Brigid Kennedy, President
Director of The Loch, Simmer on the Bay and Simmer Catering, Brigid Kennedy is an expert chef, established catering and events director and successful author. Brigid trained at the well-known Cordon Bleu Institute in London, and La Varenne, Paris. She owned and ran a catering business in London, then became a personal chef to the rich and famous as they cruised the Caribbean and Mediterranean. In Sydney, Brigid owned and operated the successful Simmer Café in Potts Point for three years before setting up Simmer Catering and Events in 1996. In 2001 Brigid bought a farm in the Southern Highlands and began practicing the paddock to plate philosophy – long before it became fashionable. In addition, to this in 2011, Brigid purchased a further 100 acres close to Berrima and converted a barn into luxury accommodation, created farm gate and open gardens, all open to the general public, for the full paddock to plate experience. SMH Travel Editor, Anthony Dennis, named the Loch Bed and Breakfast of the year for 2014. Brigid is also the creator of the seasonal ‘Foodie Field Days’ a seven-course degustation that showcases regional produce and from her farm, including Festival of the Roast, Fungi Field […]
Mandy Ford | Executive Committee Member
Born in Zimbabwe and having grown up in South Africa, Mandy is 11th generation African. Her passion for people and adventure lead her into a career in the safari business. After a few years’ experience, she was fortunate enough to be able to complete an MBA at the Graduate School of Business in Cape Town. Thereafter, Mandy leapt at the opportunity to broaden her horizons and accepted hospitality management roles in iconic destinations like the Serengeti and Ngorongoro in East Africa. The new challenges in these remote locations were varied, but hard work paid off, and the property won the esteemed Travel & Leisure ‘Best Hotel in the World’ award for two consecutive years. Eager for new horizons and dreaming of a more structured environment, Mandy, her husband and 2-year-old son applied for a visa to work in Australia. They are delighted to now be based in the Southern Highlands where they hope to put down some roots and be part of a vibrant community. Mandy Ford General Manager Peppers
Cathy Kerslake | Executive Committee Member
With a motto of ‘life is too short to be anything but happy’, Catherine escaped to the Highlands after a 30-year career in publishing and restauranteur’ing in her spare time. Here she followed her passion for cooking until recently Catherine was enticed to head up the multimedia department at The Australian War Memorial. It was during the daily 4-hour commute that she thought our magnificent ever-changing countryside and the fascinations of our Nations capital should be shared. Her business A Grand Day Out was born with the intention of providing guests with good views, good food, good wine and good service, whilst assisting promote our ingenious regional producers and creators.
Tara Hopton | Executive Committee Member
Tara and her family relocated to Moss Vale in January 2017. Having grown up in Ireland she feels very much at home here. Tara spent 18 years with the NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet special events team. Before her departure, Tara initiated and implemented the NSW Whole of Government Crowd Management Guidelines to raise awareness amongst stakeholders to the science behind crowd safety management. She also initiated and implemented strategies, policies and procedures for major public events on risk management, stakeholder management, project management, governance guidelines, work, health and safety, and emergency management. In 2016, Tara resigned from state government and formed her own company called Crowd Matters. She provides professional independent event management services that takes a practical hands-on approach to develop strategies tailored to meet specific needs. She has studied under the world’s leading professors on crowd management since 2005 and is qualified in Event Crowd and Safety Management (2009, UK) and Crowd Science and Risk Analysis for Events (2015, UK). Tara is delighted to be a member of the Moss Vale and Rural Chamber of Commerce and looks forward to contributing in any way she can. For further information, please contact Tara Hopton on 0402 422 […]
Lynn Watson | Executive Committee Member
Lynn Watson is the founder and principal of Highland Recruitment, the leading recruitment agency in Bowral NSW, which services clients in the Southern Highlands and beyond. Lynn secured an undergraduate degree in Science with a major in Psychology, from University of NSW before completing a Masters of Psychology at New England University, Armidale NSW. In addition, Lynn is a certified Master Practitioner with the Neuro-Linguistic Programming Incorporation (1994). She also completed an Advanced Recruitment and Selection course (1996) with Australian Human Resources Institute and an Advanced Workplace Mediation Course (2001) with Australian Commercial Disputes Centre. Lynn started her working life as a Psychologist and Trainer with NSW Health Department, for the Southern Inland region, and was based at Young NSW. From 1995 to 2005 Lynn worked as a Human Resource Manager at the Australian Jockey Club (AJC), Sydney. Lynn was responsible for a broad range of services including recruitment, induction, training, customer service satisfaction and workplace mediation. She won a number of best practice awards including an award from the Affirmative Action Agency, Sydney. In addition to her work responsibilities Lynn is married and has five daughters. Since commencing Highland Recruitment in Bowral NSW, Lynn has extended her client base […]
Stephen Lowe | Executive Committee Member
Stephen Lowe is the Campus Manager of the University of Wollongong Southern Highlands campus in Moss Vale. Since taking on the role in 2015, he has worked collaboratively with the co-located Moss Vale TAFE, Council and the community broadly on strengthening links between higher education and local business needs. Some recent achievements have been the introduction of a new partnership between TAFE and UOW to offer a Cert IV in New Small Business providing guaranteed entry a Bachelor of Business, and on connecting iAccelerate (UOW’s business incubation unit) with local new business networks. Previously Stephen has worked in a range of roles in the tertiary sector, including at the UOW Wollongong campus, and has lived in Moss Vale for 8 years.