About Us

Heads Over Heels was founded in August 2010 as the brainchild of five women mainly involved in early-stage investment and support who found themselves at pitches asking, “Where are the women?” They decided to tackle the problem by identifying high potential women entrepreneurs and facilitating access to the business networks that would help them succeed. In doing so, Heads Over Heels helps level the playing field for women entrepreneurs, promoting greater gender equality and aspirational role models for women and men alike.

 

Five years on Heads Over Heels has an incredibly dedicated volunteer Advisory Council and Board supported by A-List Partners and Sponsors.  Through the generous support of our corporate sponsors and volunteers, Heads Over Heels has increased the number of women entrepreneurs it supports, and has refined our model to facilitate more quality connections at each event, increasing our community impact.

ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS

RICHARD ENTHOVEN

Richard Enthoven is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of The Hollard Australia Group which includes Hollard Insurance, Hollard Financial Services and Real Insurance. He has also served as a Director of The Hollard Insurance Company and The Hollard Life Insurance Company in South Africa since 2003.   Richard is also a Director of the Insurance Council of Australia and the Chairman of the ICA’s Financial Inclusion Committee.

 

Richard serves on the Advisory Board of Head Over Heels, a not-for-profit organisation that supports a portfolio of high-potential women-owned businesses. Richard holds an MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and BA from the University of Southern California. He is a passionate cyclist and a fan of test cricket.

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DIANE GRADY AM

Diane Grady has been a full time independent director of public companies and not-for-profit boards since 1994. She is a member of the Macquarie Group’s Board of Directors, the McKinsey Advisory Council, and the Centre for Ethical Leadership/Melbourne Business School.  She is Chair of Ascham School and the Hunger Project Australia. Previously she was a Director of BlueScope Steel Limited, Woolworths Limited, Goodman Group, Wattyl Limited, Lend Lease US Office Trust, Lend Lease Limited, MLC and a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House.   She was also President of Chief Executive Women and chaired the group’s taskforce which published the CEO Kit for Attracting and Retaining Female Talent.

 

Diane was formerly a partner at McKinsey & Company where she spent 15 years consulting to clients in a broad range of industries on strategic and operational issues. She was a worldwide leader of the firm’s Organisation and Change Management Practice and the first woman outside the United States to be elected to McKinsey’s global partnership. In Australia, she headed McKinsey’s Consumer Goods, Retailing and Marketing Practice Group.  Ms Grady was made a member of the Order of Australia in 2009 for her contribution to business and to the promotion of women leaders and in 2001 received a Centenary Medal for service to Australian society through business leadership.

DEBORAH JOHNS

Deborah Johns is a Partner at Gilbert + Tobin in the Corporate Advisory group. She advises clients on a broad range of business acquisitions and disposals, complex joint ventures, fund establishment, venture capital, corporate governance and general corporate and commercial matters. She is also an expert in matters relating to the Foreign Acquisitions and Takeovers Act 1975 (Cth).

 

Deborah is recognised by Chambers Global in two spotlight tables as a foreign expert in Corporate/M&A and Investment Funds (International Firms) (Experts Based Abroad) and is recognised as an AFR Best Lawyer in Funds Management. She has been interviewed on television and radio and conducted numerous seminars and training sessions for clients in relation to foreign investment issues.

 

Deborah holds a Bachelor of Science in Foreign Service (USA in World Affairs) from Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., with a certificate in Asian Studies and certified proficiency in Mandarin Chinese. She received a fellowship to pursue a year of graduate studies at Taiwan’s National Chengchi University and received a J.D. with Honours from the University of Michigan Law School in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

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RENATA KALDOR AO

Renata has been involved in business, education and community affairs.  She is currently a Director of ASI, a private company involved in Office products, Home Textiles and Property Development.  She is also a Trustee of the Sydney Opera House, a Board Director of the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network, and Advisory Member of Alzheimer Association of NSW.

 

Until recently, Renata was a Judicial Commissioner of NSW.  In the past, she was Chair of the NSW Women’s Advisory Council and Deputy Chancellor of the University of Sydney.  She has held Board positions on the NSW State Rail Board, the Sydney Olympic Bid Committee, the Garvan Medical Research Foundation and was an inaugural Board Member of SSO.

ROBERT KELLY

Robert Kelly has been a practicing insurance professional since 1969. With more than 45 years’ experience in the insurance industry, Robert has vast industry experience and an active interest in all facets of the Insurance Industry, acting as Risk Manager, Insurance Broker, Underwriting Agent and Claims Manager.

 

Robert co-founded Steadfast Group Limited (Steadfast) in April 1996, with a  visit to band together non-aligned insurance brokerages and adopt a unified approach to market.

He is currently the Managing Director & CEO of Steadfast. In 2013, Robert led the company to a successful listing on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), now an ASX 200 Company. He is also a director of various subsidiaries of Steadfast.

 

Robert was named Insurance Industry Leader of the Year at the 2011 Annual Australian Insurance Industry Awards and Equal First Most Influential Person in the Insurance Industry in 2014, by Insurance News Magazine.

 

He is also an International Board Director for ACORD International, based in New York. In March 2014, ACORD awarded Robert their prestigious Rainmaker Award. Robert is also a Director of Steadfast Foundation and the Charity KidsXpress.

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Lynn-Kraus
LYNN KRAUS

Lynn Kraus is the Managing Partner, Sydney Office – responsible for EY’s largest office in Oceania. Lynn is a partner in our Transaction Advisory Services team providing integration support to clients in the financial service, real estate and government sectors. This includes advice on target operating models, synergies, integration planning and execution as well as advice on separation strategies.

 

Prior to joining EY, Lynn spent several years working within the institutional banks of both Wachovia Corporation in the US and Westpac Bank in Australia.

 

Lynn has a Bachelor of Science in Accounting, Clemson University, USA; is member of the US AICPA, an affiliate member of the Australian Institute of Chartered Accountants, a member of the Australian Human Resources Institute and Board member of Kidsafe. Lynn is also the Chairman of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusiveness Council and previously served on the Ernst & Young Oceania Advisory Council.

PHILIP MCCABE

Philip heads up CommBank’s Corporate Finance team. Philip’s team covers public and private markets, enabling growing business customers to source growth capital across debt and equity capital markets.  Business units within CBA Corporate Finance include Private Equity Coverage, mid-market Equity and Debt Capital Markets (ECM /DCM) and Entrepreneurial Growth Markets. Philip has 17 years corporate finance experience in Europe and Australasia.

 

Philip has been with CBA for 6 years having worked previously for CIT and JP Morgan. Philip’s core expertise lies in debt and equity capital markets, financial engineering, sponsor Coverage and mid-market advisory. Philip holds a Masters of Commerce in Economics and Bachelor of Commerce in Finance and Economics (University of Auckland).  Philip was also a member of the British Army (HAC).

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MICHAEL MUEHLHEIM

Michael is a Senior Wealth Adviser with Macquarie Wealth Management and holds CFP accreditation and a B.Bus in Economics and Finance (RMIT).

 

Michael provides strategic advice and private wealth investment services to a concentrated group of entrepreneurs and their families, and is passionate about connecting entrepreneurs from their earliest stages to life beyond asset realisation. He also works with various businesses and divisions within Macquarie to help foster broader relationships.

 

Michael is a member of The Funding Network that supports grass roots charities and actively supports education focused charities.

 

Michael is a big fan of AFL and a regular down at Bilgola Beach SLSC with his nippers.

STEPHEN PORGES

Stephen is the past Chief Executive Officer of Aussie Home Loans.  He has over 25 years experience in International Banking and Investment Banking.  Including as Managing Director and Head of Equities and Trading for HSBC in New York from 1995 till 2002.   Stephen has also held the positions of Chief Executive of Proteome Systems a publicly listed Biotech and Executive Chairman of Hyro, a public technology and advertising business.

 

Stephen maintains an active interest in health through his involvement as a Director of Breast Cancer Institute of Australia and ANZ Breast Cancer Trials Group. He is also on the Council of Wesley College, Sydney University; on the Deans Advisory Board for the Sydney University Business School and a Director of the Australian Business and Community Network.

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NAOMI SIMSON

We know her from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank as the ‘Red Shark’ and the best selling author of Live What You Love. But she has many labels: entrepreneur, author, blogger, innovator and a passionate individual to name a few.

 

As an entrepreneur she founded one of Australia’s tech success stories RedBalloon in 2001. From just an idea and persistence redballoon.com.au has now served more close to 3 million customers. She is a champion of great workplaces and her entrepreneurial energy focuses on RecogniseEveryDay.com.au a Saas business inspiring businesses to love their people.
Before founding RedBalloon she worked as a marketer with big brands, IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines. All of which influenced her views on workplaces.

 

She is committed to making the world a happier place and does so via her blogging having written more than 850 posts at naomisimson.com since 2006 and being a LinkedIn Influencer with some 850,000 followers.

 

Naomi has received a number of high profile awards including the 2008 National Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and in 2011 she won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category.

DAVID WILLISON

David Willison has worked in the NSW Government since 2009, with a focus on policy formulation and implementation, developing projects including NSW Knowledge Hubs, Industry Action Plans, and initiatives under the NSW Economic Development Framework. He currently leads a collaborative projects group within the NSW Department of Industry. 

 
Prior to joining the Department, David spent 11 years in the banking sector including six years in derivatives trading and analysis. He has also managed industrial and retail businesses with a key focus on strategic planning and operations.
 
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OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD

FIONA BOYD – CEO

Fiona has over 20 years’ experience as a C-Level executive across numerous industries and international markets, in multi- national organisations, large Australian corporates and technology start-ups and has served as Chair of the Diversity & Inclusion Council for an ASX listed company. In addition, Fiona has held Advisory roles on Innovation & Investment and Emerging Leader Programs

 

 Serving as a Business Ambassador for the Trans-Tasman Business Circle, Mentor for the UTS MBA Entrepreneur program, and non-executive Director and Advisor to emerging enterprises. Fiona’s expertise has predominantly been across E-Commerce, Digital Media, and Customer Experience solutions, with wide-reaching connections to senior business leaders in diverse industry sectors. She has developed and launched new businesses and product ventures, and has experience in technology commercialisation and international software licensing.

 

Fiona has driven major online business transformation programs facilitating innovation and growth, and has led JV, Acquisition, and Integration strategies.

 

Fiona holds a Global Executive MBA and a Bachelor’s degree from Sydney University, and is 
a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, where she has also been selected for the 2016 Chair’s Mentoring Program.

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Jason-Eisner
JASON EISNER

Jason is a founding principal of BrandQuest (founded in 2007), a brand advisory firm for companies and organisations who seek strategic alignment, clarity and direction in their quest for growth beyond the status quo. Jason has 20 years of strategic marketing and operations experience in senior management and consulting roles including: The Cambridge Group and Nuvisio (New York and Chicago), Accenture and Tip Top Bakeries (Sydney).

 

Jason has a Bachelor of Commerce from UNSW and an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Jason has also co-authored Fast Marketing for Fast Growth published by New Holland, is a Lecturer in Marketing at the AGSM (Australian Graduate School of Management) UNSW MBA (Executive) Program and is a guest Branding commentator on Sky Business News.

GHAZALEH LYARI – Chair

Ghazaleh is a member of the investment team at CHAMP Ventures and is responsible for identifying and transacting new investment opportunities and monitoring investments. She is a director of BMT Group Holdings.

 

She has a combination of corporate and entrepreneurial experiences. Ghazaleh started her finance career with JP Morgan in New York working in their technology M&A team. She then served as a director in Deutsche Bank’s Investment Banking team in San Francisco, where she spent 6 years advising technology companies on capital raising and mergers and acquisitions transactions. Ghazaleh also served as a director in Citigroup’s Investment Banking team in Sydney leading the bank’s Mining Services and Building Materials corporate finance efforts. Prior to her career in finance, she spent six years in the technology industry at IBM.

 

Before joining CHAMP Ghazaleh gained 6 years experience as an entrepreneur, founding, building and running a food production and retail business in Sydney, where she worked effectively with her investors in growing the business.

 

Ghazaleh holds a bachelor of science with double majors in Physics and Computer Science from the University of NSW, and an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in Chicago.

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Cath Rogers

Cath is an Investment Manager at AirTree Ventures, a $60M venture capital fund. Cath is also a Director of Digital Receipt Exchange, an open standard platform for the secure exchange of consumer and business digital receipt data, and a Governor of the Heart Research Institute.

Cath’s experience includes roles with a successful software venture in London, Accenture strategy consulting, ABN AMRO corporate finance, Credit Suisse investment banking in Sydney, New York and Latin America and the IFC in Washington DC.

During her time with Masdar Capital, a sovereign wealth fund in Abu Dhabi and with Anchorage Capital Partners a private equity fund in Sydney, Cath worked closely with a number of boards and management teams to help build successful businesses. Cath holds a B.Com (UNSW), MBA (INSEAD), CFA and GAICD.

Felicity Waterford

Felicity is a leadership consultant with more than 20 years of experience as a designer and facilitator. Through her company The Leadership Kitchen Felicity has worked with McKinsey & Company, the Reserve Bank of Australia, Telstra, Westpac, CBH, IAG, The Smith Family and The Hunger Project, building capability through transformational leadership programs and executive coaching.

Felicity holds a Master of Applied Science (Social Ecology) and a Bachelor of Business (Mktg). She has authored two books for the Australian National Training Authority – Toolkit for Trainers and Personal Effectiveness. She is a McKinsey/GBA Transformational Facilitator and holds Integral Coaching (Canada) certification.

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Melissa-Widner
Melissa Widner

Melissa is a general partner at SeaPoint Ventures, a US based venture capital firm.  She was previously the CEO of 7Software and Northwest Supply where under her leadership, both companies generated significant returns for their investors. Melissa is an active angel investor where she focuses on investments in early stage companies.  Melissa served as a board director on several US based venture backed technology companies as well as a director on the University of Washington, Bothell’s Business School Advisory Board. Melissa serves on the boards of Brasserie Bread, OneBigSwitch, and the School for Social Entrepreneurs. Melissa holds a Masters degree (Stanford) and a Bachelor’s degree (University of Washington).

OUR PLATINUM PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

 
 

OUR PARTNERS AND SUPPORTERS

 
WON - NSW Women Entrepreneurs Network
Clear CFO logo and website
 

INDUSTRY PARTNERS

 
Scale Investors logo
Springboard Enterprises