Executive Team

 

Graham Turner, Managing Director, appointed to FLT board 1995

Graham “Skroo” Turner was raised on an apple orchard near the Queensland town of Stanthorpe and later trained as a veterinarian at the University of Queensland.
 

After graduating from university, Skroo worked as a vet in western Victoria before moving to London. In London, he and friend Geoff “Spy” Lomas, both of whom were working as vets, took their first steps into the travel industry in 1973 when they invested the equivalent of $A1300 in an ageing bus and started operating budget double-decker bus trips around Europe, North Africa and Asia.


After an eventful start, that company, Top Deck Travel, grew quickly and its success cemented Skroo's future in the travel industry. Top Deck Travel had grown into a thriving business with some 80 buses by the early 1980s, when he returned to Australia.


Skroo’s initial involvement with Top Deck ended in the mid 1980s, when he and his colleagues sold the business to management and devoted their full attention to Flight Centre, a business that had less than 30 shops at that time.


As the long serving chief executive officer and managing director of the public company that grew from the small band of Flight Centre shops, Skroo has since presided over a golden era of growth and prosperity for Flight Centre Travel Group Limited.


In addition to his involvement with Flight Centre, Skroo and his family own a string of prestigious resort properties in Queensland and New South Wales. His hobbies include mountain biking and marathon running.


He is also a keen environmentalist and supporter of the Australian Bush Heritage Fund.

 

Gary Smith, non-executive Chairman, appointed to FLT board 2007

Gary has vast tourism industry experience and has served on a diverse range of boards and tourism industry related bodies during the past 20 years.

He is currently managing director of Tourism Leisure Corporation and the Kingfisher Bay Resort Group of companies.

During his career, Gary also served for ten years as Queensland Tourism Industry Council chairman, an Ecotourism Australia Board member and deputy chair and a member of the Queensland Tourism Minister’s Tourism Strategy Steering Committee.

After completing a Bachelor of Commerce degree at University of Queensland, Gary joined international accounting and consultancy firm Arthur Andersen & Co’s financial consulting division, where he qualified as a chartered accountant. He then became founding director and full time executive of Queensland Tourism Industries Limited, a public company that listed on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1987.

In 1996, Gary founded Tourism Leisure Corporation, a diverse business that today operates the Undara Lava Experience in the Gulf Savannah region, Twin Waters Golf Course on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, a number of backpacker-related businesses and the Kingfisher Bay Resort (KBRV) Group.

As a director of the KBRV Group, Gary has maintained an active involvement in strategic, financial, managerial and operational aspects relating to Fraser Island’s multi award winning Kingfisher Bay Resort & Village project since its inception in 1987.

Gary, a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants, was an independent director of S8 Limited from soon after its inception until its acquisition by MFS Limited in 2007.
 

John Eales, non-executive Director, appointed to FLT board 2012

After retiring from rugby in 2001, he has served in executive or advisory positions with a number of companies and organisations. Mr Eales cofounded the Mettle Group in 2003 – a corporate consultancy which was acquired by Chandler Macleod in 2007 – and currently sits on the GRM International, International Quarterback, Fuji Xerox – DMS and Australian Rugby Union boards. He was also a director of QM Technologies in the lead-up to its IPO in 2007 and its subsequent acquisition by Computershare in 2009. In addition, he is an occasional lecturer at Sydney’s University of Notre Dame and continues to consult to other major Australian and international companies. Mr Eales is the author of two books, Learning From Legends Sports and Learning From Legends Business.
 

Robert Baker, non-executive Director, appointed to the FLT board 2013

Rob was appointed as a non-executive director on 20 September 2013. His other positions with FLT are Audit & risk committee chairman and Remuneration & nomination committee member.
 

Rob was formerly an audit partner of PricewaterhouseCoopers, with experience in the retail, travel and hospitality sectors.


Rob holds numerous positions outside of FLT, these include Chairman of John Goodman & Co Ltd since October 2014, chairman of International Justice Fund Limited since April 2015, advisory board member and Audit and Risk Committee member for the Catholic Development Fund, Archdiocese of Sydney since 2011, and chairman of the Audit and Risk Committee of the Australian Catholic University Limited since May 2015.

Global Taskforce

 

Adam Campbell, Chief Financial Officer

Adam became Flight Centre Travel Group chief financial officer in August 2015, after previously serving as the company's Australian CFO since 2012.
 

In his role as Australian CFO, Mr Campbell worked closely with the previous CFO Andrew Flannery, chief operating officer Melanie Waters-Ryan and Mr Turner, while helping to spearhead a number of key business initiatives. These initiatives have included the company's strategic journey from travel agent to the world's best person-to-person travel experience retailer, the ongoing focus on costs and the deployment of numerous process changes to improve both productivity and business acumen in-store.


Adams previous experience includes six years at Minter Ellison as the law firm's financial manager for Australia and South-East Asia. In this role he managed key external relationships and oversaw various finance functions including financial accounting, tax, treasury and asset management.


Adam also spent six years with Ernst & Young. During that time, his responsibilities included performing internal and external audits of major listed and non-listed entities, working on mergers and acquisitions and helping companies meet their statutory requirements.

 

Melanie Waters-Ryan, Chief Operating Officer

Melanie joined Flight Centre Travel Group Limited in 1987, after completing university in Brisbane and travelling overseas.
 

She began her career as a retail travel agent, before progressing to team leader roles at Flight Centre’s busy Toombul and Indooroopilly shops.


As her career progressed, Melanie successfully took on a variety of management roles in the company’s retail, wholesale and human resources (Peopleworks) areas. Roles included national training manager, land contract leader, global human resources manager, brand leader of Great Holiday Escape and leader of the Infinity wholesale brand.


Melanie is a key member of FLT’s global executive team in her current role as COO and is directly responsible for the air, land and IT functions, in addition to overseeing the Australian business.


In 2006, she won the company’s prestigious Directors’ Award for her efforts in growing FLT’s land business globally.


Melanie has been instrumental in the development of FLT’s global product (direct contracting) area and online strategy.

 

Chris Galanty, MD – United Kingdom

Chris Galanty has always been innovative when it comes to making sure he can travel. During his holidays at Warwick University, he managed to secure funding to spend six weeks’ backpacking in Venezuela, researching Venezuelan pop music. How much research he carried out on that trip is a mystery, but it certainly stood him in good stead for starting at Flight Centre’s Putney store as a consultant. That was 1997, during its start up phase when the company had under 10 shops in the UK, around 20 staff.
 

Since then, Chris has progressed through the company working as a store manager then subsequently as an area manager and general manager. In 2004, he was appointed Managing Director of Leisure and in 2007 Managing Director of Flight Centre Group UK.  In 2009, Chris took on his current role, taking on responsibility for Flight Centre Travel Group Limited's South Africa market.


In 2012 Flight Centre UK & South Africa operate 13 brands with turnover in excess of £1.1 billion and employ over 2300 people.  Both companies regularly receive awards for ‘leading employers’ in their respective countries and play active roles in both the leisure and corporate sectors of both travel markets. Chris has played a key part in growing Flight Centre Travel Group UK to the size it is now.

 

Dean Smith, MD – United States of America

EDean Smith, president of FC USA Inc., has roots in the travel industry dating back to 1996. Smith has been in his current position for the past four years, overseeing all 11 of FC USA’s brands in the United States. He has led the charge on a number of ground-breaking initiatives, including his most noteworthy and most recent achievement, the opening of the first-ever New York Travel Center in Manhattan.
 

The 10,000-square-foot, three-floor space on Madison Avenue marks an unprecedented move by the company with a half-dozen brands of FC USA under the same roof for the first time. This new endeavor took shape largely under Smith’s vision and direction, alongside his executive team. The expansive space is anchored by Liberty Travel’s flagship store, which is said to be the most innovative and technologically advanced travel stores in the world. The launch of this new flagship store is a nod to a critical part of its success, the brick-and-mortar travel agency and travel consultants, coupled with the best of today’s technology.


Smith holds a special place for travel agents, as he himself started out with Flight Centre Travel Group Limited in Australia, the parent company of FC USA, as a travel consultant with the company in 1996 in Melbourne. He worked his way up the ranks, responsible for a number of the company’s Australian-based brands, including Infinity Holidays, Explore Holidays, Cruiseabout, and Quickbeds as the wholesale nation leader.


In 2008, when Flight Centre Travel Group Limited acquired Liberty Travel and GOGO Worldwide Vacations, Smith received a well-deserved promotion. Along with the title of president of GOGO Worldwide Vacations came a move to the United States where the Ramsey, NJ-based brand is headquartered. In this position he was responsible for overseeing the sales, operations and marketing for the entire brand and over 300 people.


In 2009 Smith was promoted to his current position. He oversees 2,000 employees across the company’s retail, wholesale, corporate travel and ecommerce brands.


Smith was born in New Zealand and gained much experience and love for travel through living and working in Vancouver, San Francisco, and London prior to joining Flight Centre Travel group Limited.