Meet the amazing leaders from the International community; small  business, corporates and government

 

Kistin Gunnis

COO of Business in Heels, today she works with professional & business women to understand and articulate their value and how to make a difference in their profitability.

Kistin Gunnis has worked internationally and domestically in the Telco Industry and knows how hard it can be to succeed as a woman and on your merit. 

Kistin is passionate about supporting women to get the rewards they deserve. With over 25+years of experience within Operations Management, she has seen it all.

She is an experienced mentor working with professional women to carve out the career they desire and encouraging them to negotiate for the rewards they deserve.

Jodie Bruce-Clarke

Confidence Expert she is Co-founder of RiSe Women is a business dedicated to helping women build their confidence, stand tall and achieve by teaching them that confidence is not something that only ‘lucky’ people have – it’s accessible to everyone! The right information, practical techniques and the will to do (and be) more, is all you need. The greatest joy in life is speaking to women about techniques to increase their confidence!

Now let’s get this straight… I was not born with truckloads of confidence, I was not bestowed with a magical gift, nor did I have some super-human genetic code. My confidence is a result of many years worth of growth, learning, mistakes and practise.  It’s something I work on daily, using practical techniques that now, through RiSe Women, I can share with you

Jodie is passionate about empowering women to be confident

Lisa Sweeney

She is the CEO of Business in Heels, daily she works to fast-track women on their journey. She has 4 1/2 years of small business experience and well understands the transition from corporate to business owner.

Her expertise includes strategic planning, marketing, expansion through digital marketing, she is a strategic connector.

Her background is 25 years of corporate buying experience with expertise in strategic planning, sourcing, online retail,  negotiation and she well understands the hurley burley of a corporate career.

She is passionate about making a difference for women & on a daily basis works to find solutions to levelling up the playing field. This year having launched mentoring, access to new women’s professional indemnity & superannuation solutions.

Amanda Tay

is Head of Small Business NAB, NSW. She has worked in the finance industry for over 18 years, and currently oversees the NSW Small Business division for National Australia Bank. In addition, Amanda is a trained Executive and NLP practitioner, served on many community boards, and champions or chairs several women’s networking events both domestically and internationally.

Amanda has navigated her leadership team through tough restructures and changing economic environments with top tier results. She boasts a wealth of experience and knowledge that stems from her commitment to growing through adversity.

One of Amanda’s greatest joys is helping women develop critical emotional, business and leadership skills to thrive in their environment.

Natalie Burrows

She is the Head of Corporate Sales at Medibank.  She is a self-motivated and driven Sales Leader with over 20 years of sales experience.  As an empathic leader, Natalie chooses to lead from the front and in doing so has had the opportunity to work in several industries managing diverse groups of people.  She is an example of how good leadership skills can be transferred from one industry to another and highlights the importance of an open mind.

Natalie’s great passions are personal development, constant learning and health and fitness.  She is always looking for opportunities to learn and develop both personally as well as a leader.  Her current role merges her passions and gives her the platform to engage with organisations on how best to support their employee’s health and wellbeing.

 

Natalie is also an active member of her community volunteering her time when she can.  She is the President of the P&F committee at Mentone Grammar where both her boys attend, and she gives her time to help develop the school community.

Mrinalini Venkatachalam

She is the Regional Director for South-East Asia and Oceania at WEConnect International, a global nonprofit network that works with multinational corporations and multilateral organizations to generate market-access opportunity for women’s business enterprises in over 125 countries through supplier diversity

The organization identifies, educates, registers, and certifies women’s business enterprises based outside the U.S. that are at least 51% owned, as well as managed and controlled, by one or more women, and then connects them to qualified buyers across the globe. WEConnect International’s network of corporate members, primarily Fortune 500 companies, represent over $1 Trillion in annual purchasing power.

Over the last twelve years, Mrinalini has engaged with large corporates, government agencies, SMEs and community organizations to provide them with a platform to create measurable social impact. She speaks regularly at community events, corporate events, and conferences about the role that gender equality plays in achieving a more sustainable world for everyone. 

Mrinalini has been awarded the Singapore Women’s Weekly’s Great Women of Our Time award in the Public Service and Education category and has been nominated as one of Cleo Singapore’s 2016 top ten Changemakers.

Jo Plummer

 She is an experienced Chair and board executive working across a portfolio of positions including Barwon Water, Deakin MBA Advisory, Barwon Asset Solutions, South Melbourne Market and Geelong Regional AICD Advisory Committee. She was recently made a Fellow of the AICD and is a graduate of the Company Directors and Mastering the Boardroom courses. 

Jo also holds an MBA majoring in Strategy, Planning, Leadership & Communication and is a Business in Heels Ambassador.

Jo is known for her optimistic, energetic style and has been affectionately coined the ‘positive provocateur’. She is relentless in her drive to focus on and positively shape the futures of the organisations with which she is engaged. Her trademark is aligning customer and community expectations with sound commercial, social and environmental outcomes.

Sandy McDonald

SandyMcDonald.com and charity, CreateCare Global, Sandy McDonald is an author, a TEDx speaker, and a storytelling trainer, working with business and academia to improve and enhance communication through purpose-led story.

ArtWords in started out in 1992 and Twenty two years later, it had become an award-winning marketing communication solutions destination for some of Australia’s most successful enterprises. In 2008, Sandy started her first charity Knit-a-square which led to her next career. She delivered a standing ovation TEDx talk about this extraordinary adventure in 2014.

The intersection of these two experiences was to prove pivotal to the work she does now. In ArtWords, if they couldn’t get their clients clear on what they were positioning, why, and for whom, they’d failed. This became the single most important component of their work. During the formative years of Knit-a-square, they learned that online stories with a focused purpose touched lives everywhere.

They helped build a worldwide community of 20,000 people in 71 countries which is still growing. Sandy wrote the book, Get It Right Online to detail the framework for how this was achieved.

The principles that informed this govern what she did then, and still does: Clarity: getting people clear on purpose, principles, people, product, and positioning Curiosity: keeping them in pursuit of their truth Coherence: helping them articulate their purpose and brand promise truthfully and consistently. In 2012, Sandy started to coach others as a clarity guide. Soon people asked for her help to tell their stories which lead to her career today.

Elizabeth Mulhall

She helps organisations realise their growth, cost, and customer experience agenda, within large Scale environments, as well as enterprise organisations (programs >$500M). Her operational and commercial leadership experience includes establishing and running large EPMO’s, program and project management, establishing onshore capabilities and operational readiness.

 

Elizabeth has a wealth of experience helping organisations deliver end to end operational digital transformation, build robust operating models, take advantage of emerging technologies, and successfully transition to new ways of working as part of significant scale or change programs. These initiatives result in the introduction of new capabilities, organisational models, governance and commercial frameworks, financial management, and, enhanced customer and staff experience. 

Natalie’s qualifications include a Master of Management, Diploma of Business, Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, Registered Nurse Division 2 and Fellow CEO Institute.

Fiona Cromarty

She is the Branch Manager, Partner Program at National Disability Insurance Agency. She has had a long career leading a range of strategic programs primarily focused on improving the outcomes of people who have sustained long-term disabilities due to motor vehicle accidents. She currently leads the Research team at the Transport Accident Commission (TAC), where she oversees the organisation’s investment in health, disability and compensation research. 

Prior to this, she held senior management roles at the TAC in the areas of Business Intelligence, Partnerships and Claims Services.

Committed to building her community, Fiona serves in a number of volunteer roles. These include participating in the Industry Mentoring Program run by La Trobe University, where she connects with students as an industry professional in a 12 week guided but flexible mentoring relationship. 

Students are matched with mentors based on key interests, education and career aspiration alignment. Fiona also supports the Office of the Public Advocate’s Community Visitors program, where volunteers visit disability accommodation services, supported residential services and mental health facilities. In this volunteer role, Fiona visits residents living in specialist disability accommodation to talk with them about the care and support they receive. 

All visits are unannounced and a brief report is written at the conclusion discussing observations, recommendations and issues. The reports are discussed with facility management and compiled for an annual report to the Victorian Parliament.

Sheetal Pillai

She has spent a major portion of her career life in the United Arab Emirates as a serial entrepreneur & a creative thinker. She has been contributing to the creative advertising & events technology industry for the last 23 years, with her current position as the Global Executive Vice President @option1live.

 

Besides her professional career, her passion for arts & craft is showcased through her brand, Candescent Art Connoisseur; an artistic candle company. Sheetal’s creative mind has helped her pave her path in the entertainment industry catering to corporates & government entities through Option 1 Group, an illustrious events technology & content company. 

 

Being part of the founding member of this organization has helped her grow and explore her entrepreneurial skills over the past 2 decades as she actively contributed to the global growth and spearheaded several business verticals.Her passion and exposure to the knowledge and experience in the industry has motivated her to facilitate women empowerment and guide those who need a little boost to increase their confidence in being successful. 

 

Sheetal has a knack for making meaningful connections with audiences and an insatiable appetite for helping others maximizes her potential, to rock a platform, connect with a crowd and provide guidance so that others can effectively do the same.

Sian is a regular volunteer mentor with:

  • Institute of Managers and Leaders ANZ
  • Business in Heels.

And is a Committee Member for Melbourne Business Network, supporting all business across Melbourne and Victoria.

Bronwyn Reid

My name is Bronwyn Reid, and I am a small business enthusiast, or nut, depending on your perspective. I’m a serial small business owner who has started three award-winning businesses from Regional Queensland, proving to myself (and others) that being a woman small business owner in a regional area is actually a valid lifestyle choice.

Apart from starting and running businesses, I was a part-time university lecturer for 12 years. Now, I can combine my two main drivers – education and small business success (particularly in regional areas), through my speaking, writing, workshops, training programs, and advocacy.

My specialty, and the subject of my first book,Small Company, Big Business, is the relationship between big companies and their small company suppliers. These two parties need each other, but they speak different languages. My job is to help them understand each other, and create valuable commercial relationships.

I believe that without a vibrant small business sector, our societies have no heart. It is small businesses that make communities successful. My second book ‘Small Company, Big Crisis: How To Prepare For, Respond To, And Recover From A Business Crisis takes on that theme – creating sustainable businesses.

LINKS

 

Website:                       https://bronwynreid.com.au/

LinkedIn:                       https://www.linkedin.com/in/bronwynreid/

Amanda Barnard

Talent Development at Adobe APJ, is a strategic business executive with extensive experience creating and delivering impactful people and organisational change outcomes that build success. I have built a strong reputation for delivering value to the business with a professional approach that is commercial, creative and collaborative.

Talent Development at Adobe APJ, is a strategic business executive with extensive experience creating and delivering impactful people and organisational change outcomes that build success. I have built a strong reputation for delivering value to the business with a professional approach that is commercial, creative and collaborative.

I have worked in Australia, the United Kingdom, Europe and across Asia with multi-national businesses and iconic Australian organisations.

Kylie Hull

Kylie Hull has been Head of Regional Branches for Gallagher Australia Broking operations since April 2021. Based in the regional town of Dubbo, Kylie brings not only over 30 years of insurance experience to the role but a deep understanding of the intricacies of rural broking.

An experienced sales leader with deep insurance industry experience and a strong track record of embedding a high-performing sales culture, Kylie has been able to develop new accounts through effective prospecting and networking initiatives, and cultivating relationships with key decision makers. Her passion and dedication have enabled her to drive organic sales growth for the Australian business and motivate her team to deliver year-on-year growth which she now brings to her new role.

 

Along with a strong rural background Kylie has had more than 30 years’ experience in delivering insurance solutions for a diverse range of clients. She believes that success comes from leading from the front and inspiring through example to achieve organic growth goals and client service excellence.

Kylie’s dedication, passion and results have seen her recognised by the business for key awards such as, Branch Manager of the Year for Australia in 2016 & 2019, Best Leader of the Year in 2018 and attendance at the elite Gallagher Presidents Club held in Chicago in 2019.

Professional Experience

Kylie began her career in 1988 with Commercial Union Insurance. Her roles there included claims executive and technical farm underwriter, before she made the move to a broking role in 1995.

She joined Gallagher in 2012 as Dubbo Branch Manager and was promoted to Area Director for the region in 2016. Using deep insight into what it takes to make a branch successful and working from the ground up she is dedicated to fostering an inclusive and goal-oriented culture.

Kathy Wilton

I have 25yrs leadership experience in the not for profit sector This includes working with new leaders to support them to develop their leadership style, to understand why they lead the way they do and to see what else is possible.

As a mentor I enjoy listening to the stories of others, supporting them to think about what else is possible, asking powerful questions that challenge their thinking and give some examples within my experience that relate to the issue the mentees wants support with. This includes where I have got it wrong, where I have got it right and those in between.

I want to be a resource to others, a tool in their tool kit. A support that can identify with the mentee their strengths and provide some practical outcomes that work for the mentee. I will be agile in my mentoring, that is I can change my style to suit the mentee. I will be open, honest and respectful. As a mentor I want the mentee to come away with, new skills, understanding their values, have clarity about their direction, and be curious about what is possible in the future.

Nikki Taylor

Nikki Taylor is a Certified Career Transition Coach and Women’s Change Coach who is passionate about empowering women to excel in both their personal and professional lives. She is a trusted advisor who guides her clients toward self-actualization and helps them identify essential connections that lead to fulfilment.

Nikki brings a wealth of experience to every conversation, having worked with international recruiting agencies and run successful recruitment companies that have assisted individuals at all stages of their personal and professional development. She is also the founder of Nikki Taylor – Be Inspired, a coaching and unique brand empowering women to thrive offering her own label “Be Inspired”

Through Be Inspired, Nikki helps women feel empowered, capable, and worthy of achieving their dreams. She firmly believes that every individual is unique and has something special to offer the world. As the author of Be Inspired, a compilation of insights from 50 women globally, Nikki has a deep understanding of the knowledge and passion necessary to propel individuals forward.

Kimberly D Downes, CFRE, EMFIA, CAP

Philanthropy and Fundraising Strategist

Known as a change maker and advocate for growing women’s philanthropy, Kimberly is a strategic thinker and communicator with executive management skills.

 

As CEO of The Australian Gynaecological Cancer Foundation, she is passionate about the cause and driving change. She is known as a result driven senior strategist and engagement specialist, and is an expert at driving through change by bringing all stakeholders together in positive, creative environments. 

With over 30-years’ experience in fundraising, philanthropy and management, Kimberly is a recognised accomplished senior fundraising strategist with extensive experience and global voice on philanthropy in Australia. She tailors best-practice methodologies with organisational ethos and values to create a sustainable culture of philanthropy.

She has done extensive study on creating a culture of philanthropy and the motivations behind women’s giving.

She has published a research report on The Role and Influence of Women in Australian Philanthropy and is a co-author of the book Rise Above, Beyond Ordinary.

Kim has served on several NFP Boards and is currently a Co-Chair of the Australian Pituitary Foundation. She is also a specialist consultant for Giving Connect.

She has a history of presenting at EducatePlus, Fundraising and Philanthropy, Philanthropy Australia and CASE Conferences.

Leesa Tongoulidis

People and Culture Expert and Founder, Human Art – Career and Leadership Coaching

Leesa has over 15 years in Human Resource and Organisational Development with a strong track record leading strategic business partnering, diversity and inclusion, and culture transformation projects in complex, challenging and ambiguous circumstances.  

 

Her key strengths are helping leaders and organisations navigate change and uncertainty, connecting people, ideas and opportunity.

Leesa has worked in multiple industry sectors including IT, government, private education, financial services, property, telecommunications, and managed services.

 

Prior to working in HR, Leesa managed a number of key change projects and led high performing operational teams in sales and customer service. Leesa is an IECL Level 2 Certified Executive Coach, and is also Certified in Career Coaching, Mental Health First Aid, Psychological Safety, DiSC and the Hogan Personality Inventory.

Leesa set up her own consulting, career and leadership coaching business – Human Art, 6 years ago. Her coaching practice is heart centred and leverages the latest research in neuroscience, and future of work studies. She loves working with forward thinking leaders, emerging talent and start up founders, helping them create and craft their own style of leadership and entrepreneurship.

Leesa is passionate about enabling individuals and organisations to reimagine and create a more positive and productive relationship with work. Leesa also enjoys mentoring women, youth and refugees on a pro-bono basis. She is an accomplished speaker and facilitator.

Leesa is highly experienced in workplace coaching and mentoring for individuals, teams, management and executive leaders going through change due to vocational progression, career transition, performance, restructure and for those preparing strategies to work differently or set up a new business venture.

She has a proven ability to deliver short individual programs right through to designing and delivering large scale people and culture transformational projects.

She is an absolute advocate of nurturing win:win relationships for all stakeholders, using multimodal techniques including experiential learning, systemic wisdom and co-creation as tools to stimulate conversation and positive change.

Linley Watson

Linley Watson is owner and CEO of Peak Performance International and founder of REIDARTM. Over the past two decades, Linley and her team has assessed, trained, mentored, coached or advised over ten thousand leaders in a wide range of industry sectors including finance, telecommunications and professional services.

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Linley has seen firsthand how the relentless demands of professional life can negatively impact people’s health and wellbeing, their relationships and their performance. That’s why she created REIDARTM Holistic Executive Coaching, to help leaders achieve success in all areas of their life.

Business leader, wife, mother of four (including triplets), walking enthusiast, aspiring yogi and Reiki practitioner are some of the roles and experiences that Linley brings to REIDARTM.

Alongside her professional qualifications that include a Bachelor of Commerce, ICF accredited Diploma in Leadership, Coaching and Mentoring, certificates in Neuro Coaching, Emotional Intelligence, Reiki Science and more, Linley has invested thousands of hours in her own personal development. Balancing her career ambitions, hectic home life and personal wellbeing has always been core to who she is.

 

Now Linley and her team of holistic coaches are combining their passion for coaching and energy healing to empower professionals to live a more balanced, healthy and happy life.

Aurora Sassone

Aurora Sassone is the Head of Communications for Oracle ANZ, where she is responsible for the regional brand and reputation of the company.  With a unique blend of digital marketing and b2b storytelling expertise, Aurora has an impressive track record of building world-class brands and teams from fast growing start-ups to globally iconic companies.

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Prior to joining Oracle, Aurora lead marketing and communications for ABB Australia Process Industries. She also spent time on the agency side at Edelman where she lead account teams for clients such as Adobe, GE and Unilever.

Aurora is a fierce advocate for diversity and inclusion, and passionate about mentoring and helping others to be successful. She is also passionate about corporate social responsibility, sustainability and the environment and regularly volunteer her time and skills to several conservation orgnaisations.

 

Stephanie Lee

Stephanie Lee is an experienced professional with track record across a diverse range of industries and business contexts. Her experience in sales, business development, international business expansion and outsourcing services, particularly in the financial services, information technology, and international payment domains makes her a versatile contributor for businesses looking to start, build, and grow.

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Stephanie’s experience working in different countries allow her the ability to navigate cultural differences, open doors, build relationships with stakeholders, and transformed diverse sales teams. She has networking and stakeholder management experience where she helped SME clients expand their business in and out of Asia through involvement in strategy, incorporation, outsourcing of finance, and HR functions.

Stephanie has delivered innovative and transformational technology programs to banks. Her experience working with regulators, banks and FinTech’s to rollout payment products to local markets.

Her knowledge of market dynamics and industry trends in technology and payments can provide insights to emerging technologies, consumer preferences and regulatory needs.

 

Stephanie’s 26 – year international corporate career experience allows her to navigate through corporate ladders and provide life experiences support for women to succeed in their careers. Her open-minded approach to continuous learning and her willingness to share her knowledge, insights, and networking make her a strong mentor to professional women.

www.linkedin.com/in/stephanieyllee

 

Tania MacPhee

Tania grew up in the wine industry; her parents were distributors for one of the First Family wine brands and her grandparents owned wine bars in inner city Melbourne in the 1950’s.

She completed a Diploma of Financial Planning and a Bachelor of Business before establishing MacPhee’s with her husband Craig in 2001.

Today, Tania is the Managing Director of MacPhee’s, a privately owned Australian company that specialises in fine wine and creating thousands of beautiful wine cellars utilising the highest quality wine cabinets, wine cooling equipment and wine racking products in the world.

A pioneer in the wine storage and service industry with unrivalled experience and expertise, the MacPhee’s team of wine cellaring specialists works closely with leading Architects, Designers, Property Developers, and hospitality clients, assisting with the selection and supply of the world-class equipment, whilst providing essential technical and engineering specifications and professional advice for residential, multi-residential and commercial wine cellar projects from concept through to completion.

Tania enjoys working with MacPhee’s VIP clients and partners, has established close professional relationships with key suppliers and leads a team of about 22 people.

MacPhee’s has experienced double digit growth over the past few years, with further growth projected based a strong strategic plan for the future.

With more than 10 years’ experience in strategic communications, publishing, and brand experiences, I have a strong commercial orientation, and am adept at developing enduring and mutually rewarding relationships.

Naomi Menahem

GAICD  Program Communications LeadProgram Communications Lead  University of Technology Sydney

I am senior business marketer with an agile and solutions-orientated approach and proven expertise in leading and delivering complex programs, events, and campaigns to effect change, build advocacy, enhance brand reputation, and generate strong ROI.

With more than 10 years’ experience in strategic communications, publishing, and brand experiences, I have a strong commercial orientation, and am adept at developing enduring and mutually rewarding relationships.

Tiana Iuvale

In her current capacity as Broker Solutions Manager QLD, Tiana Iuvale leads a team of market-facing Account Partners and Business Relationship Partners, who are the face of the CGU brand in broker offices as far north as Cairns and as far south as Northern NSW.   Her role encompasses key metrics focused on building strong partner relationships, sustainable growth, and profitability through authentic leadership, to bring to life the IAG purpose of making our world a safer place.

After graduating with a Degree in Communication she gained leadership experience in operations, finance, project management, sales and marketing across a range of industries including advertising, retail, wholesaling and premium funding. Prior to taking on a state leadership role, Tiana gained valuable experience working as a BDM and National Key Account Manager at CGU.

As a working mother of two wonderful young gentlemen, Tiana has a deep personal interest in all aspects of diversity and inclusion.  Speaking from the heart, she is determined to share her career and life experiences truthfully and honestly in the hope of inspiring future generations of leaders to create balanced, equitable and flexible workplaces where everyone can thrive.

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