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Board Members

Amanda Paterson

Amanda Paterson

Amanda has been working in her family business BBQs-R-US since beginning as a part-time machine operator in high school. She is passionate about small business, and is keen to learn from and engage with other business owners in the community. Running a small business comes with many daily challenges, and sharing these challenges and experiences is a vital part of the Whitehorse Business Group.

Amanda has worked for the federal government in Canberra and spent a year living in China working as an English teacher. She has also previously been involved on the committee of her local tennis club and on the board of the Whitehorse Business Group. All of these experiences are invaluable in her current role managing BBQs-R-US.

Outside of work Amanda enjoys tennis and walking her dogs. She also loves to read and listen to podcasts, and is interested in conservation.

Amanda is excited to be on the board and is really looking forward to meeting and learning from the many varied and interesting members of this wonderful group!

Bobby Thai

Bobby Thai

Bobby Thai currently serves as the Deputy Chair of Whitehorse Business Group (WBG).  Fostering connections and driving business growth are some of Bobby’s key strengths.  Throughout his career, Bobby has demonstrated a strong commitment to building thriving business communities, and in facilitating collaboration among industry leaders.  He is also passionate about giving back to the community and supporting the next generation of young leaders through mentorship and education initiatives.

In his role as Deputy Chair, Bobby plays a vital role in shaping the strategic direction of the WBG, leveraging his expertise in identifying opportunities for growth and development.  Apart from working closely with the Chair and fellow Board members to develop and implement initiatives that promote networking, professional development, and knowledge sharing among members; Bobby also actively engages with members to understand their needs and challenges, advocating on their behalf and championing initiatives that drive value for the entire network.

Known for his strategic vision and effective leadership style, Bobby is dedicated to ensuring that the WBG remains at the forefront of industry trends and best practices. He is committed to lifelong learning and staying abreast of emerging trends and technologies that can benefit the WBG and its members.

Bobby holds a postgraduate qualification in Workplace Risk Management from Federation University, complemented by Lean Six Sigma Black Belt certification.  He is a seasoned Workplace Health and Safety professional with 25 years’ experience in the industry, and the Director of a Workplace Health and Safety consultancy (iiNexus Global), assisting global organisations and Small & Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in achieving EHS excellence.

Beyond the WBG, Bobby is actively involved in promoting mental wellness and physical fitness in the wider community through the Australian Martial Arts Foundation Inc which he co-founded.  In his spare time, Bobby enjoys spending time with family and friends, finding inspiration and rejuvenation in Pokémon-hunting with his children.

Bobby is honored to serve as Deputy Chair of Whitehorse Business Group and looks forward to contributing to the continued success and growth of the organisation.

Denise Massoud

Denise Massoud

Denise has lived in Whitehorse since 1986 and is always looking to support local businesses, both large and small, in their growth through networking, promotional activities, parking adjustments to support customer access and experience plus opportunities for outdoor dining.

Denise has tertiary qualifications in Science, Teaching, IT and Business, with varied roles through her career including Head of Chemistry, Learning Technologies Coordinator and established and managed a Business Intelligence practice for an International IT company working with large corporates and government agencies across Australia and New Zealand. She is currently the Registered Electrical Contractor for Mass Lighting Services P/L.

Denise has been a councillor for Whitehorse City Council continuously since 2012 and held the positions of Mayor (2017 and 2024) and Deputy Mayor (2022). She currently represents Council on the following committees:

  • Eastern Affordable Housing Alliance (Deputy Chair)
  • Eastern Region Group
  • Environment and Sustainability Reference Group (Chair)
  • Municipal Association of Victoria
  • Whitehorse Business Group
  • Whitehorse Disability Advisory Committee(Chair)
  • Whitehorse Reconciliation Advisory Committee (Chair)

As a graduate and member of Australian Institute of Company Directors, Denise is focussed on strong governance and is President and Board Chair of VLGA (Victorian Local Governance Association).

As a member of the Whitehorse Business Group Board, Denise enjoys the collaborative approach to supporting business growth in Whitehorse and values the business development events and networking opportunities which Whitehorse Business Group provides for their members.

Merrell Harris

Merrell Harris

Merrell Joined the WBG in 2012 after being involved in a number of Business networking groups, she found the WBG flexible and enjoyed attending the many and varied functions.

She was asked to become a Board Member in 2017.

She has been in the print industry for over 35 years and has seen a number of changes in that time.

She still enjoys helping Not for Profit Organisations with their print, design and marketing needs, and has helped the WBG with their brand identity over the past 6 years

Cr Mark Lane

Cr Mark Lane

Cr Lane lives locally with his wife and family and are all active members of a number of local sporting clubs. He has a degree in applied science, computer science, maths and stats and loves numbers. He also has qualifications in HR, business management and business support (coaching).

Cr Lane is currently a member of the Blackburn South Cricket Club and ACES Netball Club and was previously Deputy Chair and member of the Whitehorse Business Group, Whitehorse Netball, Chair and member of the Whitehorse Community Chest, JCI Eastern (Junior Chamber) and held roles from local chapter president, State President and Australian President. He was awarded Senator of JCI (similar to a life member).  

Cr Lane is interested in finding efficiencies in processes and help making things work better and within frameworks. For many years he has led high performing teams in analytics and reporting, with a goal of using data to tell the story for better decision making.

Cr Lane led the building of the outdoor pool at Aqualink Box Hill ahead of schedule, saving the community significant funds. He also advocated for the Healesville Freeway land to be used as open space and lobbied for funding for an upgrade at Sportlink.

Cr Lane represents Council on the following:

  • Whitehorse Business Group
  • Whitehorse Manningham Regional Library Corporation
  • Advisory Committee for the review of the Chief Executive Officer’s Development
  • Major Projects Councillor Reference Group
  • Whitehorse Sports & Recreation Network
  • Whitehorse Matsudo Sister City Councillor Reference Group
  • Whitehorse Community Grants Panel

Nick Koerbin

Nick Koerbin

Nick is the team leader for AES with over 30 years of association management expertise, Executive Director Nick Koerbin is one of the most experienced NFP leaders in Australia. He has held positions as the CEO of Materials Australia, the National Parts Code, Master Painters Australia Ltd, as well as General Manager positions in the Institute of Insurance, Australian Quality Council, the Financial Planning Association, the Australian Human Resources Institute, and the Furniture Industry Association of Australia.

Nick supports AES by ensuring a vision of creating a set of management practices that could be consistently followed to ensure success. Over his 30 years in the industry, he noticed that inconsistent management practices often impeded delivery of services to members, which in turn created issues with membership renewal. AES services when applied have proven successful time after time.

Nick holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Graduate Diploma in Management.

In addition to his fellowship of the Quality Society of Australasia, he is also a former board director, state president a fellow of the Australasian Society of Association Executives and member of the American Society of Association Executives.

Nick started his working career as a Police Cadet for the Tasmania Police and for 15 years worked in all areas of policing including work experience with the Los Angeles Police Department ( LAPD) and Metropolitan Police (London).

He is the author of the "Quality Journey", a publication that has become one of the most valuable documents for any businesses that are seeking to implement Quality Management principles.

He is also the author of "Organisational Culture & Change" a resource now used by tertiary students undertaking qualifications in business managment. In 2019, authored " The Association Executives ToolKit" a complete resource for all those managing not for profit associations
Nick is often called upon by organisations looking to grow and prosper and has a track record in facilitating organisational change for success.

Nabil Salameh

Nabil Salameh

Nabil Salameh is no stranger to business. He's a Profit Growth Strategist and is passionate about making a difference in the lives of business owners - to have thriving businesses & fulfilling lives. He coaches and mentors them to grow their cashflow and profits, have more free time, and create their ideal business. And, eventually to create their business as a valuable asset that can be sold, passed on, or run under management.

Drawing on 20 years of corporate experience & another 20 years running his own business coaching practice as well as having run a family business employing 32 staff, has given Nabil an intimate understanding of what businesses need to be successful. He has a toolkit of proven strategies & tactics to grow any business and find any business owner additional revenue & profits.

Paul Newnham

Paul Newnham

An accomplished and focused Senior Professional experienced in Multiple organisation formats including Not For Profit, Community Controlled, Business Advisory, and Retail Operations.

Experienced in leading, influencing large cross-functional workforces from Front-line to Executive level in a complex environment with transformational growth accountability.

A collaborative leader with a track record of optimising team performance to achieve and exceed business expectations through sharing a clear vision, strategy, values, and best practices.

Very passionate about increasing the social and economic value in the community, through enabling positive outcomes and engagement.

Paul is the Executive Director Strategic Engagement (Commercial) at Box Hill Institute.

Jacky Wright

Jacky Wright

Jacky joined the Whitehorse Business Group in 2022 as Administrator and Events Co-Ordinator.

Jacky has a strong events background, having previously worked at Presbyterian Ladies’ College for 17 years in events and marketing, it was time for a change in sectors.

Jacky has lived, been educated in and worked in Whitehorse and Boroondara for the past 40 years, she currently lives in Balwyn North with her husband and is a proud mother of two adult children.

With a love of people, projects and service to the community, Jacky is keen to explore and support the business sector in the City of Whitehorse and the ensure the continued success of the Whitehorse Business Group.

Andrew Kent

Andrew Kent

Andrew Kent has been an active member of the Whitehorse community for over 20 years, including 17 years coaching community soccer teams. Andrew and his wife own several businesses including business consulting firm Growth Creators and the famous Handorf's Fine Chocolates in Blackburn.

Andrew is currently the National President of the Australian Landlords Association, the Chairman of two multi-million dollar digital marketing companies and has held Director and C-suite roles at Fairfax, Bounce, CPA Australia as well as being appointed to the International Federation of Accountants. He has written over 100 business articles and is a major contributor to Honest Economics 

Recently appointed to the board of the Whitehorse Business Group, Andrew looks forward to helping Whitehorse Businesses to thrive.

Amy To

Amy To

Amy's journey epitomises a fusion of academic prowess and a fervent dedication to community service. With a degree in Community Psychology, complemented by majors in Human Bioscience and Research Methods, Amy embarked on a trajectory that seamlessly blended her academic achievements with her passion for community welfare. Her illustrious career trajectory was punctuated by the honour of receiving the 1992 Young Citizen of the Year award from the City of Maribyrnong Council, underscoring her profound impact on the communities she serves.

Central to Amy's narrative is her enduring partnership with her husband in operating Amor Mexico Mexican Restaurant in Blackburn for over two decades. More than just a culinary establishment, Amor Mexico stands as a vibrant community hub where individuals converge to connect, create, and celebrate amidst the backdrop of Mexican cuisine, arts, and entertainment. Recognised for its commitment to excellence, the restaurant has amassed numerous accolades, including distinctions such as Best Customer Service, Best Vegetarian Restaurant, Top 100 Best Mexican Restaurants in Australia, with nominations for the prestigious Telstra Best of Business Awards.

Amy's commitment to community enrichment extends beyond the confines of her restaurant. She played an instrumental role in the creation of Community Lane in Blackburn Station Village, an outdoor space designed to foster a sense of belonging and camaraderie within the community. Moreover, her literary contributions, including co-authoring "My Courageous Journey," a collection of narratives exploring courage and community service, exemplify her dedication to uplifting and empowering others.

In addition to her entrepreneurial pursuits, Amy co-founded "The Book Club," a dynamic Mastermind group dedicated to exploring and analysing business and social dynamics. Through her multifaceted roles as an entrepreneur, author, parent, public speaker, and community leader, Amy continues to champion collaboration, foster meaningful connections, and drive positive change within her community and beyond.