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Meet the Team



Francis Child, CEM

Managing Director

Francis Child was born and educated in the United Kingdom where he obtained a BSc in Economics with Statistics at the University of Bristol. He qualified as a member of The Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales in 1981. Since leaving the accounting profession Francis has gained extensive experience in both the entertainment and events based industry sectors. After working with Chrysalis Records and EMI Records in the UK for 8 years, Francis moved to Australia in 1992, where for 8 years he worked for AIC Worldwide, one of the leading global conference and exhibition organisers. Francis acquired The Association Specialists (then known as Conference Action) in July 2000 introducing a strong culture of integrity and transparency to the business.   This business is now a market leader and has under-pinned the rapid growth of the company in the past five years.


Kerrie Glass

Director of Finance

Kerrie is a highly skilled and experienced Finance professional. Kerrie holds a Bachelor of Business with majors in Economics and Finance and a Bachelor of Commerce with a major in Management. During her career, Kerrie has performed in a broad range of Finance roles including 10 years as a Senior Analyst at Westpac Banking Corporation – responsible for the consolidation and analysis of results for the production of Westpac’s Half Year and Annual Reports. Prior to that Kerrie worked as a Management Accountant for Compuware Asia Pacific Pty Ltd, responsible for Payroll, Sales Commission Plan design and administration and overseeing the Accounts Payable and Receivables teams. After leaving work to start a family, Kerrie joined the TAS team in 2011 and her contribution has helped our substantial growth of the Association Management business.


Nell Harrison, CEM

Director of Operations

Nell is a Graduate of Applied Communication Studies with majors in Marketing & Public Relations. Nell is highly committed and passionate about her professional industry and was among the first group of certified Event Managers (CEM) with the Australian Professional Conference Organising Association.

In recent years, Nell has been working internationally and brings with her extensive organisational and management experience with association and corporate conferences, having held senior positions within conference management, business development as well as consulting strategically on the conception and implementation of international & national conference and event programmes.

She has a strong focus on achieving excellence in operational management, fostering strong client relationships and maintaining and a strong sense of ethics and integrity throughout all her business practices.


Francesca Roland

Business Development Manager

Francesca holds a Bachelor in Media & Cultural Studies and a Masters in Strategic Public Relations. Prior to joining the team, Francesca worked in Public Relations across a number of sectors including travel, food and healthcare. In her previous role she was also responsible for securing and managing sponsorship agreements. Her experience dealing with clients provides Francesca with strong relationship building skills which she now puts to excellent use as part of the business development team.


Leanne Hinden

Business Development Manager

Leanne has holds a Bachelor of Business, Marketing, coupled with more than 18 years’ experience in marketing and business development in the events and media industries. Prior to joining the team, Leanne worked in business development at a professional conference organiser and as the Marketing Manager at an exhibition management company. Her experience in building relationships and meeting clients’ expectations are a great asset to the Business Development Team at TAS.



Megan Ogier

Team Manager - Associations

Megan joined The Association Specialists in early 2012 bringing with her a wealth of experience in Sales and Event Management. Her previous roles within the hotel industry included sales, client relationship management, contract negotiation, event and financial management with clients from both Association and Corporate sectors. She brings a commercial focus and strong customer service skills to her client portfolio.


Ben Williams

Team Manager - Associations

Ben has always been interested in hospitality and tourism because of the variety of work environments. This interest took him to Southern Cross University where he studied business majoring in hotel management. Ben started his career with Business Events Sydney (BESydney) as a work experience student in 2005. Over the course of his career with BESydney he was promoted 3 times, holding the position of National Business Development Manager before joining The Association Specialist team in 2013. Ben brings a wealth of knowledge from his experience in the NFP and business event sectors assisting a highly varied portfolio of clients in his Team Manager role.

Lucy Timms

Lucy Timms

Team Manager - Events

Lucy joined The Association Specialists team in 2012 bringing with her 5 years’ experience in Event Management. After graduating with a degree in Accounting and Management she worked for a financial association in London gaining experience organising events in the UK and internationally. Lucy prides herself on attention to detail and customer service skills.



Doug Wiles

Senior CSM / Special Projects

Doug graduated from Macquarie University with a Bachelor of Social Science majoring in Social Policy & Politics. Through his experience volunteering oversees, Doug has a working knowledge in associations and charity organisations. Doug joined The Association Specialists in July 2010.


Jade Riolo

Senior Event Manager

Jade joined The Association Specialists in 2014 and has over 6 years’ experience working in event and marketing roles for corporate, not-for-profit and association based organisations. After graduating from Curtin University with a Bachelor of Commerce Jade held the position of Marketing and Conference Manager at Paydirt Media, organising conferences for the mining sector across Australia. During this time Jade also worked with a number of industry associations and has extensive experience working on large scale conferences and with International and Government representatives.


Patricia Chew

Client Services Manager

Patricia has extensive experience working in various sectors including public, co-operatives, small-medium enterprises to global financial institutions in Singapore and Australia. She has vast experience working with and managing a diverse range of international stakeholders in the USA, UK, Amsterdam and Asia. Patricia was also in a pivotal role supporting and assisting the Senior Committee Management in strategic plan rollouts, risk management, special projects as well as servicing the commercial departments in assurance compliance, account management and client services support. Patricia holds a Master of Business in Finance from the University of Technology Sydney.


Annie Coulter

Client Services Manager

Annie joined The Association Specialists in 2013. She graduated with a BA History at Cardiff University in the UK, and followed this by expanding her passion for delivering quality customer service whilst working closely with both customers and clients within the sales and charity sectors. As Business Development Assistant for a film production company, she played a pivotal role in furthering company growth and building strong client relationships within her portfolio. She is dedicated to providing an exceptional level of service to clients.


Ropeti Huntley

Client Services Manager

Ropeti joined The Association Specialists in 2015 and has experience working for an association management company in New Zealand.  He is passionate about providing quality services and enjoys working alongside clients. Having studied Law & Commerce at Victoria University of Wellington, Ropeti is focused on good governance and committed to helping clients deliver on their strategic goals.


Cindy Metzke

Client Services Manager

Cindy graduated from the University of Applied Sciences (HTWK), Germany with a Bachelor of Arts in International Management. Prior to joining the Association Specialists in June 2015, she successfully managed all operations of a small-sized freight brokerage company in Sydney.

Cindy prides herself on her passion for providing exceptional customer service, her ability to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders at all levels and her proven experience leading teams to tight deadlines and successful outcomes.


Thalia Child

Client Services Manager

Thalia has worked at The Association Specialists since 2013. Initially starting out as a part-time Association Coordinator while completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree, majoring in International Business, at Macquarie University. Upon graduating in 2015 she now works full time as a Client Services Manager. 


Amy Lowe

Client Services Manager

Amy came to TAS in 2016 and brings with her over 10 years experience in association management.  She understands the unique requirements of member driven organisations and is passionate about helping her clients do what they do best.  Amy is focused on providing value and streamlining processes.  She is currently working with the AIBB,  ANZAST, ATS and DIMA.


Juliet Mason


Juliet was educated in Singapore and has over 20 years’ experience as a Subscriptions Manager for a publishing company. She has been with The Association Specialists since 2008.


Alicia Child


Alicia joined The Association Specialists in 2015. She is assisting our Association Management teams, whilst studying a Bachelor of Communication (majoring in social inquiry) and a Bachelor of International Studies (majoring in Latin American studies) at the University of Technology Sydney. Alicia comes to TAS with experience in the hospitality industry.


Jasmin Papikian


Jasmin joined The Association Specialists in 2016. She is assisting our Association Management teams, whilst studying a Bachelor of International and Global Studies (majoring in Government,  International Relations and American Studies) at the University of Sydney. Jasmin comes to TAS with experience in the retail industry and enjoys working in a team. Her previous experience has facilitated her drive to help clients, using both her organisational and problem solving skills


Madeleine Catlin

Event Manager

Maddie completed a degree in Comms (PR, Marketing & Advertising) and worked in varying roles in hospitality, event coordination and retail marketing, where she gained an interest in Sponsorship and Brand Management.

For five years she worked for a small events company as an Interim Manager and then an Event Coordinator. 


Kate Griffiths

Event Manager

Having graduated with a degree in Business Management, Kate worked in London for 4 years at a conference company managing corporate international events. After moving to Sydney in 2013, Kate’s event experience in Sydney has taken her to the zoo and beyond, and then joining The Association Specialists in 2016. The events Kate works on at The Association Specialists will take her around Australia with the RCSA and to Europe for the large scale and international SMACC event.


Meredith Hastings


Meredith joined The Association Specialists Team in 2015 as an Event Coordinator. She graduated from The University of Technology Sydney in 2014 with a Bachelor of Communications. Coming from a unique background in small business management and education, Meredith brings her strong organisational skills and knack for problem solving to the TAS Event Management team.


Lillian Zhang


Lillian joined TAS in early 2014. She has experience working in the accounting industry and also in the not-for-profit sector. She is passionate about seeing NFP entities delivering more value for their stakeholders by ensuring that they have good cash flow management. Lillian has a Bachelor of Business degree specialised in International Business and a Master’s degree of Accounting. She is also currently studying for her CPA as part of her ongoing professional development.


Adil Ahmad


Adil comes to The Association Specialists with a great deal of practical experience in book keeping, lodging BAS returns and Individual and Company Tax returns. Adil graduated from Central Queensland University (Sydney campus) and then completed his Masters Degree in Accounting. He started his working career as a part-time bookkeeper for Macquarie University Postgraduate Association during his studies and has been working in the finance sector at an accounting firm in a full-time role before joining us at TAS.


Rachel Hong


Rachel joined the TAS team in mid-2015. She comes to TAS bringing her financial experience from working in the finance sector within a manufacturing firm. Rachel has a Bachelor Degree in Business, majoring in Accounting and Finance from University of Technology, Sydney.

Rachel prides herself on her excellent detail oriented, analytical and technical skills. Bringing these skills to TAS she believes will assist her, in helping TAS and the TAS clients to meet their financial objectives.