Amanda Stevens is a renowned thought leader on the customer experience. She combines current consumer insights with fascinating research into buying behaviour, delivering organisations and business owners powerful strategies for connecting with their customers.
Speaker: Recognised as one of the most entertaining speakers on the circuit, Amanda has presented at over 800 conferences in 14 countries. She combines practical strategies with a mesmerizing storytelling style, leaving audiences with memorable messages and actionable insights.
Awards: Amanda is a former Young Australian of the Year (Career Achievement, NSW) and in 2003 was awarded the prestigious Centenary Medal by the Governor General for Business Innovation. Amanda is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP) and in 2018
Matt Jones is one of Australia’s leading strategists and storytellers when it comes to the intersections of brand, business, leadership, experience, culture, technology, human behaviour and storytelling.Matt has an eclectic background, combining economics, politics, brand experience and gin. As one of three co-founders, and the brand brains behind Four Pillars, Matt Jones connects the dots between brand and purpose theory and gritty business and delivery reality.
Robbie Kellman Baxter
Robbie Kellman Baxter is the founder of Peninsula Strategies LLC, a management consulting firm, as well as the author of the bestselling The Membership Economy: Find Your Superusers, Master the Forever Transaction & Build Recurring Revenue. Her new book The Forever Transaction will be released by McGraw Hill in spring of 2020. She coined the popular business term “Membership Economy", which is now being used by organizations and journalists around the country and beyond. Her clients have included large organizations like Netflix, the National Restaurant Association and Stuff NZ, as well as dozens of smaller venture-backed companies. Over the course of her career, Robbie has worked in or consulted to clients in more than twenty industries. Before starting Peninsula Strategies in 2001, Robbie served as a New York City Urban Fellow, a consultant at Booz Allen & Hamilton, and a Silicon Valley product marketer. Robbie has been quoted or interviewed by dozens of media outlets, including CNN, NBC, and NPR. As a public speaker, Robbie has presented to thousands of people in corporations, associations, and universities. She has an AB from Harvard College and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Sam Johnson is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring young citizens. His relentless energy to mobilise people around ideas has a magic ability in building movements that matter! Farm boy turned social entrepreneur, Sam’s work is on the leading edge of using the collective to overcome the bureaucratic - shifting our belief system about what is possible when teams, organisations and communities authentically connect and build empathy.
ACE Master of Ceremonies
Andrew Klein, Director, Spike Presentations
Director of Spike Presentations (....helping you get your point across) Andrew is one of Australia’s leading Professional Conference MC / Facilitators and a Presentation Skills & Pitching Skills speaker, writer and trainer. A former corporate lawyer, Andrew quit the law in the late 90’s before starting up his own business as a corporate trainer and speaker. As an MC, Andrew brings his casual yet corporate style to proceedings and is well-known on the conference circuit for his revealing speaker introductions, his improvisational skills and ability to adapt to different audiences. Apart from MC’ing, Andrew runs educational & interactive workshops and conference keynotes on Presentation Skills and Pitching for Business.
His corporate clients include BT, QBE, Suncorp, Westpac, Aon, McDonalds, NSW Health, Pyjama Foundation, KPMG, MLC, Dymocks, Hesta, Auto One….and his mother-in-law’s bridge club. Andrew works extensively with the Association market, having MC’d and spoken at countless Association conferences, including for the RCSA (recruitment), ASOFIA (shopfitters), HRIA (Hire and Rental), NIBA (insurance brokers) ACC (inhouse lawyers), FCA (franchise industry), PCOA (conference organisers) and CCIA (caravan & camping) and many others. Andrew’s hobbies include coaching basketball, eating hot chips, watching Survivor, walking his dog Pebbles and trying to convince his wife and 3 kids that he has a real job.
Amanda Sanderson, Executive Office Assistant, Australian Medical Association Queensland
Amanda has over 15 years’ experience in communications, marketing, and project administration. She has worked with small not-for-profits, global engineering giants, and a variety of industries in between. With a degree in journalism, Amanda thrives on the challenge of delivering competing priorities in a fast-paced environment. Amanda wears several hats at AMA Queensland, including Project Lead for the Association’s new community platform, Queensland Doctors’ Community.
Amelia Hodge, CEO, Australian Property Institute
Amelia is the CEO of the Australian Property Institute and has enjoyed a senior executive career spanning some 25 years, with her depth of experience driving successful outcomes across a range of sectors, projects and industries. Her previous executive role was as the CEO of Queensland Law Society and she has held executive and project roles with Origin Energy, the Cross River Rail Delivery Authority and Coffey Commercial Advisory, following her legal career in the property sector.
Amelia currently sits as an independent representative on the Council for the Order of Australia and has held Non-Executive Directorships, chaired board audit and risk committees, on behalf of the Queensland Office for Women, also sat on the Great Artesian Basin Advisory Council. Amelia holds a Bachelor of Law and a Graduate Certificate in Property Economics from Queensland University of Technology and has undertaken the Harvard Kennedy School of Government Infrastructure in the Market Economy programme. She is a graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is mother to 21 year old Isobel and 20 year old Oscar.
Andrew Conway, CEO, Institute of Public Accountants
Professor Andrew Conway FIPA FFA has been the Chief Executive Officer of the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) since May 2009, which at the time made him the youngest CEO of a public entity at the age of 28.
He is recognised for the transformation of the organisation from its former name, National Institute of Accountants into a leading and legally recognised professional accounting body in Australia. His leadership of the IPA led to the organisation being recognised as the most innovative accounting body in Australia in 2012 by BRW. Prior to commencement with the IPA, Andrew was an Australian Government Treasury Ministry Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor.
In 2001, he was awarded the Centenary of Federation Medal through the Order of Australia. In 2011, Andrew was awarded Australian Young Professional of the Year and appointed a Professor of Accounting at the Shanghai University of Finance and Economics. That same year he was appointed by the Governor of Victoria as a Director of Eastern Health. Andrew was awarded the Australian Financial Review, Boss Magazine Young Executive of the Year in 2014.
In 2015, Andrew was awarded the Deakin University Young Alumni Award for his outstanding and significant contribution to the profession and to the community. The following year, Andrew was presented with a Distinguished Fellow award by the Vice-Chancellor of Deakin University and appointed as an Adjunct Professor at the University where he lectures for Deakin’s MBA program. A long-standing advocate for small business, Andrew has been championing the cause of small business policy and is regarded as one of the key activists of the future of SME policy in Australia.
Belinda Moore, Strategic Membership Solutions
Known for her enthusiastic and engaging style, Belinda is frequently engaged by associations to assist with strategy development and implementation. She is a skilled facilitator and can speak knowledgeably on an array of topics relating to association strategy, business models, and membership. Revealing insights from her personal and professional experiences over more than 25 years working with associations, she ensures that participants walk away with practical ideas and insights they can immediately apply. Belinda has written four books: The Membership Machine, Membership Fundamentals, The Membership Managers’ Handbook, and Association Annie: Herding Cats. She authored the white papers Association Apocalypse and Membership is Dead? and writes the popular Association Annie comic strips.
Belinda works at Strategic Membership Solutions, is a consultancy dedicated to assisting associations to transition to the new operating landscape. At SMS she assists clients in a variety of ways including:Board and Staff Briefings, Strategic Planning Facilitation, Membership Strategy Development, Sponsorship and Partnership Strategy Development, Sponsorship Coaching Programs, Membership Coaching Programs, Leadership Coaching, and more.
Brenda Mainland, Co-founder & Director, Survey Matters
Brenda is a Co-Founder and Director at Survey Matters – the leading research agency for the association and not for profit sector. Survey Matters works with associations to help them understand members’ perspectives on belonging and delivers insights to craft strategies that improve engagement, retention, revenue and growth.
A skilled business professional and strategist, Brenda has expertise in organisational performance and achieving sound bottom line results. Brenda helps organisations to identify their value proposition and build stakeholder engagement, using research to uncover information to improve outcomes. She knows the value that stakeholder feedback has on an organisation’s success, and that strong financial performance is the result of good strategic planning and meeting stakeholders needs.
With over ten years working closely with the sector, Brenda has a deep knowledge of associations. She also has a wealth of data at her disposal about member preferences and attitudes and can help associations understand and develop strategies that meet their members’ needs.
Brenda holds a Master of Management from Monash University, and is a full member of the Australian Social and Market Research Society (AMSRS).
Charles Cameron, CEO, Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association
Charles is CEO of RCSA, the peak industry body for recruitment, staffing and workforce solutions across Australia and New Zealand. More importantly, Charles is a huge advocate for the role of associations in modern society, believing that professional and business communities are a place to find purpose and passion in a world where business life is increasingly impersonal. Having just launched their #LoveYourWork campaign to promote the social and economic contribution of agency work, delivered by RCSA members, Charles believes we must all be louder and prouder of what business communities offer.
Debbie Bradley, Group Account Director, Zadro Agency
Debbie is a straight-talking no-fluff marketing communications professional with over 18 years’ experience to her name. Originating from Leeds, in the UK, and now representing Zadro in Sydney, Debbie has successfully navigated both client-side and agency-side. Experienced in both B2B and B2C her achievements have been in a broad range of sectors including Associations, not-for-profit, pharma, corporate events, transport, community health and PetCare.
Debbie is a passionate member of the Zadro team and highly focused on assisting organisations achieve their communications objectives through strategic planning, content marketing, digital and social, PR and stakeholder relations.
Felicity Zadro, Founder and Managing Director, Zadro Agency
A passionate and energetic communicator by nature, Felicity believes the key to business communications success is a strategic integrated approach, great culture and leadership. Felicity is inspired by supporting the growth and development of companies through excellent communications – the foundation of Zadro.
Backstory: Felicity originally studied journalism and social sciences and worked in research and community-based organisations. She then went on to obtain a Masters in Communications Management. Felicity saw a need to bring integrated marketing communications to businesses and founded Zadro in 2007.
What you didn’t know: Felicity completed a thesis on The Role of Metaphor in Managing Culture which resulted in winning the CARMA Asia Pacific Region Public Relations Award for Academic Excellence in 2005.
Gihan Perera is a futurist, conference speaker, author and consultant who gives you a glimpse into what’s ahead –and how you can become fit for the future, in your professional and personal life. Since 1997, he has worked with business leaders, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, and other change agents –helping them with their strategy for thriving in a fast-changing world. He has clients throughout Australia, as well as in New Zealand, South Africa, the United Kingdom, Singapore, the USA and Canada.
He is the author of “The Future of Leadership”, “Disruption By Design”, and 10 other books. He has always taken the lead in embracing emerging technologies and trends, from his university thesis in robotics and artificial intelligence, to leading a software development team building the infrastructure for the early Internet, founding one of Australia’s first Web development companies in 1996, teaching thought leaders how to engage in e-learning platforms, and helping business leaders build their personal brand and online influence.Because innovation is everybody’s business, and the best ideas can come from anywhere, he has worked with a number of industries –including healthcare, financial services, mining and resources, property, local government, education, and technology.
Forbes magazine rated him the #5 social media influencer in the world (and #1 in Australia) in his area of expertise. He is a Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), the only internationally recognised designation for professional speakers. His formal background is in science and technology, with a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Western Australia. But he’s always been interested in people and the way they communicate –and how to become ft for the future, so they embrace change, act on opportunities, and live happier lives.
Graham Catt, Interim CEO, Canberra Business Chamber
Graham Catt has 20 years’ experience as a senior leader, including over 12 years as an association CEO and two terms as President of AuSAE.
After beginning his career in communications, Graham enjoyed entrepreneurial success as a founding partner of agency Digital Eskimo, building a successful purpose driven service business before moving to the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) as NSW & ACT State Manager in 2004.
As CEO of the Australian Veterinary Association from 2008 - 2018, Graham led an organisational transformation that delivered 100% growth in membership and revenues, and reshaped the association’s advocacy and influence.
Graham is currently interim CEO of the Canberra Business Chamber, a territory-based organisation with 600 members.
Graham was President of AuSAE from 2016 – 2019 and a board member from 2014 – 2019. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Managers and Leaders, Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, has an MBA from Macquarie Graduate School of Management, and in 2016 was selected to undertake the London Business School’s “leading Businesses into the future” program.
Heather McNair, Chief Community Officer, Higher Logic
Heather McNair is Chief Community Officer at Higher Logic, a software company that takes a data-driven approach to engagement. Heather leads a recently-formed Applied Research Team that studies behavior patterns on thousands of communities to enable the creation of data-backed engagement strategies and user experience improvements in a field largely driven, to date, by anecdotal evidence and gut instinct. Prior to her current role, Heather built and expanded the Managed Services and Education teams. Starting with just one in-house consultant, Heather developed and grew one of the largest community management teams in the industry.
A pioneer in the industry, Heather has over 13 years of experience in building and launching successful communities. She’s created and developed many of the techniques and foundational best practices that Higher Logic uses today. Heather has been a champion of an emerging customer success model, elevating community to a keystone of the customer experience and a conduit for customer engagement and meaningful conversations. Her efforts over the last year have tied community interactions to improved customer loyalty, retention, engagement and risk mitigation.
Heather is an active thought leader in the industry and shares her knowledge frequently through blog posts, panels and presentations. She is well known and respected within the community industry and often looked to for insight on the subject.
Kerry Evripidou, Director of Membership Services, Australian Medical Association NSW
Kerry is an experienced Director of Membership and has provided AMA NSW with membership growth and strategies to enable their success. With experience across the full member journey, Kerry has guided AMA NSW to improve their member experience, services and benefit alignment and engagement strategies. Kerry is also an accountant and member of Institute of Public Accountants (IPA).
Mark McKenzie, CEO, Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association
Mark McKenzie has held a variety of public affairs and commercial roles throughout his career, largely working in and around the Australian fuels and automotive industry since 1995. He is currently the CEO of the Australasian Convenience and Petroleum Marketers Association (ACAPMA) – the national peak body representing the fuel businesses that operate between refinery gate and petrol pump.
As a national employer body operating under the umbrella of Australian Industrial Relations laws, ACAPMA advocates the interests of fuel wholesale and fuel retail businesses - both large and small - while simultaneously working with these market participants to (a) promote compliance with all relevant laws, and (b) provide valuable knowledge and insights to help them navigate a changing market.
In addition to his role with ACAPMA, Mark is:
Matt has extensive experience guiding and working with leadership groups throughout the Asia Pacific region and beyond. He has helped Executive Teams and Boards bring clarity to their strategy; defining winning aspirations and making clear choices on where to play and how to win.
Having acted as the Chief Strategy Officer at a Big Four Consulting firm, Matt is experienced at separating the important from the urgent. He coaches senior leaders, including CEO’s and Chairs on communication skills and how to inspire and engage employees.
Matt is passionate about deliberately designed experiences – for both customers and employees, and places significant value in understanding how people are feeling and thinking before designing targeted solutions. To achieve this, Matt has developed a unique methodology incorporating ethnography as a way to understand people and their unique behaviours. This approach draws on his wider experience, including as an intelligence operative in the UK police to understand how emotions and motivations impact individual behaviour.
Michelle Lelempsis, Director, Causeis
Michelle is the Director of Causeis, a leading consultancy providing associations with digital growth strategies and solutions by leveraging from our vast experience and global technology partners.
With more competitors than ever before your association must be digitally agile to meet your members and industry needs. Associations must continue to reinvent, innovate and adopt new technology to remain relevant.
Michelle is passionate about enabling associations to leverage their data, member experience, and technology to drive their growth and performance to transform them into truly engaging and relevant associations.
Actively working with more than 50 associations representing 20 industries, Causeis provides expert digital consulting solutions. Combined with our preferred technology partners including the global-leading software iMIS and Higher Logic we help associations grow, transform and thrive.
Monika Cole, Executive Officer, Australian Veterinary Association
Monika commenced her work in the not-for-profit sector in 2006. She is passionate about helping others, which has seen her work with charities and community groups in various roles as a volunteer.
She joined the Australian Veterinary Association in 2012, working within the small animal special interest group and later moved into a role supporting Veterinary students and recent graduates.
Monika has a CERTIV in Mental Health, which assists her to provide pastoral care to members of the association through the graduate mentoring program and other wellness initiatives.
She is a highly driven individual who is focused on fostering a culture of care and community that continues to improve the health and wellbeing of all individuals.
Nina Mapson Bone, Managing Director, Beaumont People and President of the Recruitment, Consulting and Staffing Association Australia & New Zealand (RCSA)
With a career spanning over 20 years, Nina’s number one passion is her passion for people. Since joining Beaumont People in 2015, she continues to use her wealth of knowledge and expertise to grow, inspire, and empower the team leading with an underlying vision whereby people everywhere are engaged in meaningful work. A regular speaker and trainer, she shares her expertise on all things involving People, Leadership, Strategy, Talent Attraction, Onboarding, Retention and more, to her team, clients and candidates through workshops, seminars and events. Her learnings come from, amongst other things, over 10 000 interviews and meetings with business leaders during her corporate career.
Being the collaborative individual, she is (who loves a little chit-chat!), Nina enjoys engaging in insightful discussions and thrives on building relationships. She personally develops and maintains partnerships with key stakeholders, and delights in bringing talented people together to drive value, build a vision and realise opportunities. Nina’s positive influence has stemmed beyond Beaumont People, assuming several appointments for the RCSA since 2012 including her role as Chair of the NSW & ACT Regional Council and her recent appointment as President of the Board.
Robin Shepherd, General Manager – Operations and Member Services, Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association
Robin is an experienced association professional with over 12 years in the industry through a variety of membership organisations. Her current role as General Manager – Operations and Member Services at RCSA (Recruitment, Consulting & Staffing Association) covers a huge breadth of responsibilities. However, her passion for membership, whether acquisition, retention or engagement, remains at the heart of everything she does. Thinking strategically about member experience and engagement is an essential focus for all associations into the future, and should be built into all operational functions.
Vera heads up the Sydney not-for-profit & social enterprise team at Mills Oakley. Acting for numerous charities, religious and not-for-profit organisations, Vera has over 25 years experience in the legal profession. In her work, Vera is well recognised for her expertise in assisting clients with governance and fundraising issues, restructuring and mergers and regularly advises on constitutions and ACNC/ATO endorsements. Vera has written several academic works, including a chapter within ‘Charity Law’ (2012, 2016 and 2018) published by Thompson Reuters. Vera further edits the Clubs & Societies title in the Australian Encyclopaedia of Forms and Precedents, and reviewed the Community Care and Service regulatory compliance module for LexisNexis, covering such topics as the National Disability Insurance Scheme, and community housing. Vera sits on numerous charity boards, associations and committees including the ACNC Professional User Group, the Community and Consumer Consultative Group, Cemeteries and Crematoria NSW and The Eric Dare Foundation.
The Australasian Society of Association Executives (AuSAE)