New RIC Executive Directors announced

The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is pleased to announce the new Orange-based leadership team taking the organisation forward to build a stronger regional Australia through affordable farm and farm-related small business loans.

The RIC has appointed three new Executive Directors; Alli Gartrell as Executive Director Program Delivery, Paul Dowler as Executive Director Corporate Services and Chris Rawlins as Executive Director Transformation and Engagement.

Ms Gartrell will be overseeing loan delivery and joins the RIC after four years as Manager of Program Administration at the NSW Rural Assistance Authority (RAA) managing the Loan and Grant portfolio and 10 years in the banking sector at ANZ, in Sydney and the Central West.

Mr Dowler’s business unit covers finance, IT and human resources. He joins the RIC after 32 years in the university sector with the past 10 years at Charles Sturt University where he most recently was the Chief Financial Officer.

Lastly, Mr Rawlins will lead the team comprising communications, digital content, business development, policy and the RIC’s program to digitise its loan delivery and meet the demand for its loans. Previously Mr Rawlins was the Executive General Manager of Strategy and Technology at community service organisation LiveBetter. Prior to that he worked for a decade in strategic marketing across the insurance sector, including as Chief Marketing Officer for HCF.

CEO Bruce King said he was pleased to welcome the three new Orange, NSW-based Executive Directors to the team and that their experience would assist the RIC to build a stronger regional Australia through its affordable loans.

“Alli, Paul and Chris bring valuable experience to the RIC from across the private and public sectors that combined will be an asset to the RIC and building an organisation that can deliver meaningful and affordable loan options to regional Australia,” said Mr King.

“Notably, all three already resided in Orange, NSW where the RIC is based.

“It is important for us to work in regional communities where we are closer to our customers and their appointments are testament to the talent on offer at our doorstep in regional Australia.” Ms Gartrell said serving customers’ needs was the top priority.

“We are focused on processing the backlog of loan applications we have by the end of June and processing new loan applications within 65 RIC handling days for 80 per cent of our loans.

“This is so the farm businesses who find themselves in financial need due to drought and other challenges can continue to invest – we want them not only to recover, but to thrive,” Ms Gartrell said.

Mr Dowler said he is pleased to lead the corporate arm that is underpinned by the functions the organisation needs to process loan applications as efficiently as possible.

“It’s essential that in providing affordable loans to farmers and farm-related small businesses in financial need that the corporate framework of the organisation is supporting the needs of the RIC, and I’m pleased to be part of that.”

Mr Rawlins said it was an exciting time to join the RIC as it moved to its next phase of maturity.

“The RIC is still less than three years old so great to see what has already been delivered in that short time. Now we need to make sure we have the right processes and systems in place to deliver our loans to rural and regional communities,” Mr Rawlins said.

The three Executive Directors replace John Newcombe, Duane Roberts and Julia Brown who were acting in the roles while the executive search was under way. The appointments follow a recruitment campaign launched in late 2020 along with an additional 80 permanent and fixed-term roles to boost the loan handling capacity and operational capability of the organisation.

Pictured (L – R): Alli Gartrell, Chris Rawlins, Bruce King and Paul Dowler)

Media Contact: Sarah Joseph | E | M 0435 168 885

About the Regional Investment Corporation
The Regional Investment Corporation (RIC) is a federal government-backed specialist finance provider for farmers and farm-related small businesses. For the financial year to 31 January 2021, the RIC has approved more than 935 loans valued at more than $966 million.

With process improvements and increased staff, the RIC has already approved more loans this financial year than all of the previous financial year. Since its inception on 1 July 2018, the RIC has approved more than 1,730 total loans valued at more than $1.83 billion as at 31 January 2021.