CBH grower members have given a nod to the co-operative’s current board leadership team, with three existing member directors retaining their seats unopposed. Gareth Rowe (District 1), Natalie Browning (District 3) and Simon Stead (District 5) will be formally re-appointed at CBH’s annual general meeting in Perth on February 23, when their current three-year terms are due to expire. Mr Stead, who is chair of the board, runs a mixed sheep, cattle and cropping operation at Cascade and Dalyup in the Esperance port zone. Ms Browning, who is deputy chair, runs a cropping operation at Kondinin, and Mr Rowe is a grain and cattle producer at Walkaway and Moonyoonooka. The trio sought re-election through CBH’s Candidate Assessment Panel (CAP) process, which is mandatory for sitting directors but voluntary for new candidates. There were no nominations outside the CAP process, which meant Mr Rowe, Ms Browning and Mr Stead retained their seats unchallenged. It marks a stark change from recent years after eight hopefuls nominated in 2022, and seven the year prior. Last year’s election saw a return to a more well-mannered campaign, with a two-man race between incumbent John O’Neil and newcomer Mick Caughey the only director contest to occur. It followed years of tit-for-tat director dramas which came to a head with former chair Wally Newman’s resignation in April 2020. In 2021, the grain handler introduced sweeping changes to how the board election process was run, in a bid to improve its corporate governance in the wake of the unrest. This included the CAP process, intended to determine whether would-be directors have the “desired skills and attributes” for the board. CBH also in 2021 implemented a strict electioneering code of conduct to highlight “minimum standards” for candidates’ behaviour. The code required candidates to present their skills, attributes and experience while ensuring their conduct was carried out in an “honest and fair way”, protecting the “commercial interests of CBH” and the “standing and reputation of CBH’s officers, employees and members”. There are six other member directors on the board: Michael Caughey (Merredin), Jeff Seaby (Mukinbudin), Ken Seymour (Miling), Royce Taylor (Lake Grace), Barry West (Kulin) and Helen Woodhams (Kojonup).