Board of directors
John was born in Michigan in the United States. After working in the family business he took a series of jobs, providing him with experience in diverse areas including customer service, equipment maintenance, quality control and food handling.
In 1980 John was employed by Revco DS in Dallas, Texas, gaining experience in shipping and receiving, management of 25 staff, designing and maintaining an inventory control system and filling case orders for over 250 stores.
In 1986 John moved back to Michigan working as a sales rep for Leer Midwest Inc, doing trade shows throughout the US. He later became responsible for inventory control, materials purchasing and ultimately set up a replacement parts division.
John has started and sold a number of businesses, both in the US and Australia, always looking for - or designing - innovative products.
In late 2006 John became involved with chia seeds and by early 2007 the import and sale of chia had become a full time operation. John has done leading work in developing manufacturing processes to produce new products from chia seeds and plants, which are in strong demand around the world.
John fills the role of Chairman of Chia Holdings Limited and continues to be involved in the business whilst developing new products and processes. He is a prime mover in the setting of quality standards, both locally and on the world stage, for chia seeds and products.
Bob Thomas brings extensive practical experience and insight to the Board, garnered from years of running his own businesses.
As a young man in the 1950s Bob opened the South Australian Branch of John Dynon & Sons, the oldest china and glassware company from Melbourne and owned by Australian Consolidated Industries. He subsequently purchased the business in 1953 and over the next six years grew the company into an Australia-wide supplier of china, glass and tableware to the catering trade. Bob later merged his company with competitors, forming Dynon McDonald & Company in 1959 then McDonald Montgomery & Company in 1963.
In 1974 Bob sold his share of the business and bought a small Adelaide company called Hotel & Cafe Supplies, which specialised in beer and carbonated soft drink plumbing. He then used this business to build another china and glassware company, becoming a very successful supplier to hotels and restaurants across the country.
In 1986 Bob sold this company to a large publicly listed English company which intended to commence operations in Australia. On selling, he was approached by the manufacturer of commercial crockery from Stoke on Trent to continue as the Australian representative. This potter is the senior commercial potter in the world, having been started and owned by the Dudson family since the 1790’s. They had been the main contributor to profits in Bob’s companies for over 40 years and the business representing Dudson’s interests in Australia remains under the control of Bob’s son today.
Duncan brings a wealth of management and marketing experience to Chia Holdings Limited, with particular strengths in the areas of start up and growth. Duncan’s immediate past position as manager of a water tank sales business saw that business increase profitability by 100% and turnover in excess of 120% within a 12 month period.
Duncan was born in Sydney and educated at the Kings School and Sydney University. He became a qualified real estate, stock and station agent then completed a Diploma of Clinical Pharmacology while working for a large pharmaceutical company.
From 1967 to 1979 Duncan gained wide experience working in geological exploration, financial advisory and various sales roles. He became the owner and licensee of his own real estate agency, then general manager and proprietor of a successful Computer Listing Service. He later developed, in association with Ibex Computers of Japan, a medical accounting software package.
In 1982 Duncan started Cashmaster Limited, developing the POS computer from concept, design and prototype to short run production - winning two design Awards and one export award. The company was listed on the Second Board of the Western Australian Stock Exchange. Duncan sold out after the Stock market crash of 1987 and the company was privatised. He then started a company trading in used computers which he ran until 1990.
Duncan moved on to a role of Managing Director of Pumpall Pty Ltd. This was a startup business engaged in importing and selling a range of innovative pumps. He grew this business from a small startup to higher volume then, after obtaining major contracts, sold out. Following this Duncan contracted to Charlwood Home Improvements as a Building Design Consultant, becoming one of their best selling consultants. He then moved the business to Tamworth, building it up to be very successful in partnership with his son in law, who continues to run the business.
Duncan brings a variety of very important skills to Chia Holdings in the areas of planning and administration of a company in start up phase, people management skills and the ability to drive a vision through practical execution with an emphasis on driving growth to success.
Leanne has an extensive background in education, with particular focus on educating children with behavioral difficulties. She has also worked in massage therapy and has experience with the hygiene areas of food production.
As co-founder of Chia Enterprises Leanne devoted her time and office skills toward achieving an efficient, organized business office in all areas from invoicing to accounting. She has also been involved in purchasing, liaison with suppliers and some aspects of sales.
Leanne now takes up the role of Company Secretary, applying her considerable organisational skills and learning skills to the challenges of corporate governance and overseeing the keeping of the company’s financial records.