Chief Executive Officer/Director
Steve brings an extensive background in the Australian and international fresh food industry to his position as Chief Executive Officer of the Tipper Group. Commercially astute and a practiced leader, Steve is experienced in managing and mentoring diverse teams, strategic planning and implementation, international trade, financial management, and corporate governance.
Steve’s in-depth knowledge of the rapidly evolving food industry from a domestic and global perspective expedites Tropical Fruit Direct’s response to ‘paddock-to-plate’ opportunities and helps forge effective partnerships throughout the supply chain. He has developed export opportunities to 18 countries and is skilled in identifying and developing new domestic and international markets.
As a former business owner in the hospitality and retail food sector, Steve appreciates the need to remain responsive and innovative to meet market demands, putting customer service at the heart of all initiatives.
Ian is a Director of Tropical Fruit Direct Pty Ltd and Skybury Pty Ltd. Following a successful military career in Rhodesia and Oman, and corporate roles in the UK, Ian was drawn to farming in Australia. He established the Skybury farming business in 1987. Skybury is a diverse business growing coffee, papaya, and other topical fruits. Skybury is also involved in agricultural research and tourism, employing around 80 full time staff.
Ian remains hands-on in the business, having the responsibility for Skybury’s nutrient and water management programs, research, business analysis, planning and budgets. Ian believes that farmers should enjoy transactional transparency for goods sold and enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship with their supply partners.
National Accounts Manager
Sydney based Jannelle joined the team in August this year. Jannelle has been in the fruit & veggie industry for 34 years, starting at the tender age of 18!!
Jannelle began her career in administration and progressed to managing warehouse operations for Moraitis. She then moved over to operations and management of prepacking facilities for approx. 20 years, firstly with Moraitis and then AAA.
Jannelle has two beautiful kids (now adults), raising them on her own whilst working hard to achieve her goals in the industry. Jannelle can be contacted on 0409 065 279 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
General Manager - Skybury
Candy is General Manager of Skybury and her primary role is the production and facilitation of sales through Tropical Fruit Direct. The oldest of three siblings, Candy returned to the family business to oversee the day to day operations of the Skybury, including Papaya production and quality. Candy provides support to the Skybury Management team and as well as having responsibility for day to day coordination with our marketing operations at Tropical Fruit Direct and its retail/wholesale partners.
Candy has a degree with honours in Communication and Design and has worked both in the UK and Australia. Her most dynamic role to date was with QLD corrections where she spent 7 years as a Custodial Officer, in a maximum-security all male jail. Candy lives on the farm with her three children.
Glenn works with our existing farmers, and identifies new growers to increase sales through the TFD model. He also introduces new supply categories to grow national retailer sales. Glenn has significant experience in farming and supply chains, having previously worked for Mulgowie Farming Company, Samson’s and PMFresh.
Outside of work, Glenn enjoys the great outdoors, sharing time with family and friends, gardening and camping.
Group Marketing & Culture Manager
Nicole joined the team in May 2023 and leads, develops and implements total group marketing strategies across all business units and brand portfolios, as well as supporting the creation and implementation of sales and marketing initiatives.
Outside of work, Nicole enjoys spending time with family and friends and is currently undertaking a Graduate Diploma in Psychology.
HR & Engagement Manager
Paul is the HR & Engagement manager for Tropical Fruit Direct and is based in Mareeba. Following a successful career in local and state government, and private sector development consultancy, Paul joined Skybury as the company’s Business Development Manager in January 2016. In September 2020, he transitioned into his new role with TFD.
A Town Planner by profession, Paul originally moved to Australia in 2005 to oversee the construction of the Skybury Café and Roastery.
Outside of work, Paul is passionate about the growth and development of regional Queensland and values being able to contribute to a number of local and regional community based groups. Paul is a current committee member with FNQ Growers.
Dennis was born into a banana farming family, which has been growing bananas for 110 years in the Caboolture area.
He also has a long association with the dairy industry and continues to this day as a partner in a dairy farming enterprise. Dennis moved to North Queensland in 1996, where he worked for Sellars bananas for 4 years. A stint with the Department of Industry on their Black sigatoka program followed. He then started his 19 year association with the North Queensland Banana Coop.
Dennis is married with one son. Out of work, he is a cricket coach with junior cricket at Tully Mission Cricket club. He also has an interest in breeding dairy cattle.