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Our Board

JV-(5).jpg Jonathan Vandervoort

Title: President
Qualifications: BCom, GAICD
Experience & expertise:
Jonathan joined ARTC in January 2015 as Executive General Manager - Hunter Valley. Jonathan has been involved in the Australian coal mining industry for almost thirty years. For twelve years before joining ARTC Jonathan was instrumental in developing NSW's coal infrastructure network, including two years as Executive General Manager Infrastructure at Whitehaven Coal, five years as the founding Chief Executive Officer of Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator and five years at Port Waratah Coal Services. Jonathan continues as a Director of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator and is a past Director of the Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group. He is a Fellow of Australian Institute of Management and CPA Australia and a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jonathan has been a Director of the Chamber since 2010.
Special Responsibilities: Chair, Audit & Governance Committee, Company Secretary

GG-(3).jpg Gillian Geraghty

Title: Senior Vice President
Qualifications: B Engineering (Civil), Ad Dip Project Management, GAICD
Experience & expertise: Gillian is Director of Passion for Projects working primarily as Business Case Leader for NSW Health Infrastructure since July 2017. Prior to that Gillian was the Regional General Manager of the Northern NSW office for APP Corporation. Gillian is a Member of Engineers Australia, the Australian Institute of Project Management and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Gillian has been a Director of Hunter Business Chamber since 2012.
Special Responsibilities: Chair, Regional Infrastructure Committee

SS-(2).jpg Sharon Smith

Title: Vice President
Qualifications: Bcom
Experience & Expertise:
Sharon Smith is charged with leading the team at HVTC through the next phase of its growth and contributing to its ongoing success as Australia’s premier group training organisation. She has an outstanding record of achievement over 20 years as a dynamic and influential Senior Executive in the Utilities, Regional Development and private sectors. This includes Chief Financial Officer and General Manager in various roles leading large operational and shared services teams across Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Procurement and Business Development areas. Sharon has significant experience working with Boards of Directors in developing and executing strategy including Group Training Australia, Hunter Water Corporation, Hunter Water Australia, Regional Land Management Corporation and as Non-Executive Director of Hunter Development Corporation and Newcastle Grammar School.

RT-(2).jpg Alan 'Ross' Taggart

Title: Immediate Past President
Qualifications: BCom, FCPA
Experience and expertise: 
Ross is the Managing Director of Taggart Partners and is a highly respected business manager assisting his clients to reach sound and achievable goals. He specialises in assessing new business and preparing sustainable strategies for those businesses including succession planning and family business planning. Ross jointed public practice in 1979 and was admitted as a Partner of Taggart Partners in July 1985. He was appointed Managing Director of the firm in 2000. Ross is a Registered Tax Agent and Self-Managed Superannuation Fund Auditor. He is personally committed to the provision of teaching support to the CPA Australia’s continuing professional development activities. In August 2008 he was appointed to the CPA NSW Public Practice Committee. Ross is a Director of Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service, and Treasurer of Merewether Surf Club. Ross has been a Director of the Chamber since 2008.
Special Responsibilities: Chair, Executive Committee

RA-(2).jpg Richard Anicich

Title: Director
Qualifications: BCom, LLB, FAICD
Experience and expertise:
Richard is a partner of Sparke Helmore, a national law firm with its origins in Newcastle. He has held various management roles with the Firm including periods on the national partnership board, managing partner of the Newcastle office and is currently a member of the Firm’s audit and risk committee. He has been a Director of Hunter Business Chamber since 2008 and was the President 2011- 2014. Richard is a Conjoint Professor of Practice in the School of Law, Faculty of Business and Law at the University of Newcastle, Chair of the Australian Institute of Company Director’s Hunter committee and a member of the Port of Newcastle Community Liaison Group.

GC.jpg Geoff Crowe

Title: Director
Qualifications: BCom, MAICD, FCPA
Experience & expertise:
Geoff joined Port of Newcastle (PON) as Chief Executive Officer in July 2015. He has extensive experience in the Hunter region's coal mining sector, having held senior leadership roles with Port Waratah Coal Services and a number of mining companies. Geoff played a key role in developing the Long Term Commercial Framework with industry whilst at Port Waratah and also served as a Director of the Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator.  
At PON he leads an experienced, local team who deliver a range of services for the port, including vessel scheduling, dredging and survey services, trade, cruise and business development, maintenance of major port assets, wharf and berth services and the management of 792 hectares of port land.
As the CEO and a Novocastrian, Geoff has a special interest in seeing the port diversify and grow along with Newcastle and the broader Hunter region.

1111-409-012-Enhance.jpg Peter Gesling

Title: Director
Qualifications: M Bus, B Eng. (Civil), A Dip Town Planning, FAICD, FIE Aust., FAIM
Experience and expertise:
Peter is self-employed as a Director, facilitator, trainer and mentor. He is Chair of Newcastle Airport, Director of Hunter Region Botanic Gardens. and has accreditation in several career development products.
He has worked as a Senior Executive in Local Government with over 20 years at Port Stephens Council. During his career, Peter gained extensive experience as a non-executive Director on ‘not-for-profit’, community, public and private boards in a range of industry sectors. These have included aviation, community arts, community services, economic development, education, engineering, environmental, government, heritage, humanitarian, investment, land development, legal, records management, tourism and waste sectors.

JL-(2).jpg Jennie Lyons
Title: Director
Experience & Expertise:
Pride Dry Cleaning & Laundry is a family owned business. Their objective is to continually grow, become more environmentally aware and energy efficient. Jennie and husband Phil enjoy a better work/life balance by working smarter on the business, outsourcing some tasks and taking short breaks which will also allow key staff members to grow and obtain greater autonomy within their roles. Jennie has been a Director of the Chamber since 2016.
Special responsibilities: Chamber Alliance Partner representative

IP-(4).jpg Ian Penfold

Title: Director
Qualifications: FAICD
Experience & expertise:   
Ian is a Director of NSW Business Chamber. A  successful businessman with extensive Board  Chairmanship, Non-Executive Director and Chief Executive experience gained from a 25 year corporate career at both national and international level. Ian is a good communicator and team builder, with a track record of commercial success in building branded and unbranded businesses both organically and by acquisition. Ian is a Councillor of NSW Business Chamber and Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Chairman of Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors. Ian is a member of the Correctional Services Industries Consultative Council of NSW (CICC) and Syndey Metropolitan Regional Chairman of Defence Reserves Support Council. Ian has been a Director of Hunter Business Chamber since 2012.

NR.jpg Narelle Redman

Title: Director
Experience & expertise: Narelle is a Director of Silveradoh Promotional Products based in Cardiff. Together with her husband Gary they have operated small businesses for over 25 years. Narelle is passionate about helping others succeed in business which has led her to becoming involved in local Chambers of Commerce. Over the past 12 years Narelle has held the positions of Secretary at Warners Bay Chamber, President of Business Charlestown Chamber and a Director of Lake Macquarie Business.She has been a committee member of HBC Business Development Forum for the past 7 years and has also been invited by LMCC onto several of their business and community committees. In 2014 Narelle was awarded the Lake Macquarie Business Person of the Year.


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