Board Members

The AEDA Board of Directors oversees the business of Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA), a subsidiary of City of Adelaide. The AEDA Board is skills-based, including expertise around hospitality, property development, place making, business development, investment, events and tourism.

Meet the Board Members

Nikki Govan, Chair


Nikki is chair of the Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) board. With her extensive experience in marketing and business, Nikki also chairs both the South Australian Government’s Events Advisory Group and Green Industries South Australia.

Nikki is also director of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI), in which she chairs their Work Health and Safety and Workers’ Compensation Committee, as well as being a member of their National Tourism Restart Taskforce.

Nikki is a member of the South Australian Training and Skills Commission (TaSC) and chairs their Food, Wine, Tourism and Hospitality Industry Skills Council and is a member of the Training and Apprenticeship Committee.

Nikki owns and manages the nationally renowned Star of Greece restaurant in Port Willunga.

Steve Maras, Deputy Chair


Steve is the Group Managing Director and CEO of Maras Group, a prominent commercial and retail property investment and development outfit, with over 40 years’ experience, primarily in Adelaide’s CBD.

Steve is the inaugural Honorary Consul of Uruguay in South Australia and co-founder and chair of children’s charity, Living Without Limits Foundation. He is the immediate past president of the Property Council of Australia (SA Division), past chairman of Renew Adelaide and past deputy chair of the Australia Day Council and Mainstreet SA.

He is extremely passionate about the city of Adelaide and has been a prime mover over many years in the space of mainstreet and precinct building and rejuvenation.

James Black


James is currently CEO and Director of Perks Accountants and Wealth Advisors, a director of the Real Estate Industry of South Australia (REISA), independent Chair of Hydrilla Pty Ltd and has previously held board positions in health and regional development.

A highly driven and results-focused executive with proven strategy and execution capability having delivered successful outcomes across technology start-ups, large proprietary and ASX listed companies, James has a demonstrated history of working collaboratively with boards and leadership teams to drive optimal business performance. He has an outstanding ability to lead people, build and manage complex relationships, communicate effectively and drive results working with dispersed teams. With his extensive experience, James provides operational accountability, cultivating engaged and collaborative teams that transcend performance benchmarks.

James has a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Agricultural Business and is a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

James has been appointed to the AEDA Board as the Advisory Committee Representative for one year (12 March 2024 - 11 March 2025) as per the AEDA Charter.

Jaimee Charlton

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Jaimee Charlton is a career retailer with experience in global retail innovation and operations. Jaimee’s experience covers brand management, PR and advertising, internal and external CX, leasing, innovation leadership and digital innovation across a diverse range of ventures and projects.

Jaimee is currently Chief Operating Officer of Spendless Shoes, the largest footwear chain in Australia, proudly based out of Adelaide with a store in the city in James Place. Previous notable experience includes a global role for retailer The Cotton On Group, and an advisory role for the Art Gallery of South Australia.

Jaimee is passionate about providing, building, and shaping platforms for success for businesses in Adelaide to thrive.

Jim Kouts

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Jim Kouts is a professional director and corporate advisor, with experience in external affairs and organisation positioning gained across private and public sectors, including 18 years as Head of Corporate Affairs in Australia for a global publicly listed energy business.

Mr. Kouts is currently the Chair of HomeStart and holds various non-executive director and senior advisory roles. Through these positions he demonstrates commercial decision-making capabilities, ability to engage and maintain strong interpersonal relationships and the ability to provide a clear strategic focus to Board input.

Tim Last

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Tim is an experienced senior financial markets and investment banking professional with a demonstrated track record of leading successful teams across equity and derivatives sales, trading and capital markets.

Over a career spanning 25 years in Australia, UK, Japan and Hong Kong Tim has developed strong relationships with not only institutional fund managers and hedge funds but also family offices, HNWI's and local corporate's.

His main focus now is contributing to the growth of SRG Partner's capital markets activities in South Australia, and in particular, connecting emerging companies and alternative asset managers with strategic partners and investors both domestically and across Asia.

Tim joined the AEDA board in June 2022.

Dr Jane Lomax-Smith, Lord Mayor of Adelaide

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Jane Lomax-Smith is a Pathologist with a career in research and clinical medicine. She trained in London and has worked in Boston and Adelaide where she gained a PhD in immunology.

Jane has run hospital departments and private practices including her own. She is a staunch supporter of conservation of heritage buildings and Adelaide Park Lands. She has held elected office as a City Councillor, Lord Mayor and as MP for the City when she was also Minister for Education and Tourism.

She has written Commonwealth and State Government reports on funding for universities and the future of Leigh Creek. She is now the Chair of the Teachers Registration Board and the Don Dunstan Foundation which researches and promotes ideas on a range of social justice issues.

Matt Poblocki

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Matt is a Co-Founder and Partner at Matrix Advisory, a business that advises technology start-ups, scale-ups, and growth businesses on scaling their ventures.

Matt’s passion for new business ideas and innovation has led him to co-found and invest in a wide range of emerging and start-up businesses in the technology and finance sector, specialising in e-commerce and digital marketplaces.

Drawing from his extensive experience in legal, regulatory, and governance roles, Matt has held senior and executive positions with renowned technology and finance companies, including BizPay, Afterpay, eBay, PayPal, and Gumtree, where he played a pivotal role in guiding commercial strategy, domestic and cross-border market expansion, legal and regulatory strategy.

His multifaceted background enables him to provide a unique perspective to fostering innovation and driving growth for Adelaide’s increasing number of tech startups.

Denise von Wald

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Denise is the Principal and CEO of St Ann’s Residential College, where she has achieved remarkable success in increasing student numbers, higher academic outcomes, and enhanced customer satisfaction.

Denise has an impressive background, having served as Tourism Australia’s Regional General Manager for the UK and Northern Europe, where she delivered the most visitors to Australia in over a decade. As Chief Executive Officer of StudyAdelaide, she was instrumental in surpassing the national average of international student numbers.

She is currently the Board Director of the Adelaide Venue Management Corporation, Festival City Adelaide and the national Student Accommodation Association.

Her expertise in education and tourism extends outside of her executive roles, with 20 years of Non-Executive Director experience on a diverse range of Boards in the education and tourism sectors.

Denise’s ability to drive growth, attract investment and have a big impact on the success of major events and initiatives make her an invaluable asset.