19 September, 2016

Eight candidates in the running for Board positions

In the lead up to its Annual General Meeting on November 25, the nation’s horticulture Research and Development Corporation – Horticulture Innovation Australia (Hort Innovation) – has today announced that eight candidates are in the running to fill five new Board positions.*

Hort Innovation Deputy Chairman and Chair of the 2016 Director Nomination Committee** Mark Napper said: “This is an exciting time. The organisation is approaching its second year as Horticulture Innovation Australia and, with industry, it is driving a significant amount of positive change in the areas of research and development, marketing and trade”.

Mr Napper said the new Board will play a pivotal role in ensuring the organisation’s, and the Australia horticultural industry’s, ongoing success.

“The candidate line up is strong, and it will be interesting to see who grower members will elect to help steer the organisation into its next phase of growth.”

Following a call for nominations in May, applications were formally assessed by recruitment company, Rimfire Resources. The Hort Innovation Director Nomination Committee – made up of Mr Napper and two independent third parties – then interviewed shortlisted candidates, rating their suitability against a number of set criteria including their experience across areas such as growing, marketing, exporting and agriscience.

Mr Napper said each candidate conveyed a commitment to horticulture and a drive to increase the productivity, farm-gate profitability and global competitiveness of Australian horticulture industries.

The Committee has nominated the following eight candidates for election or appointment as a Board Director in 2016:

Renata Brooks:

With a background in leadership and governance of agricultural research and development (R&D) in the public sector, Renata has a long-standing interest in creating opportunities through innovation. Renata is currently Deputy Chair of the Fisheries Research and Development Corporation, having been a non-executive director of FRDC for 7 years. She has significant experience in public policy, particularly in relation to agriculture, biosecurity and natural resource management, and has a proven executive management track record. Renata is a graduate and fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Prof. Rob Clark:

Rob is a current Director of Hort Innovation and Emeritus Professor of Agricultural Science at the University of Tasmania. Rob is also a horticultural producer, as owner and Managing Partner of Lanoma Estate, a 500ha intensive agricultural property in the Derwent Valley Tasmania. Rob was a Foundation Director of the Tasmanian Institute of Agriculture Research, and his prior appointments also include Deputy Chair of Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation, a member of the National Research and Development Council, and a member of the Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation Advisory Board, among others.

Paul Harker:

Paul has more than 20 years of retail experience spanning store operations, supply chain, and buying and marketing, including four years heading up the fresh produce buying team of one of Australia’s largest retailers. Through his professional background, Paul has an extensive understanding of retail, including strategy, operations, logistics, technology, and consumer marketing coupled with an extensive knowledge of the produce supply and value chain. Paul is a former non-executive Director of PMA A-NZ, and is currently the Director and owner of Highland Farms Pty Ltd, a small horticultural operation in the central tablelands of NSW.

Jenny Margetts:

Jenny has worked in the horticultural industry for more than 25 years in a range of roles across the supply chain. She has a background in agronomy, R&D management, industry planning and business management, and holds qualifications in applied science (horticulture technology), business and marketing. Jenny has a wealth of experience from both an industry and commercial perspective, and for the past 12 years Jenny has managed her own consulting business.

Dr Lesley McLeod:

Lesley has 17 years general management experience in the agribusiness sector, has spent nine years as CEO of Dairy Innovation Australia and is a current Director of Fisheries Research and Development Corporation. Lesley has a depth of skill and experience in innovation, agribusiness, strategic planning and corporate governance, as well as experience in managing academic and applied research, sourcing research funding and designing and delivering training. Lesley is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Fran Raymond:

Fran is an experienced Director with an extensive background in financial services, member-owned organisations, and the not-for-profit sector, and as an executive in the Commonwealth Government in a number of Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer roles. Fran has worked as the Chief Financial Officer for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the General Manager Corporate at the Rural Industries Research and Development Corporation. She is also a Board member of UN Women Australia and the Chair of Audit, Risk and Compliance Committee for the Canberra Institute of Technology, among other roles.

Selwyn Snell:

Selwyn is the current Chair of Hort Innovation and Barawyn Pty Ltd. With more than 40 years of experience at senior executive and CEO level in agriculture, biotech and life sciences industries, Selwyn has served on numerous listed, unlisted and not-for-profit companies both internationally and domestically.  Selwyn has served as the former chairman of the Council of Rural Research and Development Corporations, non-executive Director of Plant Health Australia Ltd, and non-executive Director of the APVMA, among other roles. Selwyn is a fellow of the Australian Institute of Management and a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Peter Wauchope:

Peter is a current Director of Hort Innovation, and current Chair of the Hort Innovation Trade Assessments Panel.  Peter is also CEO of Center West Exports, a vertically integrated carrot growing, packing and marketing enterprise and recognised as one of Australia’s leading carrot producers and exporters, with customers in over 17 countries. Peter has enjoyed more than 30-years-experience in marketing fresh produce overseas and has travelled extensively throughout Asia, Middle East, Europe and USA visiting and servicing customers, and increasing market access for Australian fresh produce. Originally from the Manjimup district of Western Australia, Peter’s family still grow stone fruit and avocados in the district.

Two of these eights candidates will be elected as Directors by voting members at the AGM in the Sydney CBD on Friday, November 25. Three further candidates will then be appointed as Directors by the continuing Hort Innovation Board members (those who were elected / appointed in 2015). More information about each of the candidates will be provided to Members with the Notice of AGM next month, along with proxy voting details.

Levy-paying members of Hort Innovation are encouraged to complete and return their Annual Levy Return Forms by the cut-off date of Friday, September 30 to be eligible to vote at the AGM. Any levy-payers who are not current members of Hort Innovation may submit a Member Application Form and have the opportunity to complete an Annual Levy Return Form by the end of the month to secure their voting entitlement.

*The organisation’s Constitution requires that five (5) Directors retire from the Board.

**The committee responsible for the nomination of Director candidates for election / appointment.

Horticulture Innovation Australia is a not-for-profit organisation charged with investing more than $100 million in research and development (R&D) and marketing programs annually and is funded by levies, Commonwealth Government matching funds for R&D, and external co-investment funds.

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