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Board of Directors

Birol Akdogan

Chief Executive Officer & Managing Director

Birol is a highly accomplished results driven senior executive with more than 25 years’ experience in ASX listed companies. He has a demonstrated ability in streamlining business operations to drive growth, increase efficiency and bottom-line profit. 

Previously, Birol was global Vice President of Finance at Ansell Ltd and was involved in over $1billion of M&A initiatives from 2008 to 2020. He was also previously the CFO in the turnaround of ASX listed CPI Group Ltd between 2001 and 2008. Operating in the low margin paper and printing industry, Birol was instrumental in a variety of M&A and restructuring initiatives to restore profitability to the group. 

Birol is a Chartered Accountant and holds MBA and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Melbourne. 

Andrew Monk

Non-Executive Director & Chairman of the Board

Andrew was elected in January 2018 to the Board of MRG and is Chairman of the Board.

Andrew has owned and managed organic horticultural, food processing and waste management businesses, with extensive experience over three decades in organic regulations and markets domestically and internationally. 

His other public roles include Chairman of pharmaceutical sector company Xerion Ltd, while being past Chairman of industry services group Australian Organic Ltd.

Andrew is a committed advocate for high value added production from Australia to the world as the core means by which Australian agri-food producers will achieve longer term sustainable outcomes and higher returns for investors.

Qualifications: BSc and PhD (Ag R&D policy); GAICD and Adjunct Ass. Prof. UNE Armidale Centre for AgLaw.

Naseema Sparks

Non-Executive Director

Naseema is an experienced director with expertise across a range of industries, especially organisations with strong and growing B2B and B2C products and services. Her expertise includes business strategy, marketing strategy, branding, consumer segmentation, data-driven marketing, and media.  She currently serves on the board of ASX-listed wine company, Australian Vintage Ltd, which gives her strong experience in the agriculture sector, and transitioning from wholesale production to a branded products strategy.  Naseema also currently serves on the Boards of transformation and disruptor companies, including those operating in a rapid growth environment.

Naseema has previously served as Managing Director and Global Partner of communications company M&C Saatchi and is also a strong contributor to our philanthropic communities having served with leading arts and community sector organisations.

Naseema has a keen interest in supporting high growth, innovative and disruptive businesses.

Paul McDonald

Non-Executive Director

Paul has extensive global experience in agri-business and FMCG, having worked with many ASX listed and private agribusiness companies in Australia. As a former senior auditor, Paul brings significant expertise and strong focus on financial reporting, audit, risk management and corporate governance. 

Paul previously led KPMG Australia’s national agribusiness sector, where he was a Partner for 24 years, including five years as Partner-in-Charge of the Melbourne audit practice. Paul also served as Chairman of KPMG’s Audit Committee Institute and as member of the National Executive of the Group of 100.

Paul is also Chair of MRG’s Finance, Audit and Risk Committee. Paul has a strong interest in growing Australia’s agribusiness sector through new export markets, exploiting new technologies to improve yield and farming methods and good governance practices.

Paul holds a B.Com and a MBA from Melbourne Business School, is a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and a Fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountant in Australia and New Zealand.

John Maher

Non-Executive Director

John has a proven track record of over 25 years of high-performance CEO, senior executive and board leadership experience across several publicly listed and private companies, including Wesfarmers Ltd, AWB Ltd, Ruralco Holdings Ltd and the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation.

Currently he is a Director/Chair on several commercial agribusiness Boards and is Senior Adviser to BGH Capital, Australia’s largest private equity firm.

John is passionate about Australian agribusiness and its growth serving as a Director of Agribusiness Australia, a member of HIA’s Leadership Panel and a mentor for the Australian Rural Leadership Foundation. 

John has an honours degree in Agricultural Science from Sydney University, an MBA from AGSM (University of NSW), and has completed the Advanced Management Program at INSEAD Business School. He is a graduate of the AICD and is a recipient of Sydney University’s Alumni Outstanding Achievement Award.