Executive Leadership Team

VERTO is a community owned not for profit organisation

Ron Maxwell

Ron Maxwell

B.Bus (Econ), Grad Cert. Innov Edu & T, GAICD

Chief Executive Officer

Ron Maxwell started with VERTO in 2014 as the Chief Executive Officer. Ron holds a Bachelor of Business (Economics) and has 20 years’ experience in the commercial sector. Ron has served on various boards and is currently Deputy Chair at the Independent Tertiary Education Council Australia (ITECA). He also serves as Director for the National Employment Services Association (NESA) and is the President of the National Australian Apprenticeships Association (NAAA). Ron is a member of the New South Wales Skills Board Reference Group as well as the New South Wales Smart and Skilled Reference Group.

Previously, Ron served as Chief Executive Officer of Western College, a regional training provider based in Dubbo, New South Wales. During his time as Chief Executive Officer, Ron reshaped the college to become a recognised and award winning organisation. Amongst some of his accomplishments, Ron was responsible for establishing the Australian Technical College in Central West New South Wales. He formerly served as a member of the ACPET National VET Committee and is a former Chamber of Commerce Senior Vice President and Austen Brown Boog Solicitors advisory board member. 

Find Ron on LinkedIn

Alyssa Bennett

Alyssa Bennett

B. Bus (HRM/Marketing), Grad Cert. Bus Admin

Chief Operating Officer

Alyssa has over 20 years’ experience in the employment services sector and well over a decade of experience as a Senior Manager. Alyssa values an ethical and transparent approach; whilst remaining commercially focussed and driven to achieve the best possible outcomes for individuals in the communities in which we operate. Alyssa’s previous experience has included roles specialising in Apprenticeships, Traineeships, Labour Hire, Disability Employment Services (DES) and Employment Services. Her previous roles have also afforded her the opportunity to travel abroad to provide staff training and consultation services in the UK and Timor Leste, along with involvement in software development and implementation and change management.

Alyssa joined VERTO in 2018 to oversee the Employment Services portfolio for the organisation, which included DES, ParentsNext, Career Transition Assistance (CTA) and the New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP) Program. In early 2020, Alyssa was promoted to the role of Chief Operating Officer which assumes responsibility for Training Services, Community Services and Employment Services.

Find Alyssa on LinkedIn 

Diana Mudford

Diana Mudford

 B. Bus (Acc), CPA, JP

Chief Financial Officer

Diana joined VERTO in 2003 and has worked in a variety of roles including Business Services Coordinator before moving into a Finance Management role within the organisation. Diana is a qualified accountant and CPA who holds a Bachelor of Business (in Accounting and Business Management). She has 20 years’ experience working in a variety of finance related roles in small to medium sized businesses including three years working as a Field Advisor for the Australian Taxation Office supporting small business. 

Diana also holds a Diploma of Training and Assessment and has 13 years’ experience working in the training industry, including teaching Accounting at TAFE. Diana is responsible for all finance, payroll and fleet. 

Find Diana on LinkedIn 

Gemma Gelling

Gemma Gelling

B.Arts (Media and Comms), LLB

Chief Communications Officer

Gemma is a communications and stakeholder management specialist who has worked in both the public and private sectors in Australia and the United Kingdom. She has worked in corporate communications, community relations and stakeholder management roles across a range of industries including aviation, construction, politics, property development and transport. Her experience includes working for major domestic and international organisations such as Transport for London, Qantas and Westfield.  

Gemma joined VERTO in 2014 as Communications Manager before becoming the Senior Manager, Communications and Business Development in 2017, and Chief Communications Officer in 2019. She holds a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) and a Bachelor of Laws. 

Find Gemma on LinkedIn 

Jason Foster

Jason Foster

General Manager, Apprenticeships and New Business

Jason has been in the employment services industry for 25 years having started in the field with the Commonwealth Employment Service in 1993. In 1986, Jason was part of a group that were the very first trainees in Australia working for the Special Broadcasting Service (SBS).

Jason was the State Business Manager for NSW/ACT with Mission Australia before starting with VERTO in 2012 as an Apprenticeships Consultant. Jason has been the Manager, Australian Apprenticeships Centre since 2013 and holds a Certificate IV in Workplace Leadership.

Find Jason on LinkedIn

Ryan Priest

Ryan Priest

Chief Information Officer

Ryan is an innovation-driven technology professional with a wealth of experience in spearheading large-scale IT projects and implementing cutting-edge solutions across various industry sectors. Adept at process improvement and leveraging emerging technologies to optimize performance across business units, ultimately driving operational success. Passionate about AI technology, cybersecurity, edge computing, and cloud services.

Ryan brings experience in implementation, board-level reporting, consulting, management, and forging strategic partnerships.

Find Ryan on LinkedIn