WHILE currently there are three nominations for the NSW Farmers presidency at the coming annual conference two others have so far raised their hands for the treasurer’s position and another for vice-president.
Aiming to keep a hard eye on the association’s finances are retiring president Derek Schoen, Corowa, and current Grains Committee chair, Rebecca Reardon of Moree.
Mr Shoen said he had received an enormous amount of feedback from members to stay on the executive, but to recontest the presidency would be too “finicky”.
“If I was re-elected president, under the constitution I would have to resign in a year’s time and then the vice-president would take on the role,” he said.
“I don’t feel that is the correct way for a president to be installed.
“It should be at an annual conference and the position should be the full term of the motion cycle.”
However, Mr Schoen said he would stand for the treasurer’s position to enable a strong leadership team with experience.
“We have four board members currently with only one term’s experience,” he said.
“Members feel that keeping experienced directors would give guidance to the major projects underway.”
Mr Schoen said the association was at a positive “turning point” and in a very good position.
“We have the purchase of the new building at St Leonards and that needs to move on smoothly as well as relocation of our offices
“To maintain a steady hand on the tiller requires experience and corporate knowledge which I have.”
With 20-plus years of corporate management in the grain industry, current grains committee chair, Rebecca Reardon says she has the financial skills and expertise to take on the treasurer’s role.
“I believe my formal qualifications along with my corporate and own business experience, plus two years as a director of the association board, sets me up to carry out the Treasurer’s role,” Mrs Reardon said.
“I believe it is exciting times for this association and I know I can contribute to its future.
“The new CEO to be selected and the new president will give the association a chance to reset and review, and that’s something every organisation should take the opportunity to do from time-to-time.”
Mrs Reardon said she had formal training in accountancy and ran her own business after 20 years in the grains industry in various management roles.
“I’ve had financial responsibility and have been involved in negotiations of multimillion dollar deals in the trading and grading industry, so I want to bring these skills to the treasurer’s role,” she said.
“I understand financials and the monitoring of them and I’m prepared to ask questions and can interpret, and I do my due diligence.”
When looking at the business, Mrs Reardon said at present the association was running at an operational loss.
“It’s nearly a $100 million company now and it’s a significant investment which really needs to be managed professionally,” she said.
“We need to be sustainable in terms of going forward.”
Current treasurer, Peter Wilson, Trangie, is seeking the vice-president position.
He says the past 10 years is a good story to tell about the positive turn-around in finances.
“Member funds have gradually built back up and the balance between property and shares is better,” he said.
“We are now about 75 per cent back into property and finances have turned around.
“I think the efficiency in the way the assoociation is run, the quality of policy staff, and the way we are being taken more notice of these days are all positives directors, staff and members can be proud of.”
The association treasurer for the past two years and director since 2012, Mr Wilson feels it a timely matter of nominating for vice-president as that position is normally the chair of the board’s Corporate Governance Committee, an important role he believes he can fulfill.
“We’ll have a new president and a new CEO, but first we’ve got to select that person and bed he or she down,” he said.
“I felt I could be more useful as vice-president in helping the new president to do those things and if Derek Schoen is elected treasurer, he’s got continuity on the board as well, and I think that is valuable.”