CEO & Managing Director
Deborah Thomas was appointed a Director of both the Company and the Manager in December 2013. On 10 March 2015, Deborah was appointed as the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Group and commenced in this role on 7 April 2015.
One of Australia’s most successful publishing executives, Deborah brings over 28 years of experience in media to the role of Chief Executive Officer. A former Editor-in-Chief of The Australian Women’s Weekly, a position she held for almost a decade, Deborah has a deep understanding of product innovation, marketing, retail sales, advertising and digital development communications.
As Editorial Director across Bauer Media’s portfolio of Women’s Lifestyle magazines and Custom Publishing, Deborah was responsible for editorial direction, customer relationships, corporate marketing, public affairs, events and new revenue streams. These initiatives included licensed products for major brands in partnership with retail stores across Australia and New Zealand. Deborah was a director on the board of Post ACP, the company’s joint venture between Bauer Media and the Bangkok Post (Thailand). She is also a former Deputy Chair of the National Library of Australia.
Richard Johnson is the Chief Financial Officer for the Ardent Leisure Group. After practising as a Chartered Accountant in London from 1988 to 1993, Richard specialised in the sports and leisure industry, where he now has over 22 years’ experience.
Until 2003 he occupied a number of senior financial positions in Europe for IMG, the Mark McCormack group of sports marketing companies. Richard moved to Australia with his family in 2003 and was CFO and acting CEO of the Football Federation Australia prior to joining the Group in December 2004.
Richard is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales. Australian Soccer Association prior to joining Ardent Leisure Group.
Alan Shedden was appointed to the position of Secretary of the Group in September 2009. Alan has over 17 years of experience as a company secretary. Prior to joining the Ardent Leisure Group, he held positions at Brookfield Multiplex Ltd and Orange S.A., the mobile telecommunications subsidiary of France Telecom S.A. Alan also acts as Group General Manager Corporate Services and provides guidance for human resources, health and safety, insurance, Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence compliance and energy efficiency functions. He has a degree in business studies and is a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators.
CEO of d’Albora Marinas
Brett commenced as CEO of d’Albora Marinas in August 2014, bringing with him a very extensive background in marina management and operations, having been employed in the role of Marine Group Operations Manager by Ariadne, Marine Precinct Manager for the Cairns Port Authority and General Manager of Horizon Shores Marina, being Australia’s largest marina facility.
Most recently prior to joining the Group, Brett operated a company specialising in asset management, project management and training solutions for the Marine Industry, working for a wide range of customers both around Australia and overseas.
CEO of Theme Parks
Craig joined Ardent as CEO of the Theme Park division in September 2013. Previously he held the role of Executive General Manager Destination Development at Tourism Australia with responsibility for Industry Development, Investment Attraction and Aviation Capacity in Australia’s Tourism Industry.
Before Tourism Australia, he was the Chief Executive Officer of nature based, experiential tourism company Anthology, which owned and operated award winning attractions in South Australia and Tasmania. Craig has a further 10 years experience at an Executive level with both Hamilton Island and Voyages Hotels and Resorts.
Along with his operations experience, Craig has also been involved in a number of tourism related bodies at the Regional and National level in varying capacities.
CEO of Main Event Entertainment
Charlie joined Main Event Entertainment in October 2006. Charlie has over 25 years hospitality industry experience in Northern America, with extensive experience in the casual dining sector.
From 1994 to 2006, Charlie occupied a number of key executive positions at Applebee’s International, Inc as the company grew from a regional restaurant chain to the world’s largest casual dining concept with system-wide sales of over US$4.5 billion.
Prior to joining Applebee’s, Charlie led restaurant development efforts for a publicly traded US coffee roaster in New York City, and led the start up of two privately held restaurant companies.
Chief Executive of Bowling & Entertainment
Nicole Noye was announced as the new Chief Executive of the Bowling Division in May 2014.
Nicole brings to the business a wealth of retail management experience in large multi-site operations.
Her previous roles included CEO of Bras N Things and General Manager of both Angus & Coote and Goldmark jewellers. In each of these roles Nicole was responsible for strong profit growth, brand repositioning and significant retail expansion.