The Chamber Staff work closely with the Board of Directors, which is made up of local business people who hold a membership with the Tamworth Business Chamber. Members of the Board of Directors volunteer their time and are nominated and elected by financial Chamber members at the AGM each November.
The directors bring to the table both ideas and issues from the local business community, as well as represent the Chamber on various committees and working groups.
The current Board consists of an excellent mix of industries and business experience.
Jye is the owner operator of CH On Peel Boutique Hotel and employees 20 local staff. Jye has a deep passion for the continued growth and development of Tamworth and the business community.
Over the past fifteen years Jye has served both as a chairperson, vice president and as a board member in various organizations and committees within NSW and the Tamworth region. These roles have included industry engagement, industry development, product development, domestic tourism marketing, event management, corporate governance and business development. As a previous senior board member Jye has also been responsible for evaluation of key employees within these organizations, developing business and marketing plans, facilitating meetings, development of company policies and community engagement as the media spokesperson.
In his past experience as a chairperson he has learned that a good chairperson should not just facilitate meetings they must also possess the ability to be a leader by having complete independence within the role, encourage other board members to be active participants within the organization, be a strong communicator and a mentor when required.
Jye previously served on the Tamworth Business Chamber board in 2010, 2011, 2012 & 2013 during this time he held various roles including Vice President, chair of the Queen of Country Music Quest, Chair of Tamworth Junior Chamber & was an active participant to the board.
Marjolyn Thomas is thirty-nine years young; married to Brian with two children, Amber who’s nineteen years old and studying Engineering at CSU Bathurst and Caleb who’s fifteen and in year 9 at Oxley High School. Brian and Marjolyn have been self-employed in the construction industry for the past eighteen years and have made their home at the property ‘Monrepo’ in Moore Creek which they share with three horses, two dogs and a plethora of wildlife.
Marjolyn brings to the Board 18 years of small business experience establishing, building and running a steel fixing construction business; over the years employing anywhere from 5 to 35 employees and turning over up to $5m per year. Marjolyn was previously employed by the Tamworth Business Chamber as its Executive Officer from July 2010 to September 2014 which provided her with a thorough understanding of the opportunities and challenges out there. Over the past three years she has been the President of two local dressage clubs and the secretary and treasurer of the Country Music Stakeholders. She is also a member of the Regional Advisory Council to the NSW Business Chamber.
Marjolyn’s strengths are in establishing & maintaining relationships through quality communication, strategic planning, building strong cohesive teams and creating workable solutions. Marjolyn believe’s the devil is in the detail and she values being organised. As a positive, outgoing person looking for opportunities Marjolyn is able to see the ‘the bigger picture’ and this enables her to make a difference to the community in which she lives and the people in it.
Now a local solicitor, Fiona was born and raised on a sheep, cattle and cropping property in northwest NSW and comes from a long line of Australian graziers. After attending the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Fiona was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2004 and has extensive experience as an accredited specialist in personal injury law. She practised in Sydney and New York before returning to Tamworth in November 2015, to manage Slater and Gordon’s Tamworth office.
Fiona now dedicates her career to her home town and its surrounding region, investing those world class legal skills in strengthening the legal services available in rural NSW. She manages a team of local professionals and understands the importance of encouraging development and growth in regional Australia.
Fiona relishes the opportunity to serve her community, and past service includes as a volunteer solicitor at the Redfern Legal Centre in Sydney, and as a volunteer suicide and crisis counsellor at Samaritans NYC.
Fiona’s board and committee experience includes serving as a strata board member for a large residential strata property in Sydney, and her work on the New York City Bar Association’s Disability Law Committee.
Sara has 15 years-experience in communication, stakeholder engagement, public relations and event management. Prior to establishing C7EVEN Communications, Sara held various in-house communication positions for national organisations and the Department of the Prime Minister & Cabinet where she coordinated high level Guest of Government programs for some of Australia’s most prominent visits and events including the visit to Australia by the Honourable Barack Obama, President of the United States of America, the visit to Australia by Her Majesty The Queen, the visit to Australia by His Royal Highness Crown Prince Frederik and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess Mary of Denmark, the Honourable John Key, Prime Minister of New Zealand, and The Honourable Ban Ki-moon, United Nations Secretary General to name a few. During this time Sara coordinated COAG meetings, Prime Ministers XI Cricket as well as Prime Minister’s Official Australia Day functions. She was also the Liaison Coordinator for the APEC Australia 2007 Taskforce and the PIF Australia 2009 Taskforce.
Sara’s extensive experience in high-level and sensitive relationship management including successful delivery of prominent national events has enabled her to achieve outcomes of the highest level often within a national media context. Her ability to manage multiple complex projects simultaneously while meeting priorities in dynamic and changing environments was awarded with a National Australia Day Medal in 2011, where she was recognised by the Prime Minister for her role in the successful delivery of an extraordinary number of visits and events.
Following her move to Tamworth in 2012, Sara has developed and implemented successful communication and marketing campaigns for a range of clients including; corporate agribusinesses, research and development corporations, local and federal government agencies, academia and financial institutions. Most recently Sara has managed the public relations program for the 2016 and 2017 Toyota Country Music Festival, Tamworth achieving unprecedented results and over $36M in value.
Sara is passionate about regional Australia having grown up on the Monaro and experiencing first hand some of the issues faced by regional Australians. Now her ambition is to close the city country divide by connecting clients with their audiences in real and meaningful ways. Sara holds a Bachelor of Communications (Public Relations) and is currently studying for Graduate Diploma in Psychology.
Clint is a lawyer at Everingham Solomons, Tamworth. Clint grew up on a property in the Tamworth area and attended Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School. Clint attended the University of New England, Armidale from 2006 to 2010, completing degrees in Economics and Law and has worked at Everingham Solomons since. Clint’s legal practice focuses on business law, property law and commercial disputes. Clint previously oversaw Everingham Solomons’ criminal practice which has given Clint significant courtroom experience.
In 2013, Clint completed a Masters degree in Commercial Litigation through the College of Law, Sydney and is currently completing a Masters of Laws through the University of Sydney. The focus of this study has been around business law, including advanced study of contracts, insolvency, taxation and Commercial trading trusts.
Clint lives in Tamworth and has played Rugby Union for Farrer, St Alberts College and Tamworth Magpies. Through his work, Clint has had significant exposure to the Tamworth business community and is keen to support is ongoing growth.
Ben’s career started 33 years ago when he left school to start working in some of the finest country house hotels in England. Starting as a kitchen hand he watched, listened, put his hand up for any task that involved food and pestered the chefs, asking questions constantly. Ben truly values how important everyone’s position is in an organisation when you start at the bottom and work your way up. From there Ben did two years formal training at a college, working the whole time in the evenings and weekends.
During my time at The Powerhouse Hotel Ben has worked with the New South Wales Local Development Board, mixing with Politicians and Civil Servants, who may not always see the importance of strong regional communities.
Ben says that his biggest challenge as a manager and human being, is being the single father of two amazing children and holding down a job in an industry that is not conducive to family life. Time management and people management skills have been tested to the limits during this time and his understanding of the importance of strong community ties for different reasons during these times has grown. He has grown as a person due to the situations and challenges experienced during his life and is a firm believer that as long as you always view every challenge as an opportunity, you should come out the other end a better and stronger person. He believes this can be taken into professional life as well; strength can be gained through unity and strong community.
After almost eight years as the Executive Head chef at the Powerhouse Ben was asked to take on the role of General Manager, which again is a total departure from being a chef. In his career, he has spent a lot of time championing the use of local foods and suppliers, nurturing a strong bond between businesses in the areas, trying to build a strong local business community. In recognising the bonds between various facets of the supply chain that we sit in, he fostered a strong and rapidly growing business community who were able to build profiles and profitability through strong advocacy of each other’s businesses. This translated into strong regional growth within the hospitality industry, using each other’s achievements to promote our own businesses.
Being the only Michelin starred Chef in Wales at the time provided me with the opportunity to cook for the likes of Tony Blair, Bill Clinton, Boris Yeltsin and other G8 leaders, using all Welsh suppliers and promoting their businesses in turn.