Mark Pownall (independent chairman of judges)
Mark Pownall has been editor of WA Business News for the past three-and-a half years, overseeing a dramatic growth in resources from two full-time reporters to a team of six – one of the biggest business-focused news desks in the State. Mr Pownall has 14 years’ experience in journalism, almost exclusively covering the business sector in WA.
Much of that time was spent in daily news with The West Australian newspaper but his career also includes two years in London where he worked in the financial press, covering the fund management business and world markets for weekly newspaper Money Marketing.
Jacky Finlayson is currently the acting director of Business Facilitation Services for the Small Business Development Corporation.
With responsibility for the statewide network of Business Enterprise Centres and the corporation’s corporate communications and events area, Ms Finlayson has a wide range of experience working with small businesses throughout many regions of Western Australia.
Prior to joining SBDC, her professional background included management and public relations roles in the technology, banking and travel industries.
Ms Finlayson also operated a small family business in the land development sector for 15 years.
Graham Thorne joined Power Business Systems as the director of sales and marketing in January 1993. As a member of the executive team Graham’s brief was to design a strategic approach to develop the business incorporating an extensive sales and marketing program.
Mr Thorne’s technical background and in-depth knowledge of the industry enables him to be highly effective at customer qualifications and presentations.
Prior to joining Power Business Systems, he held positions such as financial controller or company secretary in a diverse range of companies which included small enterprises and large multi-national organisations.
The exposure to, and involvement with such a wide variety of companies, coupled with a practical and lateral approach to solving problems, enables Mr Thorne to address core business process issues for his clients.
Brad Gale is the West Australian manager and a senior adviser of Goldman Sachs JBWere. His role in Perth comprises the management of the Financial Advisory and Wealth Management businesses along with providing specialist investment advice to clients.
Prior to joining Goldman Sachs JBWere, Mr Gale’s experience in financial services included working as a chartered accountant – specialising in business services and tax.
Mr Gale joined the firm and worked with the managing director of retail in Melbourne on operations and strategic management. He returned to Perth from Melbourne and took responsibility for the WA business in January 2003.
He has overseen the continued refinement and development of business operations at the company to a point where expertise in all wealth management disciplines is maintained.
Paul McLeod is the executive dean of the faculties of economics and commerce, education at the University of Western Australia.
Prior to this, he had been dean of the faculties of economics and commerce, and has previously been head of the department of economics.
As the university’s executive dean, Dr McLeod is a member of the majority university decision-making committees, which include the planning and budget committee and the vice-chancellors advisory committee.
Maryanne Fernando is the sales and marketing director at Harvey Beef/EG Green & Sons Pty Ltd.
She is responsible for the sales and marketing departments located at both Harvey and Kings Choice, covering both the domestic and international markets.
Ms Fernando has a track record of more than 19 years in building brands, driving market share, delivering bottom line results and leading organisational change.
Before joining the Harvey Beef team, Ms Fernando had her own business consultancy and prior to that, worked for global companies such as Huhtamaki Australia (food packaging), IBM Australia, Hallmark Cards, Lion Nathan (Swan Brewery), The Burton Group (UK) and The Financial Times (UK).
Mauri Mucciacciaro is a director of Horwath WA in its business solutions section.
He joined the firm in 1988 after graduating from Curtin University with a bachelor of business, was appointed as a manager in 1994 and a director in 2003.
Mr Mucciacciaro was admitted as a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia in 1991 and is also a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia.
Mr Mucciacciaro is also a committee member of Family Business Australia.
His experience is in business taxation, advisory services, probity and financial management.
He was appointed probity auditor for two major Western Australian Government contracts.