Directors and Management Team

Board of Directors

The PAS Board and Management comprise a selection of individuals with experience and expertise relevant to the apparel industry. The Board consists of five members, of which four are non-executive directors and with Eric Morris, The PAS Group CEO, the only executive director. The board members have a range of skills related to the apparel industry, financial management and investment, business operations, consulting and corporate advisory.

rod-walker Rod Walker
Non-Executive Chairman
Chairman of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee and Member of the Audit and Risk Committee
Rod Walker was appointed chairman of The PAS Group in October 2011. Rod has had over 30 years’ experience in a variety of businesses, working in Australia, the USA and Canada.
Having had success as a CEO, Director and Chairman, particularly in the retail industry, he currently sits on several boards as both
a Chairman and Non-Executive Director. He has led several companies through major acquisitions, mergers, record results and in some cases successful exits whilst also working with the CEOs on their personal development.
Current roles include serving on the boards of International Cleaning Solutions Holdings (trading as Godfreys), Immune System Therapeutics, Micador Group, Bendalls Group, Master Venture Group and Playtime Group.
Former board appointments include serving on the boards of Bras N Things, Rebel and Amart Allsports, Witchery Fashions, RED Group Retail, Steinhoff International Holdings, Amber Group, Endless Rewards, SleepyHead/Beds R Us and Copperart (trading as Homeart).
In November 2005 Rod formed a private consulting company, and since then has coached and mentored CEOs and other senior executives whilst also consulting to a range of businesses. Additionally he has presented to a variety of groups and forums on a range of business related topics. Rod is the Chairman of a group within the CEO Circle.
Prior to 2005, he was Managing Director of the Freedom Group. At that time Freedom had over 240 stores in the Group with six brands in three countries. Rod led the Group to record results and subsequently oversaw the privatisation of the company.
eric-morris Eric Morris
Managing Director and CEO
Eric Morris has been CEO since the inception of The PAS Group in 2005 and has led seven of the Group’s acquisitions and the successful integration of the Group’s eight businesses. Eric has 36 years’ industry experience having held senior executive positions in both major international and national companies.
Eric was recruited to Australia by Myer where he held the inaugural position of General Manager of the Private Brand Division responsible for the creation and launch of a number of the successful Myer brands in the market today.
Prior to joining Myer, Eric spent 14 months at Walt Disney International as Regional Director, Softlines for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong. Prior to this, Eric spent eight years with Reebok International where he held the position of Regional Director Asia Pacific (based in Hong Kong), Regional Director Africa Middle East and Director and General Manager Reebok South Africa.
Prior to joining Reebok International, Eric held various senior management positions and obtained significant experience covering retail, wholesale/supply, licensing, manufacturing and distribution.
Adam Gray
Non-Executive Director
Adam Gray is a managing partner of Coliseum Capital Management, a private firm that makes long-term investments in both public and private companies, which he co-founded in December 2005.  Adam serves as non-executive Chairman of Redflex Holdings Limited (ASX: RDF) and on the board of directors of New Flyer Industries, Inc. (TSE: NFI) and Blue Bird Corporation (NASDAQ: BLBD).  Adam served on the board of directors of DEI Holdings, Inc. from February 2009 until its sale in June 2011, and on the board of directors of Benihana Inc. from September 2010 until its sale in August 2012.  From January 2005 to November 2005, Adam was a consultant for a private investment firm.  From 2003 to 2004, Adam served as Executive Vice President, Strategic Projects and Capital Management at Burger King Corp, and from 1993 to 2003, held several executive positions with the Metromedia Restaurant Group, comprised of S&A Restaurant Corp. and Metromedia Steakhouses Company, LP, which included the Bennigan’s, Steak & Ale, Ponderosa and Bonanza restaurant concepts.  Prior to that time, Adam served as an Associate at Kluge & Co. and an analyst within Morgan Stanley’s Merchant Banking Group.Adam holds both a BSE in Finance from the Wharton School of Business and a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the School of Engineering & Applied Science at the University of Pennsylvania.
Matthew Lavelle
Non-Executive Director
Matthew Lavelle was appointed to the Board in February 2016.
Matthew is Director of Strategy & Corporate Development at Universal Technical Institute, Inc. an education company focused on the transportation sector.  Prior to this he was an investment professional at Coliseum Capital Management, a private firm that makes long-term investments in both public and private companies.  He holds board roles with several private, US-based companies in the footwear and apparel industry.  Prior to joining Coliseum in 2013, Matthew was an Analyst at Public Resources Advisory Group working in financial advisory and fixed income security structuring, following three years in the Consumer Products group at investment manager Brandes Investment Partners.  Matthew is a CFA charterholder with a BS in Business Administration from the University of Southern California.
Craig Holland
Non-Executive Director
Craig Holland was appointed to the Board in December 2016 and is the Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee and a member of the Nomination and Remuneration Committee.
Craig is on the Board of Kaldor Public Art Projects, a not for profit charity which brings up and coming contemporary artists to Australia to hold an exhibition.  He is also an owner and Director of Menarock Aged Care Services, a leading provider of aged care services.
Craig’s former Board roles included a Director of the Good Guys Retail Group where he was also the Chairman of the Audit Committee and chairman or member of other sub-committees; a Director and Chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of Simavita Limited, an ASX listed company in the digital medical device business for aged care; and a Board member of Tarrawarra Museum of Art, a privately funded public art museum which is a not for profit charity.  Craig was also a strategic, marketing and operational advisor to the board of Superior Food Services, a leading food distributor in Australia.
Craig was a senior partner of Deloitte where he led the Melbourne Deloitte Private Tax Group and was Chief Operating Officer for Deloitte Private. Craig was also the lead tax partner for The PAS Group when it made its first acquisition of Yarra Trail in 2004 and continued to act as the lead tax partner for The PAS Group until his retirement from the partnership in 2012.
Craig is a member of CPA Australia, a member of the Taxation Institute of Australia, a graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is the author of the book titled “The Art of Business Succession”. Craig holds a Bachelor of Economics (Monash) and a Masters in Taxation (UNSW).

 

Management

eric-morris Eric Morris
Managing Director and CEO
Eric Morris has been CEO since the inception of The PAS Group in 2005 and has led six of the Group’s acquisitions and the successful integration of the Group’s eight businesses. Eric has 36 years’ industry experience having held senior executive positions in both major international and national companies.
Eric was recruited to Australia by Myer where he held the inaugural position of General Manager of the Private Brand Division responsible for the creation and launch of a number of the successful Myer brands in the market today.
Prior to joining Myer, Eric spent 14 months at Walt Disney International as Regional Director, Softlines for Asia Pacific based in Hong Kong. Prior to this, Eric spent eight years with Reebok International where he held the position of Regional Director Asia Pacific (based in Hong Kong), Regional Director Africa Middle East and Director and General Manager Reebok South Africa.
Prior to joining Reebok International, Eric held various senior management positions and obtained significant experience covering retail, wholesale/supply, licensing, manufacturing and distribution.
Matthew Durbin
Chief Financial and Operations Officer
Matthew Durbin joined The PAS group in December 2014 as Chief Operations Officer and was appointed Chief Financial and Operations Officer in February 2015.
Matthew has 26 years of retail industry experience having worked across strategy and finance, merchandise, financial services and stores at David Jones for 17 years and Myer prior to that. Before joining The PAS Group Matthew held the position of Executive – Strategic Planning at David Jones where he was responsible for overall group strategy and business planning. Other senior roles held at David Jones include Group Executive – Financial Services, General Manager – Strategic Planning and General Manager – Merchandise Planning. At Myer Matthew worked in various roles focussing on store operations.
Matthew is a qualified accountant (FCPA) and holds an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.
Kwong Yap
General Counsel and Company Secretary
Kwong Yap joined The PAS Group in July 2015 and was appointed as General Counsel & Company Secretary in August 2015. Upon completing his Bachelor of Laws degree from University of Melbourne, Kwong commenced his career in law at King & Wood Mallesons in 1991 and was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia in 1992. Kwong then moved to Norton Rose in 1996 where he was Senior Associate in Corporate Commercial before joining National Australia Bank as an in-house corporate lawyer for Corporate Advisory and Capital Markets. Over a nine year period at NAB Kwong supported various head office functions including Group Company Secretariat and undertaken strategic corporate advisory initiatives. After six years in Group Legal roles, Kwong was promoted to General Counsel, Cash Management & International Trade.
Before joining The PAS Group Kwong had recently held the role of General Counsel & Company Secretary at Chassis Brakes International (previously part of Bosch) for seven years. Kwong was responsible for all legal and company secretarial matters, corporate governance as well as providing expertise across risk management and M&A activities. Kwong has a Master of Laws degree from the University of London and Graduate Diploma in Applied Corporate Governance, and is a Fellow Member of Governance Institute of Australia.
Matthew Blashki
Group General Manager:  Review, JETS and White Runway
Matthew Blashki joined The PAS Group in July 2016 as Group General Manager – Transformation and New Business. In January 2017, he was appointed to the role of Group General Manager overseeing the Review, JETS and White Runway brands.
Matthew’s retail career has included roles in retail operations, human resources, merchandise, commercial finance and strategy. Prior to joining The PAS Group Matthew spent six years at Mimco where he began as Planning Manager before spending the final three years as General Manager. Before joining Mimco Matthew was Business Manager of Womenswear at Country Road and had previously held planning, concession management and retail operations roles at Myer.
Matthew has a post graduate Masters in Marketing from Monash University and a Bachelor of Commerce from Deakin University.
brendan-santamaria Brendan Santamaria
General Manager, Designworks
Brendan Santamaria has been General Manager of Designworks since October 2010 and has been responsible for the growth of both the branded and licensed divisions of the business.
Brendan’s career commenced in the fast moving consumer goods (“FMCG”) industry with companies such as Goodman Fielder, Don Smallgoods and National Foods.
In 1998 Brendan was recruited by The Walt Disney Company to develop a licensing business in FMCG which reached sales of $100 million within two years and Brendan was promoted to Licensing Director. After a 12 month stint as General Manager of infant toy company Playgro, Brendan was appointed CEO of the publicly listed company Mercury Brands (formally The Austin Group).
Rachel Digby(3)_120x160 Rachel Digby
General Manager, Black Pepper
Rachel Digby joined Black Pepper in 2005 as Design Manager and has since successfully grown the Breakaway, Black Pepper, Yvonne Black and Equus brands and led the expansion of the retail channel for Black Pepper across Australia and New Zealand.
Rachel’s early career commenced in South Africa as a Buyer for Edgars and she was then approached to join David Jones in 1998 as Womenswear Buyer across multiple categories where she was instrumental in developing the David Jones house brand program.
Rachel has extensive industry experience across both product and retail as well as a broad understanding of the mainstream Womenswear sector. In September 2013 Rachel was appointed to the role of General Manager of Black Pepper.
AntheaPhelps_120x160 Anthea Phelps
General Manager, Yarra Trail and Marco Polo
Anthea Phelps has over 30 years of industry experience, having begun her career with Myer as a buyer for Sportswear. This was followed by roles at David Jones as a Group Fashion Adviser, Fashion Controller at Georges, and Wholesale Manager (NSW and QLD) for Country Road.  In 1996 Anthea was recruited to develop the Womenswear range for Yarra Trail.
After departing from Yarra Trail in 2004, Anthea was recruited as General Manager for Stitches and four years later commenced as General Manager for Sundays Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the Voyager Group. In 2009 Anthea rejoined Yarra Trail as General Manager. In late 2012 the Marco Polo brand was added to Anthea’s portfolio.
Rebecca (Lau) Marsh
General Manager, White Runway
Rebecca (Lau) Marsh is the Founder of White Runway created in 2011. With a background in advertising and publishing, Rebecca launched her first women’s e-tailing business in 2007. In 2011, Rebecca decided to extend her online portfolio by cornering the bridesmaid, formal and occasion-wear market, helping to turn ‘every aisle into a runway.’ White Runway went on to win the ‘Bridesmaid Dress – Designer of the Year’ award from the Wedding and Events of Australia and has become the coveted destination for all things evening and red-carpet.
Rebecca has quickly established herself as one of Australia’s leading fashion and bridal experts, providing comment on celebrity looks, red carpet commentary and upcoming bridal-fashion trends. Rebecca has enjoyed regular appearances in print, online and TV media including a nomination for Cosmopolitan Magazine’s Fun Fearless Female awards in the Entrepreneur category.
Rebecca has a degree in Commerce and Marketing from the University of New South Wales.
aaron-white Aaron White
Group Leasing Manager
Aaron White joined The PAS Group in July 2010, after having spent over 11 years specialising in retail property across Australia and New Zealand.
Prior to joining the Group, Aaron spent eight years with The Just Group as a leasing executive, helping grow store numbers from 400 to over 850 across Australia and New Zealand through organic growth and acquisitions of several brands.
Following his time at The Just Group Aaron spent three years as the National Property Manager for Specsavers Australia/New Zealand. This role involved formulating the strategy and process for the introduction and opening of over 250 Specsavers stores during his tenure.