Changes at south-west Queensland peak industry group

Posted October 23, 2015

TSBE’s CEO Shane Charles addresses the 220 guests who attended the event.

There’ve been some big changes coming out of the Toowoomba and Surat Basin Enterprise annual general meeting.

Both the inaugural chairman and CEO resigned.

The experience of outgoing CEO Shane Charles is not lost.

He takes over from John Wagner as as chair.

TSBE’s chief operating officer Dr Ben Lyons officially moves into the organisation’s CEO position.

It had been well orchestrated said Mr Wagner.

“I indicated to the Board some months ago that I would not be standing again as Chairman,” Mr Wagner said.

“Shane was originally contracted as CEO for three years and generously stayed in the role for another year to ensure that our succession was carefully managed.

“It is not great practice for both the CEO and chairman to leave at the same time, and as such, the Board was very pleased when Shane agreed to remain with the organisation as Chair.”

As incoming Chair, Mr Charles thanked Mr Wagner for his contribution to TSBE, saying his vision and passion for our region had been instrumental in the organisation’s rapid growth and successes to date.

“From the very early days, John has been a driving force behind TSBE’s endeavours and his strategic insights have allowed us to grow and reach milestones far beyond what we could have originally imagined,” Mr Charles said.

“He is a relentless advocate for our region and his ‘just do it’ attitude has led TSBE with great advantage for the past four and a half years.”

Mr Wagner said that he was leaving TSBE with no regrets but a desire to spend more time back in the family business.

“I am looking forward to driving the next phase of the Wellcamp Airport, that being securing greater a number of passenger services, and also delivering on its potential to be a major freight exporter,” Mr Wagner said.

“I am really proud of what we have been able to achieve at TSBE in such a short period of time.

“We are written up both nationally and internationally as the number one region in terms of business led economic development.  TSBE has a great relationship with the Toowoomba Regional Council and with their support TSBE is making a real difference to the region.”

Incoming CEO Ben Lyons grew up in Augathella and Glenmorgan before living and working in China for 18 years.  He has a doctorate in agricultural economics and has previously worked in senior roles in the wool, education and media industries.

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