Janine Cullen OAM is the new president of the Illawarra Business Chamber (IBC) following the election of a new Illawarra Regional Advisory Council on November 9.
The council replaces the former board following the merger of the IBC with the NSW Business Chamber (NSWBC).
And it coincides with the launch of Illawarra First which will have its own steering group, of up to 25 regional leaders, and a fighting fund for strategic projects likely to have a significant impact on the local economy.
Ms Cullen is a former deputy president of IBC for seven years and a long-standing NSWBC councillor. She also served on the Illawarra Regional Development Board and has more than 20 years board level experience.
She is presently Wollongong Citizen of The Year and is eager to do more to help the region she loves face present challenges.
Ms Cullen wants to do that by focusing on the future, bringing together policies that can work and advocating for them.
IBC chief executive Debra Murphy said Ms Cullen was passionate about business and will lead the advisory council to focus on important issues to members.
Ms Cullen said it was exciting to be the inaugural of president for two years.
“I am looking forward to working with the whole chamber movement. We really want to secure Illawarra’s long term economic future. It something I have always been passionate about. The advisory council is a vital source of business intelligence. Growth and jobs are our biggest priority. We are going to provide local knowledge and expertise..to advocate successfully for both.”
The two deputy presidents are Amy Harper, of Kells, and Corrimal Chamber of Commerce president Paul Boultwood.
The council’s make up represents the economic diversity of the region, includes businesses of all sizes and representation from local chambers from across all five local government areas.
The members are David Willcocks, Deborah Ann Langton, Jodie Pyke, John Kollaras, John Apolloni, Kurt Newman, Les Dion, Marie Beikmanis, Mark Grimson, Mark Sewell, Matthew Barnes, Melva Crouch, Michael Bassingthwaighte, Rod Oxley, Rupert Cole and Sue Baker-Finch.
Former IBC and NSW chamber president Terry Wetherall is about to become president of the national chamber.