resident, Gillian has a history of business management across a diverse range of industries, including successfully owning and operating several private businesses over the duration, the current focus being The Pier Geelong.
Gillian also holds the positions of Deputy Chair for both a board in the Aged Care sector and with the State Government at the Kardinia Park Stadium Trust, providing another view of business management and operations for a well-rounded understanding.
Jana Perera - The Gordon
Jana is the Executive Director Commercial Business for The Gordon. Graduating in a Bachelor of Business in Marketing, and a Master of Advertising from RMIT University. Jana served in the international education service industry in marketing leadership, business development and project management roles for the past 20 years in Australia with continued success in meeting business, revenue and operational goals, Jana is excited to now be part of The Gordon in Geelong.
Her current role has a significant focus on developing commercial and community partnerships both domestically and internationally across the whole Institute. Jana is also responsible for continuing to develop strategies that enhance The Gordon’s brand presence and reputation in both local and international markets.
She supports and contributes to the achievement of export outcomes for Victoria and play a key role in selling Victoria’s industry capabilities to international audiences.
Jana also volunteers as Chair of the WorldSkills Victoria Marketing and Engagement Committee. Outside of working life, Jana enjoys bushwalking, exploring new restaurants and wineries with friends and traveling.
James Murphy - Sea All Dolphin Swims
Murph is the director of Sea All Dolphin Swims, Great Ocean Road Surf Tours is the founder / CEO of Southern Ocean Environmental Link and manages Zero Plastics Australia. Murph was the winner of the Swinburne Venture Cup 2010, GBEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2020 and lead Sea All Dolphin Swims to Business of the Year for 2020 with the Geelong Business Excellence Awards.
Murph has spent 14 years in the tourism industry and is best known for his inclusive larger picture thinking which has lead to him being listed as one of Tourism Australia’s ‘Sustainable Storytellers’. Murph has a bachelor of commerce with a major in marketing and is also a committee member of Adventure Tourism Victoria.
Jess Cotter - NBN
Jess brings twenty-five years marketing, communications and stakeholder engagement experience to the GBEA judging panel, having worked across multiple sectors including corporate, government, small-large business and not-for-profit organisations. Jess is making her ‘come back’ to the judging panel this year – regretfully missing the 2020 GBEA Awards after being a judge in 2019.
Jess is a true people person who relishes her current role at NBN as a Community and Stakeholder Engagement Manager for Geelong and the north-western suburbs of Melbourne. Jess’ priority is to engage with local communities to inform and inspire around the benefits of uplifting digital literacy and capability - including supporting Geelong’s thriving and ever-evolving business community in this way.
Jess loves living in Geelong, happily bringing up two teenage sons and maximising everything the city and Bellarine has to offer in terms of people and lifestyle.
David is a long-term Bendigo Bank employee having reached 34 years of service in 2020.
He has held a number of senior roles in this time including:
Group Treasurer - 1994 to 2001
Head of Private Banking - 2001 to 2006
State Manager Metropolitan Victoria - 2006 to 204
Head of Community Partnerships & Innovation - 2014 to 2019
Regional Manager Geelong - Current.
LILY STEFANOVIC - genU
Lily is currently employed at genU in the role of Employee Relations and Senior Business Partner, in the People and Culture team. Lily commenced her working career in an undergraduate program based in Myer Geelong, From there, Lily was approached to join McEwans and subsequently Bunnings for 27 years of service where she became the first female Area Manager in Australia. In her role as a Complex Manager Lily and her team were outright winners of the Business Excellence Awards and the following year invited to join the judging panel for a period of 14 years. Lily has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from Deakin and has undertaken extensive studies in Australia and abroad relating to Leadership, Business profitability, Customers and their value. Lily currently sits on the Board of Volunteering Geelong, and Consults to small businesses. As a lifetime resident of Geelong, passionate about giving back to the community and supporting local businesses.
Nicola Wojcik - WorkSafe
Nicola has worked in Geelong for over 5 years now. She very quickly established an understanding of the Geelong business community through her role as Manager, Stakeholder Engagement & Communications for WorkSafe. She played a large part in the project team for integration of WorkSafe to Geelong and was heavily involved in all local partnerships. She is now the Manager for Strategic Health Programs with a current focus on silicosis. Nicola spent the majority of her childhood in Perth where she completed a degree in Asian Studies, with a double major in marketing and Japanese. She has spent time in the energy, water and mining sectors and in trade & investment with those roles seeing her work in Perth, London, Port Hedland, Melbourne and now Geelong. She loves to be active and takes her love of sport to the Boardroom where she is entering her 5th year as a commissioner for AFL Barwon. She has been involved in the judging for the Give Where You Live grants, Pako Festa and enters her third year as a GBEA judge. Outside of working life, Nicola enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
Paul Gray - Harwood Andrews
Paul brings experiences as in-house counsel, private legal advisor and business owner to his role as a Principal Lawyer with Harwood Andrews. He has previously managed the legal function for Telstra’s marketing and media portfolio, enterprise and government sales and legal technology transformation. Before that, he managed a heady mix of operational and strategic matters as the inaugural manager of a start-up sports engineering business with operations across Asia, Europe and North America. Aligning with his philosophy that good professional advice can be transformative to business, being involved with the Geelong Business Excellence Awards provides an opportunity to celebrate the talent and hard work that enable businesses to grow from good to great.
Peter is the Commercial Manager at Scaada Group. With a background including roles in sports coaching and administration, policing, allied health, publishing, hospitality, tourism, management consulting, and environmental and project management, along with not-for-profit board positions in youth welfare, education, drug and alcohol, the arts, tourism and public health, Peter’s diverse management experience allows him to assess businesses from a unique perspective. He has worked as an entrepreneurial sole operator, the proprietor of small enterprises, the manager of a family business, and in operational management roles both in medium sized enterprises and large multinational companies. Peter’s areas of particular interest are management, finance and economics.
Sarah Thomas - Co-Founder/Director SJ Personnel
Sarah is a HR and Resourcing specialist with over 18 year's recruitment experience across local and international recruitment firms. As a Senior Recruitment Consultant for prominent recruitment companies and HR Manager for the renowned Adventure Park in Geelong.
After 10 years working in key positions Sarah founded SJ Personnel, an ethical, transparent and proven recruitment company. SJ Personnel quickly developed a trusted reputation that has seen the company grow to encompass the Geelong, Ballarat and metropolitan markets.
SJ Personnel specialisis in providing recruitment & HR support exclusively to businesses located across Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast and regional Victoria.
Tina Perfrement - City of Greater Geelong
Tina has worked with businesses and the public sector to improve performance through sustainability, in Australia and the UK. Her approach is both strategically driven and practically focused; this is reflected in her achievements during a career spanning more than 20 years. Tina has been involved with developing markets for sustainable goods and services for most of her career. Most recently she’s been working on a partnership program to inspire opportunities for clean technologies through her work at the City of Greater Geelong. The Cleantech Innovations Geelong program has resulted in job creation, skills development, and business expansion outcomes for the Greater Geelong economy.
Victoria Murrihy - Retired Business Owner
Victoria completed her Bachelor of Business in Accounting at RMIT. She commenced her career as a Tax Assessor with the Australian Taxation Office. After 10 years with the ATO, Victoria then pursued an opportunity in the Motor Vehicle Industry working as an Accountant for Werribee Mazda from 1988 to 1994. In 1994, the opportunity to start up a successful Ford Dealership in Hoppers Crossing presented itself and her position as Director/ Financial Controller of Westpoint Ford spanned the next 25 years.
Bill Winter - family business advisor and past business owner.
Bill currently sits on three family business boards as a non-executive non-family board member and an external advisor.
His background includes business ownership, corporate CEO and general management positions at Cadbury Schweppes and at NRMA/RACV motor division.
Past lecturer at Victoria University TAFE for the Cert IV Small Business Diploma in Small Business.
Past round table facilitator for The Executive Connection CEO monthly forums.
Currently a mentor for Irish business owner expats and life member of Irish Australian Chamber of Commerce. He established the Irish Australian Chamber Business awards and their National Mentoring Program. In addition, Bill was a national judge on the Australian Franchise awards.
Bill was the initial Chair of the AICD Director monthly Nexus form in Geelong and sat on the AICD national mentor panel.
He was interim CEO at the Geelong Chamber in 2019.
Jodie Dunn - Envisage HR Solutions
Jodie Dunn, Director and Principal HR Consultant of Envisage HR Solutions, has over twenty years of HR / Management and Recruitment experience in various Senior HR, Consulting, Management, Advisory and Recruitment Management roles. Jodie’s philosophy is simple. She is passionate about People. She is a well-qualified, experienced, and business focused professional with a proven ability to mentor, coach and drive optimal performance and productivity of a team at an operational and strategic level. Jodie works closely with her clients on Retention Strategies, HR Audits, DiSC Profiling, Organisational Restructures, Employee Engagement Surveys, Performance Reviews, Career Progression Plans, Workforce Strategies, Developing HR Strategies, Performance Management Strategies, Improving Culture, Leadership Mentoring and Coaching and Recruitment to name a few. Jodie has led many successful teams, and combined with her HR, Leadership and Recruitment Consulting skills, guarantees her clients receive wide ranging HR Services.
Elizabeth elms - Barwon Disability Resource Council
Growing up in Portarlington, Elizabeth Elms has a strong interest in advocacy, particularly Mental Health and volunteers her time as a Community Visitor and Panel Secretary for the Office of the Public Advocate Victoria. This work expands advocacy into the Government mental health facilities in the Barwon region. Elizabeth has been employed as the Systemic Advocacy coordinator/Disability Royal Commission individual support Advocate at Barwon Disability Resource Council BDRC for almost a year and loves this diverse role.
Assisting individuals to have a voice and ensure their rights are protected is a very rewarding job. The Royal Communication into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability has bought a while new meaning to Elizabeth's job. "As I am assisting people to make submissions to the Commission, I'm realising the importance this will make to the outcomes and the affects it has on people's lives".
Daniel Goldsworthy - Deakin Law School
Daniel Goldsworthy is an academic with Deakin Law School and is admitted as an Australian Lawyer in the Supreme Court of Victoria. He is currently undertaking his doctorate at the University of Melbourne. Daniel also sits as a tribunal Chairperson for Basketball Victoria.
Daniel was formerly a lecturer at Victoria University, Member of that law faculty’s Executive Committee as well as appointed Member of the University’s Academic Board.
Daniel has published in diverse areas including constitutional law and theory, public international law, animal welfare law and sentience, legal education and philosophy, anti-doping regulation, amongst others. He has been awarded for his writing on the intersection of legal education, technology and philosophy.
Prior to academia, Daniel worked as a solicitor in civil litigation, property and commercial law. He was formerly a non-executive director and company secretary of an international environmental not-for-profit organisation.
DR WAYNE READ - DEAKIN UNIVERSITY
Growing up in Ocean Grove, Wayne has always been a Geelong local. He worked locally in several small businesses while he studied Bachelor of Psychology and Management at Deakin University Waurn Ponds campus. Despite his honours and PhD research requiring more trips up the highway and to conferences, he is still proud to call Geelong home.
Now based out of Deakin's Waterfront campus, Wayne is a lecturer at Deakin University, and also the Academic Coordinator for the Work Integrated Learning in the Faculty of Business and Law. Wayne is no stranger to innovation. As part of his role, Wayne oversees the faculty's suite of Internship and experiential units, including Entrepreneurship Experience. Wayne's research has been published in leading Marketing journals and focuses on consumer engagement, social media, technology and connections people make to brands and products.
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