Meet the Board

Derek Lightfoot, Tropical Pines

Derek is also currently Deputy Chairman of Growcom and a member of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council and the Biosecurity Queensland Ministerial Advisory Council. His previous board positions include a member of the Australian Securitisation Forum board, Managing Director of the Rock Building Society Limited and Audit Committee member of the Rockhampton City Council. Derek has held executive management roles for the last 18 years, culminating in CEO and Managing Director roles for the last 10 years. His experience has been in several disciplines, including, banking operations, information technology, business development, customer service and CFO and Company Secretary roles for a publicly listed company.

Robert Pleash, Individual Member

A long term Central Queensland electricity industry identity and resident of Rockhampton, Bob’s vast experience includes corporate communications, crisis and disaster management, media and event management, as well as community and stakeholder engagement. Throughout an extensive 43 year career with Ergon Energy and its predecessors, Bob held a number of roles in sales and marketing, customer advisory, and internal communications in addition to the role of Corporate Communications Manager Central he retired from in June last year. He has also acted in a number of more senior roles during this time. A passion for making a difference in the community and advancing the economic prosperity of the region has seen him serve in a voluntary capacity on the Board of Directors of Capricorn Enterprise for the past five years. Since his retirement he has maintained an interest in this organisation as a private member and Board Director. He has a strong focus on advancing and growing the region for the economic prosperity of all, to ensure we have sustainable and vibrant communities with opportunity now and into the future. When not at the “coal face” Bob enjoys outdoor activities, water sports, landscaping around the family home in Wandal, Rockhampton, travel and social activities with family and friends. He has resided in the Rockhampton Region for the past 43 years, nearly 21 of which have been at his current address in Wandal. He is married and has two grown children.

Heather Peirano, Piranha Insurance

Heather has served as a committee member on the Council of Queensland Insurance Brokers and on the board of RTBI, and has been the Chairperson of the Beef Expo Social Committee for three expositions. Previous member of CTDO and RRDL. Has had 20 years experience in the insurance industry during which time Heather has operated a profitable insurance brokerage, Piranha Insurance Agencies. Heathers' personal financial and emotional attachment to the region combines with her knowledge, communications skills and experience which will be an asset to the future directions of the community and Capricorn Enterprise

Max Hogan, Ergon Energy / Energex

Max is a determined and highly motivated senior manager with extensive experience and proven delivery in all operational facets of the Electricity Distribution Supply Industry. With over twenty years’ experience in technical, operational, and customer roles; Max has been successful in driving sustainable change through practices of strong engagement, communication and sustainable and innovative decision making, thus ensuring positive business and stakeholder outcomes whilst delivering a safe, productive and positive environment.

Helen Schweikert, Cap Coast Home Loans

Helen has been working in the Finance and Banking industry for the past 24yrs, 15years in management with Westpac at Yeppoon, before commencing her own Business in 2011, Cap Coast Home Loans. Helen has lived locally in Yeppoon for the past 26 years and enjoys spending time with her 2 teenage children and friends here in Yeppoon. She is passionate about her beautiful Capricorn Coast and enjoys getting involved in Community events that support and promote our area. Helen is also currently Chairman for the Red Shield Appeal Business Breakfast event, and previously a Board member of the Womens Health Centre and also Busi Women. Helen is looking forward to working with the team at Capricorn Enterprise so that she can contribute towards building a sustainable future for CQ.

Christopher Harris, C.T. Harris & Company, Chartered Accountants

Christopher Harris is the principal of his own Chartered Accounting firm, C.T. Harris and Company, which he founded in 2010 after 9 years of partnership with a previous firm.  C.T. Harris and Company specialises in providing comprehensive accounting and financial services for small to medium businesses.  In addition, Christopher also owns and operates Harris Financial Planning, and is a director of two property development companies responsible for bringing over 340 residential lots to the Central Queensland market.  He also has firsthand experience in agribusiness.  These diverse business ventures give him a personal understanding of multiple sectors of the local economy.  Christopher is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants and has a keen interest in stimulating economic development in the Central Queensland region by supporting small businesses, with a particular focus on helping business owners understand their financial position and using this information to make informed and strategic business decisions.  Christopher has been active within Capricorn Enterprise as a member of the Capricorn Launchpad Committee in 2013 and as an Economic Development Committee member since 2014.

Narelle Pearse, CQUniversity

Narelle Pearse holds a Bachelor of Commerce - JCU, Masters of Commerce - QUT, Executive MBA - QUT, Grad Dip Psychology - CQU, Grad Cert Economic Development – RMIT. With over 25 years experience in both the private and not for profit sector, Narelle is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor for CQUniversity for Finance & Planning responsible for University’s financial, planning, risk management, and business intelligence activities. Prior to joining CQU she was the CEO of the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Regional Economic Development Organisation for 7 years, as well as Managing Director of MAIN, and one of the founding Directors of C-Res Ltd (BMA Local Buy). She has held multiple board positions in regional Queensland. Narelle is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand.

Nigel Hutton, Deputy Mayor Livingstone Shire Council

With a passion for the smart cities agenda, he is keen to promote regional economic development and advance the Southern Great Barrier Reef tourism agenda to ensure all of Central Queensland enjoys the benefit of economic diversification and regionalisation. He is currently chair of the Livingstone Shire; Planning, Finance, Innovation and Business Excellence advisory committee, and the Audit Risk and Business Improvement committee. Having worked at all levels of government, Nigel brings a range of experience including service with Education Queensland, Brisbane City Council, Queensland Health, Livingstone Shire Council, British Government (internship) and the Australian Taxation Office. Nigel has a Post Graduate Diploma of Teaching (Central Queensland University), Bachelor of Arts in Politics and International Relations (Griffith University) and attended the London School of Economics and Politics in 2010 as a Hansard Scholar. Beyond serving as a civic leader, Nigel is a high school teacher, social rights campaigner, a Yeppoon Lions club member and devoted husband and father.