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RiseSmart is led by an accomplished and experienced group of industry leaders who share a passion for creating positive change for organizations and their employees.

Leadership Team

Alison Hernandez

Alison Hernandez

National Director Australia, New Zealand and Singapore

Alison has directed several industry-first career transition and ageing workforce projects, including the Federal Government Corporate Champions program, the NSW Government Mature Workforce Retention Project and the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games career transition. Alison is a passionate and insightful advocate for holistic career transition, ageing workforce and gender equality. She is a sought-after conference chair, presenter and awards judge. Alison is a WGEA Pay Equity Ambassador and the recipient of the 2017 Stevie Award for Women in Business, Female Executive of the Year in Asia, Australia / New Zealand. Alison co-founded Sageco in 2004 and is proud to lead its evolution as RiseSmart in Australia and New Zealand.

Nan Dow

Nan Dow

Executive Practice Director Australia and New Zealand

Nan is a highly experienced career and executive/ leadership coach who has a strong commercial understanding of the issues faced by leaders. She has worked for over 20 years with organisations, C-suite executives and senior managers to develop career strategies, build on executive potential, and design and implement change/go-forward initiatives to respond effectively to the emergent scenarios that organisations and their executives encounter on an ongoing basis. Nan’s coaching experience spans a range of industry sectors and organisation structures including banking and finance, IT, professional services, government, education, healthcare and FMCG. As Executive Practice Director for RiseSmart Australia & New Zealand, Nan divides her time between Sydney and New Zealand.

Stacey Blanch

Stacey Blanch

Sales Director

A committed, dedicated and highly effective business leader focused on business strategy, operational management and sales execution. Stacey has strong commercialisation and communication skills gained from working in a wide range of business environments and cultures. With more than 10 years’ experience specifically in the Career Transition Industry, Stacey has assisted many Australian companies, including many ASX 200 companies, plan and manage major change projects due to merger/acquisition activity, restructures, operational efficiency projects, digital transformation projects, and reinvigoration of mature businesses. Stacey promotes a dedicated focus on improvement and works to exceed client expectations through excellent client management skills.

Francine Hackett

Francine Hackett

National Delivery Operations Director

An experienced Finance and Operations professional, Francine has a demonstrated history of effectively managing multiple, ongoing tasks and major projects to support business leaders and day to day operations.

She is highly skilled in Financial Analysis, Strategic Planning, Business Development, Negotiation and Customer Service. Her strong commercial acumen ensures that she is adept at developing effective strategies to respond to the emergent scenarios that an organisation encounters when going through a period of transition. Francine is known for her strategic and innovative approach and has led projects for RiseSmart across a wide range of industries including banking and finance, IT, professional services, government, education, healthcare and FMCG.

Catriona Byrne

Catriona Byrne

Creative Director

Catriona has 25+ years’ experience in marketing, communication management and education and manages a portfolio of projects. Catriona leads the marketing, communication and product development for RiseSmart in Australia, New Zealand and Singapore. She has deep smarts in internal communication, marketing on a shoestring and knowledge transfer. Relentlessly curious, often amused and committed to inclusion and respect, Catriona loves meeting and connecting with people.

Sharon Ardley

Sharon Ardley

Head of Practice

Sharon Ardley is an executive level workplace performance, people, culture, organisational development and talent management professional. Sharon has significant global experience working with executives and at Board level to deliver business outcomes through people. Her work in Executive Search give her unique insights to share with her coaching participants. Stand out strengths include agility and speed in deployment of initiatives, strong commercial acumen, resilience in influencing across organisations and outstanding stakeholder engagement. Sharon has a great deal of experience across public, private and consulting sectors in Australia and globally.

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