Our CEOs will be working hard to impress our panel of high profile judges:

Maria Becis, Karl Schwantes and Marisa Vecchio

Maria Becis

Becis Chartered Accountants/Run 2 Give Foundation

Maria is a Chartered Accountant, Chartered Tax Adviser and a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Queensland. Since commencing her professional career Maria worked as a Senior Tax Consultant for one of the top tier professional services firms and as a Tax Advisor and Financial Accountant for several publicly listed companies. Immediately prior to establishing Becis Chartered Accountants, Maria was Financial Controller, Legal Counsel and Company Secretary for a commercial organisation.

Maria established Becis Chartered Accountants in 2008 with the specific intention of supporting and adding value to clients, Maria continues to be hands-on in the business.

Becis Chartered Accountants provides a complete range of accounting, taxation and business advisory services, personalised and professional services to small, medium and large businesses, not-for-profit organisations, investors and individuals.

Maria is also the founder of Run 2 Give Foundation.  Run 2 Give Foundation is a registered charity that hosts running and other sporting events to raise funds to benefit persons affected by domestic violence and persons in necessitous circumstances in the South East Queensland community.

Run 2 Give Foundation also supports initiatives encouraging children and young adults to maintain a physically active connection with their community as they move through the teenage years and into early adulthood with the aim of reducing the large drop-off of sporting participation occurring in the late teen and early adult years.

As Dancing CEOs fundraising champion in 2016, Maria will bring a unique expertise in judging our CEOs!

Karl Schwantes

Xennox Diamonds

Diamonds are synonymous with glamour, style and pizazz just as gemmologist and master jeweller Karl Schwantes is synonymous with creativity, romance and flair.

His skill at creating magnificent pieces of jewellery was honed as a child playing at the work benches in his parents’ business – Xennox Diamonds. As an earnest eight year old, he helped out at the Brisbane store, observing the craftsman at work. By the time he was 12, he was creating and designing pieces of his own. Little wonder diamonds are his passion…and always on his mind.

As an award winning designer, and now a published author of the book “Rock Her World”, Karl has an uncanny eye for quality and uniqueness. His craft lies in making unique jewellery but also in connecting with the people who walk through his door, taking them on a journey to find or create a special piece that tells a story. He has helped over 5,700 couples find the right piece for them, helping them create their story; stories that define life’s poignant moments from wedding to birth, and everything in between.

Karl loves putting pen to paper and you will often find him with sketch book and pencil immersed in creation. He loves designing pieces that truly capture the WOW factor, just as his new Queen Street Mall Diamond Studio does, which has been specially fitted out with a scotch bar, ensuring his clients have a phenomenal and luxurious experience.

Marisa Vecchio

Hanworth House

Marisa is owner and “Chief Executive of Everything” at beautiful Hanworth House, one of Brisbane’s oldest residences. Marisa is immediate past national CEO of Australian General Practice Accreditation Limited. A music arts graduate, her business journey started working in Postgraduate Medical Education in Cambridge.  Upon returning to Australia, she became Manager of the Royal Australian College of General Practitioners Qld.

Marisa has a BA and MBA. A Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors she has held board positions for Attune Hearing, QUT Council, Family Care Medical Services and Zonta. In 2004, Marisa won the Telstra Hudson Community and Government Business Woman of the Year and went on to win the overall Qld Telstra Business Woman of the Year.

Currently she manages a specialist medical practice and develops accommodation.  In 2012 Marisa took on her biggest challenge, the restoration of historic Hanworth House which was tragically attacked by arson only weeks from opening.  Like a phoenix, it rose from the ashes to open on its 150th birthday and now offers boutique accommodation and events.  Hanworth was awarded the 2014 Qld Heritage Council Gold Award, the John Herbert Memorial Award for most outstanding nomination and 2015 Premier’s Sustainability Award.

She is passionate about all causes philanthropic and actively supports Women’s Legal Serivce, Zonta International,  Alzheimer’s Association, Ovarian Cancer Research Foundation and WANTZ, which has raised over $1.5m for Qld charities over the last ten years.  Marisa was appointed the first Ambassador for Women’s Legal Service in 2014, a role she still holds, and in 2017 was crowned Dancing CEOs Fundraising Champion after raising over $70,000.