Simon flowers is a principal of LBW Business + Wealth Advisors dealing with taxation, business advisory and financial planning matters. He is a fellow of CPA Australia, Chartered Tax Advisor with TIA, Affiliate member of CANNZ, Member of NTAA and Authorised Representative of LBW Wealth Pty Ltd. Simon has been a principal since 2007 and prior to joining was a manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Melbourne. Simon has been involved in the judging of the GBEA for the past 15 years (9 as chair of the judging panel). He has also been a member of CPA Victorian Public Practice Committee, a past member of the ASIC Business Advisory Committee, past member and chair of the CPA VICPAC taskforce and has represented CPA Australia at ATO meetings. Simon is currently a CPA Best Practice external assessor. Simon has a Bachelor of Business from Deakin university, Diploma of Superannuation management from Macquarie university, Diploma of financial planning and a Masters of Tax through University of Melbourne.
Deputy Chair of Judging Panel
Robert Hunter – Huntercorp Investments
Robert is the Director of Huntercorp Investments which is an asset finance and investment company, he has over 30 years’ experience owning and growing a range of successful businesses, in the fields of Hospitality, Managed print, IT and Finance. Previously Robert was the Director of SC Technology Group, growing the business from two staff in a small retail office, to a team of over 34.
Robert has always been passionate about the local community, supporting organisations like, The Geelong Chamber of Commerce – as the platinum partner, The Geelong Football Club – as an Elite sponsor, Give where you live, Braveheart’s and Encompass Community Services just to name a few. This is Robert’s first year on the judging panel.
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.
Chris Davies – EVOLOGIC
Chris is the co-founder and CEO of Evologic, a Geelong Technology Services Provider and a board member with the Give Where You Live Foundation. Chris has led Evologic on the business roller coaster for over 20 years, with a local team of 30+ professionals. Passionate about healthy businesses from a cultural and performance perspective, Chris is also focused on educating small businesses on how to navigate the current high cyber-risk environment.
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.
Giovanni Siano – HOME INSTEAD GEELONG
Born in Reggio Emilia northern Italy, Giovanni completed his Bachelor and Master’s degrees in engineering management at UniMoRe. Self-taught in English, he began his global career in a wide range of industries such as IT, logistics, manufacturing and Healthcare, across different continents including Europe, America and Africa. Keen for a change in lifestyle, Giovanni migrated to Australia in 2011 and he has never looked back.
Giovanni founded ‘Home Instead Geelong’ in 2018 and more recently ‘G&G Accessible Lifestyle’, employing nearly 400 people in the Geelong region, with the combined mission to alleviate pressure from the health care system by providing end-to-end high quality in-home care services and accessible accommodation.
Home Instead Geelong won the GBEA ‘Business of the Year’ and the ‘Emerging Business’ for 2021. The business also won the ‘Customer Service Award’ in the 2022 Community Achievement Awards for Regional Victoria. Giovanni was the winner of the GBEA Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2021.
Giovanni holds an MBA from Deakin University and recently completed the ‘Leaders for Geelong program’ in 2022.
Hugo Le Clerc – HARWOOD ANDREWS
Hugo is a commercial lawyer at Harwood Andrews advising public and private clients on many aspects of commercial transactions, with particular industry experience in local and state government procurement, tendering strategies, contract management and negotiations. Hugo also has experience in private sector corporate advice, including in private capital markets, and asset and business transactions. This experience gives Hugo a unique understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in the region, and enables him to provide valuable insights and perspectives as a judge.
As a passionate contributor to the success of the local community, Hugo recognises the excellent opportunity the awards provide to showcase the hard work and talent of local businesses.
Hugo is also a committee member of the Geelong Law Association and has a Bachelor of Laws and International Studies (majoring in Chinese) from Deakin University.
Jana Perera -
Jana was 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.
Jessica Anderson – CREW FACED MAKE UP ARTISTRY
Owner & Director of Crew Faced Makeup Artistry specialising in Hair Styling & Makeup Application. With 25 yrs experience working in Editorial, Film, Runway, Wedding & Event Makeup, Crew Faced was established in 2015- employing a team to operate from their professional Geelong based studio. Launching Crew Faced Cosmetica in 2022, Jessica extended her business to include lash and brow services.
Entering the GBEA for the past 5 yrs, Crew Faced won 3 Awards consecutively, entering the Hall of Fame in 2023. Outside of leading her team, Jess is a Cabin Manager for Virgin Airlines for the past 19 yrs. Born in QLD, Jess has lived in Geelong 11 yrs happily raising 2 young children & enjoying the vibrant Geelong/ Surf Coast lifestyle.
Her priority this year is to engage with the local community, volunteering & donating her services to several events hosted by local charities and NFP organisations.
Jo Manderson – genU
Jo is GM Marketing at genU, leading the customer, brand and marketing strategy and all associated communications activity for the genU business and its associated brands.
Jo is a senior commercial business leader with extensive strategic and operational brand, marketing, communications, and ecommerce experience across not for profit, retail, health insurance, small business consulting, directories advertising and banking. Jo has provided advisory expertise within enterprise level organisations, transformation programs, start-up environments and small to medium businesses and has a strong record of developing and delivering commercially successful brand, customer and marketing strategies, operational improvement, digital acceleration and results driven outcomes for business scale.
Jo is involved in various committees and volunteers at numerous sports and school events, convening a theatre company committee as President and until recently was the President of a Primary School Council for seven 7 years. Keen to support communities and promote the wealth of business excellence in Geelong to broader audiences, Jo looks forward to getting know more Geelong businesses.
Mark Edmonds - MRE Consulting
With over 35 years of extensive experience in the business world, Mark has established himself as a seasoned professional with a special focus on the retail industry. Throughout his career, he has held senior positions at ASX listed companies such as Coles Myer, Wesfarmers, ADRT, and served as the CEO of Faggs Mitre 10. In addition to his corporate roles, Mark has also ventured into entrepreneurship, successfully managing his own small businesses in the hospitality sector, and gaining valuable insights into the tourism industry as he built and operated a premium motel in Ocean Grove.
Mark's expertise extends beyond his own ventures as he actively engages in mentoring others. He runs his own small business mentoring program and has previously served as a mentor for VCCI (Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry) and the Geelong Chamber of Commerce. His commitment to the business community is evident in his past presidency of the Geelong Chamber.
Mark is currently a Member of the Geelong Authority, where he is actively involved in the revitalization efforts of Central Geelong.
Mark has held Chair and Board roles in NFP organizations. His professional achievements are further highlighted by his status as a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (AICD), a recognition of his exceptional leadership and management skills.
Nicola Wojcik - WorkSafe Victoria
Nicola has worked in Geelong for over 7 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 lead the response to Silicosis in her role of Manager for Strategic Health Programs before becoming the Director of Research, a role she has held for almost 2 years.
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 7th year as a commissioner for AFL Barwon and recently joined the board of Read the Play. She has been involved in the judging for a number of community events and grants and enters her fifth year as a GBEA judge. Outside of working life, Nicola enjoys spending time with her family, reading and traveling.
Paul Codd - RODERICK INSURANCE BROKERS
Paul is the Sales and Claims Manager for Roderick Insurance Brokers. Paul has held senior roles across the insurance industry for 25 years having worked at AAMI, Suncorp and MLC. Paul also co-founded insurance brands such as Bingle and Just Car Insurance and has been pivotal in driving positive service outcomes for consumers dealing with large insurance companies. Paul has extensive operational and strategic business experience and has helped tailor insurance programs to a wide range of companies across the Geelong region
Paul has also led a number of junior sporting clubs and been involved in a variety of local community initiatives and is keen to get to know more Geelong businesses in his first year as a GBEA judge.
Peter Temple - Geelong Galvanizing
Peter is the Financial Controller at Geelong Galvanizing. 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.
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 developing markets for sustainable goods and services for most of her career. She’s currently working to inspire opportunities for clean technologies through her work at the City of Greater Geelong, which has resulted in job creation, skills development, and business expansion outcomes for the Greater Geelong community. Tina is a passionate ambassador for Greater Geelong sitting on the Benefit Geelong Committee and the Victorian Cleantech Cluster Board.
Tom BRADY - LBW Business + Wealth Advisors.
Tom is a Manager at LBW Business + Wealth Advisors with a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University and is a member of CAANZ.
Tom began his career as an Accountant in 2007 and joined LBW Business + Wealth Advisors as a Manger in 2019. Tom supports businesses with taxation and business advisory services assisting a wide range of small to medium sized businesses.
He has been a Loaned Executive and Grants Review panellist with Give Where You Live, undertaken the Activate Leadership Program with the Committee for Geelong and in 2020 undertook the CAANZ Business Advisory Accelerator program.
Tom is looking forward to sharing his experience with the Geelong Business Excellence Awards judging panel and celebrating the success of businesses within the region.
Sarah Charleston - 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.
Susie Thomas - genU.
Susie’s career started as a Fuel Stock Analyst and Territory Manager with Mobil Oil Australia but her passion was Health and that is where the majority of her Managerial roles have been over the past 20 years including being part of Epworth Geelong’s Executive team commissioning and opening the new greenfield hospital in Geelong. Susie has expanded her health focus in recent years to include Aged Care. Susie is now Regional Operations Manager, Home Care Packages (HCP) with genU looking after regional Victoria and soon to establish genU’s HCP division in Tasmania. Susie’s business expertise and experience are in the areas of Business Development, Marketing and Customer/Stakeholder engagement. She has a Bachelor of Business (with distinction) from RMIT, MBA from Federation University and Certificate IV Training & Assessment from The Gordon. Susie also has had a number of volunteer roles with Committees of Management including a DELP committee and the Bellarine Agricultural Show Society. Outside of her professional life Susie enjoys time with family, friends and travelling.
DAVID PETHERICK - BARWON DISABILITY RESOURCE COUNCIL
David Petherick started work with the Barwon Disability Resource Council (BDRC) in June 2021 as the Executive Officer. He is excited about being a part of the great work that the BDRC has been doing in Geelong since 1975 and he continues to learn from everyone in the disability advocacy community. He has worked in the disability sector for almost 30 years.
David has had leadership roles in a number of disability organisations and is passionate about full inclusion for all. He is a member of the Geelong Accessible City Taskforce and is excited about Geelong becoming the most accessible city in Australia.
David barracks for the Richmond Tigers and loves long distance, multi-day hiking with his wife.
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.
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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Judges are not allowed to judge or view the submission of another competitor/similar industry they work in or a close friend or business mentor.