Our Management & Operations
We have a small yet extremely dedicated team driving our operations.
Executive Director Mr. Ted Whitten Jnr.
GM Operations & Events Mr. Michael Fitzgerald
We have a very stable and passionate board that is hands on and brings sound governance and reporting expertise.
Chairman Mr. Peter Burnett AM
As National President of the Australian Hotels Association (since 2013) and Victorian President (since 1997), Peter has promoted the Foundations cause through the network of Australia’s 8,500 hotels and pubs. Such examples include nation-wide pub fundraising efforts and prostate cancer awareness posters being displayed through this distribution footprint. Peter is also the Chairman of the Australasian Gaming Council (since 2011) and has been a director since 2004, was a Director of Tourism Australia (2005-2009), Member of the Committee for Geelong (since 2014) and a Geelong Football Club life member and former Director (11 years). Other community organisations include Member Geelong Tourist Association (1976-1980) and President of the Geelong Cats Coterie (10 years).
Trustee & Board Member Mr. Ted Whitten Jnr.
Edward John Ted Whitten Junior (born 15 March 1957) was a former Australian rules footballer and is the son of the inspiration of the foundation, Ted (Mr. Football) Whitten. Ted Whitten Jnr is a trustee and founder of the E.J. Whitten Foundation. The Foundation was established in 1995 after the passing of his father due to Prostate cancer. Ted was responsible for the formation of the E.J. Whitten Foundation with the Footscray Football Club in 1995 after the passing of his father.
Trustee & Board Member Mr. Ross Hughes
Ross Hughes joined the E.J. Whitten Foundation as one of the two original trustees’. Ross was previously the General Manager of Marketing for Prixcar Services based in Altona North, Victoria. Previous to that Ross was the Managing Director of Autocare and the General Manager/Company Secretary of Nippondenso Australia for 14 years. Ross is registered with the Chartered Institute of Company Secretaries and a registered tax agent.
Board Member Mr. Iain Findlay
Iain has a diverse background including working with the Victoria Police for 20 years and served with the Australian Army in Vietnam (1968-1971). Within the corporate sector, Iain has operated in senior management roles with industries including; construction, travel, conference event management and professional services for the past 15 years with BDO and Grant Thornton (Business Development Director). Iain is also a highly regarded member of the AFL/VFL Tribunal officially appointed as a player advocate (30 years).
Board Member Mr. John Ballenger
John has held many senior corporate positions in blue chip Australian Organisations. John was the General Manager Wagering at Tabcorp (11 years) and prior to that National Sales Manager at Mars (8 years).
Board Member Mr. David Elia
David brings an impressive list of credentials to the board with his current role as Chief Executive Officer of one of Australia’s leading superannuation funds HOSTPLUS. HOSTPLUS is the national industry superannuation Fund for workers and employers in the Hospitality, Tourism, Sports and Recreation Industry. The Fund has in excess of $10 Billion in Funds under administration and 980,000 members. He is also a current Director of the not for profit organisation, Fund Executives Association Ltd which is dedicated to supporting the professional development of leaders in the superannuation industry. David’s career also spans previous employment with KPMG and Superpartners Pty Ltd (formerly Jacques Martin Industry). He is a qualified chartered accountant and completed his degree in Economics degree at La Trobe University as well as a Post Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investments from the Financial Services Institute of Australia. Further he is a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and has completed various business and management courses at Harvard Business School and Mt Eliza Business School.
Board Member Mr. Neil Grant
Neil joined the board of the E J Whitten Foundation in February 2007. He has a strong background in leadership, sales and brand development. He was appointed by Foster’s in 2003 to lead sales in Victoria and Tasmania. Neil then became National Trade Relations Manager for Foster’s in 2009 drawing on his considerable industry experience and networks. Previously Neil was Southcorp Wines’ Sales Director and worked for the group for 26 years. His experience includes leading and managing large sales teams, and supporting the development of Australia’s most iconic wine and beer brands.
Board Member Mr. Umberto Mecchi
Umberto is currently the Executive Manager of Strategy and Marketing at HOSTPLUS – where he manages the strategy, product development and marketing portfolios. Prior to joining HOSTPLUS in 2004, Umberto worked with the ANZ Bank, National Mutual/AXA and Zurich Financial Services in marketing and strategy roles. In 1999, he joined direct marketing agency – trademarkDM as their Director of Strategy and worked on major campaigns for financial services brands including, AXA Australia, GE Capital, Members Equity Bank, American Insurance Group (AIG), HOSTPLUS and Australia Unity Funds Management. In the non-financial services sectors he worked on several campaigns for leading pharmaceutical brands like Zantac, Zovirax and Lamictal – an epilepsy drug that saw his campaign awarded with an Australian Direct Marketing Silver effectiveness Award in 2001.
Board Member Mr. Peter Filipovic
Peter has worked at Carlton and United Breweries for in excess of 15 years as the Taxation Director, Commercial Finance Director and is currently the National Sales Director. Peter was educated at Monash University with a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Economics and Law.
Board Member Mr. Rob Sinclair
Rob is the joint Managing Director of his family business, E&S which is a kitchen, bathroom and laundry supplier. From an early age, Rob was already involved in the business and often helped out in every area of the company from the sales floor to the warehouse. His extensive experience and knowledge of the business are accumulated from the years of dealing with customers and suppliers. Rob’s involvement with E. J. Whitten is one that is close to heart. In 2006, Prostate Cancer claimed the life of his father and since then E&S has been a strong supporter of the E.J. Whitten Foundation and Prostate Cancer Research and Awareness.