Business acumen, commercial experience and wool industry knowledge have given three would-be Australian Wool Innovation directors an edge, according to a newly released report.
The Board Nomination Committee report reveals the reasoning behind the committee's decision to recommend George Millington, Emma Weston and Neil Jackson take the three available board seats.
"Whilst the other candidates interviewed by the BNC had diverse skills and experience relevant to the wool industry, they were regarded as being less suitable for the role as director than the recommended candidates," the report said.
"The BNC is satisfied the recommended candidates are suitable for appointment to the board based on their expertise and experience.
"The BNC is confident that each of them if elected, will bring to the board of AWI a high-level of complementary and relevant skills, commercial pragmatism and insight into the needs and opportunities for the Australian wool industry."
AWI backed up the recommendations of the BNC after they were released last week, with any undirected proxies set to go to Ms Weston, Mr Millington and Mr Jackson at the November 17 annual general meeting.
In making their recommendations, the BNC considered what combination of directors will best ensure an appropriate balance of skills on the board, board diversity and the board's succession plan and renewal needs.
Ms Weston, who is the CEO and co-founder of grain supply chain and inventory management platform AgriDigital, was found by the BNC following an executive search focused on skills including digitisation, supply chain, governance and international exposure
Ms Weston is involved in a family mixed farming enterprise in Warren, NSW and worked in non-executive and executive capacities in multiple technology focused agribusinesses.
In the report the BNCsaid it believed she would "add significant skills, experience and insight into the utilisation of new technologies across agribusiness supply chains, a key area of need identified for the board".
"Emma is recognised as an innovative and proactive leader in digital technologies and for her demonstrated ability to develop and successfully commercialise new products and solutions in emerging areas for agribusiness," it read.
"She has sound business acumen, a keen sense of operational excellence and a commitment to governance and stakeholder communication.
"This unique set of skills will enable her to bring a new perspective to the board and add significant value."
WA woolgrower Neil Jackson was recommended for a board seat based on his knowledge of "the wool industry, its opportunities and challenges" and his clear communication style.
"He is financially astute and has demonstrated sound business acumen in the management and ongoing investment in expanding his farming operations," the report said.
"He brings a considered and progressive approach, together with a collaborative leadership mindset that focuses on gaining alignment on strategy whilst creating an environment that enables those around him to succeed."
A third-generation farmer, Mr Jackson has previously served as the President of Stud Merino Breeders' Association of Western Australia and has also served on bodies including the WoolQ consultative committee, the industry management committee for the application of the Biosecurity in Agriculture Management Act and the Ovine Johnes Disease Management Committee WA.
Collinsville Stud Merinos principal George Millington was also recommended for his "wide commercial experince, strategic mindset and energy".
Mr Millington is also a director and majority shareholder of logistics company APD Parcel Delivery and previously built and expanded coffee importation and roasting business Monjava Coffee, before selling it to San Remo Pasta.
The BNC wrote that Mr Millington had "a deep understanding of the wool industry, the imperative for industry to capture the opportunities for wool in a changing marketplace and a strong focus on R&D and the adoption of technology to improve financial returns to growers".
"He has a proven track record building strong relationship with stakeholders and is highly collaborative, taking time to listen and learn before acting," it wrote.
Also running for a seat are WA woolgrower Steve McGuire and NSW woolgrower Ed Storey.
Mr McGuire has been involved with the WAFarmers Livestock Council for the last 8 years which saw him appointed to the board of WoolProducers Australia in 2017 until his term ended in 2023.
Mr Storey had recently finished a four-year term as president of WoolProducers Australia and has also been an AWEX director and an AWTA Ltd director, for four years.
Current AWI directors Noel Henderson, James Morgan and David Webster will be retiring and not seeking re-election.
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