WEST PERTH, AUSTRALIA — The CBH Group announced on Dec. 11 that Samantha Tough will join its board as an independent director, effective Feb. 26, 2014. 

Tough will replace Diane Smith-Gander, who has advised she intends to retire as a director after the conclusion of her three-year term on the board.

CBH Group Chairman Neil Wandel said the appointment of Tough would bring valuable skills and experience to the board. She has extensive experience as a director and chair of a range of public and private companies and is currently the chair of RemCo Ltd, and Aerison Pty Ltd and a director of Strike Resources Ltd, Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd, Red Citadel Pty Ltd and the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA).

Wandel said Tough's experience at senior executive level in a wide range of industries positioned her to make a strong contribution to creating and returning value to WA growers.

"It is vital CBH maintains a range of relevant expertise among its directors, in such a challenging, competitive and dynamic environment," Wandel said. "We are the biggest cooperative in Australia with a turnover, including pool revenue, in excess of A$3.4 billion. Samantha's experience as a company director and in senior executive roles, will complement the skills of our nine member-elected grower directors and two other independent directors."

Wandel said Smith-Gander would remain an active board member until her retirement date; however he wished to take this early opportunity to acknowledge the valuable contribution Smith-Gander had made to the CBH Group over the past three years.

"On behalf of my fellow directors and our growers, I thank Diane for the valuable role she has played and the important contribution she has made generally to the board through her commercial experience and expertise, clarity of thought in decision-making and sound judgement," said Wandel. "Diane is a trail blazer, in being the CBH Group's first female director. Diane has been an outstanding director and she leaves a legacy in the CBH boardroom and throughout the CBH business."