South Australian entrepreneurs shine at awards night

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Friday 26 July 2013 — Six outstanding South Australian entrepreneurs have taken home the top accolades from last night’s 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Central Region awards ceremony in Adelaide.

EY Adelaide Office Managing Partner Chris Sharpley congratulated the winners, saying they represented the high quality and diversity of the region’s entrepreneurial talent.

The winners of the 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Central Region awards, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Aaron Superina, Outside Ideas
  • Industry – Anthony Romeo, Romeo’s Retail Group
  • Services – Kim McNamara, KJM Contractors
  • Technology – Anthony Kittel, Redarc

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Social entrepreneur – Nicholas Lee, The Jodi Lee Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Frank Seeley AM, Seeley International

“Entrepreneurs believe in a better way of doing things. They are inspirational, passionate, calculated risk takers who find opportunities where others only see obstacles,” Sharpley said.

“The EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards are a celebration of the successes of these individuals, each of whom makes a significant contribution to South Australia’s business community and economy by creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving productivity.

“On behalf of EY, I congratulate all our 2013 Central Region award winners and nominees and commend them for their innovation, determination and entrepreneurial spirit,” Sharpley said.

Todd Roberts, General Manager, Institutional and Corporate Banking South Australia/Northern Territory, Commonwealth Bank said, "It's important that Australia's entrepreneurs are given support to grow and prosper and these awards are a positive way to recognise creativity and success. The calibre of entrepreneurs in the Central Region award program this year is inspiring. The winners should be congratulated for being able to stand out amongst this talented field. We wish them every success in the national judging."

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Over 1,200 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The 2013 Central region winners and award recipients will travel to Sydney in November to contend for the title of 2013 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards.

The overall Australian winner will then go on to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to www.eoy.ey.com.au.

2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Central Region

Category: Emerging Aaron Superina – Outside Ideas
Aaron Superina established landscaping construction company Outside Ideas in 2003 at just 19 years old. Starting as a sole trader with little more than a shovel and wheelbarrow, Aaron has grown Outside Ideas into a successful business venture, employing more than 50 staff and winning major government contracts. Outside Ideas provides landscaping, concreting, demolition, maintenance and civil works services, providing a “one stop shop” for builders, developers and government clients. The business is achieving strong organic year on year growth and has recently expanded into the Victorian market while also increasing its South Australian customer base and market share.
What the judges said: Aaron Superina’s passion, drive and commitment to his business are inspiring. His vision for Outside Ideas has seen it develop from a small operation into a fantastic emerging business that is now securing high-profile public contracts. Aaron clearly loves what he does and his business is reaping the benefits of that enthusiasm.

Category: Industry
Anthony Romeo – Romeo’s Retail Group

Romeo Retail Group is owned by Anthony Romeo, his parents Antonio and Elisabeth and his two brothers Paul and Joseph. It owns and operates 27 supermarkets across South Australia and New South Wales, and employs over 1,900 people. The Group invests in technology, store refurbishment and layout to make for a faster, more pleasant shopping experience. Each store’s range is tailored to the demographics of the surrounding community, with a kosher product range in its St Ives store (New South Wales) and a low-buy scheme for stores in lower socio-economic areas. Anthony and his brothers plan to open more stores in Sydney and grow the Group’s commercial portfolio.
What the judges said: Anthony Romeo has developed an impressive alternative to the traditional supermarket offering through Romeo’s Retail Group business model. Tailoring each store’s range to include niche products based on the surrounding community’s demographics, Anthony has delivered smart growth within a competitive environment. Anthony’s personal integrity is clear in his commitment to his staff, customers and suppliers.

Category: Services Kim McNamara – KJM Contractors
Kim McNamara has always loved to get his hands dirty and understand how engineered products work. Having started in 1992 as a one-man band with a truck providing transport services, he now has 502 employees providing remote accommodation solutions around Australia. KJM Contractors provides modular and non-permanent camps to clients in oil and gas markets. Its seven complementary divisions include transport, Enviroflow Waterflow Technologies, engineering and air charter. The company services 90% of South Australia’s remote mines. Over the next 10 years, Kim plans to create permanent camps and sewage treatment plants facilities. He has also identified a market opportunity in Canada to introduce waste effluent treatment solutions.
What the judges said: Kim McNamara is a true entrepreneur whose ability to identify and capitalise on opportunities has led to KJM Contractors’ spectacular growth over the last few years. Kim displays enormous drive and determination, even by entrepreneurial standards. He has been able to build KJM into a fantastic high-growth business that is also extremely profitable.

Category: Technology Anthony Kittel – Redarc
Redarc’s Anthony Kittel has constructed a purpose-built manufacturing facility in Lonsdale, South Australia. He is targeting sales of $50 million by 2017, having purchased the company in 1997 when it was generating less than $1 million in sales revenue. Redarc designs and manufactures patented vehicle based electronic power solutions and provides after-sales service in Australia, New Zealand, France and USA. Redarc’s clever products fit into “anything with a battery that moves”, from “grey nomads” caravans through to trucking and mining. Anthony has achieved growth by investing in people and research and development. His objective is to build global distribution relationships, particularly in North America.
What the judges said: Anthony Kittel leads Redarc with a clear vision and an abundance of entrepreneurial spirit. Displaying strong business and financial acumen and a solid understanding of the market, Anthony’s continued investment in innovation has resulted in long-term growth, even during what has been a particularly challenging period for the Australian manufacturing sector.

2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Central Region

Category: Social entrepreneur
Nicholas Lee – The Jodi Lee Foundation

Following the death of his wife, Jodi, from bowel cancer in 2010, Nicholas Lee left his role as director of a multi-national consumer goods company, to set up The Jodi Lee Foundation and promote the prevention of bowel cancer in Australia. The Jodi Lee Foundation runs initiatives across the country to increase awareness and raise funds. Over 2,000 screening kits have already been distributed through the Foundation’s Corporate Bowel Screening program. Nicholas recently secured a $2.5 million Federal Government grant to run a national awareness campaign over the next three years – with a number of unique elements which make it the first of its kind for bowel cancer in Australia.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
Frank Seeley AM – Seeley International

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.
Frank Seeley AM founded Seeley International – now Australia’s largest manufacturer of heating and cooling systems – in the early 1970s. After successfully developing the first all-plastic portable coolers, Frank went on to develop all-plastic rooftop coolers, a first for the industry at the time, and now the industry standard. Today, Seeley International employs more than 300 people and exports to more than 100 countries. Frank was made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2001, and won South Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year in 2005. In 2011, he was named South Australian of the Year and in November 2012 received the Innovation Heroes Award from the Warren Centre for Advanced Engineering.

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About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world’s most prestigious business award for entrepreneurs. The unique award makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential, and recognises the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global award of its kind, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognising them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in over 60 countries.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year awards program, launched in 2001, is conducted in five regions culminating in the national awards. The program honours entrepreneurs whose ingenuity and perseverance have created and sustained successful, growing business ventures. Entrepreneur Of The Year’s primary objective is to identify, acknowledge and celebrate the outstanding contribution entrepreneurs make to the Australian business community and economy.

The Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year program now has alumni of over 1,200 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program, including alumni judges, and 15,000 people who have attended Entrepreneur Of The Year events and award ceremonies.

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