MEDIA UPDATE  |   21 August 2018

A New Chair for Food + Wine Victoria

Respected entrepreneur and philanthropist Radek Sali will take on the role of Chairman of Food + Wine Victoria (FWV), the organisation behind the iconic Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. The FWV Board today announced the appointment, effective 20 August 2018, following the retirement of John Haddad AO who will move into an Emeritus Chair role.

Mr Sali is the Chairman of Light Warrior, the principle driven investment group he co-founded in 2016. He is the former CEO of Swisse which, under his leadership, became Australia’s largest global wellness company and was the world’s fastest growing pharmacy brand for eight consecutive years.
In addition, Mr Sali is the Chairman of Made Establishment and a Director for Made by Cow, One Giant Mind, Hydralyte, myDNA, Stratosphere and Udify. He is also the Co-Founder of the not-for-profit Lightfolk Foundation, a Campaign Cabinet member for La Trobe University and a Director for Igniting Change, Hawthorn Football Club and the National Institute of Integrative Medicine. Mr Sali joined the FWV Board in February 2018.
Mr Sali said, “It is a great honour to serve the industry as chair of Food + Wine Victoria. We live in the best state, which is made all the better by its food and wine offering. I love the industry because it brings people together and makes people feel good. It is an essential part of our social fabric.
“Congratulations to John on being rightly recognised as Emeritus Chair for his outstanding service as our leader. His wealth of experience and success will provide our team with great ongoing support,” Mr Sali said.
The Food + Wine Victoria Board would like to take the opportunity to thank John Haddad AO for his outstanding leadership over the past 14 years. Mr Haddad is a tireless champion of Victoria’s food and wine industry. His vision has been instrumental in putting Melbourne on the global culinary stage and profiling the achievements of the State’s chefs, restaurateurs, producers and winemakers.
Minister for Tourism and Major Events, The Hon. John Eren MP, and Minister for Regional Development, The Hon. Jaala Pulford MLC, have also thanked Mr. Haddad for his unwavering commitment and leadership to the Victorian food and wine industry.
Minister Eren said, “John’s vision and dedication has taken Food and Wine Victoria and the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival to new heights, and for that we congratulate him. John has been a true champion of the industry, ensuring it has commanded the recognition it richly deserves, and his new role as Emeritus Chair in turn recognises his contribution.”
Reflecting on his 14 years as Chairman, Mr Haddad said, “I’ve been involved in the hospitality industry for as long as I can remember. The industry is made up of small-to-medium businesses run by people who have enormous resilience and energy, and their passion has always motivated me to support them. It has been an honour to represent the industry as Chairman of Food + Wine Victoria, and I am confident that Radek will be a dynamic and visionary chair and wish him all the best in the role.”
“I would like to thank my trusted friend and deputy chair, Kevin Luscombe who has retired from the Board after 13 years. Kevin’s extensive senior marketing, corporate and board experience has been invaluable to the development of the Melbourne Food & Wine Festival and, more recently, the transition to Food + Wine Victoria,” Mr Haddad said.
Chris Nolan has been appointed Deputy Chair of FWV following the retirement of outgoing Deputy Chair Kevin Luscombe AM from the Board. Mr Nolan is a Director of The Western Bulldogs and a board member of Alfred Health Foundation.  
About Food + Wine Victoria
Food + Wine Victoria delivers the highly successful Melbourne Food & Wine Festival (MFWF) and develops a year-round program to support the Victorian food and wine industries.
Entering its 27th year, the 2019 Melbourne Food & Wine Festival presented by Bank of Melbourne will take place from 8 to 24 March. The MFWF program will be announced in late 2018.



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