Alex Hutton – Chairman
Alex is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Mackays – Australia’s leading banana growers and has over 30 years’ experience in senior management roles across a range of industry sectors. His leadership positions have included Chief Executive Officer for St John Ambulance (Queensland); Senior Vice President, Comvita USA; General Manager, Comvita Australia; Chief Operating Officer, The Thompson Group; General Manager, Amcor Fibre Packaging QLD/NT; and National Sales Manager and General Manager – Northern Australia, Pivot Limited. Alex has been a non-executive director of several businesses including Combined Rural Traders, Olive Products Australia and Comvita Australia. He has also served on not-for-profit boards as a director and chair. His core competencies include company set-ups in new markets, organisational restructures, brand development and marketing, strategic planning, and the development and implementation of profit improvement plans. His qualifications include a Master of Business Administration, Bachelor of Economics and a Diploma of Business Property Economics.
Committees: Remuneration, Nomination and Performance Committee (Chair), Finance, Investment and Audit Committee.
Barrie Adams – Deputy Chair
Barrie is a former Commissioner of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC). Previous positions include; Director of Corporate Development and Operations – Office of the Commissioner for Corporate Affairs and South Pacific Audit Manager – Shell Group of Companies. Barrie has been an active member of CPA Australia and was a Director on the Board of CPA Australia for 3 years. Since leaving ASIC, he has held board positions on listed and unlisted public companies and not for profit companies operating in Australia and overseas. He continues to hold Board positions. Barrie is the Chairman of four Compliance Committees and has delivered presentations on Corporate Governance and Ethics and Risk Management, Directors’ Duties and Corporate Social Responsibility. He was a regular presenter for CPA Australia and Institute of Practising Accountants on these topics.
Trent is a co-leader of McCullough Robertson lawyers Food and Agribusiness group. He is recognised as a committed and passionate legal specialist for the agricultural sector. Trent has over 14 years’ experience acting for food and agribusiness clients in a wide range of commercial matters, including complex commercial disputes, corporate & regulatory matters, negotiations, alternative dispute resolution and major pastoral property transactions.His skills in alternative dispute resolution, and as an advocate, are widely acknowledged. He has conducted international arbitrations, lengthy trials in Queensland and acted for major agribusiness entities, large property developers, multinational resource companies, major Government Owned Corporations and large corporate entities.Trent’s experience also includes seeking urgent interlocutory injunctions, defending and prosecuting class actions and resolving licensing and regulatory disputes.Trent has provided advice to clients across a range of industries.
Andrew is the Executive Director and CEO at the Insurance Council of Australia. His previous roles have included Executive General Manager, Corporate Affairs for Commonwealth Bank of Australia; Director Corporate and Public Affairs, Woolworths; Federal Director, National Party of Australia; and Media Adviser to the Hon Warren Truss (former Deputy Prime Minister of Australia). Andrew’s expertise has been recognised with admission to the Arthur W. Page Society and inclusion in the International Top 50 Corporate Affairs Professionals list. He has also been acknowledged as one of the Top 50 Outstanding LGBTI Leaders in Australia for his work in leadership roles, diversity and equality campaigns. Andrew has extensive experience in governance, both in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors and currently serves on the boards of The Avner Pancreatic Cancer Foundation and Equality Australia. He began his professional career as a journalist at the Grafton Daily Examiner where his passion for understanding and pursuing the needs of rural and regional Australia was ignited.
Committees: Risk Committee, Remuneration, Nomination and Performance Committee.
Sarah has twice been a NSW Finalist in the Telstra Business Women’s Awards (Corporate & Private – 2016 and 2017). She is a Director, Company Secretary and Chair of the Membership Committee of Ag Institute Australia, committed to promoting the advancement of Australian agriculture and natural resource management. Sarah is a specialist in the animal health, agriculture and veterinary industries and the former Commercial Director and Director of Commercial Excellence (SANZA Region) at Virbac. Her core competencies include organisational transformation; leadership through volatility and change; commercial acumen; risk mitigation and the execution of commercial strategy. She is also a volunteer mentor in The University of Sydney Women’s Mentoring Program and the Institute of Managers and Leaders Member Exchange.
Ben is presently the Regional Vice President Asia Pacific for Valmont Industries, Inc (VMI), a corporation publicly traded on the NYSE that produces infrastructure products to support and enrich growing economies around the world. Valmont leads the world in water management for irrigation that helps agricultural producers produce more from their land. Previously, Ben was Sales and Marketing Manager AUS/NZ/PNG/Pacific Islands – Husqvarna Group. Ben is a Sales and marketing specialist with proven results in growing a business and building structure and process. He is renowned as a dynamic, entrepreneurial leader with a high level of commercial acumen, technical expertise and uncanny ability to develop successful marketing and branding strategies which consistently deliver transformational changes in business.
Erica started her working life as a jillaroo. Since 2016 in partnership with her husband, Erica has been running Ben Nevis Angus in Walcha NSW as stud master. Erica focusses on managing the genetics and marketing components of the business. She is also well renown for her business skillset as a facilitator, life coach and board member. As a fourth-generation cattle farmer, Erica understands the complexities and challenges of farming.
After studying agricultural economics, beef production and marketing, Erica worked holistically with farming families to balance the economics and financial landscapes to help ensure sustainability – on the land. Erica has been active on Boards since 2012, most recently as Vice-President on the Board of Directors of Angus Australia and has been a Director of the Australian Beef Industry Foundation, Australian Beef Association and Chairman of the NSW State Committee and New England Angus Breeders. She and her husband Stu won the prestigious Stewarts Award in recognition of their service to Angus Youth. Erica is also a sought-after guest speaker.
Born and raised on a mixed farming property in NSW, Airlie is the founder and managing director of Farm Table, a national agricultural knowledge sharing platform that helps bridge the digital divide, connecting farmers across generations and across the country. Named a Top 10 finalist in the Regional Australia Institute’s Lightbulb Moments competition, the Farm Table is an online hub that connects modern farmers with the latest research and resources, and to each other, to help them navigate the complexities of farming. As a result, Airlie understands the commitment required in a start-up business. She separates her time between running Farm Table and working in the family farming enterprises in Deniliquin and Holbrook.
Airlie studied commerce and political science at the University of Melbourne, completed her Masters of Food and Resources Economics in Canada, and was a Business Analyst with Macquarie Bank’s Paraway Pastoral Company – which operates 27 pastoral enterprises across Australia. Airlie also has experience as Drought Coordinator with Edward River Council NSW, as a researcher and columnist for Food Tank – Chicago, as well as an Economics and Policy Senior Consultant with Pricewaterhouse Coopers – Melbourne.
Airlie was a member of Industry Advisory Group for Australian Government’s Farm Cooperatives and Collaboration Pilot Program. Among her achievements Airlie was named a 2016 “Tomorrow Maker” by the AMP Foundation, 2015 RAS NSW Rural Young Achiever and 2015 Woolworths Agribusiness Scholar, which recognised her innovation and future leadership potential for the Australian agricultural industry. Airlie is a sought-after industry and workshop speaker including Women and Leadership Australia, Murray Landcare Collective, FoodCon 2018, AgriVictoria, Producer forums and National Fodder Conference events.