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.

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. Heather's 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

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 Energy Queensland / Ergon Energy Distribution Regional Field Manager 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.

Narelle Pearse, CQUniversity

Narelle has over 25 years experience in both the private and not-for-profit sector. She is currently the Deputy Vice Chancellor (Finance and Planning) for CQUniversity Australia and is responsible for the university's financial, planning, risk management and business intelligence activities. Prior to joining CQUniversity Australia, Narelle was the CEO of the Mackay-Whitsunday-Isaac Regional Economic Development Organisation for seven years, a 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.

Nigel Hutton, Deputy Mayor Livingstone Shire Council

Elected Councillor of Livingstone Shire Council since 2014, and appointed as Deputy Mayor 2017. Nigel serves as chair of the Livingstone Shire Planning, Finance, Innovation and Business Excellence advisory committee, and the Audit Risk and Business Improvement committee. He is a secondary teacher at Yeppoon State High School and Chair of the Yeppoon Lions Tropical Pinefest committee.