Current Committee

2020 Newcastle Business Club Committee

The Newcastle Business Club is able to function only through the hard work and dedication of a volunteer committee.

Clare Ferguson

Clare Ferguson


Monica Clare Recruitment
Business Director

0499 033 130

Clare is a partner in Monica Clare Recruitment. Her background covers 15 years in the Recruitment sector in both Australia and the UK. She is passionate about making a difference in people’s career choices and supporting businesses to hire the very best talent.

Clare enjoys playing hockey, spending time with family and friends and contributing to the Newcastle community.

Clare is excited to take on the role of President in 2020.

Steph Jordan

Steph Jordan

Senior Vice President

Dalton Partners Real Estate
Sales Consultant

0413 452 297

Stephanie is a local Novocastrian who grew up in New Lambton. She studied Business at Newcastle University and worked in the construction industry for seven years before a passion for property prompted a career change to Residential Real Estate Sales.

Stephanie has since been at Dalton Partners New Lambton office where she believes in providing exceptional communication and customer service to her clients.

This is Stephanie’s third year on the committee.

Jim Garis

Jim Garis

Junior Vice President and Treasurer

The Garis Group

Consulting Accountant

0414 526 487

Jim is the founder of The Garis Group, a professional family owned and operated financial services firm.

“The Garis group aims to build a strong and continuous relationship with its clients built on our valuable, personal, technical and knowledgeable expertise”

The Garis Group are proud partners of B1G1 – Business for Good

Jim is the current Treasurer of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, Deputy Chairman of The Newcastle Tourism Industry Group, and a Director of the Hunter Business Chamber.

2020 is Jim’s second year on the committee.

Jodi O'Connor

Jodi O'Connor



Managing Director

0467 550 600

Jodi is the joint founder and Managing Director of local branding and design studio Ronnoco. Her background covers 25 years as a graphic designer, project manager, business analyst and Adobe InDesign trainer. She is passionate about connecting businesses with their audience through strategic brand development with clarity, substance and authenticity.

Jodi enjoys spending time with family and friends, swimming, cooking and supporting the local community.

This is Jodi’s third year on the committee.

Sam Matthews

Sam Matthews


Matthews Jewellers

0434 413 323

Sam joined the committee in 2018 at which time he joined his family business, Matthews Jewellers. Prior to this he spent 12 years in the corporate world with the Commonwealth Bank in Newcastle, Sydney and Indonesia. Sam oversees three Matthews Jewellers retail jewellery stores at Westfield Kotara, Salamander Bay and Singleton.

Sam also enjoys cycling, surfing and spending time with his young family.

Craig Wellings

Craig Wellings

Committee Member

Hunter Signs
Founder/Managing Director

0401 176 666

Craig is the founder and owner of Hunter Signs, a leading manufacturer of Signage, print and display products.

Craig has been a Club member since 2014 and was appointed President in 2019. Craig is a former Vice President of the Maitland Business chamber, a current Director of Ronald McDonald House Charities and passionate advocate for business and community in the Hunter Region.

Holly Martin

Holly Martin

Committee Member

The Marketing GP

0403 293 880

Holly is the owner of local consultancy, The Marketing GP, as well as the General Manager of local business news website Hunter Headline.

Holly has been a Club member since 2002 and Committee Member since 2004. She was the Junior Vice-President and Editor of VISION magazine and undertook a number of marketing and event management tasks for the Club. In 2018 she was President of the Club and is now a committee member.

Leslie Peters

Leslie Peters

Committee Member


Leslie is the Principal at OmCom. Leslie uses her 25 years of marketing, communications and business development experience to help businesses and not for profits create enduring connections with their audiences.

Leslie is delighted to have made the sea change from Canberra to Newcastle in 2017 and is eternally grateful she’s found this beach-side gem. Leslie spends her free time with her boys, which means she watches a lot of rugby union in Sydney, cooking for friends, swimming at the beaches and lake as well as teach yoga and yoga therapy.

This is Leslie’s first year on the committee.

Kyle Griffiths

Kyle Griffiths

Committee Member

Kyle Griffiths Financial Planning
Certified Financial Planner

Kyle is a local Certified Financial Planner, who is passionate about improving the lives of Novocastrians through financial education.

His business focuses on helping clients in their 30s and 40s take action and build wealth through Property, Shares, and making the most of their Super. Kyle is known for explaining complex financial strategies in plain English through his social media videos, and collaborating with other like-minded local business people.

This is Kyle’s first year on the committee.