Paul Kelly - CEO

CHESS CEO Paul Kelly has over 25 years’ experience as CEO, Company Secretary and Director in the employment services sector; human and disability services; and financial services and banking.

As an Adjunct Professional Fellow of Southern Cross University’s School of Health and Human Science, Paul is an active contributor to research into disability service delivery models as well as representing CHESS Connect on the North Coast Primary Health Network’s Consortium – Centre for Healthcare Knowledge & Innovation

He is a past Co-Chair of the mid north coast mental health collaborative that was established to drive systemic improvement in the delivery of mental health services through integration and collaboration.

Outside of CHESS Connect Paul devotes his personal time to family and surf lifesaving.

Amanda Jennings - Executive Manager Business Development

Amanda joined CHESS Connect in 2009 as DES Manager and is now working in Business Development to progress initiatives and opportunities to support the growth and diversification of our services. Amanda is particularly involved in our newer suite of services, namely NDIS service development and ParentsNext.

She came to Australia in mid 1990’s having worked with refugees in Sudan and at a welfare clinic in Malawi, Southern Africa. With a background in Social Science, in Australia she has worked in the aged care industry in Adelaide and as National Coordinator of the Personal Support Programme, a precursor to PHaMs, with Work Directions and then Jobfind.

Chris Jones - Manager, Employment Services

Chris commenced with CHESS Connect in 2009 as an Employment Consultant in the Coffs Harbour DES (Disability Employment Service) team. Spending time as the Site Manager in Coffs Harbour, Chris’ current role as the Manager Employment Services involves overseeing the operation of all DES and Smart, Skilled and Hired sites from Port Macquarie through to the Clarence Valley.

Having grown up in regional Victoria, Chris and his family relocated to the Coffs Harbour area in 1999 where they spent the next 12 years running a successful family business while raising their two children.With over 20 years of management experience in different industries, Chris enjoys the challenge of his current role, while knowing that the result of CHESS Connect’ combined efforts is assisting people to improve their current situations and supporting them towards a common goal – A “Strong Life”.

Joel Aitken - Manager of Mental Health and Disability

Joel commenced with CHESS Connect in 2008 bringing over 10 years of experience working in Community, Disability and Mental Health sector and a Bachelor Degree in Social Science through Southern Cross University and Cert IV in Frontline Management.

With a focus on developing and delivering NDIS and mental health services to community, Joel is committed to seeing people reach their own interpretation of recovery and supporting the mental health and disability sector to effectively collaborate, for people living with disability.

Outside of the office Joel enjoys spending time with his family on the beautiful Coffs Coast.

Kylie Hain - Finance Manager

Kylie commenced with CHESS Connect in 2017. She is a CPA qualified accounting professional with over 20 years experience in financial services. With significant experience in both management and financial accounting and project management, Kylie is excited about the challenges and rewards in moving into the Community Services sector.

Having enjoyed city living both nationally and internationally all her professional life Kylie has recently returned to the Bellingen area where she grew up. Prompted by the desire for work life balance and the opportunity to reconnect with family, Kylie is immersing herself in local culture, taking the opportunity to return to martial arts after a 25 year absence and generally enjoying life on the Coffs coast

Human Resources Manager - Jasmine O'Meagher

Jasmine started at CHESS Connect at the beginning of 2017 working in DES Administration, Finance and the Human Resources departments before being promoted to Human Resources Manager in 2019.

Jasmine is drawn to the diversity of her role and her ability to support CHESS Connect employees who are working in such challenging yet rewarding roles. CHESS Connect’s values align strongly with her own so she is proud to work for an organisation with strong connections to health, wellbeing and resilience.

When Jasmine in not at work she is busy looking after her two young boys and training at the local crossfit gym.