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This year at our Annual General Meeting we had three Skills Based Board Positions available in Finance, Marketing and Business Events and with a plethora of incredible applicants, we were spoiled for choice.

We’re happy to announce the successful candidates were…

  • Karen Jackson from Novotel Geelong, returning to the Skills Based Board Position for Business Events
  • Connie Trathen from The Grand Hotel – Portarlington, who was elected in the Skills Based Board Position for Marketing
  • Helen Butteriss from Bellarine Business Advisors who was re-elected in the Skills Based Board Position for Finance.

You can read their profiles below.

We also wanted to send a massive shout out to departing Board Member Mel Steward from Hyper Social who brought her marketing expertise to the board for the last three years.

  • Karen Jackson

    Skills Based Board Member: Business Events

    I have just completed my first term as a TGGB Board Member representing the Business…

  • Helen Butteriss

    Skills Based Board Member: Finance

    I have been an accountant for over 25 years, working on The Bellarine and in…

  • Connie Trathen

    Skills Based Board Member: Marketing

    The Tourism industry keeps me energized, it displays significant growth, creates many employment opportunities, and…

Karen Jackson

Skills Based Board Member: Business Events

I have just completed my first term as a TGGB Board Member representing the Business Events Skilled Based Position. Through this, I know I still have much more that I can contribute to the board, our members and our region, therefore I am applying to be re-elected.

Being born, growing up and living in Geelong, I am a fervent community member who is proud to work and drive business into our city and would like to be part of the future success of our amazing region.

The Business Events sector provides a significant contribution to our economy and during these critical times, it is important that we continue to work together to recover and rebuild this sector to new levels. In addition, to provide support and be innovative to drive delegates to our region.

I have always had a strong interest in all aspects of tourism industry and have been very privileged during my sporting career as a National Water Skier to travel the world representing Australia. These experiences enabled me to see what an exciting industry Travel and Tourism is and the impact it can have on the region’s economy. This passion for the industry continued graduating in a Bachelor of Business majoring in Tourism Management and Marketing.

Working at Tourism Victoria, allowed me to gain a greater understanding of the State Tourism Body. I have also worked in Sales, Marketing & Event roles at Victoria University, Melbourne Marriott and now Novotel Geelong. I am currently in the position of Director of Sales & Marketing and before this I was the Events Manager. At different times, I have been appointed Acting General Manager. Through all these roles I have worked very closely with the teams at Business Events Geelong, Business Events Victoria & TGGB, along with other key industry stakeholders and members.

Managing the Sales & Marketing department, I am responsible for driving revenue generation and strategic direction across all areas of the business with the key focus on the MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conference, Exhibitions) segment. Managing the Events team and working closely with the Reservations team with respect to the Corporate and the Leisure markets. My experience and dedication to the hotel has been shown by the success of the hotel as the results continue to grow year on year. Which in part ensures Geelong continues to be a destination of choice for AFL, Cycling Australia and many more key events that puts Geelong on the world stage.

Throughout my valued career, I have established strong relationships with clients, stakeholders, and industry partners at a local, state and national level. It is through this that I have represented and advocated on behalf of the local tourism driving tourism and the MICE segment into our region.

With over 20 years’ experience in the Tourism & Hospitality sectors and as a passionate leader within the industry, I’m excited to share my knowledge and experience with our industry members to continue to drive the tourism success of our region.

Member Business: Novotel Geelong

Helen Butteriss

Skills Based Board Member: Finance

I have been an accountant for over 25 years, working on The Bellarine and in Geelong; as a principal for a reputable firm in Geelong & the Bellarine. Three years ago I started my own practice located in Queenscliff and work closely with a vast amount of tourism operators understanding their needs and challenges they face.

I was the inaugural Finance representative of Tourism Greater Geelong and The Bellarine and have thoroughly been privileged to part of a great board and Tourism Team.

I also am Treasurer of The Geelong Club, Director of Cherished Pets Foundation, Director of Ocean Grove Connected Communities and treasurer of Ocean Grove Business Association.

Whilst I appreciate I have held the position since inception of the board, I believe my experience with the board is imperative now with the industry dealing with the impact of COVID and the challenges we face coming out of restrictions.

Member Business: Bellarine Business Advisors

Connie Trathen

Skills Based Board Member: Marketing

The Tourism industry keeps me energized, it displays significant growth, creates many employment opportunities, and continues to offer considerable economic benefits to Greater Geelong and The Bellarine.

Never has it been more important to have a board that are not afraid to think outside the box, especially in this time of COVID 19. I whole heartedly throw my hat in the ring to be a part of this group.

My relationship with TGGB is strong. I have been a highly engaged member since I first stepped back into the region 11 years ago. I have faith in their vision and strategy. I will often encourage businesses to join and to realise the benefits on offer, but more so the importance of presenting as a unified region. Collaboration is one of my strongest qualities. This attribute has been the key to many of my accomplishments and would serve me well on the board.

I grew up in Geelong and commenced working in hospitality across Geelong and Melbourne. I’ve carried a lot of plates in my time! Fast forward to the past 11 years where I have been involved with products at varying points of their journey, from breathing new life into an historic hotel in Queenscliff to launching a brand-new innovative ferry service that would change the face of the Northern Bellarine. In summary I have combined business experience across different sectors including hospitality, accommodation, tourism, transport, and marketing. I have worked across the regions of Queenscliff & Point Lonsdale, Northern Bellarine and Greater Geelong.

The last few years I have worked with Port Phillip Ferries in Marketing and Business Development. This innovative product has provided me incredible opportunities to be involved in strategic campaigns. Our team have achieved great success in attracting valuable media and PR opportunities, reaching new markets, and attracting many first-time visitors to our region. Being involved with a product whose goal is to attract visitation across regions brings experience that could add great value to the board.

Before this I had the opportunity to work within the team at TGGB in a Digital Marketing role. This role provided me invaluable insight into how the organisation works, what the opportunities are and how the board, TGGB staff and members can best work together to achieve success.

The Vue Grand Hotel was where I reconnected with the region after returning from Melbourne. Over those 6 years I carried a few more plates, and climbed the grand stair case more than I dare to remember, but the real benefits were working within a team that had a shared vision and dared to make changes to that business model. In this time, we achieved state-wide recognition and moved the product into the modern era of social media, progressive events, and strong partnerships.

As of this week I commence a new adventure with the Grand Hotel Portarlington as it makes plans for exciting renovations and development. I look forward to developing the product to compliment the Northern Bellarine and visitors experience.

Member Business: Grand Hotel Portarlington

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