Meet the Team
The Sydney Gay & Lesbian Business Association
The Board of the SGLBA is a group of volunteers with a diversity of qualifications. They are all passionate about the LGBTIQ community and working with SGLBA members to help them succeed.
The Directors and Board Associates are committed to providing opportunities for the LGBTIQ community to develop their business interests and networks both within corporate environments and as individual business persons.
The 2019/2020 Annual General Meeting was held on Thursday 26th October 2020. Once the board meets in November and portfolios are agreed, the new board members and portfolios will be updated to reflect those changes. The association expresses thanks to Jonny Heron, Ben Cabello, Alvin Paronda, Kat Conner and Cesar Moreno for their volunteer service to the community.
Katherine Maver, President
Katherine is an experienced Senior Project Manager who is a member of the Complex Programme Management practice within IBM. She is highly respected in IBM as a person who is driven and can deliver projects without the compromise of quality.
Currently she is working at the A/NZ GBS Demand and Fulfilment Lead which looks at the pipeline of work and the associated management system.
Katherine is also the A/NZ Lead of IBM’s Employee Alliance for LGBTI Empowerment otherwise known as EAGLE. This is a Business Resource Group for LGBTI employees and their allies at IBM. Where the objective is to promote a safe and open working environment for our members and all employees, regardless of sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression. The aim is to foster a strong sense of community within IBM and to facilitate networking, mentoring and ongoing education.
Katherine is an active member of the Trans community since transitioning 25yrs ago, and she uses her standing in the corporate world to influence to effect change and continue the fight of equality in the workplace. In 2017, Katherine also launched “The Diversity Shift” which is a public speaking and mentoring company, which sole aim is to shift the conversation around diversity from tolerance to acceptance.
Christopher Brooks – Vice President
My top 5 “Gallup Strengths” results say that I am a Maximiser, Connectedness, Relator, Futuristic and Learner.
With over 20 years experience in various HR roles, my focus has always been the people in organisations, recognising talent and getting the best out of people.
As a business owner, I have always said that networking is not about the person in front of you but about the people behind the person you’re talking to. Connecting people and watching them flourish is how great things are achieved.
As a confidante to colleagues and clients, I naturally build trust and rapport with people quickly. Within our first meeting, people often find themselves telling me things they have never told anybody else before. And nobody else ever finds out without consent.
Whether it’s been on the coaching and development side of HR or on the more generalist HR side, I’m a solutions based problem solver – which I like to call a Creative Solutionist. I am inquisitive and curious about the world around me which makes me see possibilities and opportunities which others tend to miss.
Coming from a family of teachers, learning is in my blood. My calm and patient personality lends itself well to encouraging people to develop themselves, in their own way and at their own speed. I always find that a lot of my learning comes from helping others learn – collaboration at its best.
Chris Colwell, Corporate Governance Director
Chris joined the Board as Secretary in November 2017, later to become the Corporate Governance Director in 2018. He has a background is in corporate governance and information management and is a Life Member and Fellow of Records and Information Management Professionals Australasia and an Fellow of the Governance Institute of Australia and the Institute of Chartered Secretaries.
He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Information Studies), a Master of Arts (Information and Knowledge Management), a Graduate Diploma of Applied Corporate Governance and a PhD in Humanities & Social Sciences.
Scott Duncombe, Treasurer
Scott Duncombe joins the board in his first term in 2019/20. Scott brings over 20+years of Sales and Marketing experience in the Food, Beverage and Racing Industries. Looking after brands, events and sponsorships in various capacities, he brings to the board a good understanding on how brands and members should align.
Currently Scott is a Funeral Director and Celebrant, as well as a Marriage Celebrant based in Darlinghurst. Looking after families and couples through the journey, he ensures that everything runs smoothly through his passion, experience and understanding of ceremony. Working for Picaluna Funerals in Sydney, he holds various roles from Funeral Director, Funeral Celebrant, AV Director, and Hearse Driver. The funeral industry is set for change and he is part of the change that this company is driving.
Scott also is part of the BNI Network, where he holds the Vice President seat. Scott loves connecting people with people, brands or businesses and he has been part of the BNI CBD Connect group since 2013.
Michael Rogers, Events Director
- Licensed real estate agent and owner of Love Property, helping people invest strategically in property.
- Sales and Marketing General Manager with over 15 years experience in Australia and New Zealand with global companies in various industries including luxury and retail.
- A solid understanding of the value of investing strategically and the importance that research plays in property selection.
- Specialised in developing, implementing and maintaining global sales and marketing strategies that are aligned with company strategic direction.
- Proven track record in aligning strategy with vision and leadership resulting in sales growth, profit increases and brand image improvements.
- Business growth through achieving sales targets
- Leadership and stakeholder management
- Financial, as well as profit and loss management
- Reputational and brand strategy development and driver
- Creating and developing high performing sales and marketing teams
- Managing luxury new product market entry
- Consumer and customer centric strategies
- High profile brand protection
Shari Carr, Special Events Director
In March 2020 Shari joined the SGLBA Board as Special Events Director and was elected to the same role for 2021. She is a passionate events specialist and has a diverse background of experience having managed agency, association, corporate and not-for-profit events. Shari has also worked for some of the best venues across Australia so brings extensive knowledge along with strong industry relationships to the SGLBA Board and events portfolio.
Currently Shari is a global venue procurement specialist assisting her clients source the best hotels for group accommodation, and venues for conferences and events across Australia and overseas. She streamlines the venue finding process by researching, evaluating and presenting the ideal venue based on client requirements to deliver successful events.
During her 20 year career in events Shari has always given her time in a voluntary capacity to the LGBTIQ+ community and creative industries on events such as Pride, Mardi Gras, Sleaze, Aurora Ball along with the Gay Games 2002, Sydney 2000 Olympics & Paralympics Opening & Closing Ceremony teams.
Andrew Mackay, Memberships Director: Corporate & Business
Andrew is a Project Director with over 30 years experience in the commercial and residential sector both here and the UK and has managed full life cycle of projects from design to construction of office fit-outs and retail stores across Australia. Andrew is also part of the Days of Significance working group for Interbuild an LGBTI+ Network for the property and construction industry.
Andrew comes to the SGLBA with extensive experience from being part of the NSW Committee for the Facility Management Association for nearly 5 years, Andrew was part of the NSW State Committee to win awards for their contribution to the FMA for two years running in 2016 & 2017
Alki Georgallis – Memberships Director
“Making the world a better place…. one doctor at a time”.
My career commenced recruiting carers for people with disabilities in 2006. This slowly progressed into representing some of the worlds most respected and academically elite Psychiatrists for Australia and New Zealand shores.
Often described as gregarious and tenacious I thrive on connecting with new people and propelling these relationships further into mutually beneficial business relationships.
I work closely with doctors and assist with obtaining roles that meet both their personal and professional aspirations.
Mark Morrison – Partnerships Director
I’m passionate about delivering life and delight back into Sydney’s gardens. That’s why I’ve developed a committed team at Morrison’s Gardens. Drawing on my 20 years of experience and their broad range of skills, we design, install and maintain gardens Sydney-wide.
As someone who loves gardens, I understand how important they are to the enjoyment and wellbeing of residents, which is why I’m always happy to discuss gardens with residents and committees — while being mindful that gardens must be managed within a budget.
We are always improving our service — whether it’s by travelling internationally to see what’s new or by bringing in experts in specific disciplines (like turf, construction or irrigation).
It’s all about delivering gardens that bring pleasure and that maintain (or increase) property values.
If you’re managing a strata property or a retirement village and you think the gardens have greater potential than is being realised, I’m always happy to stop by for a look. Also, if you have a home where the garden is a focal point of the property, we can help.
Our team of board associates are all volunteers. Individuals, giving of their time to the association and the community. Without their help, the range of events and services we provide, would not be possible.
Derek brings a wealth of experience to his Board Associate role. Derek has worked in the Sales & Marketing Consulting, Marketing Automation and CRM industries for over 25 years.
He’s consulted to companies in Australia and overseas helping them develop processes to support their lead generation, marketing, and sales businesses. He sees CRM, Marketing Automation and Social as enablers and not solutions in and of themselves.
Derek is the Director of Marketing & Customer Success at an Australian based Marketing Agency, Marketing Cube an Oracle Marketing Cloud business partner.