Board Director Nominees
Please find more information about each of the nominees for the 2021 ABSIA Board of Directors.
- Chris Denney - SuperChoice
- Simon Foster - Storecove
- Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen - People Cloud
- Sreeni Pillamarri - SoftLabs
- Michael Ross - MessageXchange
- Andrew Stirling - Tanda
- Brad Stockman - Ascender
- Ann White - Ozedi
Chris Denney - SuperChoice
Chris spent more than 25 years of experience working in State & Commonwealth Government agencies delivering significant business and technology reforms (e.g. SuperStream, STP). A key component of this role was to draft policy and law, manage consultation across Government and industry and develop partnerships with the software industry to enable effective business outcomes for employers, software providers and Government.
In 2016, Chris joined SuperChoice Service to head up Government & Industry engagement with a primary focus on working with Government to recognise the opportunities that exist for more effective service delivery through better integration with business software providers.
Chris is actively involved in various Government forums where there is an opportunity to influence policy and technical design that enable the delivery of better outcomes using business software:
- Various Superannuation engagement forums
- Single Touch payroll design
- Modernising Business Registry design
- Operational Framework
- Digital Identity
Simon Foster - Storecove
As a technology entrepreneur with experience across Europe, Asia and North America, I have garnered more than two decades experience working for early stage and high growth technology startups, mid-sized enterprises and multinationals. I have a degree in Computer Science, and began my career in systems administration and engineering, so I also have hands-on experience of software development.
I was the Founder and CEO of Squirrel Street (formerly Shoeboxed Australia) and had the privilege of being involved at the ground floor of cloud accounting in Australia and working with SMEs and accountants and bookkeepers. I was invited to join the Digital Business Council eInvoicing Working Groups in January 2016 and became aware of the work that ABSIA does. Shortly after I was co-opted on to the board, then properly elected in October 2016 where I served as Treasurer for two terms. During this time I matured our operations by implementing systems that automate the various processes and reporting and built a stable financial platform with $50k in savings, and predictable cash flow.
In 2018 I was re-elected for a further 2 years where I have served as Vice-President and eInvoicing Lead. Over the past 2 years I have worked closely with the President, Directors and member representative to implement ABSIA's strategies for development and growth of our industry in both Australia and New Zealand. It has been a pleasure to meet many of you during this time, and also to represent you to government agencies and other organisation such as OpenPeppol and COSBOA.
I am currently GM - Asia Pacific at Storecove, launching our Peppol e-Invoicing Platform in Australia, NZ, Singapore and across the region. With the Australian Govt announcing a mandate for e-Invoicing from 1 July 2022, and Jacinda Ardern proposing similar for NZ, it's an exciting time to be involved with Peppol. That we are able to work together as an industry to achieve the best outcome for all is a significant strength for ABSIA and the industry.
Should you choose to elect me, I will have the honour of continuing to serve the ABSIA Membership as a Director, growing, promoting and
seeking opportunities for both ABSIA and the Business software industry as a whole and continuing to increase our influence over government
policy and decision making in the areas of interest for our industry.
Marjukka Maki-Hokkonen - People Cloud
Marjukka is a results-drive business leader, who has worked in ERP/HR software, consulting, BPO/SI companies for over 20 years, having carried full P&L responsibility for businesses across Nordics, UK/IE/South Africa and ANZ/AsiaPacific. Since 2013 she has been based in Sydney, where she lives with her husband and 2 children. She is currently a Partner at EY Australia Tax division, and responsible for the Payroll Operate business across the Asia-Pacific region.
Prior to joining EY, Marjukka led the Ascender (former Talent2) transformation as the CEO, after it acquired NGA Human Resources ANZ business in Jan 2017. Prior to the CEO role at Ascender, she led the NGA HR ANZ growth, and as the Regional president and a member of NGA HR Global Exec team, she was instrumental in the NGA ANZ business sale and integration to Ascender. Earlier in her career, Marjukka worked for NGA, IBM and KPMG in London and Helsinki.
Given her global CEO/Senior Executive experience in the software and professional services industry, as well as graduation from AICD, Marjukka was keen to join the ABSIA board to support ABSIA becoming THE association for the software industry, and was elected to the ABSIA Board starting from January 2019. With her extensive senior network in the Australian (and international) software community and her strong commercial, negotiation and influencing skills, Marjukka has been able to bring value and a fresh perspective to the ABSIA board in her first 2 years as a Director.
Marjukka is keen to continue to drive the following for ABSIA:
- Expand ABSIA membership beyond the payroll/finance software and open interactions between members to provide a more comprehensive set of services.
- Increase the ABSIA brand awareness and engage many global technology companies operating in the Australian market.
- Foster deeper strategic, professional and mutually beneficial relationships between ABSIA members and with the government to develop new innovative products, share best practices for better business outcomes, and to better influence government for the benefit of the industry.
Sreeni Pillamarri - SoftLabs
For more than 18 years, I have worked as a Technology Professional in the areas of Retail, Media & IT Industry and have a Master's Degree in Information Systems from the Central Queensland University.
Starting my career as a Software Engineer, moving to a Project Manager and then CIO and CEO of a Media & Technology company. I have worked in various organisations such as ABC Corp, Woolworths Ltd, Unisys Australia.
My experience in the Tech Industry led me to an entrepreneurial journey and to founding SoftLabs, a Digital Technology Consulting company in 2021. SoftLabs specialise in Technology consulting, project management, software development, testing, training and support services.
As a small business owners, I have had the opportunity to work with other SMEs, Government and Corporates. As a Tech Entrepreneur I believe in keeping things simple and adapting to the requirements of the businesses I work with. I feel it's always important to offer value in the large scheme of things to allow mutual growth with partners.
I am a strong advocate for multicultural and diverse communities and work closely with ethnic communities such as Chinese, Jewish, Lebanese, Indigenous, Sri Lankan, Fijian, Korean, Middle Eastern to name a few.
Being a community volunteer since my school days, I have continued the same passion moving forward by volunteering in various roles as President, Secretary, Vice President and Treasurer of various ethnic community organisations and sports clubs across NSW.
In 2020 SoftLabs became a member of ABSIA and I thought it would be great to contribute to the Organisation. If given the opportunity to be
a Director on the ABSIA Board, my objective will be to promote and increase awareness of the benefits in being part of the ABSIA
Michael Ross - MessageXchange
Michael Ross has over 25-years' experience working in the technology sector and brings a wealth of knowledge designing and implementing technology solutions for business and government.
As co-founder of two successful start-ups, Michael understands the issues facing software businesses trying to make a go of it under demanding technical, regulatory and business conditions.
He has worked closely with the ATO and other Government departments for many years on programs such as SuperStream, Single Touch Payroll, Operational Framework, and e-Invoicing.
In his role as a Director at MessageXchange he has been involved with promoting, advocating and implementing B2B messaging networks and e-Invoicing solutions for some 20-years.
Michael is also currently serving as a Director of the Gateway Network Governance Body (GNGB). As a Director of ABSIA he can bring
knowledge, experience and passionate advocacy for the business software industry. He is particularly interested in seeing the Australian
software industry continue to grow and thrive with the introduction of new interconnected digital networks being designed and rolled out to
business and government throughout Australia and New Zealand.
Andrew Stirling - Tanda
ABSIA needs the broadest possible set of skills and capabilities as it strive to meet its mission to lead industry decision making and influencing government policy. Capabilities like accurately identifying problems, consulting widely to develop broad consensus, and persuasively advocating for the right solutions are highly valuable in the context of delivering on ABSIA's objectives.
Before joining Tanda and the business software industry, I spent 12 years developing these and other relevant capabilities as a commercial employment and IR lawyer in a top tier law firm. As Tanda's Head of Product Compliance, I have been developing a deep understanding of the business software development industry. It is the combination of these capabilities and knowledge that I am most looking forward to leveraging to benefit all ABSIA members.
In my current role, I have already been lobbying government to address the uncertainty that all workforce management and payroll
vendors face when interpreting Australia's complex employment laws and modern awards. Assisting with ABSIA's upcoming discussion with
Fair Work about related issues is an obvious continuation of that campaign.
Brad Stockman - Ascender
Brad brings almost 20 years of experience both in the Technology, HR/Payroll Product Management & Client Services. Establishing technology strategies supporting the indnustry and company he currently works for (Ascender) has been a large part of his focus in addition to driving the strategy for the Preceda HR/Payroll Cloud offering. Client Consulting Services also has been within Brad's remit by providing integration services with respective payroll products and partners while building out a dedicated centralised integration offering.
His experience has extended outside of AU where for 4 years Brad was responsible for the technology strategy for a UK division of a global organisation.
Brad has been part of the ABSIA Board as a Co-Opted Director for almost 12 months where he has been able to bring a broad range of
knowledge and skills associated with his extensive technology and payroll background. He has a passion across the industry to make a
difference and to improve more broadly how the digital economy and software providers can influence and drive changes that benefits
Ann White - Ozedi
With my knowledge and experience, I am well suited to represent the business software developer community.
Working with Software Developers
To meet the ATO's short timeframe for STP, I personally assisted more than 100 payroll providers to meet the stringent requirements, giving me a good knowledge of the industry and the problems during that exercise. With Phase 2 coming up, we are going back into the development cycle.
Besides Ozedi, we have a legacy accounting system which we designed and developed from scratch a long time ago and that still has a small number of loyal users. You may not be aware that I continue to develop the product myself where required for compliance reasons. I have written the SuperStream interface and the STP integration and I'm currently developing an e-invoicing implementation. I understand the accounting software developers' problems and their requirements because I am one.
I have also been an active member of Rotary International for 27 years. This has involved senior leadership positions working with thousands of volunteers providing service to the local community and international aid projects. My major interest is membership which has led directly to the creation of several new clubs and many new members. Membership is vital for any organisation that expects to survive and thrive.
And with STP Phase 2, e-invoicing and the whole e-business project upon us now, we need an industry voice that represents the interests of software developers and provides a conduit for valuable information to them.