Our People

Behind every strong organisation are the stronger heroes

At Kids Giving Back, we’re blessed to have an impassioned, capable team.

We love putting our minds together to find new ways to make a difference. And we find inspiration in those we work with and the missions we support.

Our workplace is fun and dynamic. But most importantly, it’s where our values are translated into action every day.

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Meet our team

Carole Schlessinger
CEO & Co-Founder

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Carole has always been passionate about creating the next generation of generosity – and wanted to raise her own children to understand and appreciate altruism. 

It was this very passion that led her to teaming up with Ruth Tofler-Riesel to form Kids Giving Back. 

With extensive experience in business and marketing, Carole is the main point of contact for philanthropic organisations, corporations and donors who share our vision and want to join us in creating the next generation of generosity.

Nadine Ben-Mayor
Communications Liaison Manager

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Nadine has over 20 years’ experience in the events industry and had worked with the NSW Cancer Council for almost a decade. 

Her journey with Kids Giving Back began when she volunteered with us, before joining our team permanently in 2016. 

She organises all our program bookings and manages relationships with schools, corporate clients and the community. Nadine is committed to ensuring everyone has a positive experience when working with Kids Giving Back – both the participants and the vulnerable people we help.

Andi Smith
Program Resource & Support Coordinator

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Andi has been with us since day one as a volunteer with her kids. Her strong passion for Kids Giving Back led her to join the team in 2017.

Andi owned a dance school for 20 years before working for online and market research companies. She now works across different facets of our organisation, including juggling the logistics of meal distribution.

Attention to detail while multitasking is Andi’s forte. She gets everything done efficiently – and always with a smile.

Jaz Sue
Program Coordinator

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Jaz brings her passion for educating and training together with purpose and authentic experience to our programs. 

She began teaching children and adults to horse ride at the young age of 14, before carving out a career as a corporate trainer. 

In 2017, she found herself in a vulnerable position where she experienced homelessness. During that time, she started volunteering with one of our charity partners, and rediscovered her sense of purpose.

Paul Green
Chef

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Paul spent over 30 years in the hospitality industry as a professional chef. 

Then, after more than a decade in corporate and function kitchens such as Sydney Town Hall and Customs House, he was drawn to Kids Giving Back.

Paul appreciates how food can bring people together and help the community, and he relishes the opportunity to produce fresh meals for people in need. 

When he isn’t donning his chef hat, Paul enjoys indoor rock climbing and fishing with his son.

Meet our board

Brendan Johnson
Chair

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A financial services executive, Brendan has over 20 years’ experience across general management, people leadership, compliance, governance and risk management.

Brendan holds a Bachelor of Commerce in Banking & Finance, a Diploma of Financial Planning and has completed the FPA Certified Financial Planner Program, the AICD Company Directors Course and has attended Strategy Leadership Programs at Stanford Graduate Business School.

A father of two school-aged children, Brendan is committed to helping the next generation give back during their formative years.

Catherine So
Secretary

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Catherine is a lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in financial services. She’s worked in a range of companies, including banks, small corporates and start-ups. 

She is also a member of the Governance Institute of Australia and a graduate of the AICD Company Directors Course.

A mother of two, Catherine is an advocate for mentoring of all ages and life stages – and loves to encourage children to give back to the community in whatever ways they can.

Joe Ingegneri
Director

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Joe is a senior executive in a multinational organisation. A qualified electrical engineer, he has over 20 years’ experience in global operations, IT, telecommunications and sales. 

With an equally long history of volunteering, Joe is also President of his children’s childcare centre – and a Rural Fire Service volunteer. 

He and his wife have also organised fundraising events for various organisations, including Westmead Children’s Hospital, Children’s Cancer Research and The Australian Cancer Council. 

He often encourages his four children – now young adults – to be grateful of all they have and to give back to the community.

Holly Stiles
Director

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Holly is a chartered accountant and a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, with over 20 years’ experience in finance, business advisory and assurance.

As a Partner at Grant Thornton, Holly advises organisations on their strategic plans, including fundraising, M&A and capital markets transactions.

A mother of two, Holly is a strong advocate of the benefits of volunteering for children.