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Media Release

Hort Innovation AGM – Board member nominees announced

Publication date: 27 October 2020

AT THE Hort Innovation Annual General Meeting on 27 November 2020, members of the company will elect three directors to the Hort Innovation Board. This follows changes to the way directors are appointed made at October’s Extraordinary General Meeting.  
 
The pool of six candidates were selected by Hort Innovation’s Director Nomination Committee following an intensive selection process. The Director Nomination Committee is comprised of the Chair of the Company, the Secretary of the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment (DAWE), a Levy Payer (that is not a Director) selected by the Secretary of the DAWE, and an independent eminent person appointed by the board. 
 
The results of the election will be shared during the 27 November Annual General Meeting (a closed event for members and invited guests). Results will also be published on Hort Innovation’s website. 
 
Under the Constitution, three directors are due to retire from the Hort Innovation Board this year. One of these directors has nominated for re-election - Jenny Margetts. The Annual General Meeting marks the retirement of current Chair Selwyn Snell and Deputy Chair Dr Mary Corbett. 
 
Candidates information is below. A full professional profile for each candidate is available on the Hort Innovation website
 
Jenny Margetts (re-nominated director) 
 
Jenny has worked in the agrifood industry for more than 30 years working with corporate and SME businesses. She has a background in agronomy and R&D management and has worked in the horticulture, cotton, wine and sugar industries. Over the years, Jenny has developed her knowledge of the fresh produce sector and trade, and actively maintains extensive networks across Australia, New Zealand and Asia. She also has particular interest in the application of innovative technologies and use of data to improve outcomes for businesses in the horticultural sector.  
 
Jenny is a current Director of Hort Innovation and has renominated to serve a further term. During her time on the board, she has served on the Board’s Investment Committee and is currently a member of the Audit & Risk Committee. She also chairs the Trade Assessment Panel (TAP) – the panel which evaluates requests related to export market access or market improvement for the Australian horticultural industries; and is an observer on the industry Trade Advisory Panel (iTAP). 
 
Qualifications: B. App. Sci (Hort Tech) 1985, Qld Agricultural College; Dip Export Marketing 1993, University of Southern Queensland; B.Bus (Mkting/HR) 1998, University of Southern Queensland. 
 
Prof. Hon. Niall Blair  
 
For more than twenty years after graduating with a bachelor of Horticultural Science, Niall dedicated his career to the horticultural sector in Australia to add value or manage the many risks that it faces. This work continues with his current roles as Professor of Food Sustainability at Charles Sturt University, Chairman of Elf Farm Supplies Pty Ltd (mushroom compost) and Non-Executive Director of White Prince Mushrooms Pty Ltd. 
 
He served in the NSW Parliament for nine years and his appointment as Minister for Primary Industries, Water, Lands, Trade and Industry has given him a unique insight into the issues that the horticultural industry faces in competitive domestic and international markets, along with an understanding of how government agencies and industry bodies work.
       
With a Masters of OHS, Bachelor of Horticultural Science, Diploma of Quality Auditing and as a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors Niall has a reputation for fostering a culture of innovation, strategic planning, decisive action, corporate governance, communication, consultation and collaboration that delivers results. 
 
Andrew Guthrie 
 
Andrew has dedicated his career to agriculture and worked for 32 years with Syngenta, one of the world’s leading agriculture companies with an ambition to help safely feed the world while taking care of the planet. Syngenta invests circa $1.3b in R&D each year, to create crop protection and seed technologies that enable millions of farmers around the world to make better use of limited agricultural resources.  
 
Andrew spent 20 years working internationally with assignments in the United Kingdom, Switzerland, Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Japan and China. Horticulture has been a key focus of Andrew’s throughout his career and he was personally involved in many solutions that helped growers in the production and marketing of their produce.  
 
In 2017, Syngenta became the largest ever publicly listed company to be acquired by a Chinese State Owned Enterprise and become part of the ChemChina group. Andrew was tasked with the creation of China as a separate Region for Syngenta and worked with the Chinese owners and Syngenta’s global executive team to drive the Chinese business after the acquisition. 
 
Andrew returned to Australia in 2019 and lives with his wife, Kerry, on their small farm in the Yarra Valley. He continues to pursue his strong interest in agriculture and helping others through his Board membership of Business For Development, a not-for-profit charity that brings enterprise to those in rural poverty in Africa, Asia and PNG. 
 
Anthony Kelly 

Having achieved his Bachelor of Laws Degree from the University of Queensland and fresh from a term as a Judge’s Associate, Anthony decided on a change of direction and so he embarked headlong into the world of horticulture commencing with exporting, importing, wholesaling in the Carter & Spencer Group. Very quickly, Tony also added transport, distribution and logistics expertise in the exciting world of fresh fruit, vegetables and flowers. 
 
Anthony joined the Brismark Board (Queensland Chamber of Fruit and Vegetable Wholesalers) rising to the role of President. He became an integral part of the team that led the Industry-based bid that won and acquired the Brisbane Markets at Rocklea in 2002 from the Queensland State Government. Tony immediately joined the Board of Directors on Brisbane Markets Limited and is currently Deputy Chairman.  
 
Anthony’s skills were recognised by the transport and logistics giant ASX Listed Lindsay Australia Limited, and accepted a board appointment in May 2019. Tony is a member of all board committees as well. Tony is coowner of the emerging IT business Veracity Technology, which specialises in cloud-based platforms and services. 
 
Anthony maintains his long-term membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 
 
Michael Nixon 
 
Michael is a West Australian producer based in Carnarvon. He grew up on a broad acre farm with sheep and cattle and coarse grains at New Norcia, WA.  
 
Michael has been involved in several voluntary industry organisations and committees at a national level, for example Board Member for AUSVEG and Australian Banana Growers’ Council. He heavily involves himself in many local industry community initiatives and organisations, including being Chairman of the Gascoyne Food Council. 
 
Victoria Taylor 
 
Victoria Taylor has over two decades’ experience in agricultural policy, governance and communications. She is an experienced board member and small business owner, whose career has focused on supporting the Australian agricultural sector.  
 
Victoria holds a Graduate Certificate in Water Policy and Governance from Charles Sturt University and is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. 
 
Victoria is currently Chair of the Centre for Entrepreneurial Agri-Technology at the Australian National University (a partnership with CSIRO), Deputy Chair of the Rice Marketing Board for the State of NSW and an Independent Director of Australian Dairy Farmers Ltd.  
 
Until October last year, she was Executive Officer of the National Horticulture Research Network.  
 
Through her business, Flourish Communication, Victoria works with a range of plant industry and government clients, providing strategic policy and communications advice.  
 

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