(Y)our mentoring team

Success is rarely achieved on your own. Successful people know the benefits of surrounding themselves with a diverse team who each excel in their area of expertise. Collectively, they provide a balanced perspective on complex problem solving and provide insights into strategic thinking.

Regularly surrounding yourself with like-minded positive entrepreneurs, professionally facilitated by one of our chairs, exposes you to the wisdom of potentially 100 years of modern business acumen.

Do you put time and effort into maintaining your car? Or do you prefer to rattle along on random roads, unconcerned that a wheel may fall off at any minute? You can choose that route for your business, but you also have the potential to be a winning combination ready for the race track.

Navigating your business journey with the MAP Institute is like being in the cockpit of a Formula 1 race car. You are the driver. Let us introduce your pit crew:

Tulsi van de Graaff

Tulsi is a former lawyer with a psychology, mediation, coaching, investigation and counselling background.  Her superpower is resolving communication and conflict challenges, developing staff, teams and leaders and enhancing workplace cultures. She excels in building a positive performance culture for business leaders.

Dr Jim Taggart OAM

Dr Jim Taggart provides strategic leadership to assist with decision making that enhance the prospects for your business’s long-term success while maintaining short-term financial stability.

He is a Chairman and Non-Executive Committee Member (Audit and Risk) and Financial Services Professional with over 30 years of Board level experience across the public, private (financial planning, investment, development) and community (Church, local area support and fundraising) sectors. Dr Taggart has driven change and has been actively involved in the community in both executive and non-executive capacities.

Board highlights include being a Member of: Investment Board for the Parramatta Diocese; (Chairman) Salvation Army Advisory Board (Business Appeal); Audit Committee Member, Hills Shire Council; Parramatta Stadium and TAFE NSW Western Sydney Institute.

Susan Watts

Sue has 35 years experience in the corporate world across three continents and carries a valuable network of diverse professionals. Described as, “able to build relationships across the spectrum” she specialises in advising on creating and maintaining lasting partnerships.

With a Degree in Economics and a career in Global currency trading & payments, corporate financial risk management and medical oncology, Sue’s knowledge and experience is highly-regarded by a wide variety of industry sectors. As a small business founder, she closely relates to every responsibility and concern which comes with owning a company and has a strong network of clients and business partners in Perth, WA as well as in Sydney.

Sue has long been involved in philanthropy and charitable causes and has held a number of voluntary positions with large Not-for-Profit organisations, mostly in the U.S., since 2007. She remains committed to helping those in need.

Rob Tunchon

Rob has 30+ years consulting and executive experience in collaborating with a wide range of prominent educational, sporting and industry groups throughout Australia to assist them in developing and maximising their corporate relations, marketing, public relations, sponsorship, fundraising, venue and management functions.

He holds a Masters and Bachelors Degree in Education and Post Graduate qualifications in Leadership and Employee Relations.

Dr Alison Mitchell

Alison is driven by her interest in environmental and natural resource systems and their sustainability and management from an environmental, social and economic perspective. Her career has allowed her to take on complex scientific research projects designed to decrease knowledge gaps in natural resource management and to provide plain-English interpretations of scientific data.

Alison has produced, delivered and evaluated training in environmental and sustainability courses and is an active community member involved in increasing our sustainability and enhancing our environment and natural resources.

Adam Lysle

Adam provides specific advice and support to business owners who face challenges and obstacles that seem too large to overcome.  Akin to an individual obtaining a physical health check, Adam provides businesses with the same opportunity.  Once a business is able to review their business in its entirety, better decisions can be made for a far more sustainable, profitable and healthier business.

Adam's goal is to help business owners and other stakeholders get through their issues and produce a more robust and resilient business.  Adam measures his success on your outcome.

Maria Sanchez

Maria is an MBA qualified engineer with international background in business development, sales & marketing, safety & quality systems management, and technical services. She has extensive experience, especially in the industrial and energy sectors. 

Maria has had international training in sales & marketing management for the industrial and energy sectors.  During recent years, she has attended sales conferences and congresses in Australia, Venezuela, Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, USA, and Norway.  Maria has completed auditor training in Quality and Health Safety & Environment programs as well as certificates in International Management and Production Management. 

Maria brings a technical background to her mentees to assist them with all aspects of delivering highly complex and technical products and services to a global market.

David Marston

With over 40 years experience in the automotive mechanical field, David is a Governing Councillor of the Motor Traders Association of NSW and National Chair of the Australian Automobile Repairers Association. He is regularly an expert witness for Australian Courts in automotive matters.

David's background has produced a comprehensive knowledge of business structures from sole traders, through partnerships to larger companies. 

Omar Afiouni BSc JP GAICD
Chief Strategy Officer

Omar brings governance and advisory expertise to a range of businesses, both in the startup phase and to more mature businesses along the entrepreneurial business journey. He adds value through strong corporate governance, financial literacy, understanding of operational issues and linkages between risk management and strategic execution.

Varvara Kuraeva

Varvara Kuraeva is multiple startup founder and a Talent Acquisition and Communications Specialist with over 10 years of combined experience and a Master's Degree in Professional Communication. Her recruitment expertise spans across Government and private sectors including NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment and Deloitte, respectively. Some of Varvara's areas of expertise include recruiting specialists across Information Technology, Project Management, Business, Administration, Field Work, and Hospitality. 

She is passionate about providing a proactive client-focused service that delivers high levels of client and candidate satisfaction.  With exceptional communication skills, Varvara has run workshops for job seekers on employability and career skills.

Launching a new venture in the Food and Beverage industry, Varvara understands the importance of human capital.  Her background in connecting, associating and sourcing experienced, influential and innovative people has helped her export products internationally and win multiple awards.

Robert Hossary

Robert Hossary has been involved in Australian and international businesses for the past two decades. For seven years, Robert was the General Manager NSW / ACT for the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia (AmCham). He helped advise many Australian and US companies regarding their international expansion requirements.

Prior to that, Robert was country manager in the USA for a technology manufacturer and in 2008 was named in VSR Magazine’s 1st Annual Review & Outlook as a business leader in the USA’s Mobility Industry. He has also worked in Taiwan with responsibility for Asia Pacific and the Middle East. 

Robert has a diverse industry background: Technology, Transport, Fashion and Healthcare.

Stefan Sojka

Stefan fosters and values partnerships where everyone is better off as a result of working together. His career has been built around helping people and organisations succeed by understanding and harnessing the opportunities available through digital technology, media and actively engaging with their community.

Stefan’s biggest current interest is on local initiatives and how they can transform the world by replicating successful models globally. He develops new partnerships between the non-profit, corporate, government and educational sectors through International fellowships, memberships and networks.

Stefan’s core capacities include: Strategic partnerships and connections, creativity, networking, mentoring, writing, media production, events & public speaking.

Linda Redfearn

Linda is a highly skilled Senior Business Leader with valued experience in Global Human Resources and Management at strategic and operational levels of business. She is well-equipped with skills and knowledge in developing and coaching people at all levels to unlock talents and encourage career development.

Linda has a reputation of being resilient, result-driven, and a highly motivated professional. She has navigated herself through a diverse number of senior people management roles always striving for excellence to become a respected and relevant leader. Linda has had the courage to look for opportunities and build teams to be empowered, highly skilled and sustainable to meet the changes impacting the business.

Linda has supported businesses to achieve many awards, such as Employer of Choice from both AON Hewitt and NSW Business Chamber. This experience has given her a foundation to always look for opportunities to develop people as this is a passion which has allowed her to unlock many people’s talents and see them grow and succeed in their careers.

Lilian Luu

After gaining experience in large companies such as KPMG and Bain & Company, Lilian was awarded as the Young Accountant of the Year Award in Australia in 2014. Subsequently, she spent 4 years in London, as the Finance Manager for a real estate company with one of the highest quality portfolios in Western Europe. Here, she notably contributed to a business that tripled its value within 3 years and assisted in its sale from the US listed company to a Singaporean fund manager.

Lilian brings her energy and knowledge of financial affairs to every MAP, ensuring that high quality services and financial matters are managed prudently and with insight.

Lilian understands thoroughly the operational risks and financial issues that businesses confront every day and can deliver solutions to address those requirements, while also seizing valuable opportunities for growth and improvements. Lilian instinctively cares for her mentees, allowing them to achieve their goals in the most effective and protected manner that suits them.

“She is always looking to garner information in her personal quest for professional excellence. Despite being extremely busy, Lilian always seems to find time for others.”
- Comment from the panel of judges for Australian Accounting Awards

Werrdan Reginald Khoury

Werrdan is a solicitor and the Managing Partner of Benjamin & Khoury Solicitors and Attorneys. Possessing both extensive knowledge and over a decade’s experience within the legal field dealing with sensitive and complex matters, Werrdan understands the unique legal problems for SMEs. Werrdan is well known for being a pragmatic lawyer, on tap, able to advise and act quickly, and assertive in negotiations.

Rod Groch

Rod is a qualified accountant with an MBA and has 25+ years' managing and leading professional service businesses with a strong prior background as a financial controller.  His experience has covered all aspects of internal and external business management and strategy and he has helped numerous businesses identify and achieve their goals and results.  He is an experienced senior manager with strategy and operations experience in Australia and the Middle East.

Rod has a proven ability to communicate, influence and build consensus around key strategic objectives.  He is well experienced in assembling and coaching high performance management teams that meet or exceed agreed performance objectives.  He has a track record for achieving growth targets by identifying and realising domestic and international market opportunities.  Rod excels at innovating internal processes, systems and technology to deliver target service-levels and financial objectives.  He is an asset to all MAPs and mentees that are fortunate enough to glean from his vast acumen.


Bev Barnfather

As a founder and operator, Bev understands the power and benefits of building a network of trusted alliance partners. Acknowledging what's important to others has helped her build and establish a high quality corporate gifts business which is all about enhancing growth through showing genuine appreciation.

Bruce Whall

Bruce Whall is a degree qualified Chartered Accountant with over 40 years’ experience who has held senior financial and operational roles in both professional accounting and commerce. Bruce has held the positions of CEO, CFO, COO and a number of directorships in large to medium sized commercial businesses spanning IT&T, distribution, finance and manufacturing industries. Bruce has worked for or has been associated with US and Japanese multinationals as well as Australian small to medium size businesses, both in the private and public sectors.

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