POWER 100 2020: Toowoomba’s most influential people – 30-21
THESE are Toowoomba's most influential people, the men and women who make our city what it is today.
Some of the faces you will know, others might come as a surprise.
Over the next two weeks The Chronicle will count down our 100 most powerful people, online and in print.
Power and influence are a subjective thing, so you might not agree with everyone we have put, or haven't put on the list.
Email who you think should be on the list and why to firstname.lastname@example.org.
30. Prudence Melom
Prudence Melom is Toowoomba's leading anti-racism campaigner and activist.
For years, the E-Raced founder has been taking her message of diversity and inclusivity to schools around Australia.
Fleeing her native Chad as a refugee, Ms Melom changes minds by sharing stories, culture, music, games, dance and fashion.
She's been named Toowoomba's young citizen of the year and has won Queensland Young Achiever awards, among other recognitions.
Prudence placed 9th in the last Power 100.
29. Mike Stewart
If there is anyone that knows Toowoomba's real estate market it's Mike Stewart.
The LJ Hooker Toowoomba Principal and group auctioneer has been involved in real estate in the city for over 25 years.
He's known for being able to identify trends in the market ahead of his real estate peers and is a go-to voice for just what is happening in that area.
He was a foundation member of TSBE and has won several internal LJ Hooker awards during his time with the company.
Mike placed 62 in the last Power 100.
28. Cameron Coleman
Cameron Coleman is the CEO of Wagners, one of Australia's building and construction material giants.
He was appointed to the role in 2012, and in that time the company has worked on many international projects, including in the United States of America and Abu Dhabi.
He oversees more than 500 employees across the company and has been integral in Wagners' journey and has created a culture that has enabled Wagners to differentiate itself from its competitors.
Mr Coleman has worked for Wagners for over 25 years and has completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.
This is Cameron's Power 100 debut.
27. Nat and Tiff Spary
Nat and Tiff Spary are the husband and wife duo who have dedicated their lives to helping Toowoomba's homeless population.
The BASE Services co-ordinators run a soup kitchen out of the Toowoomba City Church building on Neil St, and operate the 2nd Shot cafe and coffee van, which provides homeless and at risk people with employment and training opportunities.
Mr Spary has been a key driver of the Homeless for a Week initiative which sees business and community leaders join him sleeping rough on the Toowoomba streets for a night.
Nat and Tiff Spary placed 54 in the last Power 100.
26. Bruce McConnel
The Food Leaders Australia general manager is responsible for the economic growth of the agriculture sector in Toowoomba, the Darling Downs and the Surat Basin.
He's secured lucrative beef supply agreements with casino giants, set up programs to connect start-up producers and exporters with investors and future international potential, and expanded market opportunities for the region's produce.
Mr McConnel was one of the leading voices calling for an AgTech hub to be set up in Toowoomba, a project which is expected to come to fruition in the coming months.
In recent months he has been working behind the scenes on making sure our beef export industry is able to continue to thrive despite some exporters having bans placed on them by China.
Bruce placed 76 in the last Power 100.
25. Toowoomba Regional Councillors
Megan O'Hara Sullivan, Carol Taylor, James O'Shea, Bill Cahill, Kerry Shine, Nancy Sommerfield, Melissa Taylor, Rebecca Vonhoff, and Tim McMahon are nine of the most influential people in Toowoomba.
Collectively as the Toowoomba Regional Council they decide whether to adopt policies set forward by council staff members that impact every Toowoomba residents life.
From the cost of rates, what work is done on our roads, our access to water and rubbish services, they look after the services that are essential to us all.
This is the debut of eight of the nine councillors in the Power 100. Melissa Taylor placed 99 in the last countdown.
24. Peter Homan
Peter Homan's ascension to the role of CEO of Southern Queensland Country Tourism began a new chapter for tourism in the Darling Downs.
Prior to his appointment, the tourism industry was fractured with two main tourism bodies competing for space.
Last year they put aside their differences and merged.
Mr Homan, who turned the Eumundi Markets into Australia's largest arts and craft market and was CEO of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association for a number of years, was appointed to lead the revamped organisation.
Prior to the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the region was seeing increased visitor numbers and larger tourism spend.
Since the outbreak of the pandemic the organisation, led by Mr Homan, has been working to promote the region as the perfect getaway destination for those in the city and other areas.
This is Peter's Power 100 debut.
23. Maryanne Walsh
Centenary Heights State High School principal Maryanne Walsh has been a giant of Toowoomba education for the last 18 years.
From turning behaviour of the student body around at the school, to increasing its academic results, Maryanne Walsh has transformed the large school.
She is well respected within her profession and has been a mentor to many up and coming teachers, instilling in them the passion of education.
She is the chair of the Darling Downs Secondary Principals Association, Ms Walsh is also involved in multiple community groups including Toowoomba Together Incorporated and the community policing board.
In June she was awarded an OAM for her service to education.
Maryanne placed 19 in the last Power 100.
22. Michael McNab
Michael McNab founded McNab Constructions 24 years ago and in that time it has grown to be one of Queensland's largest construction companies.
The company started from humble beginnings, with Mr McNab borrowing a ute from his first client in Dalby for the minor project.
Now, the company works on major projects all across the country, including new precincts at major universities, hotels, shopping centres and more.
Locally, the firm has worked on dozens of projects in recent years, including the new QFES facility at Charlton, the Arbor Boutique Apartments, and The Ninth Middle Ridge, among others.
The company employs hundreds of locals and is regularly seen supporting charity events and fundraisers throughout the community.
Michael placed 31 in the last Power 100.
21. Katie Knight
Real estate is a massive business in Toowoomba and Katie Knight is the woman who has her finger on the pulse of it all.
In her role as the Toowoomba and Darling Downs zone chair for the Real Estate Institute of Queensland she is in effect the voice of the real estate community.
She was appointed to the role in 2019 after former chair David Snow decided to retire from the position.
On top of her role with the REIQ she is a principal at RE/MAX Toowoomba.
She has been named the REIQ property manager of the year six years in a row for her work at RE/MAX.
This is Katie's Power 100 debut.