Sector Director


Melissa is the Entrepreneurs' Programme Sector Director for ICT, Digital and Professional Services.

Melissa has a background in the SME sector in both China and Australia. Originally commencing with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade in Shanghai, China, Melissa went on to found and direct a successful IT and business consulting enterprise in Shanghai and co-found and direct a construction and manufacturing company with operations across China.

Melissa has consulted within the SME and corporate sector in Australia across a variety of industries in a range of fields including; strategy, international trade and market development, marketing, product development and management systems. Melissa has also worked in an executive strategy role in the insurance and finance industry in Australia and participated in the leadership team of Australia’s second largest financial industry merger.

More recently Melissa was engaged as General Manager of a medium sized enterprise in Australia in the medical/pharmaceutical industry with a focus on market development, innovation, and international expansion.

National


Sonya Henderson-Edbrookes

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Brisbane / National
Smiling Sonya

Sonya has over 30 years' experience in business and the creative industries, including management and creative roles in design, advertising, instructional design/training, interactive media, customer-led innovation and business consulting in the United States and Australia.

For the past several years, she has acted as business advisor to over 100 SMEs as well as mentoring and training a variety of manufacturing and service companies through the deep organisational and strategic change required to align their organisation to the needs of their customers and users.

As a Design Adviser, she facilitates their attainment of new knowledge and capabilities so they can operate independently to become a customer-led innovator and stand as a leader in their industry. One of the main reasons the customer-centered view so resonates with Sonya is its pragmatic approach to integrating a business around a deeper understanding of its customers.

Sonya's purpose is to help owners design their business to win by understanding the needs of their customers and integrating those insights across the organisation through customer-centered strategies and actions.

Jeff Grigg

Partner:
Business Foundations
Location:
Adelaide, SA / National
Smiling Jeff Grigg

Jeff has over 30 years of IT consulting experience, working with clients across many industry sectors in Australia and New Zealand.

Specialising in solving complex supply chain problems, he has worked for SME businesses as well as large corporates to put together workable software solutions that help make businesses more competitive.

With the ability to translate complex IT concepts in to understandable business language, Jeff has helped many enterprises improve their business processes and deliver value through intelligent selection and implementation of software systems.

Prior to joining Business Foundations, Jeff worked in a range of organisations including enterprise software vendors, State Government, packaged software resellers, and software development houses.

His background includes roles in software development, systems analysis and design, package software implementation, customer support, software selection advice and in-house I.T. Manager.

Rob Olver

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Brisbane / National
Smiling Rob Olver

Rob is an experienced Business Adviser and mentor, skilled in helping business innovate and grow in the digital economy. He has an extensive career in marketing, media, technology and digital innovation. Rob founded an advertising agency in his 20's and launched and managed the Microsoft brand in Australia and Asia Pacific region for its first ten years. He has worked with many leading Australian brands over the past 20 years; guiding them online, advising on their digital strategies and building their marketing platforms.

Rob has a deep, practical understanding of the digital landscape and the technologies driving today’s consumers and proactively works with his clients to explore new business models and transformative strategies that will drive growth. He is well versed in creative brand development and digital marketing technologies and has a keen interest in user-centric design principles.

Rob has considerable experience with start-up and scale-up businesses, mentoring and assisting them with digital strategy, brand and marketing. He is also personally passionate about creating collaborative, commercialisation opportunities between start-ups and established businesses.

Tony Shannon

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Sydney / National
Smiling Tony Shannon

Tony worked for 20 years in senior management roles in digital and e-commerce businesses and professional services including as part of the management team for a digital media IPO.

Tony is a specialist in the 21st century business environment – for digital and non-digital businesses. He has a keen interest and experience in strategy development, business model innovation, technology in business, platform development, e-commerce, joint-ventures, and creating and exploiting intellectual property such as using algorithms to disrupt industries.

Tony has eight years' experience as a Business Adviser with the Entrepreneurs' Programme. During this time, he has completed over 120 Business Evaluations and also works as part of the Growth Services team.

He holds a Master of Management and a Bachelor of Arts (Professional Writing). Tony was a board member of the Digital Sydney Advisory Team and tutors in the business faculties at Australian Film Television & Radio School (AFTRS) and University Technology, Sydney (UTS).

David Schloeffel

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Caulfield East / National
Smiling David Schloeffel

David has been working to help Australian businesses improve for over 35 years. Starting his career in advertising with clients in the food, chemical and transport industries, he has since assisted an extensive portfolio of companies across many sectors. David has also successfully established, grown and managed his own businesses, and understands the challenges and opportunities facing Australian business managers.

Design has played a vital part of David's whole career, and certainly the work he has been doing for over a decade to help clients improve has been based on solid design thinking led business design principles.

David is an accomplished presenter, having spoken nationally and internationally on a variety of topics including, strategy, brand, design thinking, business design and digital emergence. David has also lectured seasonally at postgraduate level for nearly 20 years, and is currently lecturing in Masters programs at the RMIT University College of Business.

New South Wales


John Keegan

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Sydney
Smiling John Keegan

John's career began in the mining industry before progressing to management consulting with Pricewaterhouse Cooper, focusing on strategy and productivity improvements in the manufacturing, engineering and logistics areas.

John then founded a national facilities management company (now Resolve FM, part of RCR Ltd) servicing manufacturers, defence, utilities and large commercial building owners. Over 11 years the business grew to 800 staff and $170 million turnover. The business was sold to Tyco and John subsequently undertook reviews of Tyco manufacturing and service businesses including fire protection, security, electrical, air conditioning, hydraulics and facilities management.

John has line management and management consulting experience in the mining, manufacturing and infrastructure related construction industries, including companies such as BHP, Peko-Wallsend, Kellogg's, Carlton United Brewery, Smith's Snackfoods, Johnson & Johnson, GMH and Boral. He has reviewed over 140 SMEs for the Entrepreneurs' Programme during the past seven years.

John has a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering and a Master of Business Administration.

Christopher Kelleher

Partner:
Ai Group
Location:
Newcastle
Smiling Chris

Chris is a Business Adviser for the Entrepreneurs' Programme in ICT, Digital and Professional Services and the Advanced Manufacturing sector. Chris has extensive experience in, invention commercialisation, capital raising, contracts negotiation, licensing of new technology and selling new concepts and ideas to business. In his current role, Chris is responsible for supporting businesses to remain sustainable through establishing winning strategies for growth.

Chris is passionate about the need for innovation, leadership and performance improvement in business. Chris has held executive roles in health, manufacturing and construction. More recently he held an executive role as the CEO of the University of Newcastle Commercialisation Firm, Newcastle Innovation.

Chris is a Judge for the annual Hunter Manufacturing awards. He has held board member positions with the Australian Chamber of Manufacturers, WEA Hunter Ltd, Newman Community Housing, Mobilize Pty Ltd, Mineral Carbonation International, Therapy, and Probiotic Health. He was also a member of the inaugural board of the Hunter Business.

Anna Samios

Partner:
NSW Business Chamber
Location:
Sydney and surrounds
Smiling Anna Samios

Anna Samios is an experienced external Board Adviser to mid-market companies who are driven by excellence and wish to build capability and manage growth using a proven strategic framework.

With over 30 years' experience in the financial and strategic space, from the big end of town to mum and dad businesses, Anna's unique collaboration style brings out the best in all.

Amongst her numerous qualifications Anna is a Gazelles International Coach, working with the proven Scaling Up/Rockefeller framework, as used by Atlassian, Wholefoods Market, Greencross Vets (Pet Barn), RedBalloon, Infusionsoft, rackspace and so on.

She has extensive experience in financial performance analysis, corporate governance, trend analysis, managing teams; both domestic and outsourced, as well as Project Manager for SaaS assessments and implementations across a wide range of industries.

Anna was invited by the NSW Government to mentor over 180 businesses (predominantly small-medium sized businesses) and mentor in their Women in Business Mentoring Programme. She has also lectured at the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons on business strategy.

David Sharpe

Partner:
Deloitte
Location:
Sydney, NSW
Smiling David Sharpe

David has over 10 years of experience in working with companies which merge technology, design and creativity, from start ups to multi-million dollar companies. His focus is on assisting business owners to identify and pursue opportunities for growth.

Hundreds of clients around Australia have benefited from his ability to mix business nous with an understanding of how technology and creativity intersect. His clients include companies in design, app development, games, film & TV, media & communications and architecture.

He was previously Director - Advisory & Consulting with Generate, and a business adviser with Creative Industries Innovation Centre. He holds a Masters in Management (UTS), is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is undertaking a PhD on entrepreneurship from University of Wollongong.

Queensland


Ian Nearhos

Partner:
Ai Group
Location:
Brisbane
Smiling Ian Nearhos

Ian has broad commercial experience including senior management and leadership positions in large organisations and SMEs. He has overseen the creation of significant value through the development and delivery of highly successful business growth strategies, and operational improvement initiatives. His expertise is in effectively engaging with stakeholders to discover and evaluate business challenges, and map them to optimal solutions.

Ian's experience includes working in an ASX listed IT company that provides market-leading, business technology solutions throughout Australia and Asia-Pacific. He was also a General Manager with one of Australia's leading print and collateral management service providers, driving business expansion and digital transformation. Prior to this, he was a State Sales Manager with a multi-national business administration supplier that was ASX listed in Australia with over $1 billion in revenue. This experience has delivered multifaceted skills across sales, marketing, IT and operations with a clear understanding of what is required to deliver great business outcomes.

Ian's skills and experience are underpinned by strong academic credentials including a Master of Business Administration, Graduate Diploma in Management, and Postgraduate Certificate in Business.

Clare Treston

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Brisbane
SMiling Clare Treston

Clare has worked in senior marketing and brand strategy roles in travel, manufacturing, higher education, architecture and building industries.

In her twenties, She co-founded a creative communications company, consulting to a broad range of customers across the arts, finance, healthcare, mining, engineering, government, tourism, entertainment, retail and not-for-profit sectors.

While running her own company and consulting from small businesses to ASX top 200, Clare became astute at identifying strategic opportunities and operational efficiencies to grow organisations.

She excels at helping businesses to build their brand strategy, define their value proposition and use current and creative solutions to differentiate and stay ahead of competitors. Clare has a Master of Business, is a Graduate of Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Certified Practicing Marketer (CPM).

South Australia


Chris Harvey

Partner:
Business Foundations
Location:
Adelaide, SA

Chris has implemented business improvements through IT projects during 30+ years on 50+ projects within SME, government, and multi-national organisations. His experience spans most systems encountered within the SME space, especially within the contexts of manufacturing and supply chain.

His achievements include multiple customisation projects within a logistics and supply chain context, a complete ERP replacement for an orthopaedic manufacturer, automation of processes for global inventory and manufacturing in a FMCG manufacturer, multiple projects within food manufacturing, implementations of Dynamics and Salesforce CRM, state-wide database web portal, advanced analytics and business intelligence, and improvements to Justice fines enforcement.

Stephen Schmid

Partner:
Business SA
Location:
Adelaide
Smiling Stephen Schmid

Steve is a Business Adviser and consultant with broad experience across many industry sectors and business disciplines. As a former business owner, Steve took products from concept, IP protection and multiple rounds of venture capital to full commercialisation — so he understands the priorities for start-ups and SMEs. Steve has worked with national and international large organisations and governments on the mechanics of leveraging technologies to increase the sustainability, resiliency and effectiveness of their operation.

Steve is experienced in process improvement, program management and organisational design. He can provide holistic advice for companies looking at options to grow their business and explore opportunities that will have a positive influence not only on the balance sheet, but on its people and processes.

Steve has extensive business networks in South Australia and provides tailored advice and assistance to support SMEs to improve their competitiveness and productivity.

Steve has a Masters in Science and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Victoria


Craig Broadbent

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Melbourne
Smiling Craig Broadbent

Craig is an experienced advisor, entrepreneur and leader. He has had senior management responsibilities for professional services, digital and technology companies in Australia and throughout APAC.

Craig has held senior roles that have involved building and managing several software and solutions businesses and their consulting divisions, and in 2009 started, grew and exited his own services company after 6 years of operating. Craig believes in targeted customer centricity and is passionate about delivering services excellence and tangible business outcomes. The companies and business stakeholders that Craig works with derive direct benefits from his considerable experience managing complex company finances.

Craig's professional experience is underpinned by qualifications in accounting, finance, entrepreneurship and innovation allows him to review every facet of a business, and bring to bear fresh insights and learning.

Leanne Farnworth

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Melbourne
Smiling Leanne Farnworth

Leanne possesses a unique combination of skills and experience. She is a creative leader who is educated and experienced in Design and Design Thinking; an awarded business owner; an experienced group facilitator; and a highly regarded university lecturer.

Throughout her career, Leanne’s ability to solve business problems creatively has been one of her biggest strengths. She has always been passionate about finding new and innovative ways of solving challenges across multiple industries and disciplines. She has a natural ability to listen, empathise, lead and encourage others to achieve new possibilities. Her understanding of what really matters to the target audience is at the heart of her approach, enabling her to deliver solutions that have a deeper purpose and impact. She is further developing these skills through her current MBA degree from UNSW where she is specialising in Social Impact.

Before commencing her degree, Leanne founded and ran the award-winning strategic branding and design agency Lamp Creative. Lamp won the Design Effectiveness Award in the Australian Design Biennale 2012, proving on a national scale that it achieved real and measurable commercial results for its clients. Leanne’s business acumen was formally recognised when she was named winner of Young Entrepreneur 2012 Business Excellence Award, an award judged on metrics including business growth and impact on industry.

Leanne was elected by her peers to be Chairman of Australian Graphic Design Association, Queensland Branch (AGDA) in 2013, demonstrating both her leadership skills and her creative excellence. In addition to her core roles, Leanne has been educating university students for more than a decade.

Tanja Hall

Partner:
Deloitte Private
Location:
Deloitte Private
Smiling Tanja Hall

With a background in design and business that spans 30 years, Tanja was the founder and director of strategic brand and service design agency, JOLT. She has partnered closely with clients to develop business models, define value proposition and brand strategy, and enhance customer experience. She is an advocate of collaboration and has led creative teams to design and manage brand identity and visual communications for a diverse client portfolio from various sectors including government, corporate, creative industries, property, infrastructure, resources, health, community and retail.

Tanja is a past National Board Member of the Australian Graphic Design Association (AGDA) and led the AGDA Queensland chapter as President for five years where she worked to deliver events, initiatives, education and professional tools to members and industry while increasing awareness of the value design contributes to business, education and culture. She has actively contributed to the design profession as a guest speaker, awards judge, mentor and advisor for education and design initiatives.

Tanja was the National Chair for ‘OPTIMISM' Icograda International Design Week Brisbane 2010 and was a Smart State Fellow Finalist in the Queensland Premier’s Design Awards 2011 in recognition of her contribution to developing design culture in Queensland.

Western Australia


Andrew Canion

Partner:
Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA
Location:
East Perth
Smiling Andrew Canion

Andrew provides business advisory services to firms that provide enabling technologies and services in Infrastructure related Construction and ICT and Professional Services.

Andrew has held senior positions within large organisations and State Government. In these roles he worked across areas including finance, mergers and acquisitions, operational management and logistics, and governance and advocacy.

Andrew also has direct experience as a business owner, having owned his own successful firm together with his wife.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Commerce (Economics and Commercial Law), an Advanced Diploma in Leadership and Management, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.