Board of Directors
Experienced in all facets of business management and specialising in marketing coaching, and Destination management Manny is recognised as a critical thinker who uses evaluation and innovation to develop and implement strategic plans. Manny has earned a reputation for excellence in small business tourism development and executive coaching. With over 30 years experience in the tourism industry and a past President of Tourism Council WA, Australian Tourism Export Council (WA), and the Bus and Coach Association of WA Manny is seen as a stalwart of the WA tourism industry. Manny has acted as advocate for major tourism corporations and is well connected politically with both sides of politics at a State and Federal level. Currently Principal of Icon Tourism Manny brings a wealth of relevant knowledge, contacts and experience to all business projects.
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.
Stephanie commenced her career in tourism in 1991 as Sales Manager UK/Europe for the Western Australian Tourism Commission (now Tourism Western Australia) based in London. On returning to Perth in 2001 she joined Seashells Hospitality Group as Director of Sales & Marketing. In this role she has been responsible for consumer and trade sales, marketing and public relations activities for Seashells’ resorts in Mandurah, Scarborough, Broome and Yallingup. Seashells was the also the appointed management company of the Pinctada properties in Broome and Kununurra from November 2011 until April 2013. Stephanie is a Board Director of the Perth Convention Bureau, committee member and previous Chair of Australian Tourism Export Council, a member of Tourism Western Australia’s Marketing Advisory Panel, Westernaustralia.com Advisory Panel and a previous board member of Experience Perth.
Born in England and raised in Africa, Karen’s career has spanned over 26 years in the Hotel and Tourism industry. Karen has held a number of diverse senior management roles in marketing, business development and communications in Western Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and the United Kingdom. Karen has been employed in hotel management roles and the wine industry and gained significant experience working for various regional, state and national destination marketing agencies including Tourism Western Australia, New Caledonia Tourism, Tourism Australia and Australia’s South West. Karen has an extensive network of contacts within tourism, media and the public and private sectors in Australia and overseas. She is passionate about tourism marketing and is highly regarded by the industry as an expert in her field. Karen is the recent recipient of the 2012 Australian Hotels Association (Western Australia) Executive Level Manager Award. Karen has sat on various Boards and Committees previously including the Perth Convention Bureau, the WA Branch of the Australian Tourism Export Council (ATEC), Fremantle Chamber of Commerce, Friends of the Bibbulmun Track and also sat on the marketing advisory panel for Tourism Western Australia.
Andrew is Chief Operating Officer – Hotels & Entertainment at Crown Perth. Appointed COO in 2008, he previously held the position of Executive General Manager, Catering & Entertainment at Crown Perth (formally Burswood Entertainment Complex) since his arrival from Crown Casino in 2005 where he held the position of Director of Catering. Andrew has been a member of the Tourism Council of Western Australia for the last seven years enjoying the strategic challenges of committee 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.
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, Australian Helicopter Academy and Bungle Bungle Guided Tours.
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.