Alex Shead – Founding Chairman
With a wide range of entrepreneurial experience focused principally in financial services, Alex has a 25 year track record in large scale merger and acquisition activity.
Alex is a Director at Pacific Green Technologies Inc. a public quoted US emissions control company cleaning up the air in China and the world and Non-executive Chairman at Lockton Companies Australia, the Australian company of Lockton, the world’s largest privately owned, independent insurance brokerage firm.
As an entrepreneur CEO, Alex has been a founder of numerous businesses including Stuart Alexander in the UK and Winsure in Australia both of which were sold to public quoted companies.
Alex conceived award winning non-profit organisation Fair Business in 2008, now rebranded to Food Ladder, in order to tackle issues on a global scale and has pioneered many models of social enterprise.
Kelly McJannett – CEO
Kelly McJannett is experienced in the development of high impact start ups that create broad reaching, sustainable impact and change.
As the CEO of Food Ladder, Kelly has driven the organisation’s growth throughout Indigenous communities in Australia and its international replication across some of the most challenging communities on earth.
With a background in communications and public relations Kelly holds a Bachelor degree from UTS and is currently completing her MBA at Sydney University Business School where she holds a full scholarship for her leading work in social enterprise development.
Kelly is passionate about creating sustainable solutions for pervasive social issues affecting communities around the world, and galvanising the power and passion of organisations, individuals and Governments to the movement.
In November 2016, the Australian Financial Review named Kelly among Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women.
Lisa Somerville – Innovation and Sustainability Manager
Lisa has an extensive specialised experience in innovating and delivering high quality projects, programs and social enterprises in multicultural and multilingual environments.
Lisa speaks five languages as well as Gumatj and Djambarrapunyu dialects of Yolngu Matha, learnt during her time working in Arnhem Land. Lisa has a Bachelor of Hons in Media Communications, Bachelor in French, Diploma in Japanese and a Diploma in financial counselling.
From her early career working on high value projects in the South of France and Italy, to the last six years working in remote Indigenous Australia for the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, NGO’s and Aboriginal Corporations, Lisa works consistently through a sustainability lense, ensuring results that are future proofed to be economically and environmentally viable.
Lisa pioneered the introduction of cutting edge 3D printing technologies into remote indigenous communities, driving research and development which resulted in a machine that recycles waste plastics into usable 3D printing materials which is today being driven from inside communities, independently.
Lisa’s commitment to empowering people by providing access and training to the tools and infrastructure needed to build their own future led her to join Food Ladder.
Lina Challita – Food Technologist
Lina holds a Bachelor’s degree in tropical agricultural science from Kasetsart University in Thailand. Lina, a French-Lebanese native, specialised in the culture of tropical medicinal plants using hydroponic systems and sustainable agriculture with a particular focus on the impact of climate change.
Lina has experience in working with small-scaled farming and fishing communities in Cambodia, where she participated in the installation and management of a hydroponic system to help improve the access to healthy foods in villages.
Currently based at the Food Ladder project in Katherine, Lina is working on the establishment of the hydroponic system and training of the Katherine Indigenous Women’s Association on how to run the project.
Shondelle Isaac – Food Ladder Katherine Supervisor
Shondelle Isaac was born in a small community called Borroloola, which is approximately 1000kms from Darwin in the Northern Territory of Australia with a population of 4000 people.
Shondelle has spent 2yrs of her life in Borroloola and 17yrs in Katherine NT.
Shondelle grew up with step parents, her stepfather Thomas William Francis Gillett and her stepmother Irene Gillett and today is mother to two children.
“Working at the food ladder has been a life, changing experience for me and I am very proud of what I do. The knowledge I gain from the Food Ladder organisation is amazing, I’m very grateful for everything that’s coming my way and I am happy to be a part of this amazing organisation who I consider my friends and family”.
Kumar Chandan – India Manager
Having completed an undergraduate degree in biotechnology at Bangalore University, Kumar also holds a Masters degree in Sustainable Development Practices from BIMTECH, Gr. Noida, India. He has been following hydroponics as a technology for sustainable development since 2009 and has been in working with Hydroponics practitioners in Bangalore, Delhi, Raipur and Columbia.
Kumar joined Food Ladder in 2015 with a view to use his understanding of hydroponics, business management and sustainability to bring socio economic and environmental change to the communities across his homeland of India.
Angie Siputro – Katherine Supervisor
Angie is Supervisor at the Katherine, Northern Territory based Food Ladder project, a collaborative mission with the Katherine Indigenous Women’s Association (KIWA), where she holds the position of Secretary. Before taking the role with Food Ladder Angie completed a Bachelor’s degree of Forensic Science, majoring in Forensic Chemistry at Griffith University in Brisbane, Queensland. Angie has since been involved in the Katherine project from February 2016 having seen the meaningfully impacts the project drives across education, nutrition, and employment in remote communities.
In the role of Supervisor Angie works with the unemployed of Katherine to boost confidence, build constructive relationships, and learn new skills with all the people involved in the project.
Graeme Smith – Greenhouse technical advisor
With over 25 years of experience in soil-less hydroponics, Graeme brings best-in-class knowledge and acumen gathered through field experience around the world to Food Ladder’s ambitious goal to make its technology available to the most disadvantaged communities in the world.
From his roots as a vegetable grower in Victoria, Graeme has held the position of Foundation Secretary at the Hydroponic Farmers Federation before becoming the President of the Australia Hydroponic and Greenhouse association and, most recently completed a tenure of 5 years as the Chairman of Protected Cropping Australia Ltd. Today Graeme consults on commercial projects internationally and facilitates quarterly training programs across Europe, North America and Asia.
Graeme’s expert insight and counsel is driving technical innovation at Food Ladder and ensuring maximum productivity across its systems in Australia and abroad. In a further commitment to see Food Ladder become ubiquitous in India and remote Australia, Graeme has integrated his unique mobile phone application for remote disease diagnostics, meaning communities with Food Ladder technology can identify and treat issues in the greenhouse before they threaten the system’s ecosystem.