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.
Steph Jordan

Steph Jordan


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 fourth year on the committee.

Jim Garis

Jim Garis

Senior Vice President

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.

2021 is Jim’s third year on the committee.

Jodi O'Connor

Jodi O'Connor

Junior Vice President


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 fourth year on the 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 was President of the Club in 2020.

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.

Jon Jones

Jon Jones


Newy Finance

0410 699 969

Experienced Mortgage Broker with a demonstrated history of working in the financial services industry.

Skilled in Residential and Commercial Lending, Investment Properties, Insurance, and Equipment Finance.

Experienced Professional with a Diploma of Finance and Mortgage Broking.

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 second 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 second year on the committee.

Samantha Miller

Samantha Miller

Committee Member

Clarity Lawyers
Director, Principal Lawyer

0402 253 080

Samantha has been a lawyer since 2001 having followed in the steps of her father, grandfather, great-grandfather and great-great-grandfather. No one can say she didn’t know what she was getting into!

Initially admitted in 2001 as a solicitor in NSW and Australia, Samantha then moved to the UK where she was admitted as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2002.

Samantha has been back in Newcastle since 2016 and since returning she has completed a Master of Applied Law (Majoring in Family Law) ensuring that her legal knowledge is comprehensive and completely up to date.

Samantha thrives on taking people from what is sometimes one of the most vulnerable moments in their lives through to being able to plan and see a happy future ahead of them.

Outside of work Samantha has a husband, three daughters and a dachshund named Keith. They keep themselves busy in the outdoors and particularly enjoy holidays in their VW campervan.

Jessica Cole

Jessica Cole

Committee Member

Cole Consulting Group

0423 253 171

Founder of Cole Consulting Group and focused on bringing quality financial information to businesses without the fuss. She is passionate about change and continuous improvement and her process improvement initiatives have seen her consulting in Canada and the United States, and presenting at the Association for Manufacturing Excellence seminar in Melbourne.

Jessica previously led the Virtual CFO and Bookkeeping division for a local accounting practice with a portfolio of clients across varied industries. She draws on her extensive experience working in a commercial role as a Financial Account and Commercial Manager for a global company, responsible for leading the Accounts Payable and Receivable teams, Reporting and pricing strategies to name a few. Jessica is grateful for her experience working in two local Chartered Accounting firms specialising in Business Services and Taxation and is a registered Tax Agent with the Tax Practitioner Board.

Jessica holds a Bachelor of Commerce, a Masters of Business Administration (Marketing Major) and a Graduate Certificate in Competitive Systems and Practices.

Liz Murray

Liz Murray

Committee Member

Edge of Possibilities

0439 598 944

Liz is a proud Novocastrian who started her business Edge of Possibilities (Leadership Coaching, Training and Mentoring) in 2017. After over 20 years in Leadership, Liz appreciates the value of empowering leaders to achieve success through increased self-awareness and an ongoing focus on strengthening emotional intelligence. Liz is passionate about collaborating with exceptional Leaders to inspire their teams to thrive with confidence and certainty.

Liz loves an early start to watch the sunrise, spending time with her family and bushwalking.

This is Liz’s first year on the committee.

Andrew Olsen

Andrew Olsen

Committee Member


0407 265 736

Ex-pat Canadian, amateur musician, hack Halloween historian, and rugby union fanatic, Andrew has been settled in Newcastle for 6 years now and wished it was longer.

Having spent the last 25 years in Australia helping business solve problems through technology and services he is passionate about working with organisations to help and derive meaningful value from them.

Andrew now runs his own business as it provides him the greatest flexibility in applying the best value and customer service to his customers. As a cloud communications advisory he is focused on helping Hunter businesses address challenges around flexibility, scalability, supporting a distributed workforce, all while minimising IT costs and resource requirements.

He also enjoys his time with his 3 children at the beach and camping.