Committee members

Mary Mercuri
Ennio International

The Mercuri family business, originally established in 1958,  was re-invented in 1983 when it moved from designing and producing award winning high fashion knitted garments to manufacturing innovative netting and casing solutions for the meat and poultry industry.  Ennio International, now a second generation business, has developed over the last 30 years into a company that services Australia and many international smallgoods and poultry companies.Mary Mercuri has been involved in the business since 1986 and has worked in many aspects of the company.  Starting in Admin she has been part of its continual growth and over the years has been involved with Customer Relations, Sales, Marketing, Logistics, Quality Assurance and in 2014 took on the new role of Export Manager. Married to Ennio, they have 2 children who are both just finishing university.  She has a strong interest and respect for what family businesses offer their stakeholders and in particular the values they espouse and how this impacts on the next generation. 

Alister Haigh3

Alister Haigh
Haigh’s Chocolates

Alister Haigh is the Chief Executive of Haigh’s Chocolates, Australia’s oldest chocolate retailer and one of only a handful worldwide making premium chocolates from raw cocoa beans that are sold in their own retail stores. Alister is the fourth generation to work in this family owned and run business which celebrated its centenary in 2015.  After completing a four year traineeship in the Haigh’s factory, learning every aspect of the production process, Alister went on to become Company Secretary, Factory Manager and then General Manager of the Haigh’s group in 1984.  Six years later Alister was appointed Joint Managing Director with his brother Simon and in 1995 became CEO.  Since then, Haigh’s has more than trebled in size and now has 15 retail stores across Adelaide, Melbourne and Sydney, plus online.

Lowen Partridge 2011

Lowen Partridge
Peartree Brand Strategy

Lowen is the principal of Peartree Brand Strategy, a consultancy that specialises in brand development, marketing and communication. Her experience in family business began when advising family owned wine companies with their marketing and forming an appreciation that ownership and family elements need careful consideration when dealing with the business issues.Lowen facilitates family meetings where agreed strategies and protocols are developed for a number of family business aspects including family councils and family charters. Following a substantial career in television journalism she moved into marketing and communication in 1985. She established her own business, Peartree Marketing, in 1996.Lowen holds a Degree in Education from Flinders University, an MBA and a Graduate Diploma in Wine Marketing from the University of South Australia and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.


Andrea Michaels

Andrea Michaels is the Managing Director of NDA Law and has an extensive practice in tax and superannuation law, commercial law and estate planning. She is an accredited family business adviser and Chairman of the FBA Adviser Subcommittee (SA), and member of the FBA State Advisory Committee (SA). Andrea is the Chairman of the Commercial Law Committee of the Law Society of South Australia (LSSA) and on the LSSA Council. She is a member the Tax Institute’s Tax Reform Committee. She is also a member of the AICD and the SMSF Association and is a board member of various for profit and not for profit organisations. Andrea has a family business background herself and is passionate about helping family businesses succeed through the generations.

Justin McCabe

Justin McCabe
Gerard McCabe Jewellers

Justin is the Area Sales Manager and 2nd generation member of his family’s business – Gerard McCabe Jewellers. The McCabe’s have been jewellers in Adelaide for 4 generations since 1932. In his 13 years within the business he has enjoyed many roles from full time Sales Associate, Workshop Manager to Showroom Manager. He prides himself on his customer relation management, staff development and performance management, networking and event management skills. He has a role on the Gerard McCabe family advisory board and also the in house design team. Justin’s studies include a Bachelor of Gemmology, Certificate 4 in Frontline Management and he is a qualified jewellery appraiser and diamond grader. He has been actively involved within FBA for over 5 years and is a member of an FBA Forum Group.
He also is an advocate for Novita Children’s Services and has been heavily involved in their Mighty River Run fundraiser for the past 6 years.


 Zoe Detmold
Detmold Goup

Zoe is the Senior Business Manager for Detpak Australia and a 3rd generation family member of the Detmold Group. A strategic, collaborative and energetic executive, Zoe has progressed through various sales, marketing, business development and management roles with a results focused, practical and can-do approach.  Having worked across Asia, Europe, the US and Australia to drive growth plans in emerging and developed markets, she is committed to the ongoing growth of this already successful family business.  Zoe is also a Board Member of the Detmold Group, a specialist paper and board packaging manufacturer with manufacturing plants and sales teams in over 16 countries.  Zoe is passionate about the growth and future success of all family businesses and is particularly interested in the involvement and development of Next Gen family members.



Blake Davies
Self Storage Australia

Blake works in the Davies group of companies which business interests includes property development, construction/civil work, residential/commercial development, property management of self-storage and mining operations. Self Storage Australia (SSA) is one of the most recognized businesses in the Davies group, it’s an international award winning company with locations across Australia.

While working in SSA, he led and managed the sales team and achieved a 25% growth per year and tripled the amount of locations in South Australia alone. While at university Blake studied innovation and entrepreneurship, he has gone on to start other ventures and worked for non-family business. Blake is very passionate about business, has been involved with business throughout his whole life, he lives and breathes it.


Sarah Leo
Openbook Howden Print & Design

 Sarah has extensive experience in account management, project management, strategic planning, business development, marketing and customer service management. She is the non-family executive at Openbook Howden Print & Design (OBH) as second-in-charge in the role of General Manager of Brand, Strategy & People. Employed by OBH since 2000, she is passionate about driving continuous improvement through constant process review, client feedback and identification of innovative and cost-effective solutions which add value beyond the clients’ expectations.

Sarah is an active community member of Family Business Australia and has spoken at two events. Sarah has worked alongside several FBA advisors and consultants on key projects and has studied the Family Business Issues and Perspectives subject as part of her Graduate Certificate in Business Administration.



Darren Steele
Steele & Associates Hotel Brokers

Darren is the Managing Director of Steele & Associates Hotel Brokers, South Australia’s oldest family owned and operated Hotel Broking firm. The business specialises in the sale of hotels and licensed premises within SA and provides consultancy services on all aspects of the industry.  Darren has sold hundreds of family businesses over the years ranging from the smallest outback hotels to the largest metropolitan venues.  He has specialist skills in negotiation, dispute resolution, strategy, financial analysis, marketing and sales. He has also personally worked through a family succession plan with the transition of the business from his Father’s ownership back in 2004.

Darren has a passion for helping family businesses and is currently the Chairperson of two family business advisory boards

National Education Subcommittee
Jill Thomas2

Dr Jill Thomas
University of Adelaide Business School

Jill has been a member of FBA’s State committee for many years taking a keen interest in the development of educationally relevant programs and events for members. She is also in her second term as a Director of Family Business Australia (FBA). She is co-founder of the Family Business Education and Research Group (FBERG) in the University of Adelaide Business School where she is currently a Visiting Research Fellow. She is also a Fellow of the Family Firm Institute (FFI, based in the USA) and in 2013 she completed a term as a Director of FFI and one as Vice-Chair.

Jill has a particular interest in the management and ownership issues of family owned businesses, particularly those businesses in the small to medium enterprise (SME) sector.