The TSBE team bring together a diverse range of skills to help our members maximise their business opportunities.
Ali Davenport - Chief Executive Officer
Ali Davenport is the CEO of TSBE and brings to the role a unique mix of leadership skills, business knowledge and relationship management. Her background is in media where she has managed Radio and Television Stations as well as Newspapers.
Ali’s professional career has taken her to many parts of regional Queensland including Cairns, Mackay and the Gold Coast as well as the city of Brisbane but she is very happy to be back on the Darling Downs. She believes that this region is exceptional due to the diversity of the economy, the resourcefulness of the people and the powerful community spirit.
A previous board member of TSBE, Ali is working hard to ensure the entire TSBE team continues to successfully drive economic growth by linking businesses with opportunity.
Ph: 07 4639 4600
E: [email protected]
Cassandra Hunter - Operations Manager
Cassandra Hunter is the Operations Manager at TSBE with 15 years’ experience working in the event services industry. She is skilled in negotiation, business development, stakeholder engagement, operations, logistic, event and business management.
Cassandra holds a Bachelor of Business in Tourism and Events and has worked across multiple industries including education, health and construction.
Throughout her career, Cassandra has project managed 20,000 plus capacity events locally and throughout South Queensland. Cassandra ensures that no stone is left unturned. Her attention to detail is meticulous, delivering and implementing efficient organisational processes while planning for the unexpected and maintaining time frames and budgets.
P 0422 867 929
Lance MacManus - General Manager – Energy & Infrastructure
TSBE stretches from Toowoomba to Roma, and in order to service the region, Lance can be found across the Maranoa and Western Downs each fortnight, meeting with members and businesses as part of his role as General Manager of Energy and Infrastructure. A Chinchilla office is also available for Lance to meet with members for business advisory. Supply chain engagement, tendering and investments opportunities are Lance’s specialties, a result of vast consultancy and management experience. While TSBE works with a wide range of industries across the region, Lance works to link regional business opportunities and tendering success in the resources, renewables, coal seam gas, mining, infrastructure and development sectors.
P 0427 935 987
E [email protected]
Bruce McConnel - General Manager, Food Leaders Australia
Bruce McConnel is the General Manager of Food Leaders Australia, bringing with him a wealth of experience in agribusiness management. Bruce holds a Bachelor of Agribusiness and Diploma of Export Management, and has spent the last 17 years in a range of roles across the Australian finance industry.
Before joining FLA, Bruce was Regional Manager (South West Queensland, Regional and Agribusiness Banking) for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, and a driver of business growth across the Toowoomba and Surat Basin region.
Bruce has expertise in beef, horticulture, grains and cotton industries and their respective supply chains and export markets. Through his previous roles he has experience in Domestic and International Trade and led the Queensland agribusiness growth strategy for Commbank. He also spent time with the National Australia Bank, including working as their Agribusiness Strategy Advisor.
Bruce brings with him an extensive client base, expertise in business development, innovation and growth, and a broad knowledge of export.
Food Leaders Australia (FLA) is a sister entity of TSBE, and exists to support the growth of food and agricultural businesses to allow them to capitalise on new market opportunities, innovation and export.
P 0499 025 118
E [email protected]
Jaden Frame - General Manager - Health
Jaden is the General Manager for TSBE Health and brings a unique mix of health, finance and business skills to the role. Prior to establishing TSBE Health Jaden spent eight years the General Manager for Wise Therapy and the Managing Director of Livewell Australia. Jaden grew these businesses considerably, attracted interest from an equity group and subsequently sold the business in 2017. His time at Wise Therapy and Livewell Australia allowed him to develop a strong network within the Toowoomba health community and gave him a unique insight to the opportunities and challenges within the industry. Jaden also spent more than a decade in the commercial banking sector. Jaden holds a Bachelor of Agricultural Economics, a Masters of Business Administration and is a Fellow of the Institute of Managers and Leaders.
P 0488 222 212
E [email protected]
Kristy Hayes - Media and Marketing Manager
Kristy Hayes is the Media and Marketing Manager at TSBE and comes from marketing roles in organisations such as Cobb+Co Museum, Toowoomba Newspapers, Brisbane City Council and Melbourne Convention and Visitors Bureau. She brings local knowledge and also experience in marketing and communications across several national and international locations.
During her career Kristy has focused on implementing strategies to increase business and also brand recognition in a range of industries including consultancy and in-house marketing roles. With a proven track record of design and implementation of a range of creative and strategic marketing campaigns she has experience working in all areas of marketing and been accountable of the delivery of successful marketing programs. Kristy holds Bachelor of Business in Marketing and Information Technology.
P 0419 490 355
E [email protected]
Justin Heaven - Export Manager Food and Agribusiness, Food Leaders Australia
Justin Heaven is the Export Manager, Food and Agribusiness with TSBE Food Leaders Australia, bringing to the role a wealth of experience from across agriculture, export market development and international trade. Justin holds a Diploma of Agricultural Science from the University of Queensland and has completed further studies in project management, business and export market development.
Working in the private sector for a majority of the past 30 years, Justin has extensive experience working with a diverse range of agribusinesses, project management, business management and export market development. Justin is passionate about agriculture, export and working with local agribusinesses to identify opportunities, barriers and pathways to implement change, meet growth aspirations and achieve strategic business objectives.
Justin has most recently worked as a Senior Industry Development Officer with the Department of Agriculture & Fisheries and previously with the Department of State Development, infrastructure and Planning, managing projects and assisting businesses adopt innovation and industry best practice. With experience in both the private and Government sectors, Justin is eager to assist members explore new markets, business opportunities and achieve your business goals.
P 0448 011 946
E [email protected]
Katrina Rojek - Events Manager
Katrina is the Events Manager in charge of TSBE's comprehensive annual events calendar. With the introduction of AccessChina in 2016 and AccessHongKong in 2017, TSBE's already extensive calendar took on a whole new milestone and as such Katrina readily jumped on board. With a professional history across a range of Toowoomba-based companies, Katrina has brought with her many years' experience within the industry, as well as a tertiary education in Public Relations and Marketing. Katrina is the go-to for all event related enquiries.
P 0499 022 551
E [email protected]
Hayley Hoefler - Membership Officer
Hayley is the Membership and Special Projects Officer for TSBE. Joining the team in 2017, she has brought quite an extensive professional history to the role. Originally from Dalby, Hayley studied Fashion Design and Technology at the Sunshine Coast and decided to further her study by moving to Toowoomba to complete a Certificate in Business Administration with Financial components. Previous to her role at TSBE, Hayley ran a successful fashion boutique for two years, before deciding to make the career change into Office Work. Hayley is more than happy to help out with any enquiry you might have regarding membership.
P 0408 928 616
E [email protected]
Daniel McNamara - Business Development Manager- Energy & Infrastructure
The best careers often evolve from a passion, and that’s certainly the case for Daniel McNamara. Born on the Western Downs, Daniel has called the Toowoomba Region home for around 40 years. A qualified carpenter and builder, he has a passion for property and real estate having built and invested in commercial and residential property. It was therefore a natural evolution for the builder to become the marketer and seller, and in 2015 Daniel joined the Ray White Commercial team, and brought all his knowledge and experience into the role of Commercial Sales and Leasing Agent for the benefit of his clients.
A proud father of three boys, and together with wife Letitia, they are passionate about the Toowoomba region and are actively involved in local school, sporting, and community events.
Daniel's experience with different sectors is an asset to TSBE and our members. He is more than happy to assist members with market intel, business leads, business to business introductions and strategic planning and identifying niche markets.
P 0408 926 025
Carissa Kemp - Communications and Events Officer
Carissa Kemp is the Communication and Events Officer at TSBE. Previously, she worked as a journalist for 7 News in Toowoomba and Brisbane. She has a passion for sharing stories and presenting information accurately across a number of different platforms.
Since moving to the region in 2017, Carissa has gained local knowledge in a wide variety of industries such as agriculture, infrastructure and education. With this background she brings key insights into successfully engaging with audiences.
Carissa holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the Queensland University of Technology.
Helen Bates - Southern Queensland Export Hub Export Manager
Helen Bates is a highly motivated and experienced Contracts and Projects Management professional who has extensive experience working in highly complex matrix organisations across diverse industries with demonstrated success. Helen has over fifteen years in senior management positions in domestic agribusiness, international trade, construction in renewable energy and manufacturing for the hard rock mining industry.
Helen has strengths in responding and resolving export issues that arise due to complexities of operating in a global business that operates in many geographic locations, with complexity of sanctions, foreign exchange, political unrest and language.
In 2000, Helen completed a Master of Business Administration, specialising in International Business, from the University of Southern Queensland. In 2014, Helen completed a Contracts Management Professional Certification. This certification is a contract law and contract management series of courses through the Informa Corporate Learning group, which is endorsed by the Australian Association of Procurement and Contract Management.
Helen Ward – Southern Queensland Export Hub Project Officer
Helen Ward is the Export Project Officer for the newly-formed SQ Export Hub and brings a mix of agricultural knowledge and business experience to the organisation. Helen holds a Bachelor Degree in Agricultural Science, together with 6 years’ finance and banking experience from her time working at the National Australia Bank within their Regional & Agribusiness division. During her time in finance, she worked through the Graduate program to become a Relationship Manager based in Dalby, QLD for over 2 years. Whilst completing her University studies, she also worked at the Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries.
Much of Helen’s career has been supporting both farming and regional businesses in the Darling & Western Downs regions, which is an asset to the members of TSBE. Helen is more than happy to assist members with export and industry information, business introductions and any other export queries you may have.
Jade Hauser – Industry Engagement Manager, Food Leaders Australia
Jade is the Industry Engagement Manager of Food Leaders Australia, with over 10 years’ experience in agribusiness marketing, project management and education and training.
Prior to joining TSBE, Jade was the Marketing Manager at Queensland Agricultural Training Colleges, a registered training organisation and Queensland Government statutory body. Throughout her career she has had significant experience in a number of professional service organisations including a public university; registered training organisation; government body; family owned company, not-for-profit advocacy body; national research, development and extension organisation. Jade is passionate and committed to improving the quality of local industry and the economic well-being of the community and continually promotes a sustainable future which includes career, innovation and technology developments.
Jade is happy to assist members with market intel, business leads, business to business introductions, identifying and matching educational opportunities to member’s needs, and the facilitation of industry events at the recently completed TAFE Queensland Rural Centre of Excellence.
P 0439 256 099
Bev Stroud - Finance Officer
Bev Stroud is our Finance Officer and comes with a wealth of accounting and administration experience. Bev has spent the last 14 years in Dalby and recently moved to Toowoomba. She brings experience from national and international locations.
Bev has a Cert IV in Business Administration and a Cert IV in Human Resources.
Kobi Cooper - Graphic Design and Marketing Officer
As TSBE continues to grow, yet another new role has been created with Kobi coming on board to spearhead our graphic design projects, and assist at our busy administration desk. Kobi has a Diploma of Graphic Design (2017), as well as a Certificate III in ICT - Webstreaming. Toowoomba born and raised, Kobi has worked in numerous roles in and around graphic design and marketing including freelance work.
Mandy Turner - Administrative Assistant Energy and Infrastructure
Mandy Turner is the Administrative Assistant with the Energy and Infrastructure team. Mandy has joined the team, with experience working within the CSG and Transportation Industry as a former Co-owner of a Water Haulage Business. Mandy is also skilled in Customer Service, Project Management, Compliance, and has a Cert IV in Workplace Health and Safety.
Mandy spent 25 years living in the Western Downs and moved to Toowoomba in 2018.
Monica English - Reception and Administration Assistant
Monica English joined the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise team in 2020 as the Reception and Administration Assistant, previously working as an Office Manager, with more than 20 years administrative and accounts experience.
Jim Donohue, Lead Business Coach, Navigator Western Downs
Jim draws on a wealth of innate experience to effectively coach others in navigating the full continuum of business management and operations. From business start-ups and optimization of established businesses – to guiding owners through succession and exit planning.
His philosophy and ‘real-world’ style of coaching is underpinned by a diverse career in both family-owned enterprises and international companies. Spanning the mining, agricultural, retail and construction sectors and locating Jim in remote, rural, regional and metropolitan environments. His roles have encompassed general management, business development, project management, strategic networking, sales, marketing and TAFE teaching. Jim also participates in the State Government Mentoring for Growth and ACE Programs (advisory panels for small to medium businesses). Consequently, Jim is well acquainted with the changing terrain of business ownership and is focused on assisting clients to navigate their business potential, with practical ‘know-how’ and sustainable goals.
Suzie Wood – Business Coach, Business Navigator Western Downs
Business Coach Suzie Wood is a senior finance professional with a unique blend of Australian and International business experience in a wide range of industries, across both large and small businesses. Suzie is a Big 4 trained Chartered Accountant with over 20 years experience and has a sound ability to understand holistic business financial requirements, helping drive efficiencies and innovation across various business functions.
Successfully delivering a diverse array of financial reporting, forecasting, budgeting and business case proposals, Suzie is adept at rapidly establishing working relationships with local networks and key stakeholder groups and businesses. Business Navigator Western Downs is supported by Shell’s QGC business and Suzie lives in Jandowae.
Ailsa Cass - Digital Marketing Advisor, Business Navigator Western Downs
Ailsa Cass is a qualified and passionate marketing professional with experience working with a diverse range of organisations, from FMCG/Food Companies, Professional Services to home-based Online Businesses. With a sound knowledge of both consumer and trade marketing along with experience in branding and website development, Ailsa brings a hands-on approach to the team
Ailsa assists clients with preparing marketing strategies, advises on digital media tools and ensure the service is well promoted. Fastidious with details, Ailsa is also a strong project manager ensuring clients are well looked after and projects are delivered to the highest standard. Ailsa is originally from Oakey and has lived and worked in Chinchilla for the past ten years.
Louise Keating – Business Grant Writer, Business Navigator Western Downs
Louise Keating joined the Western Downs Business Navigators team in 2020 as a Business Grants Writer. A Chinchilla resident for the past nine years, Louise is ready to assist local small businesses to identify relevant business grant opportunities and apply for funding. Louise has a creative background and is focused on crafting written applications that will maximise the chance of success in securing funding. With a down to earth approach, Louise has a genuine interest in helping Western Downs small businesses to prosper. Business Navigator Western Downs is supported by Shell’s QGC business and has welcomed Louise to the team as part their COVID 19 community response initiative.
Stuart McGavin, Web developer, Business Navigator Western Downs
Stuart is a business ICT professional with over 20 years’ experience in web development, design and online marketing. He has worked with ASX listed companies through to small start-up businesses. He has been employed to work with Western Downs businesses to assist them with their website requirements. This service is provided thanks to Shell’s QGC Business as part of their COVID recovery program.