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Meet the Committee

Committee Structure

The WIF Committee was established in 2007 with a representative from each mainland state in Australia, a chairperson and sponsor representative. In 2008 the committee introduced additional members to include an additional representative from each mainland state in Australia and a representative appointed by the national board. 2009 saw the introduction of the committee inviting the current WIF of the Year to participate as a committee representative for the duration of that year.

In 2010 the WIF adopted the structure of the State Chapters that allows for up to 15 members on a committee.

In 2011 the WIF Committee has been reclassified as a Special Interest Group and, as such, the Committee comprises no set number of positions:

  • WIF Committee Chair (elected from the WIF State Representatives)
  • QLD/NT Representatives
  • SA representatives
  • NSW / ACT Representatives
  • VIC/TAS Representatives
  • WA Representatives
  •  WIF of the Year for that year (invited guest)
  • Where possible, one of the State representatives is to be an elected member of the FCA's State Chapter
  • All Committee Members must be current members of the FCA
  • The WIF Committee will appoint a Chair from the elected WIF Committee
  • At the discretion of the FCA Board of Directors, they may appoint a Board Member to represent the WIF network. This individual may or may not be a member of the WIF Committee

Nominations for Committee Representatives

As the WIF Committee is a Special Interest Group there is not a formal nomination process.

If you would like further information on the roles and responsibilities of being a committee representative please contact us.

Co-chairperson

   

 

 

Wendy Donaldson
World Manager

A results-oriented leader with excellent project management skills, Wendy is highly trained and experienced in all aspects of management and restaurant operations, having worked in both new and established franchise and retail systems. Wendy has held the Operations Manager title at Coco Cubano, Gloria Jeans and Mcdonalds. She is currently the General Manager at World Manager®, assisting brands in identifying areas of business that can be taken into the cloud to improve business communications, employee training, HR management and operational performance. World Manager® is the fastest growing communications provider in the corporate cloud, offering suites for operations, human resources, training and communications with unprecedented reporting capabilities to manage your business. The award-winning World Manager® platform was launched commercially in 2005 and it is now being used by over 20,000 businesses in more than 50 countries.

 

Co-chairperson

   
 

Marianne Marchesi
Legalite

Marianne is the founder of Legalite, a SmartLaw firm specialising in startups, small business and franchising. She is genuinely passionate about giving her clients easy to understand and tailored advice, and has been featured in leading business and franchising publications, including Forge, Business Franchise Australia, Inside Franchise Business and CGB's 2016 Franchise Guide. Marianne acts for a number of well-known and emerging brands and advises both franchisors and franchisees.

Marianne is committed to providing networking opportunities for like-minded women in franchising and promoting their success in the franchising industry.

NSW Representatives

 
 

Sharon Ralph
Soul Origin

After being a stay at home mum for 16 years, I wanted to work for myself.

Boost Juice caught my eye: the bright colours, the friendly vibe and being part of a franchise group gave me the support that I needed. During my time at Boost Juice my team and I won Super Team in 2011.  After five amazing years at Boost Juice, I sold in 2013 .

I then returned to work with Top Juice as a Store Support Manager of 42 stores for a period of 14 months.
In September 2015, I started with Soul Origin as a Soul Manager - Regional Manager, taking care of 19 stores in NSW and achieving FCA NSW/ACT Finalist Field Manager of the year.

I have now been appointed as the Franchisee Trainer for Soul Origin. I am looking forward to my new challenge and also being part of WIF.

 

Racha Abboud
Macpherson Kelley

Racha Abboud has specialist expertise in franchising, with a wide range of experience in acting for National franchisors, master franchisees and franchisees. She also has a background in commercial leasing and finance.

In addition to her technical expertise, Racha prides herself on being able to understand her clients' businesses, and their current and future needs. Drawing on her highly developed interpersonal skills, she is able to build long-lasting professional relationships with clients that enable her to provide practical, timely and relevant solutions for their businesses in areas such as:

  • Franchising law with a particular emphasis on advising franchisors as to their obligations under the Franchising Code of Conduct
  • Reviewing, advising on and developing franchise documentation and associated documents
  • Compliance, regulatory issues and dealing with disputes
  • Retail and commercial leasing and licensing
  • Contract negotiation and drafting (including Distribution Agreements, Licence Agreements, Trading Terms & Conditions and Confidentiality Deeds
  • Purchases and sales of businesses.

Racha has demonstrated leadership strengths and a proven ability to manage multiple responsibilities in a fast-paced environment. Her ability to think 'outside the box' when identifying potential problems results in innovative solutions for clients.

 

Paula Fisher
Snap Franchising Limited

As business consultant, Paula area manages the NSW Snap Centres. She is a key member of the Snap team who are currently transforming the Snap franchise group from instant print outlets to the leading brand in print, design and websites. Snap has over 180 locations worldwide. Paula demonstrates strong business acumen gained through extensive experience in franchising having worked with Gloria Jeans, Subway, Video Ezy and Jester's Pies stores in previous roles.

 

Beverley Taylor
InXpress

Beverley Taylor is the owner of InXpress Bondi having emigrated from England 11 years ago, and is now an Australia Citizen.

Beverley's international background is sales and management. Beverley felt the system offered within a Franchising environment provided the help and support she needed to start her own business.

Whilst her InXpress franchise is still very "young", she has won a number of accolades within InXpress, and came runner up "Woman of the Year" (Franchise Council NSW 2016) in only her 2nd full year of running her business. She continued to grow rapidly claiming both the Single Unit and Woman of the Year awards (NSW) in 2017.

Beverley supports a range of Australian and International charities, she founded and drives the "Women In InXpress" group, bringing together Women in Franchising at a global level.

VIC Representatives

 

 

 

Vanessa Wilmot
Geotech Information Services

Vanessa Wilmot is a Director of Geotech Information Services with over 17 years experience in research and consulting to organisations, from start up franchise businesses through to major national and international brands.

Prior to joining Geotech, Vanessa worked for Roy Morgan Research as an Industry Director, responsible for client, team and project management, and the co-ordination of research of numerous major clients in Australia across different industries including Retail, Finance, Tourism, and Telecommunications.

Vanessa's expertise is in data and predictive analytics (including sales prediction modelling), and using this with mapping outputs to develop robust network plans for clients to drive more effective, and profitable, strategies.  Vanessa also has a passion for 'Big Data', using data mining techniques to assist clients understand more about their customers or members, their spending patterns, and who is most likely to respond to various marketing activities. Vanessa holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Psychology & Psychophysiology), a Bachelor of Arts (with Honours in Psychology), and a Graduate Certificate in Applied Finance & Investment.
 

Courtenay Zajicek
Curves

Courtenay is the General Counsel and Company Secretary for Curves, one of the largest network of fitness centres for women worldwide, famous for its 30-minute circuit.

Courtenay has worked as an in-house lawyer for large national franchisors for over 5 years, including Curves and Wendy's Supa Sundaes, and has a strong connection and passion for the franchising sector, in particular empowering women in franchising and business. She believes that franchising is a strong niche area which, when managed appropriately, provides a platform for franchisors and franchisees to work collaboratively together to achieve common and mutual goals, and she enjoys being involved with facilitating these goals and growth opportunities.

Courtenay holds a position on the Senior Management team and recently completed a Masters in Business Administration further enhance her ability to contribute not only to her employer's business but also the franchising and business industries. She is a strong believer in education and committee support, and offers her time to act as a mentor to other legal industry members and sits on various committees, including the FCA VIC State Chapter Committee.

   

Eleanor DeMarzi
MST Lawyers

Eleanor is a lawyer specialising in corporate law and, in particular, franchising law.  She acts for both national franchisors and franchisees. With experience gained in the Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria, as well as in transactions and negotiations, Eleanor has a keen interest in the legal issues affecting the franchising industry. Having joined the VIC Women in Franchising Committee in early 2017, she is looking forward to helping enhance the role and perception of women in the franchising sector.

 

WA Representatives

 
 

Linda Steele
Think Done

Linda commenced her business career in real estate, working for a major franchised group, Mair & Co, in Western Australia.
Following this, she worked for Telstra as Western Australia's Lease Portfolio Manager and Power of Attorney for property transactions.  As the youngest person to ever hold this position, she obtained and managed high value leases of commercial and industrial property in the Perth CBD and through the state for five years.

Linda then established and ran her own printing business, High Toned Printing, for many years, assisting clients in area of advertising, marketing and company expansion.  Through this endeavour she became involved with CHOOKS Fresh & Tasty in 1997 (when it operated under the name of "River Rooster").  She provided advertising and marketing expertise for the group.  Interested in the growth of the company, Linda joined the company on a full time basis in 2001 and held the position of General Manager until the sale of the CHOOKS network in October 2010.

Linda is now a Director and licensed management consultant for Think DONE Management Consultancy and regularly consults to business people / franchisors / franchisees in the Perth community. 

Linda successfully completed a Diploma in Business (Franchising) from the Franchise Council of Australia (FCA) Franchise Academy in 2006. Linda has been an Associate Fellow of the FCA since 2006, being one of the first to participate in the FCA's CPD programme and is a current member of the FCA WA Committee.

Linda has been awarded with the 2006, 2007 and 2008 Excellence in Franchising FCA Woman in Franchising award for Western Australia.  In addition to this, Linda was a finalist in the Telstra Business Women's Awards in 2008 and 2010. Linda has been involved in the Women in Franchising Special Interest Group since its inception in 2006.  Linda is a passionate promoter of professional development and opportunities for women in franchising and business"

Tamra Seaton
MDS Legal

Tamra is a director of law firm, MDS Legal. She practices in the area of franchising and licensing law and the related areas of competition, trade practices compliance, intellectual property and commercial property law.

Tamra's franchising work includes the establishment and ongoing administration, development and corporate governance of state, national and international franchise schemes and also the sale and acquisition of franchise networks. She counts several large franchisors among her long-term clients as well as several new and emerging franchise systems. Tamra also advises and acts for master franchisees and franchisees.

Tamra has been on the Committee of the WA Chapter of the Franchise Council of Australia for approximately 10 years and is current the WA State Chapter President. 

 

Kate Longman
Finn Franchise Brokers

Kate Longman is the General Manager of Finn Franchise Brokers Perth North & Regional WA, and a Training Manager for The Finn Group. Kate was awarded the WA Franchise Women of the Year in 2016 & 2017 and joined the WA Women in Franchising Committee in 2017.

Working in the Franchising Industry for over 5 years, Kate is passionate about helping both Franchise Owners and potential buyers take the next step in their business journey, advocating for women within the Franchising Sector and increasing the perception of Franchising within the wider community.

Yvette Sholdas
Remarkable Franchises

Yvette Sholdas, co-founder of Remarkable Franchises, leaders in Franchisee Education and Business Growth and Voice of Trust in Franchise Movement, started, built and sold her first business at 21. A qualified Project Manager, with a 20-year corporate career in financial services, managing small and large multi-million dollar projects and programs, nationally and internationally. Since 2007, Yvette has been coaching, mentoring and consulting to 100's of business owners around Australia, across more than 40 industries on marketing. Yvette is now focused on supporting Franchise Networks to accelerate growth and elevate trust, through collaborative learning networks and individualized development pathways for franchisees.

 

SA Representatives

 
 


Seva Surmei
DMAW Lawyers


Seva is part of the Business Transactions and Advice section at DMAW Lawyers with experience in general business transactions and extensive experience in franchising and property matters.

Seva's experience in the franchising industry has involved advising and preparing documentation for start up and existing franchise systems in various industries. Seva also advises clients in relation to terms of franchise agreements, ongoing franchise compliance issues and regulatory changes.

Seva is a committee member and secretary of the SA Chapter of the Franchise Council of Australia.

 

Cheryl Haywood
RAMS Home Loans

Cheryl has been in finance for 25 years, first commencing her career with Adelaide Bank (now known as Bendigo Bank), where she discovered a passion for lending. She worked as a Mortgage Broker for a highly regarded SA broker firm for eight years.

Cheryl purchased a RAMS home loans franchise three years ago. She was the first sole female franchisee Nationally for RAMS and also the first SA Franchisee. Since she first commenced RAMS now has another 4 Franchisee's in the State.

She prides herself on the relationships she has with her customers, and her team strives to provide honest and exceptional service, assisting our clients to achieve their short and long term financial goals. Cheryl's experience is backed up by holding a Diploma in Financial Services and fully accredited with the Mortgage and Finance Association.

     

QLD Representatives

   
 

Kate Baring 
Traxion Training

Kate has enjoyed a successful and very 'hands on' career in the field of general business consulting. Since first leaving full-time employment and hanging out her own shingle in 1997, Kate has specialised in business documentation, believing that 'expectations written down have an infinitely greater chance of occurring'. Kate's specialty area is the delivery of business process documentation and the development of improvement strategies.

Kate's projects portfolio have included clients from franchise organisations, public companies and the private sector. These assignments have provided Kate with experience across a broad spectrum of individual business segments including retail, manufacturing, construction, business services, financial services, logistics and wholesale.

Kate is a director of her own software development business specialising in online systems to assist organisations plan and manage both corporate and individual performance levels.

Most recently Kate has partnered with a long-term associate to set up and receive accreditation as a Registered Training Organisation. Traxion Training has a primary focus to assist Franchise Groups to tap into government funded training programs so vital post-induction team up-skilling can be delivered conveniently through a flexible, customised 'e-trainer supported' format.

 

Jan Timms
Traxion Training

Jan is the founder and principle of Get Smart Services and a well-known franchising all-rounder with more than 30 years of practical experience in sales, marketing, training and small business management, underpinned by a strong theoretical framework gained through completing a Master of Management, a Graduate Diploma in Training and Development and a Diploma of Franchising.

Jan started her franchising journey with the Snap Printing Group where she developed the 'Snap Academy' from inception through to implementation and Registered Training Organisation (RTO) status.

She then established a comprehensive learning and development program for Worldwide Online Printing, incorporating an interactive eLearning self-paced training centre for franchisees and their employees.

Jan then moved into what is arguably the most challenging role within the franchising sector head of marketing! In this role she designed and executed a new marketing control system that provides franchisees with local area marketing flexibility as well as an integrated Franchise Growth initiative that systematised local area lead generation resulting in proven revenue growth.

 

Sharon Jurd
Hydrokleen Australia

Sharon started her working life in 1986 in a real estate office which was a part of a small franchise group. Sharon became a Licensed Real Estate Agent in 1991. Sharon became a Stock and Station Agent and Business Agent and also became a qualified Auctioneer. She obtained her Diploma in Business (real estate management) in 1999. In 2004 Sharon opened her first real estate office under a large international franchise group. Due to her immediate success, Sharon opened her second office in 2005 and quickly became a major player in the market place, employing 10 people at any one time. Sharon obtained every goal set including the prestigious franchise "Centurion Award" (2007 & 2008) ranking her in the top two percent of sales people worldwide.

Looking for a new challenge she sold her two businesses and decided to commit to a role in HydroKleen Australia Pty Ltd in 2009.
During April 2011 Sharon took up the offer of purchasing a 50% share holding and directorship in HydroKleen Australia and HydroKleen International, joining her life partner John Sanders in business.

Sharon & John operate as franchisees owning the franchise HydroKleen Gold Coast.

Also during 2011 Sharon commenced and completed her Diploma in Franchising and was recognised in a graduation ceremony at William Angliss Institute in Melbourne.

 

Meredith Ham, CFE
InXpress Australia

Meredith was recently inducted as a Certified Franchise Executive and has a strong background in all facets of the marketing discipline, with a strong focus on business development in the franchising sector.

Meredith is the National Marketing Manager for InXpress in Australia and works closely with the global InXpress team. Meredith holds experience in franchise recruitment, model development and is part of the agile InXpress national team.

Meredith has assisted a range of dynamic companies to strengthen their market share by leveraging consumer insights and build franchise brand equity and market value perceptions. She assists management, colleagues and stakeholders to reach new levels of success and continue to grow and achieve within the franchise sector.

 
 

Sandie Menzies
Shoebox Bookkeeping

Sandie Menzies grew up on the Gold Coast and her first job was as a Para-legal and then a Legal Bookkeeper for a number of family law firms on the Gold Coast. Sandie then studied at Griffith University a Bachelor of Primary Teaching before beginning Shoebox Bookkeeping with Yvette. She has since completed a Certificate IV in Accounting and is a registered BAS Agent.

Sandie's journey led her to become the Franchisee Training Manager and Research & Development Manager at Shoebox Bookkeeping. She, along with Yvette, began franchising in 2012, and now have 32 franchisees across Australia.

 

Yvette Coad
Shoebox Bookkeeping

Yvette Coad grew up in Alice Springs and her first job was working for the Magistrates Court in Alice Springs. She travelled around Australia working in the Family Court in Adelaide and Perth and becoming a Paralegal when she moved to the Gold Coast in 2000.

Yvette's journey led her to become the Sales and Marketing Manager along with the Franchise Recruitment Manager for Shoebox Bookkeeping. She, along with Sandie, began franchising in 2012 and now have 32 franchisees across Australia.

 

 

Latest News

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