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Tourism Whitsundays is governed by an Executive Board, consisting of a maximum of 11 directors - 7 elected directors and up to 4 invited directors, representing Island Resorts, Accommodation, Marine, Youth and Tourism Transport sectors, Tourism & Events Queensland, Whitsunday Regional Council, Bowen Tourism & Business and selected invitees.

The current Board members are listed below:

 

Chairman: Allen Grundy - Explore Whitsundays 

 
 

I have lived in Airlie Beach for 17 years and been a partner in Southern Cross Sailing Adventures since 1999.  In 2008, developing the Explore Whitsundays brand as a marketing co-operative to facilitate sailing companies working together to share costs.  My major strength lies in marketing and the development of contracts and new business working with international product managers and attending major events such as the Australian Tourism Exchange.  I also have a keen interest in the management and protection of the Marine Park and see this as a priority issue for the future prosperity of our tourism community.

 



Deputy Chairman: Nick Hortle - Cruise Whitsundays

 
 

Nick has well developed commercial and financial acumen initially though 14 years experience as a partner with KMPG and then as an executive in a wide array of business sectors, now specialising in hospitality and tourism operations.

He has benefited from extensive experience in tourism and service industries and branch networks. Profit achievement, improvement and revenue growth are the critical outcomes of his work in many businesses where he has added value

This broad and diverse work experience across businesses, cultures and location has demonstrated his ability to work in any environment and business where he can build and lead effective teams and develop his people.

Specialties: Profit improvement, Revenue Growth, System enhancement, Financial management, Tourism, Branch networks, Service Industries.

 



Treasurer: Greg Waites - Coral Sea Resort

 
 

Hoping to represent the accommodation sector, and particularly the mainland I have been a resident manager of the Coral Sea Resort for 14 years and have a total of 38 years constant tourism experience. I have been proactive developing both the international and domestic markets for Queensland since my first International sales calls in the early 1990’s, attending trade shows annually and direct sales calls to the markets UK, Central and Northern Europe, and  most recently we have been proactive in developing the Chinese inbound market.

I have a sincere empathy for all operators in the Whitsundays region and would represent your interests to ensure we maximise all opportunities to grow our market share.  

 



Secretary: Andrew Telford - Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors 

 
     
 

Matt Boileau - Hamilton Island Enterprises 

 
 

With 30yrs experience in the hospitality industry, the majority of which has been in regional resort management, I can bring many ideas and lessons gained from years of working and operating leisure hotels in remote locations. I have been based in the Whitsundays for the last 20yrs and now call it home, living on Hamilton Island with my wife and our two children. I have managed all hotels on the island and am currently the General Manager of the Reef View Hotel (5 years) and just recently acquired Conventions as part of my remit.  Being the two juggernauts of the island in terms of occupancy requirements, these two entities are sensitive to macro and micro economic and tourism trends and as such I work very closely with the Sales and Marketing team to fill the hotel and our conference venues 365 days per year. During my time in the Whitsundays I’ve built good relationships with many local operators and believe that I have a sound understanding of the challenges across all businesses. I’d like to be more involved in the mechanics of how we utilise our many assets and resources for the betterment of our community as well as explore what more can be achieved through our collective efforts to improve visitation to the Whitsundays.

 
 

Jan Claxton - Ocean Rafting

 
 

Jan Claxton has been an integral part of the Whitsunday tourism industry for 14 years as owner of tour operator, Ocean Rafting. With her husband, Peter, they have grown the operation into a successful business with five vessels carrying up to 142 guests daily to some of the Whitsundays’ best destinations. Jan is proactively involved in all aspects of the company, with a particular focus on sales and marketing.  These skills, a background in administration and finance and her passion for the region, make Jan an ideal candidate to continue her role as part of the Tourism Whitsundays Board.

 
 

Toni Ward - Whitsunday Jetski Tours 

 
 

Toni Ward is a long term local who has owned and operated several successful Whitsunday tourism businesses throughout her career.  Along with her husband, Steve, they established and developed both Daydream Island Watersports, situated on Daydream Island, and Whitsunday Jetski Tours, which operates daily adventure tours from Airlie Beach. Toni’s success in business comes from her passion for the Whitsunday tourism industry, along with her skills in working within all areas of the daily operations, particularly administration, finance, marketing and product development, all of which ensure Toni is a valuable nominee for the Tourism Whitsundays Board.

 
 

Jessica Lawrence – The Wedding Planners Whitsundays

 
 

With a passion for the Whitsundays, a love for all of the people and businesses that make weddings possible and an unbelievable ambition to succeed, it was no surprise when Jess Lawrence created The Wedding Planners Whitsundays after working in the industry for 5 years. The Wedding Planners Whitsundays alone hosts 80 weddings a year with an average of 18 direct, local suppliers from all sectors of tourism involved in each wedding. Her business, along with her role on the WeddingsWhitsundays.com committee, allows Jess to see the strength in numbers and in turn how this can help strengthen the Whitsunday brand. 

 
 

Naomi McKinnon – Fat Frog Beach Cafe

 
 

I arrived in Airlie Beach 17 years ago as a traveller. Like many I fell in love and never left. My prior background was 14 years with advertising/PR/marketing agencies in Adelaide, but having started work with BIG4 Adventure Whitsunday on arrival I discovered a passion for tourism/hospitality and in particular customer service. As part of the McKinnon family, I am incredibly proud of my part in helping develop an amazing and iconic Whitsunday accommodation product. But many would now know me as Fat Frog Beach Café. As a start up business it has given me an even wider set of business skills. I believe the success of both businesses comes from my strengths in strategic planning, sales and marketing activities and an absolute commitment to ensuring the highest standards customer service. However, I also have very strong personal morals and values which I think are equally as important to the operation of a successful Board ... honesty, integrity and the utmost respect for my peers.

After 17 years in Airlie Beach I am extremely excited at the opportunity to contribute to the future of our amazing region. Feel free to contact me directly on 0407614580 if you would like to discuss my nomination further. 

 
 

Jonathan Freeman - Bowen Tourism & Business

 

Jonathan Freeman is the owner and director of Jayfresh,  and is an award-winning exporter and marketer sought out for his innovative approach and ground-up experience in building successful food export businesses. He supplies strategic direction to investors, importers and corporations in the food export market, supported by hands-on business experience. He is a recipient of the Rabobank Agribusiness Award for Excellence for Supply Chain Management. Jonathan is a board member of several companies and has past experience on trade and export committees in State Government and horticulture and food export associations. Jonathan has ties to Bowen since first visiting as a 16 year old and staying at Horseshoe Bay Caravan Park - making life long friends and a passion for the region.

Jonathan has exported mangoes from Bowen for over 20 years, and owned and operated mango orchards at Delta and Euri Creek since 2005 - currently enjoying his 11th season picking and packing high quality mango in Bowen. Jonathan’s other activities include olive groves and processing mills in Victoria and in Peru, South America, and meat export enterprises in New Zealand and Australia. Jonathan is a keen supporter of Bowen and the region and is happy to leverage his connections in Australia and internationally to local business and tourism. 

Jonothan has experience working at Bowen Farming Enterprise: Jayfresh Australia Pty Ltd (marketer), Jayfresh Harvest Pty Ltd (farm operations) and specialises in premium R2E2 mangoes. Jayfresh is a R2E2 grower and packer in the Bowen region. Jayfresh has also recently acquired an organic Kensington Pride orchard and processor in Bowen and will incorporate that farm and business into its existing mango holdings in Bowen. Jayfresh has solid markets in Australia, China, Japan, Europe, the Middle East and emerging markets in North America.

 

 
 

Karen Vloedmans - Proserpine Chamber of Commerce  

 
 

Karen has held her position with the Proserpine Chamber of Commerce for the past 2 years growing that organisations membership to over 100 business members, representing small business owners. With a background in the Tourism sector, a position on the board is a wonderful fit.

With positions previously held in other tourism hotspots, largely in 5 star hotels in destinations including Sydney, Cairns, Gold Coast, Brisbane, Noosa and here in the Whitsundays, Karen understands what visitors are looking for in both a corporate and leisure experience. In addition to Tourism, Karen also has experience in the Recruitment and Retail sectors.

Growing up in the regional town of the Hawkesbury in NSW around agriculture and small business, then working around the country and off shore, 14 years ago Karen made the Whitsundays her home. Happily married and blessed with two wonderful children Karen describes Whitsunday living as the stuff postcards are made of.

Karen is delighted that Proserpine will be represented on the TW board and believes that exploring every opportunity from each diverse corner of this great region will see guest length of stay extend and ultimately consumer experience heighten. 

 
 

Mayor Andrew Willcox - Whitsunday Regional Council

 
 

Andrew Willcox was sworn in as the third Mayor of Whitsunday Regional Council on Monday, 4 April 2016.

Born and raised in Bowen, Andrew owned and managed a tomato farm and business before entering local government.  Andrew and his wife Raylene live at Queens Beach, where they have raised their three children.

Andrew was first elected to Council in 2012 as Councillor Division 6, representing the communities of Bowen, Queens Beach, Merinda, Cape Upstart and Guthalungra.

During the 2012-16 term of Council, Andrew held the role of Deputy Mayor from 2013 to 2016 and served on the Audit Committee, Rural Fires Finance Committee, Workplace Health & Safety Committee and the Whitsunday Disaster Management Group.  Andrew also represented Council on several community and business organisations, including Bowen Collinsville Enterprise, North Queensland Bulk Ports' Bowen Wharf Working Group and the Bowen Development and Information Strategy Group.

Andrew is a strong advocate for the Whitsunday Region and is committed to leading a united, cooperative and inclusive local government.

His priorities include supporting economic development and job creation opportunities, delivering the vital infrastructure required to support the region's growing population, and engaging the community to better inform Council's decision making.

In his spare time, Andrew enjoys fishing, snow skiing and spending time with his family.

 
 

Racheal Klitscher - Tourism & Events Queensland 

 
 

Racheal has more than 20 years experience in tourism and destination management across hospitality, visitor services, marketing, strategic planning, not-for-profit governance and stakeholder management. She has worked in LTO’s, RTO’s, STO’s and private enterprise in South Australia, Tasmania & Canada including 4 years as Executive Officer of Tourism Barossa. Based in the Whitsundays for Tourism & Events Queensland since 2009, Racheal plays a key role in influencing strategic alignment for activities and initiatives that will grow overnight visitor expenditure to the Whitsundays and Mackay regions. Racheal also has oversight of TEQ’s Great Barrier Reef Tourism Strategy.Racheal holds a Bachelor of Business in Tourism Management, and is currently studying towards a Graduate Diploma of Psychology.