Queensland entrepreneurs take out top honours
Friday 22 July 2011 — The Sunshine State’s top entrepreneurs for 2011 were announced last night at the annual EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern region awards in Brisbane.
EY Brisbane Office Managing Partner, Jenny Parker, said there had been a particularly strong field of nominees from Queensland this year, with plenty of entrepreneurial spirit evident right across the state.
The 2011 Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern region award winners, by category, are:
- Emerging – Paul Everest and Ian Everest, Unit
- Industry – Jim Campbell, Murphy Pipe and Civil
- Services – Robert McVicker, Morris Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd
- Technology – Claes Loberg, Guvera Limited
Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:
- Listed – Peter Bond, Linc Energy
- Social entrepreneur – David Barbagallo, Endeavour Foundation
- Champion of Entrepreneurship – Mick Power AM, BMD Group
“These inspiring Queenslanders have joined the elite ranks of over 900 outstanding Australian entrepreneurs recognised for their exceptional ideas and accomplishments through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program since 2001,” Ms Parker said.
As a global program, with 140 cities participating from over 50 countries, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award.
Ms Parker said this year’s Northern region winners and award recipients would contend for the ultimate title of 2011 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards in November.
“The overall Australian winner will then go on to Monte Carlo to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards next year,” Ms Parker said.
For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to www.ey.com/au/eoy.
2011 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Northern region
Paul Everest and Ian Everest – Unit
From their parent’s garage and with an investment of $600, Paul Everest and Ian Everest built a $23 million dollar business in less than nine years. Designing, marketing, manufacturing and selling its signature branded action sports clothing and accessories domestically and internationally, Unit sourced its first large-scale shipment of t-shirts and board shorts from China in 2005 and began sponsoring athletes to increase brand visibility. The following year, Paul and Ian were able to employ their first sales person and quickly expand into a small warehouse. Today they have more than 80 staff, with offices in Los Angeles and on the Gold Coast. Paul and Ian attribute their success to a clear vision, determination, hard work, innovation and the great people who joined their business – all of whom remain with the company.
What the judges said: Paul and Ian have developed a young, cheeky and unique brand which has the opportunity to expand globally. These two young brothers are imbued with entrepreneurial spirit, personal integrity and the willpower to pursue their goals despite setbacks. They are making the most of new media and have developed a strategy to maintain their relevance to their target market.
Jim Campbell – Murphy Pipe and Civil
In 2006, Jim Campbell founded Pipe and Civil - a fledgling pipeline construction company that very quickly began carving out a solid reputation within the civil construction arena. Jim’s research into plough technology and how it could be adapted for Australia’s coal seam gas (CSG) industry resulted in his company purchasing customised German-made Fockersperger ploughs with exclusive Australian rights to import the machines. This safer, greener and more efficient innovation gained attention from the CSG industry, both in Australia and abroad. In March 2011, Pipe and Civil merged with UK-based Murphy Group, a company that for more than 60 years has lead the way in civil construction throughout Britain. Murphy Pipe and Civil continue to secure major contracts throughout Australia - with a firm goal of turning over $1 billion by 2013.
What the judges said: Jim has shown great vision by positioning his company to take advantage of the emerging Coal Seam Gas market. With technically strong professional engineers and a reputation for reliability, Jim has developed an innovative solution for major energy companies, which has also found favour with environmentalists.
Robert McVicker – Morris Corporation (Aust) Pty Ltd
Robert McVicker started with Morris in 1978 as a promising young chef who caught the attention of the company’s owner, the late David Morris. David nurtured Robert’s abilities, training him in every aspect of management. Rising to become CEO, Robert was instrumental in winning and operating all of the company’s major offshore projects from 1986 onwards. In the early 1990s, he won a United Nations contract in Cambodia; the world’s largest single subcontracted catering contract. In 1996 Robert undertook a 100% management buyout, concentrating on the Australian domestic market and building a national company. Focusing on remote site projects throughout Australia, Morris Corporation has seen unparalleled success despite the world’s economic downturn. Today, Morris Corporation is the largest privately wholly owned facilities management company in Australia.
What the judges said: Operating in remote locations in diverse global markets, Robert has demonstrated courage and innovative solutions to solve problems on the ground. He has shifted the game from competing on price to competing on quality. He now has a scalable business with an empowered management team and solid financial performance.
Claes Loberg – Guvera Limited
Serial entrepreneur Claes Loberg has created an ad-supported free music download and streaming service, with the potential to revolutionise the way society accesses music, film and TV content. By purchasing music for their consumers, Guvera allows advertisers to develop a new relationship with customers. At the same time, the business model ensures artists get paid. By its global launch in March 2010, Guvera had attracted brands including Victoria’s Secret, Microsoft, McDonald’s, Harley Davidson, Johnson & Johnson and Schweppes. By the end of 2010, Guvera was ranked by Billboard magazine as one of the year’s top start-ups. Currently licensed in Australia, the United States and Canada, Guvera has 180,000 customers and revenues of $500,000. Claes believes the business will be profitable by the end of calendar year 2011.
What the judges said: With the potential to be a global brand akin to eBay and Google, Claes’ innovative business is changing the channel to market for both the music and advertising industry, while solving the ever-increasing problem of illegal music downloads. Claes is an impressive and articulate entrepreneur who has succeeded in attracting a significant sum of investment support during the start-up phase.
2011 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive regional award recipients
The Social entrepreneur and Listed award recipients will go on to compete at the National awards against their regional counterparts.
Peter Bond – Linc Energy
With a long history in the coal industry, Peter Bond saw a unique opportunity with a coal conversion technology called Underground Coal Gasification (UCG). In 2004, Peter bought UCG company, Linc Energy. He took his vision to use low value coal to make cleaner energy products to the market, listing on the ASX in 2006 and the New York OTCQX in 2007. Within a few years, Peter had turned an unlisted, struggling and unknown company into an ASX200 global innovator valued at over $1 billion. Since listing, Linc Energy has experienced exponential growth in staff numbers, coal, oil and gas resources, with a growing global presence and a number of overseas offices. Peter is currently progressing with several IP patents developed as part of Linc’s latest generation of UCG technology. His goals for Linc Energy are to support its continued levels of growth while maintaining strong controls and not over-stretching its finances.
Category: Social entrepreneur
David Barbagallo – Endeavour Foundation
After a series of senior business and government roles, David Barbagallo was appointed CEO of Endeavour Foundation in February 2009. Endeavour provides opportunities for more than 3,400 people with a disability to participate in the everyday life of the community, through employment, education, lifestyle and accommodation. Since David’s appointment, Endeavour has expanded into New South Wales, saving the jobs of more than 500 people with a disability, and secured major new contracts. David initiated the Endeavour Foundation Endowment Challenge Fund, a capital-protected reserve of donations, to fund research and special projects from interest earned, and oversaw the set up of Endeavour Business College. He also established the G8 coalition, enlisting the collective support of Queensland’s eight largest disability services providers to improve access to Government as well as share ideas and challenges. Today, Endeavour Foundation is the largest non-government disability service provider in Australia.
Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
The Champion of Entrepreneurship award is a lifetime achievement award that recognises individuals who: have a long-term record of outstanding entrepreneurial achievement; have driven the growth of an Australian company, or companies, over a sustained period of time; and have made a significant contribution to their community.
Mick Power AM – BMD Group
Founder of the BMD Group of companies, Mick Power AM is widely regarded as one of Queensland’s leading figures in the civil construction industry. Starting in 1979 as a family business, under Mick’s leadership BMD has grown and diversified into what is today considered to be Australia’s largest privately owned civil construction, consulting and urban development company. Retaining an active position in the company as BMD Group Board Chairman and Managing Director, Mick also devotes his time to supporting a number of not-for-profit organizations and serves on the boards of a number of organisations including: the South Bank Corporation; Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC); and Brisbane Lions Football Club. An Honorary Ambassador of the City of Brisbane, Mick was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2005 and was inducted into the QUT Construction Hall of Fame in 2009 for his commitment to the Queensland construction industry.
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