Ruth Medd, Chair
Ruth was one of the original investors in the Start Up Round. She joined the board as a non-executive director in September 2017.
Ruth is an experienced, independent non-executive director and chair. She is the Executive Chair of Women on Boards, chair of the Australian Health and Science Institute, a trustee of the NSW Historic Houses Trust and a director of the National Foundation of Australian Women. Formerly she was chair of Australian Ethical Superannuation Pty Ltd and a director of The Infants Home Ashfield. She holds qualifications in accountancy (FCPA) and IT and membership of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Interesting fact: Ruth’s a wine lover, a participant of bike riding tours and an intrepid traveller—often combining all three pursuits.
Chris Jahnke, Executive Director
Chris and Lynn founded Australian Chocolate Pty Ltd in 2013.
Chris has a background in real estate and transport marketing as well as extensive experience in the food service industry. He is a skilled business administrator and experienced project manager. Chris has acquired many new skills and become an expert in the complex area of chocolate making.
Interesting fact: Chris was born in Germany and can still read–and somewhat converse–in German.
Pete Faulkner, Director
Pete is the co-owner of Conus Business Consulting Services and is a recognised expert in regional economic data analysis and strategic planning, business modelling and organisation leadership. He has created the unique Conus Trend labour market and building approvals series for all Queensland regions.
Pete was key to the establishment of the peak business group, Cassowary Coast Economic Development Inc. Pete has a B.Sc. (Hons) in Banking and International Finance at City University Business School and is a shareholder in Australian Chocolate.
Interesting fact: Pete’s a qualified dive master and has dived all over the world.
Anne Pleash, Director
Anne joined the board as a non-executive director in August 2021.
Anne is the owner of Mission Consulting Solutions, specialising in strategic communications, stakeholder engagement and government relations. She is on the Dietitians Australia Advocacy & Policy Advisory Committee. Anne was Chief of Staff to a Federal Politician and is able to influence across diverse stakeholders. She is a trained mediator and negotiator and a member of Women on Boards and the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
Interesting fact: Anne was only the 207th Australian to swim the English Channel. A feat accomplished in 2018 in a time of 15 hours and 2 minutes.
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Lynn Jahnke, Founder and former
Prior to Australian Chocolate Lynn had a successful career in retail. Before establishing online retailing business Essential Additions with Chris, Lynn spent 19 years in senior retail management roles with Myer in Australia and Marks & Spencer in the UK. Product development is one of her key strengths. Lynn has been recognised as an industry expert having been invited to judge national cocoa/chocolate competitions in the South Pacific region.
Interesting fact: Leaving Rickmansworth Grammar School with acceptance to either Oxford or Cambridge to study English, Lynn instead chose to apply to Marks & Spencer's graduate program at their London head office. Not seeing herself becoming a teacher or even loving shopping, Lynn was fascinated by retail!