As the SBDC’s governing body, the Board has responsibility for performing the functions set out in the Small Business Development Corporation Act 1983.

The Board meets on a monthly basis to consider issues relevant to the direction and operation of the Corporation.

The SBDC Board has four strategic roles:

  1. Direction of the organisation.
  2. Determination of standards.
  3. Coordination of planning, policies, and decision-making frameworks.
  4. Acting in an advisory capacity to the minister, the government and other agencies.

Operational roles of the Board include:

  • setting strategies
  • focusing on client service and customer needs
  • striving for organisational best practice and compliance with standards
  • delegation of operational decision-making to officers within the SBDC.

Grant Cucel - chair

Photo of SBDC Board Chair Grant Cucel.

Grant Cucel initially joined the Board in October 2017 and was appointed Chair in May 2022.

Mr Cucel is self-employed and Pilbara born and raised.

He has an extensive business background having run his own recruitment business for 10 years. Mr Cucel has a Bachelor of Business Degree (First Class Honours) from Curtin University of Technology.

He was the 2012 inductee into the Western Australian Regional Small Business Hall of Fame and was recognised as the 2013 City of Karratha Citizen of the Year. For nine years, he held the role of chair of the Small Business Centre West Pilbara and strongly advocated for small and medium enterprises in regional Western Australia. He is a former Deputy Mayor for the City of Karratha where he promoted economic development and diversification.

Mr Cucel, having sold his recruitment business to a publicly listed company, now has a strong focus on assisting a cross section of organisations in a voluntary capacity, including Chair of the Waja Guma Aboriginal Early Learning Program Working Group.

Danelle Cross

Photo of SBDC Board member Danelle Cross.

Danelle Cross was appointed to the Board in July 2019. Ms Cross is co-owner/director of a small business, Gourmet and More, a gourmet food wholesaler and distributor.

Ms Cross is an experienced and respected leader in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and learning & development. She is currently the Director of Entrepreneurship at Curtin University, where she leads programs, pathways and community for local and global entrepreneurs. Prior to this, Ms Cross was the Director of Discovery at St Hilda’s Anglican School, leading a whole-of-school approach to in-curriculum entrepreneurship.

Ms Cross holds a Bachelor of Commerce, double major in marketing and PR from Curtin University. She is a mentor and connector for a number of WA business founders.

Gillian Nathan

Photo of SBDC Board member Gillian Nathan.

Gillian Nathan was appointed to the Board in October 2021. Ms Nathan is the founder and owner of a tax and accounting practice, Simple Solutions Accounting Services.

Ms Nathan has extensive experience in taxation, financial and management reporting and works daily with small business owners. Prior to starting her own business, she gained experience in the public and private sector working across a range of accounting and tax practices.

Ms Nathan is a Fellow Chartered Accountant, with a Masters in Taxation and International Tax. She is a Tax Agent, a South African tax practitioner and a qualified secondary school teacher, registered to teach in Western Australia. Ms Nathan is a member of the Audit and Risk Committee for YourToolkit/Financial Toolbox, a not for profit organisation which aims to build the financial knowledge and skills of Western Australian women exposed to domestic violence and financial abuse. She also volunteers on a number of school and sporting committees.

Eliza Carbines

Photo of SBDC Board member Eliza Carbines.

Eliza Carbines was appointed to the Board in October 2021. Ms Carbines is Karratha-based and is the founder and CEO of Tender Relief which offers tailored support, training and consulting services to businesses, primarily in regional Western Australia.

Prior to commencing her own business, Ms Carbines worked in various roles across both the state government and private sectors.

Ms Carbines holds Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) Foundation and Practitioner Certification and is the current Chair of the APMP ANZ Committee. She is a strong advocate for entrepreneurism and economic diversity throughout regional Western Australia and has served on a number of not for profit boards.

Michael Schaper

Photo of SBDC Board member Michael Schaper.

Michael Schaper was appointed to the Board in June 2022. Dr Schaper is an experienced company director, educator, researcher and consultant on small business issues, both in Australia and internationally.

Dr Schaper served as the inaugural Deputy Chair (small business) of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, where he also founded the national Small Business Commissioners Forum, and was the Small Business Commissioner for the ACT. Michael was also the foundation Professor of Small Business and Entrepreneurship at the University of Newcastle NSW, and prior to this he was responsible for the small business program at Curtin University.

A former president of the Small Enterprise Association of Australia and New Zealand, Dr Schaper also served as a Director of the International Council for Small Business. His current and recent work includes advising international bodies such as the UN and Asian Development Bank on SME policy issues.

He is currently the Chair of the Gaming and Wagering Commission of WA, Chair of the Energy and Water Ombudsman WA, Chair of the ATO’s shadow economy advisory forum, and a member of the national board of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Dr Schaper holds a Doctor of Philosophy in small business management and a Master of Commerce degree from Curtin University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Western Australia.

Lisa Smith

Photo of SBDC Board member Lisa Smith.

Lisa Smith was appointed to the Board in July 2023. Ms Smith has extensive experience in business development across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors and has run her own consultancy business with a primary focus on small business owners.

Ms Smith’s immediate past position was as interim Chief Executive Officer of the Wagyl Kaip Southern Noongar Aboriginal Corporation. Prior to this she was the CEO of the Albany Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

Lisa holds a Graduate Certificate in Business and is a strong advocate for regional WA and is a member of several not-for-profit boards.

Lucy Hall

Photo of SBDC Board member Lucy Hall.

Lucy Hall was appointed to the Board in September 2023. Ms Hall has extensive experience in financial services, business development, marketing and the not-for-profit sector.

Ms Hall owns and operates a farming business with her partner and is involved in all aspects of this broadacre enterprise based in the Wheatbelt region.

Ms Hall is a recent past Chair of Rural Edge Australia, a not for profit organisation that designs and delivers custom training opportunities to support farming businesses become more innovative, competitive and profitable. She is a strong advocate for women in the agriculture sector.

Ms Hall is also a director of her own consulting business where she provides consulting services to a broad range of clients.

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