HUNTER BUSINESS: Belmont dynamo Barbara Davis retires

WINDING DOWN: Barbara Davis is looking forward to taking a cruise now that she has the time. Picture: Phil HearneBELMONT has bid farewell to a stalwart of its community.

After 20 years managing Belmont’s shopping hub, Barbara Davis, now in her 70s, has retired.

Before leaving Newcastle for Coffs Harbour, where she will join her family, the property and senior manager at Belmont Citi Centre and Belmont Central said she had mixed emotions.

‘‘I don’t know how I will do it, but I will,’’ Ms Davis said.

She’s been a flag bearer for Lake Macquarie and the Newcastle Knights.

A community leader since driving the Aussie’s for ARL campaign against the Murdoch-backed Super League, her boundless energy, huge heart and unforgettable voice will be sorely missed in Belmont.

Ms Davis was the first woman to be elected to the board of the Newcastle Knights, and she’s been an executive member of the Belmont Chamber of Commerce for 20 years.

She succeeded in stopping graffiti after controversially banning hoodies in the shopping malls.

Former Belmont Chamber of Commerce town planner Jenny Barrie said she had never met anyone with Ms Davis’ energy.

‘‘She has done so much for Belmont and she has been an inspiration for so many women leaders,’’ Ms Barrie said.

Labor councillor Kay Fraser said she would be ‘‘sadly missed because she is a fighter’’.

‘‘She is one of the leaders of the community and has been instrumental behind most community projects,’’ Ms Fraser said.

With the backing of the centre’s Perth-based owners, Ms Davis has organised sponsorship for causes large and small.

‘‘I couldn’t have done the things I’ve done if it wasn’t for them,’’ Ms Davis said.

‘‘Any time anyone is doing anything they come to me and they have never knocked anyone back,’’ she said.

Although it feels like ‘‘there’s been a death in the family’’ to be leaving her post, Ms Davis said she was looking forward to spending Christmas with her grandchildren for the first time they could remember.

‘‘My daughter said to me, ‘Mum, we haven’t had a Christmas together for 20 years. Our kids always considered Boxing Day to be Christmas because you couldn’t come. Do you think we could have a couple of them before you leave this world altogether?’,’’ Ms Davis said.

‘‘That’s when it really hit me. I thought you’ve got to get your priorities in order.’’

NEWCASTLE-based CVG Finance is hosting a free LinkedIn seminar for local businesses.

The firm credits its recent boom to stepping up its social media presence.

‘‘In the space of six months we have doubled our business,’’ said the LinkedIn event organiser and executive assistant Sophie McIntosh.

‘‘I just don’t think that is a coincidence.’’

With the help of Brisbane company The Social Advisor, CVG have concentrated on creating content that added value rather than pushing product. Now the firm wants to share the strategy with other Newcastle businesses.

Social Advisor’s Baz Gardner will run two workshops which will be followed by networking drinks.

The first workshop will examine the functionality of LinkedIn and the second will cover strategy.

CVG Finance director Paul Lambess was recently voted one of the top 25 Plan Australia Brokers in Australia. See diary for event details. RSVP to [email protected]杭州龙凤论坛 by November 7.

BENGALLA mine employee Jo Corliss has been recognised as manager of the year for front-line leadership in mining at this year’s Australian Mining Prospect Awards.

Ms Corliss, a front-line supervisor at Bengalla’s open cut coal operations near Muswellbrook, says it was humbling to receive the award.

‘‘If someone had told me five years ago that I would be a front-line supervisor in coal mining and win manager of the year I would have said you’ve got to be joking,’’ she said. Ms Corliss joined the company as a technician five years ago and has been in a leadership position since in 2012.

A START-UP recruitment company that describes itself as online dating for job seekers is launching a regional pilot in Port Stephens this week.

Recruitment app Workible matches candidates who upload professional profiles with employers.

Companies can either connect with the best-matched candidates when they post a job or trawl through the profiles of jobseekers who post their skills and availability in categories.

From Thursday a Port Stephens community category will be included.

Employers will be able to post jobs targeting local applicants, and anyone looking to work in the Port Stephens area can upload a profile.

Newcastle and the rest of the Hunter will follow the Port Stephens pilot.

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