Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors volunteer their time and expertise in the governance of our organisation.

John Hughes

B Comm, FAICD

Chairman

John has been Chairman since 2011. He is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee, the Marketing Committee and the Lisa Palmer Foundation Committee.

John has more than 30 years executive experience in a number of leading Australian and International companies including Thorn EMI, Ruralco, Dominos Pizza, Sharp Corporation, Competitive Foods and Grace Bros.

“My involvement with the organisation is as a legacy and tribute to my mum who suffered with NF and especially as it was my birth that triggered the effects. She had tumours all over her body that were terribly disfiguring and caused numerous health issues, yet she always thought of others first and showed enormous bravery and resilience just like all of our NF Heroes.”

Nirmal Hansra

M Comm, FAICD, FCA, FCPA

Nirmal joined the Board in 2011. He is the Chairman of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Lisa Palmer Foundation Committee. He has more than 35 years executive experience as Finance Director/Chief Financial Officer of leading Australian and International companies including Industrea Ltd., Australian Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., Ruralco Holdings Ltd., Rentworks Ltd., NetComm Australia Pty Ltd., Fujitsu Australia Ltd., and Texas Instruments Australia Ltd.  He is a Non-Executive Director of Campbell Page Ltd, Eureka Group Holdings Ltd. Kuringai Financial Services Ltd, Have a Voice Pty Ltd and Council of the Aging NSW and Advisory Board Member of BTO Group Ltd.

“I became involved with CTF to help conquer NF.  I wanted to give something back through an organisation with high governance standards and one that has the ability to attract the financial support needed to make a real difference to those affected by NF.”

Alissa Hildebrand

Alissa Hildebrand joined the board in 2016.

Alissa has over 20 years in experience in a variety of executive roles across industries within Australia and the United States. Alissa's industry experience includes: media, banking, health care, technology, child care and travel.

Alissa currently owns and operates Australia's leading Concierge and Travel business catering to High Net Worth Individuals and Families - Valet Private.

"I joined the board with a passion to help fulfill the vision of curing NF! After seeing first hand the impact on children and their families, I wanted to help not only raise vital funds but raise awareness for this little known and understood genetic disorder."

Hugo Dudley Smith

B Civil Engineering (First Class Honours)

Hugo joined the Board in 2014 and is a member of the Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. He is Managing Director of Gresham Partners’ Corporate Advisory Business in Sydney and has extensive experience in M&A transactions and financing deals.  He previously worked with Goldman Sachs in London and Sydney in their Corporate Finance Team.

"I became involved with the CTF quite simply because I wanted to help with the tremendous work the organisation does in raising funds and supporting the NF network. Those who suffer from NF face a daunting and uncertain future and so I am proud to be a small part of the effort that goes in to trying to make their lives a little bit easier with some hope for a better quality of life in the future."

Stephen Kulmar

Steve joined the Board in 2014 and is a member of the Marketing Committee.  Former CEO of IdeaWorks & founder of RetailOasis, Steve is one of Australasia’s most regarded retail marketing & comms experts, with experience from Woolworths to Westfield & most specialists in-between. He has more than 30 years’ experience in retail strategy, brand strategy, channel to market strategy and business development. He is a Non-Executive Director of Thorn Group Limited and RCG Corporation.

Laurence Dell

Masters in Management, BA (Management & Political Science)

Larry joined the Board in 2013 and is Chairman of the Victorian State Committee. He is a Consulting Director at PWC Melbourne, specialising in delivering productivity programs that result in significantly improved and sustainable business performance.  With over 10 years experience, he has led large and complex performance improvement projects across a range of industries.

“I became involved with CTF to drive the improvement of support services for families like mine affected by NF. In addition, I am here to help discover new treatments for NF and ultimately to enable research projects that will find a cure. I hope to be able to support the development of a national support network and work collaboratively with leading international research institutions to develop treatment strategies. Every day presents a new challenge to conquer NF and together we can make a difference to our family and friends affected by the condition.”

Maria Foundas

Maria joined the Board in 2011. She is currently the Procurement Consultant for Football Federation Australia, Director of Autotech (Enfield) Pty Ltd and Cobra Australia Pty Limited and has over 17 years’ experience as Business Manager for J.P. Morgan.

Geoff Bottom

Geoff has been a long-standing member of the Board and is Chairman of the NSW State Committee. He has more than 30 years retail experience and is currently Store Manager of Bernardi’s Supa IGA in Blayney NSW. Geoff is actively involved with the Rotary Club of Australia and has received the Paul Harrison Award and the Blue Sapphire Award for fundraising.

My decision to get involved with CTF was primarily influenced by my personal experience with NF. I have been affected by NF, so has my daughter Fiona, who for the last 7 months has been undergoing chemotherapy,as well as my niece Melissa who sadly passed away in 2002.

At the age of 19, after a big battle with NF, I also lost my sister . This has taken a huge toll on all of us - we don’t know what the future will hold for our daughter Fiona but we remain strong and hopeful.”