Jon Lechte, ChairmanSince the early 1980s Jon has spent most of his career in financial markets. In 2002 when Head of Fixed Income for UBS in Australia, he was transferred to run the company’s Tokyo fixed income business for three years, then two further years in Asia, based out of Hong Kong. In 2007 he resigned from UBS to return home to Melbourne.
In 2008 Jon invested in a number of small businesses, most notably as a foundation investor in Grow Green and also in a struggling Fixed Income brokerage company called FIIG Securities. He joined the FIIG Board, initially in a non-executive capacity but later moved to a senior executive position. The firm has since grown to become a significant player in the fixed income market in Australia. Jon resigned from the FIIG Board in 2015.
Jon has a Graduate Diploma of Banking and Finance and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. He joined the Grow Green Board in 2016.
Curt Leonard, Director
Curt was born and raised in Illinois, USA and has enjoyed a long and successful business career in a broad range of roles and locations.
After initial employment with the Quaker Oats Company, Chicago, including secondment to the Chicago Board Of Trade, Curt joined Mars Inc in Los Angeles in 1972.
In 1984 he moved to Australia as Managing Director of Mars Confectionery, Australia, going on to be MD of Uncle Ben’s and Asia Pacific Regional President of the Mars Group, covering China, India, Japan, Asia and Australia/New Zealand. Curt completed his career with Mars in Singapore in 2003.
He has since been active in management and investment as well as board roles with public and private businesses including as a Director and Chairman of Select Harvests and is currently Director/ Deputy Chairman of Patties Foods, Chair of Imperium Capital Group, Partner in Almas Investments and Deputy Chair of Firbank Grammar School. Curt joined the Grow Green Board in 2016.
John Mathieson, Director
John’s background is in investment banking with over 25 years experience in Australasia, Europe and Asia with major banks and investment banks including NAB and UBS.
John joined with Malcolm as a partner at Wandana Investments in 2007 to invest in and work with early stage companies across a range of activities. Investing in and sourcing funding for Grow Green was one of Wandana’s earliest projects.
John has been a member of several not for profit boards, including currently being the Treasurer at University College, University of Melbourne.
John is also a member of the Grow Green Europe Board and holds the role of Grow Green Company Secretary. He joined the Grow Green Board in 2012.
Mario Parnis, Director
Mario has an extensive corporate and venture capital background.
Mario has worked as a Process Engineer with ICI; Design Engineer with the Ford Motor Company (Australia); and with the Mars group of companies in Asia and Australia in a variety of senior roles including General Manager (Aust).
He has served on a range of private company boards since 2005 including Greenlife Oil and Hard Hat Digital and was a co-founder of Prudential Equity Partners (PEP) in 2006, a private equity investment vehicle that has successfully raised funds for and supported a diverse range of businesses.
Mario has been a Board Member of Grow Green since 2008 and also serves on the boards of Grow Green Europe and Compost Carbon Fertilisers.
Malcolm spent over 20 years in investment banking, including 10 years in the UK. He was an original partner of Melbourne stockbroking firm Potter Partners (later UBS).
Malcolm left UBS in 2001 and has since pursued a broad range of business interests, particularly focusing on the funding and development of early stage companies, including being, amonst others, a foundation investor in and long time Board Member of ASX listed company Praemium Portfolio Services.
Malcolm founded Wandana Investments in 2006 with the initial aim of investing in and raising funds for early stage businesses with a capacity to generate carbon credits. Grow Green was one of Wandana’s earliest projects.
Malcolm has a long standing interest and involvement in the agricultural sector, owning and operating a beef cattle farm and a farm supplies distributor in North East Victoria and has been a Board Member of Grow Green since 2008.
Malcolm also serves as Chairman of Grow Green Europe and Compost Carbon Fertilisers.