Cairns Business Women's Club Board have an extensive range of business skills and experience which they bring willingly to CBWC. You can find out more about these remarkable business people below.
President – Sally Mlikota
With a recruitment background that spans twenty-five years, initially in London, then Hong Kong and Sydney. Sally has lived and worked in Cairns since 1999 and currently is the Managing Director of CBC Staff Selection Cairns and Townsville as well as the Managing Partner of Aussie Locums, a national allied health recruitment business.
Sally's approach to recruitment is based on a choice of ethical values and reputation and is highly regarded as a leader in her profession. Sally is recognised as a business owner who has a great work/life balance and the unique ability to empower her team.
Sally won the CBWC Business Women of the Year in 2009, and since then has been involved behind the scenes in the running of the annual prestigious awards, 2015 marked sixteen years of membership with the club, and time to put her hand up to get more involved and lead the dynamic board to bigger and better things.
Vice President - Vlasta Eriksson
Vlasta is all about people management, helping individuals and businesses planning strategies to get the best out of themselves and their people. Her passion is people; nothing is more rewarding for her than seeing people succeed. Vlasta truly enjoys matching the right people with the right employer, finding the perfect candidate for the business and setting a solid foundation for businesses to thrive through their people. Workforce planning and management is her focus through a win-win approach for all parties involved.
Vlasta founded Signature Staff in 1998, the only FNQ company that provides a 360 degree Human Resource Service that helps businesses in Recruitment, Retention and Compliance. Signature Staff's function is to optimise businesses effectiveness through Recruitment, HR and Workplace Safety.
Vice President - Helen Tait
A country girl at heart and a mother of two beautiful children. Helen has called Cairns home since 2005 after transferring here with the Carpentaria Land Council Aboriginal Corporation (CLCAC) from Mount Isa.
Helen has an executive corporate background in native title and was employed as a Chief Executive Officer of the CLCAC at the young age of 28. More recently Helen joined the Gunggandji-Mandingalbay Yidinji Prescribed Body Corporate as the Executive Officer and is working closely with the Gunggandji and Mandingalbay Yidinji People to progress their aspirations in the post native title determination space.
Helen is passionate about being an ambassador for change and building capacity in our indigenous communities. Helen brings integrity, professionalism and a wide range of skills, knowledge and experience running not for profit organisations.
Helen’s professional qualifications include a Bachelor of Arts (Justice), Justice of the Peace (Qualified) and she is currently enrolled in a Bachelor of Law (Honours) at QUT. Helen was elected as a General Board Member with the Cairns Mums on The Go Business Network in 2015 and has been actively involved with the CBWC Awards Committee in 2016 and 2017.
Helen also owns her own business as an Independent Arbonne Consultant. Helen’s mission is to improve awareness and inspire others to look at the network marketing as a legitimate business model and raise the standard of the network marketing professional globally.
Treasurer - Karen Donato
Karen Donato the owner of KD Financial can help, we have one motivation – arranging finance to suit our client’s needs.
Being involved in the Finance industry since 1988 with experience in both residential and commercial lending. Karen has helped thousands of clients purchase homes, set up businesses and later purchase their own commercial premises, we also assist with vehicle and equipment finance. With a conveniently located office on Mulgrave Road our commitment to providing a high quality advice and ongoing service to her clients is the foundation of the business.
Secretary - Mary-Ann McEachan
This is Mary-ann’s second year as the Club Secretary, a role she finds both rewarding and challenging.
As a co-owner and Company Director of JM Switchboards Mary-ann has worked in the business since its inception 28 years ago and currently employs approx. 20 people. JM Switchboards is a leader in the field of electrical control switchboards, specializing in the design, manufacture and installation of industrial switchboards for the water and sewage industry.
Well versed in administration and the financial side of business, in 2011 Mary-ann was honoured to be chosen as the CBWC Business Woman of the Year (over 6 employee’s category)
In 2006 she received a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow award from the Rotary Club of Cairns North and has held several positions on the executive committee of the Kickstart Cairns Toastmasters Club.
Mary-ann believes the key to success is not only through perseverance, but surrounding herself with positive, open-minded people.
General Board Members
Kay Judd is the Marketing & Customer Experience Manager at Mount Sheridan Plaza and has been connecting people and products through the use of adverting for just over 7 years. Working as an Advertising Executive with News Limited for 6 years she drew on her experience of advertising and marketing, sales and business development to create platforms for businesses to promote their products and services and interact with consumers.
Her innovative ability to harness the power of social networks to increase a brand is proven within her current and past roles. Her venture into marketing began with her first job out of University as a Sales Assistant for one of News Ltd's most established newspapers. It was through her experiences in developing her own clientele that she became inspired to move into the marketing space identifying there are many ways of marketing with just a little thought and without a large financial investment.
Terri is a 3rd generation Cairns local and has always had a passion for supporting and developing women in the workforce.
She has over 20 years of Corporate Executive Management experience working in the health sector across rural and remote Australia, leading teams of up to 500 staff.
Terri has an interest in governance within Boards and is the Treasurer of Shelter Housing Action Cairns Board and previous member on the FNQ Hospital Foundation Board.
Terri is a Graduate of the Institute of Company Directors Australia, in addition to being a Certified Practicing Accountant (CPA).
Susan is Co-Owner of Red Energy Promotions. She has been helping clients with branding solutions for 10+ years.
She has a great belief in Customer Service and has an enormous amount of business experience in Marketing and Product Design. This combined with her enthusiasm to build customers brands and provide continued customer service has been recognised by many of her previous clients.
A Townsville girl originally, she has called Cairns home for 20+ years.
Candy is a Cairns local and Owner of Cairns Custom Designs and Bambino and Me, she Manages both Businesses. She has a Diploma in Business Management and a Diploma in Interior Design, she continues to be involved within the community and networking community to brand her businesses.
Cairns Custom Designs located in Bentley Park is a Cabinetry Business which specialises in Interior Design, Kitchens, Alfresco Areas, Bathrooms, Laundries, Wardrobes, Office and Custom Cabinetry.
Bambino and Me located at Showgrounds Shopping Centre is a Maternity and Children’s Café Store which stocks Maternity wear for the tropics and unique children’s clothing wear.