Meet the Board

Derek Lightfoot, Associate Member

Derek was the Managing Director of Tropical Pines Pty Ltd until July 2019. He was the Deputy Chairman of Growcom for a period of six years until August 2019 and is a member of the Queensland Small Business Council and the Rural Economies Centre of Excellence Advisory Panel. Derek has been a member of the Biosecurity Queensland Ministerial Advisory Council. Derek has had a broad business background working with organisations such as KPMG, Bank of Queensland, Brisbane City Council, The Rock and Tropical Pines. He has also been a board member of the Australian Securitisation Forum, the Chairman of Australian Bay Lobster Producers Limited and was a member of the Rockhampton City Council Audit Committee.

Robert Pleash, Associate Member

Bob is a retired Corporate Communications Manager (Central Region) with Ergon Energy and is 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 his 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 he retired from in June 2016. bob has also acted in a number of more senior roles. Prior to his retirement, Bob managed Ergon Energy's corporate communications activities from Miriam Vale in the south, north to the Whitsundays and west to Longreach. In this role he fulfilled a 24/7 on call capability to deal with emerging issues and response to major contingencies such as storms, floods, cyclones, bush fires and electricity network issues. Managed the interface between Ergon Energy and some 24 media outlets throughout Central Region as the primary central point of media contact and was quite often the face and voice of Ergon Energy for any associated media commentary, interviews and public response. Bob also managed Ergon Energy's community engagement activities through a comprehensive local community sponsorship program. Bob has been a Director of Capricorn Enterprise since 2012 and is a Director of the Iwasaki Foundation.

Max Hogan, Ergon Energy / Energy Queensland

With over 25 years' experience in the Electricity Distribution industry, Max is a determined and highly motivated senior manager with extensive experience and proven deliver in all operational facets of the Electricity Distribution Supply Industry. Max's current role is the General Manager Field Delivery Southern. Max has been successful in driving sustainable change through practices of strong engagement, communication and 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. Max holds extensive experience in disaster management and response activities, with Max undertaking key Energy Queensland / Ergon Energy leadership roles of Incident Response Manager for severe TC Debbie in the Mackay / Whitsunday area and the Emergency Manager role for the 2019 Townsville / Herbert area Flood response. Max has a vested interest in the community and understands the need to support local projects and businesses in communities; aiming to assist in building sustainable community resilience and capability.

Helen Schweikert, Cap Coast Home Loans

Helen has an established business in Yeppoon, Cap Coast Home Loans, assisting clients with their personal and financial goals with 25 years' experience in the Banking and Finance sector. Helen has been involved in various community events and organisations including chairman of The Yeppoon Red Shield Appeal, previously on the Board of the Women's Health Centre and Business Women's Organisation. Helen is also the chairman of a body corporate group in Yeppoon. Helen likes to spend her time getting involved and supporting Community events and is very passionate and excited about what Central Queensland's future prospects hold for generations to come.

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

Chris has been an accountant since 1998 and has nine years a s a partner in an accounting firm before founding C.T. Harris & Company in July 2010. He has been a qualified financial planner since 2002, when he started advising clients of Harris Financial Planning, a business he continues to run today.

Cr Rhodes Watson, Livingstone Shire Council

Cr Rhodes Watson has been a Councillor of Livingstone Shire Council since March 2021.  Rhodes commenced his career as a cadet journalist and photographer, transitioning to chief photographer for the region’s daily newspaper.  Rhodes also taught photography at CQUniversity, operated a signwriting business on the Capricorn Coast, managed a training college, and established and opened a new training college.  With a strong focus on improving liveability in the region, Rhodes established a local solar bulk buy group and assisted in the establishment of a food relief group on the Capricorn Coast.  Rhodes invented, patented and manufactured a portable roof rack system called Stik Rax to carry surfboards.  To assist the removal of plastic bags from the environment, he designed a canvas bag with 7,500 manufactured and sold at cost which features every locality in Livingstone Shire.

Chris Bloxsom, Butler Partners (Regional) Pty Ltd

Chris is a founder and director of Butler Partners since its inception in 2015. He has been a business-owner for over 25 years and has worked continuously in the field of geotechnical engineering consulting, technical services, construction materials and geotechnical investigation since 1980. During these 40 years, Chris has been well-placed to understand the needs of a wide range of clients who operate in regional areas throughout Queensland and interstate. He is a strong advocate for developing local business capability by identifying keen and motivated individuals and providing them with in-house training and support to complete formal qualifications. Chris is responsible for the overall management of Butler Partners Regional in addition to assisting his professional team with investigation, analysis and reporting on a diverse range of projects; civil and structural developments including residential, commercial, large-scale industrial, defence and mining projects. He is also Chair of the Capricorn Enterprise Industry Group.

Kim Harrington, CQUniversity

CQUniversity Associate Vice-President, Rockhampton & Central Highlands regions and Director of VET International. Kim provides leadership across CQUniversity’s Rockhampton North & Rockhampton City campuses and the Emerald campus. Her core goals for this role include enhancing campus life and campus infrastructure for students and staff, promoting training, education & research growth for CQUniversity within these regions. The fostering of regional engagement and developing relationships with key stakeholders of business & industry, government agencies and community groups & associations form a critical part of Kim’s AVP role. Kim manages her AVP responsibilities alongside her duties as Director of VET International and Recognition of Prior Learning Unit. Prior to CQU, Kim’s career with TAFE QLD spanned 21 years; as, teacher, Associate Director, Head of Faculty, Director of Studies, Head of Campus and Director of International. During Kim’s time with TAFE, she led numerous State based curriculum initiatives and infrastructure projects. In addition, she also undertook a critical role at a National level for Indigenous literacy, numeracy & skills training project. Kim has extensive educational and business development expertise which includes working in and with a variety of different countries, including China, Korea, Mongolia, USA, PNG, Solomon Islands and Indonesia.