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Our People

Retail Food Group has a committed and experienced Board and Executive Management Team with a wealth of knowledge of the franchising, retail and commercial sectors as well as a wide breadth of expertise in a range of core business functional areas.

Passionate about achieving the best possible outcomes for the business and creating value for our franchisees, customers and shareholders, RFG’s management team is dedicated to demonstrating exceptional leadership to drive the Group’s ongoing success.


Board of Directors

Colin Archer
Independent Chairman

Colin joined the RFG Board in 2006 and was appointed Chairman of the Board on 30 April, 2013.

Colin is an experienced Company Director, who holds a Bachelor of Economics, and a Diploma of Financial Planning, and is a Chartered Accountant, Registered Auditor and tax agent. He is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and a Life Member and Founding President of Strata Community Australia.

He is the founding partner of Queensland professional service firms, Archer Gowland Chartered Accountants, established 1981, and Archers The Strata Professionals, established 1983. His other commercial interests include Archer Rural Pty Ltd, a North Queensland Beef Producer.

Colin maintains an involvement in voluntary community and industry organisations as a Director of LifeFlight Australia and Sunshine Coast Helicopter Rescue Service Ltd.

Anthony (Tony) Alford
Non-Executive Director

Tony commenced his involvement with Retail Food Group in 1994 in an advisory role through his private accounting practice. Through this association, he built a strong relationship with the Company’s founders which resulted in assuming as financial controller responsibilities in 1996. Tony’s achievements in this role and intimate knowledge of Retail Food Group’s operations resulted in his appointment as Managing Director in December 1999.

Subsequently, Tony has presided over significant growth in the Company’s outlets.

In 2006, RFG was Listed on the ASX under Tony’s leadership with two Brand Systems, a team of around 50 staff and the vision to consolidate the Australian food franchising industry. Today, RFG is a genuine international franchising, food and beverage leader with a vertically integrated franchising and coffee footprint spanning the globe.

Tony has been an accountant and Principal in public practice since 1984. He holds a Bachelor of Business from the University of Tasmania and is a fellow of CPA Australia, a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia and a retired member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. Tony is also a registered tax agent.

In July 2016, Tony celebrated 20 years of service with the Company, a milestone which coincided with his decision to transition from Managing Director to Non-Executive (non-independent) Director.

Jessica Buchanan
Independent Non-Executive Director

Jessica joined the RFG Board in May 2012 as an Independent Non-Executive Director. Jessica is the founder of Consumerology, and is a renowned business development manager with over 17 years’ experience in the research, marketing, advertising, retail and franchise industries.

Jessica’s skills in brand and business development were honed early while working with some of the world’s largest advertising agencies on blue chip accounts including Ericsson, TABCORP, DuPont, BMW’s Mini Cooper, British Gas and Cadbury Schweppes. Jessica was also a member of the brains trust that repositioned The Australian Defence Force. She then went on to become Brand Director at Boost Juice, helping to facilitate growth to 120 stores, and a turnover of $78 million.

Kerry Ryan
Independent Non-Executive Director

Joining the RFG Board in August 2015 as an Independent Non-Executive Director, Kerry brings extensive experience across international markets in the retail and franchise industries.

Previously an advisor to several prominent Australian brands in connection with their international business development strategies, Kerry’s successful legal career and demonstrated business acumen position her to deliver valuable insights and advice in the strategic oversight of the Company.

Kerry is also a Director of CPA Australia and Richmond Football Club, and serves on the Advisory Board of LEXVOCO, a legal services business.

With a strong background in franchise, retail and commercial sectors along with demonstrated skills in risk management, compliance and governance, Kerry is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria and the Australian Institute of Company Directors, where she is also a graduate and fellow.

Kerry holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Arts (majoring in international relations) from the University of Melbourne.

Stephen Lonie
Independent Non-Executive Director

Stephen joined the RFG Board in June 2013 as an Independent Non-Executive Director, and brings a wealth of experience garnered from specialisation in the agribusiness/food sectors, business and financial services, sports and entertainment, mining and energy industries.

Stephen is a Chartered Accountant by profession, and enjoyed an extensive career with professional services firm KPMG, where he was Managing Partner of the firm’s Queensland operations, and a member of KPMG Australia’s National Board previously.

He is currently a Director of listed corporations, MyState Limited, an approved deposit taking institution, Corporate Travel Management Ltd, a specialist corporate travel services provider, and Dart Energy Limited, an international oil and gas exploration company. He is also the Chairman of Jellinbah Resources Pty Ltd, a major privately owned Queensland metallurgical coal producer.

Stephen is Chairman of RFG’s Audit and Risk Management Committee, and also serves on the Company’s Remuneration and Nominations Committees.

Russell Shields
Independent Non-Executive Director

With a wealth of experience in finance, economics and property gained across a highly successful career spanning 35 years, Russell Shields joined the RFG Board as an Independent Non-Executive Director in December 2015.

Previously holding high level management positions with ANZ and HSBC working across Australia and Asia, Russell is an experienced banker with extensive knowledge of retail, corporate, institutional and investment banking both in Australia and Asia.

Russell is currently a Fellow of The Australian Institute of Company Directors, and is also the Chairman of Onyx Property Group and a Director of Eclipx, Acquis Entertainment and a consultant to Savills.


Executive Management Team

Andre Nell
Managing Director

Assuming the role of Managing Director in July 2016, Andre Nell possesses a wealth of experience and intimate knowledge of RFG’s diverse operations, and is responsible for oversight of the global growth and success of the Company. Andre joined RFG in 2007 as part of the Michel’s Patisserie acquisition and has since held a variety of key roles within the Company, including Head of Commercial, Chief Operating Officer and CEO – Franchise. Andre has a wealth of experience in the successful operation and expansion of franchise networks internationally and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

Gary Alford
Chief Executive Officer

Currently holding the position of Chief Executive Officer, Gary has been with RFG for more than twenty years. After commencing with RFG in 1996 as Operations Manager for the bb's cafe system, Gary held a variety of senior management roles that saw him play an instrumental role in the growth, integration and consolidation of the Company's wholesale coffee operations and rapidly growing global franchise network. Throughout his tenure, Gary has gained an intimate knowledge of the Company’s franchising, coffee roasting, wholesale and manufacturing business and is well respected within both the franchising and coffee industries.

Peter McGettigan
Chief Financial Officer

Peter joined RFG in early 2009 as Divisional Financial Controller and was subsequently promoted to a number of positions culminating in his appointment as Chief Financial Officer in February 2012. Prior to joining the Company, Peter was employed with KPMG where he was a Client Manager in the Assurance and Advisory Division. Peter holds a Bachelor degree from Griffith University in Business (Accounting) and has been a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia since 2004.

Mark Connors
Director of Corporate Services

Mark joined RFG as Corporate Counsel in July 2004 having previously represented the Company in private practice since 1999. He has since developed his career within RFG’s operations and legal departments, holding positions including Deputy Chief Operating Officer, Chief Legal Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Mark has served as RFG’s Company Secretary since the Company Listed in June 2006. Mark holds a Bachelor of Laws and is a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland, a member of the Queensland Law Society and an affiliate member of the Governance Institute of Australia.

Mike Gilbert 
Chief Franchise Officer

Appointed as RFG’s Chief Franchise Officer in March 2016, Mike commenced with RFG in December 2014 as Head of Projects, establishing and leading the Company’s project management team, holding this role in tandem with the position of Managing Director - International. Demonstrating an aptitude for successfully creating and implementing strategies to achieve business objectives, Mike has been pivotal in the development of RFG’s international operations. Prior to joining RFG Mike invested thirteen years in overseas roles, developing an understanding of many different business practices and cultures and gaining experience from a wide range of industries including FMCG, pharmaceuticals, food supply and assurance, publishing and private advisory. Mike is also a highly experienced project director with expertise in business transformation. Mike holds a Bachelor of Business (Accountancy and Computer Applications) and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand.

Belinda Waters
General Manager – Franchise Services

Belinda was appointed General Manager – Franchise Services in June 2015, after commencing with the Company in 2009 as a Senior Financial Accountant. Belinda is a qualified accountant, with 5 years’ experience in public practice before moving across into commerce. Belinda has held various roles within the Company including Group Financial Controller and Business Project Specialist, where, on acquisition, she worked closely with the Gloria Jean’s Coffees and Di Bella Coffee finance teams in the integration of the acquisitions and creation of alignment and synergies.

Damian Tarry
Director of Human Resources

Damian commenced with RFG in December 2014. Damian’s experience stretches across a number of industries including hospitality and tourism, childcare and finance. Damian has specialised in Human Resources since 1997, working predominantly in small to medium sized businesses including in remote locations. He has played pivotal roles in business start-ups, public listings, rapid growth, mergers and acquisitions, industrial negotiations as well as changing cultures where the contribution of human resources is imperative. Damian has a strong belief in enhancing organisational capability through the investment in its people.

Gavin Bills
Head of ICT

Joining RFG in January 2015, Gavin Bills is vastly experienced with a career spanning more than 30 years across a diverse range of industries including mining, refining, manufacturing, retail and distribution. Comfortable operating in publicly listed multi-national organisations or smaller private companies; Gavin brings a cost-oriented approach to business activities. He has a vast knowledge base gained through managing mergers and acquisitions, divestments and inter-company spin-offs which provide a solid foundation for driving organisational change and transformation across multi-disciplinary and geographically diverse organisations, regardless of the industry.