Board of Directors
Chris’ entrepreneurial spirit has resulted in his success as CEO and Chairman of Hospitality Inns, DriveWA, WA Pass, the Eco Company (managing agents for Karijini Eco Retreat) and is the Chair of Australia's Golden Outback. Chris’ foresight, vision, leadership, hard work, and passion for the WA hospitality and tourism industries has strongly contributed to his own personal success, and to the success of each of his companies. Despite his demanding position, Chris finds the time to act as the WA Representative on the Best Western Member’s Advisory Council, Chris also dedicates much of his time to the children charity, Variety WA.
Andrew is the Chief Operating Officer – Food, Beverage & Entertainment at Crown Perth with an overall responsibility for over 3,000 employees. Appointed COO in 2008, he previously held the position of Executive General Manager, Catering & Entertainment at Crown Perth (formerly Burswood Entertainment Complex) since his arrival from Crown Casino Melbourne in 2005, where he held the position of Director of Catering. Andrew has been a board member of the Tourism Council of Western Australia for the last twelve years enjoying the strategic challenges of board involvement in the development of the industry in Western Australia. Andrew also sits on the Tourism Committee for the Perth Chamber of Commerce and Industry and was previously President of the Accommodation Division for the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) W.A, with formal induction into the AHA Hall of fame in 2015 for his dedication and commitment to the tourism sector.
Stephanie is the Director of Sales & Marketing for Seashells Hospitality Group (SHG) which involves a spectrum of consumer and trade sales, marketing and public relations activities for Seashells’ resorts in Mandurah, Scarborough, Broome, Yallingup and Fremantle. Stephanie has been directly involved in tourism product developments, including the opening and launch of Seashells Mandurah and Yallingup, the creation of a new brand and positioning strategy for SHG and winning 8 Western Australian and 2 Australian tourism awards. Prior to her time at Seashells Stephanie spent 9 years as Sales Manager UK/ Europe for Tourism Western Australia in London and this role was responsible for the advertising, public relations and WA market development throughout the UK and Europe. Stephanie is a current committee member of the Australian Tourism Export Council WA Branch and held the position of Chair from 2006 to 2008. Prior board positions have been held with the Perth Convention Bureau, Perth Region Tourism Organisation, Mandurah & Peel Tourism Organisation, plus a number of Tourism Western Australia advisory panels.
Nigel Keen was appointed the General Manager of the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre (PCEC) in 2012 to proactively lead, shape and grow the executive team across all business activities, engage and maintain key stakeholder relationships with State Government Agencies and industry while keeping abreast of the latest trends and developments on the National and International stage. He values connections with other influential association organisations and leaders such as EEAA, BECA, ICCA, AIPC, ACCG and is a highly regarded, impartial Board Director of the Perth Convention Bureau.
In 2014, Nigel was promoted to State Manager for Leisure, Sport and Entertainment for Spotless in Western Australia which increased his portfolio to managing the Mustard Catering contract at nib Stadium, Perth Zoo as well as overseeing a number of high profile external events such Leeuwin Concert Series and The Gourmet Escape in Margaret River in 2015.
With over 30 years of industry exposure, strong leadership skills and an extensive international career behind him, Nigel brings a depth of knowledge and expertise from both an operational and strategic perspective. Nigel’s fervent commitment and passion to his role within the WA Business Events and Tourism industry is frequently noted and commended by his peers and clients for his personal contribution in promoting the legacies that the business events sector brings our State, at every opportunity.
Matt commenced work with the Geographe Bay Tourism Association in 2009 as the Visitor Centre Manager. With the amalgamation of the AMRTA and GBTA, he was appointed the Tourism Services Manager, responsible for the MRBTA's four Visitor Centres and membership teams. In addition to his role as Tourism Services Manager, he has been the Chair of the Visitor Centre Association WA for the past three years and was involved in the amalgamation of VCAWA with TCWA, which has seen a united voice and increased exposure for Visitor Centres.
He believes in working together across all tourism industries, sharing information and experiences. He has been very supportive of the joint WA Tourism Conference where Caravan Industry Australia WA, the Visitor Centres WA and FACET joined with TCWA to provide a state tourism conference. He is a strong advocate in promoting the 'value of tourism' for Western Australia, attracting visitors to a vibrant capital city and from Perth to experience the diverse beauty of the regions.
Sonja Mitchell has been involved in the tourism aviation industry in the Kimberley and regional Australia for 25 years, firstly as a Commercial Pilot in the Kimberley and then progressing through to roles of Operations Manager, General Manager and CEO of Slingair. Slingair Heliwork WA won 18 WA tourism awards under Sonja’s guidance. Sonja was awarded the “Individual Award for Excellence” by Australia’s North West Tourism in 2006, recognising a personal contribution to the development of the Kimberley tourism industry. She has held numerous board positions including; the South West Development Commission and served as a commissioner for Tourism WA from 2001 to 2007. Since 2007 Sonja has specialised in business development, aviation and tourism marketing. Past businesses she has worked with include; Karri Valley Resort, Darby Park Margaret River, Faraway Bay, Luridgii Aboriginal Eco Tours, Whitsunday Helicopters, Sydney Helicopters and Mackay Helicopters. Her current role is Sales and Marketing Manager for HeliSpirit, Aviair, Bungle Bungle Savannah Lodge and Bungle Bungle Guided Tours.
Debra Blaskett was appointed to the position of Chief Corporate Services Officer at Perth Airport in October 2016 and is responsible for the areas of Human Resources, Corporate Affairs, Marketing and Customer Experience, Business Transformation, Corporate Risk and Corporate Compliance. Ms Blaskett has held a number of senior positions in the Commonwealth public service across the portfolios of Australian External Territories Administration, aviation security regulation and offshore oil and gas security regulation. She has managed the Aviation Security, Airport Operations, Emergency Planning and Risk areas for Perth Airport and holds a Bachelor of Jurisprudence, Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Arts (Hons) degrees. She is a member of the Western Australian Security Industry Advisory Council.
With more than 15 years’ experience in the tourism industry, Catrin is the Chief Executive Officer of Australia’s South West, one of the State’s Regional Tourism Organisations. Catrin brings strong leadership, proven strategic implementation and effective stakeholder engagement skills to the organisation and region. Catrin’s industry representation includes Committee Member of WA Branch of the Australian Tourism Export Council, previous board member of Australia’s South West, involvement in key industry project areas such as aviation, cruise and film as well as various collaborations with industry stakeholders in developing Memorandums of Understanding to increase co-operation and reduce duplication in destination marketing. Previously, Catrin was Sales and Marketing Manager at Abbey Beach Resort as well as running her own small business. Catrin holds a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in International Management and Business Administration.
Andrew commenced his formal tourism career in WA at the Perth Convention Bureau in the mid 90's securing MICE business from South East Asia. From there he spent several years at Tourism Australia in Sydney in a range of senior management roles including a stint in their US office working with key industry wholesalers and distribution partners. After leaving Tourism Australia, Andrew helped establish an online booking platform (V3), heading up their East Coast operations. The platform was involved heavily in trying to expand the online environment to a broader tourism base, including smaller accommodation providers as well as tours, attractions & events. After seven years with V3, Andrew decided to move back to WA and took a brief time out of the tourism industry, establishing a commercial building business that focussed on building key tourism assets, including The Como Hotel, Elizabeth Quay and Crown Towers. Now as General Manager of SeaLink (WA) Andrew is responsible for repositioning Captain Cook Cruises as a key tourism asset for the State.