CEO and Executive Management

To change outcomes you need to lead, not follow. Our CEO, Executive Management and committed team of professionals are dedicated to helping members achieve their best retirement outcomes. And, throughout your journey, we'll stand with you to create change, influencing the outcome of super issues that impact you most.

Debby Blakey

Debby Blakey
Chief Executive Officer (CEO)

As CEO of HESTA — the $76 billion top-performing industry super fund — Debby Blakey leads an organisation dedicated to creating positive outcomes for its more than 1 million members.

Underpinned by Debby’s vision to make a difference in the lives of every member, HESTA delivers super with impact — supporting members to face the future with confidence, being a gutsy advocate for a fair and healthy community and delivering investment excellence with impact.

HESTA holds SuperRatings' 20-year platinum performance rating and under Debby's leadership, was the first major Australian super fund to commit to a Climate Change Transition Plan, setting a target to achieve 'net zero' by 2050.

Around 80% of HESTA’s members are women, and Debby is a leading voice in advocating to make Australia’s super system fairer and more equitable for women and low-income earners, including paying super on Commonwealth Parental Leave Pay.

Before leading HESTA, Debby was Deputy CEO and headed the Fund’s financial advice team. Her experience in financial services also includes running her own business as an Employee Benefits Consultant for 12 years.

Debby is the President of the Australian Council of Superannuation Investors, a Director of the Association of Superannuation Funds Australia and the Chair of its HR and Remuneration Committee. She is a Director of the International Corporate Governance Network.



Lisa Samuels

Lisa Samuels
Chief Experience Officer (CXO)

Lisa joined HESTA in July 2015 and holds the role of Chief Experience Officer. Lisa and her team are responsible for strategy, brand, marketing, customer and employee experience, and people and culture.

Prior to joining HESTA, Lisa worked for a number of industry super funds and has more than 20 years’ experience in the financial services sector. She is passionate about customer experience and building strong, sustainable brands that deliver on their promises to customers. 

Lisa was awarded a Women In Super Global Dialogue scholarship in 2010 and a FEAL Melbourne Business School Masters scholarship in 2011. Lisa was also the inaugural South Australian Chair of the Mother’s Day Classic, an annual fun run and walk raising funds and awareness for breast cancer research. 

Lisa holds a Bachelor of Applied Economics, Graduate Diploma of Marketing and a Masters of Organisational Leadership. She is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and a director of FEAL and Industry Super Australia.



Sonya Sawtell-Rickson

Sonya Sawtell-Rickson
Chief Investment Officer (CIO)

Sonya was appointed to the role of Chief Investment Officer in July 2017. Sonya is responsible for overseeing the HESTA investment program and leads a team of investment professionals, working with the HESTA Board and Investment Committee, to develop the investment framework and strategy of the Fund.

Sonya has extensive experience in investment markets, including portfolio strategy and design, and has managed exposures across both traditional and alternative asset classes.

Sonya was previously an Investment Director at Queensland Investment Corporation (QIC). In this role she led a global multi-asset team, advising clients on investment strategy, overseeing portfolio management processes and activities across a broad range of traditional and alternative asset classes for portfolios in excess of $45 billion.

Sonya holds a Masters of Applied Finance, Bachelor of Arts (Economics & Political Science), is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a Fellow of the Financial Services Institute of Australasia. 



Stephen Reilly

Stephen Reilly
Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Stephen was appointed to the role of Chief Operating Officer in August 2015, and is responsible for ensuring that the HESTA operating model is a competitive differentiator in terms of cost effectiveness and the quality of services provided to members. He leads the development and coordination of digital innovation and integration, administration, insurance, outsourcing, strategic projects and technology.

Stephen is a proven leader, communicator and strategic thinker with more than 20 years of hands-on experience in industry and corporate strategy. Previous roles as a Principal with Booz & Company (now PwC Strategy&) and before that, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, have given Stephen a deep understanding of the game-changing challenges facing super and financial services. 

He is also a published novelist and former radio presenter on the ABC, bringing a creative and eclectic perspective to the strategic direction and operations of HESTA. 

Stephen holds a Bachelor of Commerce, Marketing and Finance from the University of New South Wales. In 2018, Stephen joined the board of the Mother's Day Classic Foundation.  



Andrew Major

Andrew Major
Chief Risk & Compliance Officer (CRCO)

Andrew was appointed to the role of Chief Risk & Compliance Officer in January 2020, with responsibility for leading HESTA’s risk and compliance teams.  Andrew joined HESTA in 2009 as a Senior Investment Analyst and has performed a number of roles within the Investments team since that time, most recently serving as General Manager, Unlisted Assets.

Andrew is Chair of the Australian Investment Council, the industry body representing the private capital sector in Australia.  He has also served as Co-Chair of the UN PRI Infrastructure Advisory Committee, as a director of the Climate Bonds Standards Board, representing the Investor Group on Climate Change and as a HESTA appointee on numerous fund advisory boards.

Before joining HESTA, Andrew worked in private legal practice and for the Macquarie Group, in investment banking and investment management.  He has undergraduate degrees in Economics and Law (both with Honors), a Masters in Applied Finance, and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.



Joshua Parisotto

Joshua Parisotto
Chief Member Engagement Officer (CMEO)

Since joining HESTA in January 2020 in the role of Chief Advice Officer, Joshua’s portfolio has expanded in July 2022 to also include Member Services and Operations.

Joshua and his team are responsible for making a real difference to the financial futures of HESTA members through education, financial advice and the effective administration of products and services via a clear vision that inspires and aligns with the purpose, culture and ambition of the Fund.

Joshua is an experienced financial services executive with over 20 years experience in the industry including financial advice, compliance, practice management and para planning. Before joining HESTA Joshua was Executive Manager Distribution at VicSuper and has held senior positions at a diverse range of organisations including Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and IOOF.

Joshua holds a Bachelor of Business, Graduate Diploma in Management, Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning), Advanced Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning) and is a Certified Financial Planner. He is also a Graduate Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).



Sally Collins

Sally Collins
Chief Financial Officer (CFO)

Sally joined HESTA in 2022 as Chief Financial Officer. She is responsible for managing the financial, tax and accounting processes, legal matters, facilities and corporate sustainability and HESTA’s project execution and governance teams.

Sally is an experienced financial services executive with over 25 years’ experience in senior leadership roles at a range of global and Australian companies. Her roles have included financial management, transformational change and program execution, people leadership, business operations, technology and digital strategy and data and analytics design and operations.

Sally holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Financial Planning and Graduate Diploma Applied Science. She is also Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD) and attended the INSEAD Advanced Management Program in 2022 as the Chief Executive Women (CEW) scholarship recipient. Sally is the non-Executive Chair of Autism Awareness Australia and a published author. 



Sam Harris

Sam Harris
Chief Growth Officer (CGO)

Sam was appointed to the role of Chief Growth Officer in June 2022, and is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of strategies to drive growth and retention of HESTA partnerships with clear outcomes for membership and FUM growth. He leads the development of insights and business intelligence to inform business design processes, product strategy and sophisticated and commercially focused frameworks and strategy to deliver membership growth through employer, association and union partnerships.

Sam has more than 15 years’ experience in the superannuation sector across customer experience, service design, market research, business intelligence and data science. He has held senior relationship management, product and operations roles with Superpartners, REI Super and HESTA. Sam is completing a Master of Business Administration (In progress) and holds a Graduate Certificate of Management and Diploma of Financial Services (Superannuation).