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ACS Board & Management

The Board manages ACS with the assistance of a professional mutual manager, Gow-Gates Mutual Management Pty Ltd (Gow-Gates).

The Board acts within the scope of the Constitution, which sets out the objectives of ACS, its powers as a company limited by guarantee and the rules governing its operations.

ACS directors have been selected and drawn from ACS members to represent the travel industry. The Board also includes risk and insurance professionals, the CEO of the Foundation Member (AFTA) and an Independent Chair.

Jayson Westbury - CEO of AFTA, Director

Jayson Westbury has been the CEO of AFTA since 2009, is the immediate past Chairman of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance (WTAAA) and continues as a Director of that body which has some 56 member states from all over the world. He also serves on many Australian Federal Government working groups and panels and contributes to the bilateral tourism policy development in Australia and the world to ensure a sustainable and future proof industry is in place to support business success.

Jayson holds a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the Australian Institute of business and has over 25 years of managerial experience in the hotel, travel, tourism and hospitality industries.

He is a WTAAA delegate to the IATA Passenger Agency Global Joint Council (PAPGJC) and has advised several international tourism bodies, governments and other authorities on a range of issues facing the travel industry.

He was awarded an Australian Tourism Champions Award in 2003 and a further recognition as an Australian National Tourism Legend in 2009 and 2011 from Tourism Training Australian. Jayson is believing in the future of travel agents as an important part of the value distribution chain and enjoys good wine, steep ski slopes and politics both foreign and domestic.

Mike Thompson – Director

Mike is one of the Australian travel sector’s best known and most respected figures. He is the Chairman of AFTA, (the Australian Federation of Travel Agents), and Group General Manager Partnerships for Helloworld Travel Limited, one of the leading integrated travel companies in Australia and New Zealand.

A former lawyer, Mike has worked in a variety of industry roles with several companies, not least American Express. He joined Travelscene as General Manager in February 2001, and his extensive industry experience and connections were instrumental in the successful implementation of the alliance with American Express to form Travelscene American Express and its industry-leading network and management team.

Mike has also been an AFTA Board member, Trustee of the Travel Compensation Fund, and has also been involved with many industry advisory groups.

Charles Gow-Gates - Company Secretary and Director

Charles is the Managing Director of Gow-Gates Mutual Management. Charles has over 15 years’ experience as an insurance professional, working in the Australian and London insurance markets. He has specialised in various roles, including insurance broker, claims underwriter and as a solicitor qualified in Australia, England, and Wales.

Charles is Chair of the NSW Divisional Committee, National Insurance Brokers Association, which is the peak body for the Insurance broking profession.

Katrina Barry – Director

As Managing Director at Contiki Holidays, Katrina looks after the Australian business in addition to regional operations and overseeing the Busabout brand.

Prior to joining Contiki, Katrina spent 2.5 years with BT Financial in senior leadership roles leading various direct businesses, and digital, marketing and customer experience across multiple brands. Previous to that she spent 7 years with the Virgin Group where she held a variety of roles from leading strategy at Virgin Money, to investment management with Virgin’s Private Equity arm, to being one of the founders of Virgin Active gyms in Australia. Prior to joining the Virgin Group, Katrina worked as a management consultant, for many years with McKinsey and Company.

Katrina holds Commerce and Law degrees from the University of Auckland. She is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a previous Director of various Virgin and BT businesses.

Kevin Forder – Director

Kevin is a Director of INSEVO, an advisory and services company supporting both the emerging InsurTech industry as well as the traditional insurance and reinsurance markets. He is also a Non-Executive Director of Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance Company Australia, the insurer for the Toyota and Lexus Insurance branded products, where he chairs both the Audit and Compliance Committee and the Risk Management Committee.

A chartered accountant with over 25 years experience in the insurance and reinsurance industry and, having worked with a significant range of regulated institutions, brings significant insurance knowledge and experience.

Appointed as a Director on 1 September 2017, he will also chair the Risk and Audit Committee.

Andrew Olsen – Director

Andrew was appointed Chief Executive of the Travel Agents Association of New Zealand (TAANZ) in 2011 and successfully expanded TAANZ member benefits and raised the profile of TAANZ as a strong voice on all matters facing travel agents.

Andrew brings extensive leadership and governance experience from his career as an executive in the international travel industry. He was formerly the New Zealand Director for Carlson Wagonlit Travel and has also held senior positions with American Express and Gulliver’s Travel Group.

Andrew is a Director of the World Travel Agents Association Alliance and is also a member of the New Zealand Institute of Directors.

Andrew was appointed to the ACS Board in March 2018.

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