Dairy Australia industry-selected board nominees announced

James Mann, Simone Jolliffe and Russell Abotomey announced as Dairy Australia industry-selected board nominees

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NOMINEES: Simone Jolliffe and James Mann have been nominated for milk producer director candidate positions on the Dairy Australia board.

NOMINEES: Simone Jolliffe and James Mann have been nominated for milk producer director candidate positions on the Dairy Australia board.

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Dairy Australia has announced the three industry-selected, board-endorsed nominees for the election to be held at the 2021 annual general meeting in November.

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Dairy Australia has announced the three industry-selected, board-endorsed nominees for the board election to be held at the 2021 annual general meeting in November.

They are current chair James Mann, former Australian Dairy Farmers president Simone Jolliffe and former senior executive with both Murray Goulburn and Fonterra Russell Abotomey.

Other candidates who wish to nominate for the board can submit their nomination in writing, supported by signatures from at least 100 Group A members of Dairy Australia, by August 13.

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Three of the eight non-executive director positions on the board fall vacant in November, due to the expiry of three serving directors' board terms.

According to its constitution, the Dairy Australia board is required to have an appropriate balance of skills and experience that relate to the nature of the business and affairs of Dairy Australia.

The board must have at least four directors with milk producer skills.

Vacancies exist for two milk producer director positions and one dairy supply chain and product promotion position.

Current board members Graeme Nicoll and David Lord will retire at the November AGM, while current chair James Mann, whose term has expired, has sought reelection.

Endorsed nominees

The endorsed nominees are:

  • Milk producer director candidate James Mann, who is currently chair of the Dairy Australia board and is standing for a third term. Mr Mann has been dairy farming for more than 30 years, having successfully built one of Australia's largest dairy farm businesses. He has extensive experience in all aspects of dairy farming, is heavily involved in industry groups and has held chair positions for more than 15 years.
  • Milk producer director candidate Simone Jolliffe, who has extensive experience in senior director roles within the dairy industry including Australian Dairy Farmers president, Datagene director and Herd Improvement Industry Strategic Steering Group chair. Ms Jolliffee is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and Australian Rural Leadership Program, and has more than 20 years experience in dairy farming in southern NSW. She is also a member of the Australian Dairy Sustainability Framework Steering Committee.
  • Dairy supply chain and product promotion skills director candidate Russell Abotomey, who has more than 30 years experience in the agricultural sector, with 20 years in the dairy industry. Mr Abotomey has held senior executive roles in supply chain and product promotion with Murray Goulburn Co-operative and Fonterra Co-operative Group. He has strong financial experience and has held non-executive director roles. He holds a Bachelor of Business Degree and completed the Agribusiness Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.

Board selection committee

A board selection committee is responsible for the recruitment process before recommending nominees to the board for its endorsement.

The committee comprises five members, including two representatives of each of Australian Dairy Farmers and the Australian Dairy Products Federation, representing the Australian dairy industry.

The chair of the committee is Professor Paul Wood, who is a Dairy Australia director.

Applications were independently assessed.

For the milk producer positions, a pre-selection committee, comprising four dairy farmers, reviewed the applications and recommended candidates to the committee for interviews.

For the supply chain/product promotion position, a professional recruitment firm, Rimfire Resources, was engaged to assist the committee with the identification of qualified candidates.

"Candidates have been recommended to the board following a rigorous selection process, and each candidate has the skills, experience and outlook to positively represent dairy farmers and the industry to deliver on our strategy," Prof Wood said.

"It will allow us to bring fresh thinking to the table.

"Congratulations to these candidates on their successful selection, and thank you to everyone involved in the process."

Levy payers will vote for directors at the November AGM.

To be successfully elected into the vacant director roles, each nominee will require a majority of the votes cast at the AGM.

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The story Dairy Australia industry-selected board nominees announced first appeared on Farm Online.

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