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Kris Leck


Principal, Catalyst Project Consulting

Kris brings over 20 years’ success as a project construction management professional in the Australian commercial construction industry. Kris has been involved in the management of over $1B in projects and lead a team of over 20 design and specialist consultants.

Kris has extensive experience as a Director of Newcastle NOW Limited, Newcastle’s Business Improvement Association, Director and Chairperson of Renew Newcastle and Sergeant at Arms and Past President, Newcastle Business Club.

Kris is a Lake Macquarie resident and a family man and is passionate about the development of Lake Macquarie to ensure his children’s future.

Joanne Jarvie

Vice President

Joanne Jarvie is a senior Finance and Commercial Manager with a passion for helping business owners discover their financial potential and reach their goals.

She believes that all business owners should reap the rewards of their hard work, and enjoy those much-awaited days off, holidays and bonuses. But without the right information, advice and support, these rewards could remain out of reach.

With extensive experience in financial and management accounting, business modelling (focusing on the manufacturing and renewable sectors), as well as a strong track record of generating results for both small and large businesses; Joanne has the skills and knowledge to help you overcome and manage any financial barriers you and your business may be experiencing.

Having owned a business herself, Joanne can identify with the many and varied issues faced by business owners. This insight into the trials and tribulations of owning and operating a business provides her with the valuable experience, including lessons learnt, that can help you succeed.

When Joanne is not crunching the numbers, or helping businesses reach their financial goals, she is at home planning the next holiday to take with her partner and children. Like many working women, Joanne is no stranger to the juggle, but is always willing to donate her time to help organisations of all sorts. She could be the volunteer mum at the sports field canteen, or lending her expertise as part of a board of directors.

Gillian Maxlow


Marketing & Communication

Gillian Maxlow has an extensive IT background – from a deep understanding of using a range of social media platforms, to developing strategies for businesses to maximise their online visibility, automating their sales and business work flows.

She also understands many business owners find it hard getting to grips with technology and online marketing. She’s able to analyse, recommend and troubleshoot how a business can utilise and integrate a range of software applications and services, to streamline work processes, automate routine tasks, which provides “holistic” solutions to help businesses evolve with their technology as their business grows.

Gillian founded the digital marketing agency Maxedout Solutions – to assist businesses to automate and drive sales using Facebook Advertising Campaigns, digital marketing and social media platforms – placing their online content, products and services, right where their potential customers are hanging out online.

When not assisting businesses with their online presence, you’ll still find Gillian online, deep into learning, keeping up to date with current trends and practices. She also has a passion to share her knowledge to empower business owners – from presenting at local events through to her online training programs.

Gillian has recently accepted a Director appointment as the local business chambers’ representative on the Hunter Business Chamber Board.

Together with her husband, Gillian loves to travel and immersing herself into new cultures, eventually settling in Lake Macquarie following a five year SE Asia sailing adventure. When she’s not sailing, you’ll probably find Gillian listening to music, at choir practice, attending a “one Song Sing” event or supporting local ukelele musicians.

Kate Cramp


Manager, Property & Business Development, Lake Macquarie City Council

With over 20 years experience in project, construction and business management roles within local government, mining, and private development organisations, Kate has formal qualifications including a degree in Construction Management (Building), Masters of Business Administration, and a Diploma in Project Management.

Kate is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently completing their governance course. Kate also holds professional membership with the Australian Property Institute and the Australian Institute of Project Management.

Kate is responsible for ensuring compliance with and implementation of Council decisions, policies, budgets and Organisational Plans; delivery of statutory property services; management of Council’s Holiday Parks; and identification of opportunities for value generation through leveraging off existing Council assets, resources, and development projects.

Suzie Leask

Director & Company Secretary

Senior Associate at Australian Business Lawyers & Advisors

Born and bred in Lake Macquarie, Suzie is a trusted legal advisor to local and international business owners and is passionate about assisting businesses to find commercial solutions to legal problems while proactively maintaining compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.

Her uniquely commercial approach stems from her experience working at an international law firm including a secondment to Singapore and as in-house Legal Counsel for a global gaming company with responsibility for subsidiaries across Asia Pacific.

Suzie is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, an Associate of the Governance Institute of Australia, active member of the Rotary Club of Lake Macquarie, Women Lawyers Association of NSW Newcastle Chapter Committee, Newcastle Law Society, Hunter Young Business Mind Awards Steering Committee, Finalist for the 2014 Hunter Business Chamber Young Business Executive Award, Finalist for the Law and Justice Foundation of NSW Community Legal Centres Awards (2013-2015).

Suzie is looking forward to utilising her Corporate Governance and legal expertise to continue to build on LMB’s pursuit of best practice and business excellence for the benefit LMB’s members the local business community.

Benjamin Connell

Director & Immediate Past President

Director, Emerge Business Advisory – Belmont

Benjamin Connell is a Director and co-owner of Emerge Business Advisory. Benjamin works with local business owners on a constant basis so he has a good understanding of the challenges faced by businesses in the Lake Macquarie area.

Benjamin was the President of Belmont Chamber of Commerce during the setup of Lake Macquarie Business Limited and is a very passionate leader in this area. He has joined the Board of Lake Macquarie Business to assist all businesses in their efforts to promote Lake Macquarie as a provider of world-class services and products.

Benjamin’s experience in local business will be a valued asset to the new Lake Macquarie Business organisation.

Bob Urry


Director of Rapid Solutions and Business Growth Centre

Bob worked for QBE Insurance for 37 years in various management roles at Adelaide, Wollongong, Port Moresby, Port Vila, Newcastle and Sydney.

Currently a Director of Rapid Solutions and Business Growth Centre, Bob has been involved with other NFP Boards, Newcastle Community Transport, Hunter Community College and Wheeling & Able.

An Honorary member of Newcastle Rotary Club, having served as President on 2 occasions, he is interested in community events.