Southern entrepreneurs shine at awards night
Friday, 12 August 2011 Entrepreneurial talent from across Victoria and Tasmania was celebrated last night at the 2011 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Southern region awards ceremony in Melbourne.
The 2011 Entrepreneur Of The Year Southern region winners, by category, are:
- Emerging – George Calombaris, The Press Club Group
- Industry – Justin Dowel, Natures Organics
- Services – Mark Evans, Dental Corporation
- Technology – Christopher Ride, Interactive
Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:
- Listed – Brian McNamee AO, CSL Limited
- Social entrepreneur – Marion Webster OAM and Renata Singer, Fitted for Work
- Champion of Entrepreneurship – Lyndsey Cattermole AM
EY Melbourne Office Managing Partner, Annette Kimmitt said the awards recognised the significant contribution entrepreneurs make to Australian business and the wider community.
“The calibre of this year’s nominees made the judges’ decision a difficult one and is testament to the vision, passion and business acumen of entrepreneurs across Victoria and Tasmania.”
“EY congratulate all of our 2011 Southern region award winners for the drive, determination and entrepreneurial spirit they bring to their endeavours,” Ms Kimmitt said.
According to Tony D'Alessandro, Regional General Manager Commonwealth Private Bank, new primary sponsor of the Entrepreneur Of The Year program, the winners of the Southern region awards were a demonstration of the high calibre of entrepreneurs and businesses operating in Victoria.
“We’ve been fortunate to have had so many great individuals and businesses entering these awards and there’s no doubt that the quality of the entries made it difficult to select the overall winners,” Mr D’Alessandro said.
“These awards are an important step in ensuring that these up and coming leaders in the business world receive the recognition they deserve and we congratulate not only them, but all entrants on their success.”
Ms Kimmitt said the Southern region winners and award recipients would go on to contend for the title of 2011 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year at the national awards in November.
“The overall Australian winner will then go on to compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next year,” Ms Kimmitt said.
EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and the only truly global program of its kind, with 140 cities participating from over 50 countries.
Over 900 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.
For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to www.eoy.ey.com.au.
2011 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Southern region
George Calombaris – The Press Club Group
George Calombaris is a familiar face on Australian TV screens and in 21 countries worldwide, as a judge on Channel Ten’s hit show MasterChef Australia. Having grown up watching his mother and grandmother cook the Cyprian food he loves, George’s dream was to become a chef and one day open his own restaurant. In partnership with three others, George established The Press Club Group in 2006. In just five years, George has authored three cookbooks, opened another four restaurants and launched his signature range of kitchen products. The Press Club Group has grown from $7 million turnover to $21 million in four years, supplemented by George’s personal brand turnover of $2 million.
What the judges said: George is rapidly building a strong brand with a reputation for quality and fun, based on a sophisticated and scalable business model. George plays to his strengths, including his passion, attention to detail and professionalism.
Justin Dowel – Natures Organics
Natures Organics was founded in the 1950s by Justin’s father, Terry Dowel. Justin worked his way up through the business for ten years before taking leadership in 2001. Natures Organics provides consumers with natural and environmentally responsible alternatives to traditional household and personal care products. It also produces 90% of its own environmentally responsible packaging. The original strategy for the business continues today: Natures Organics believes there is no sense in charging a premium for products which ‘don’t cost the earth’. The business generates cost savings through manufacturing efficiencies and a willingness to accept lower margins than competitors. This strategy has led to growth in sales from $2 million in 1990, to projected gross sales of over $100 million in 2012.
What the judges said: Justin has turned his passion for doing the right thing into a profitable business, providing environmentally conscious consumers with relevant and quality products. His strong commitment to the environment and the community is totally integrated within the business strategy, and he is setting the benchmark for much larger companies.
Mark Evans – Dental Corporation
In 2007, Mark Evans was approached by a dentist with the idea of aggregating dental practices. Mark had previously built the listed childcare centre operator, Kids Campus, from 6 to 120 centres before it was acquired for $180 million. He believed there was huge potential in corporatising the dental industry from a ‘cottage industry’ mentality into a partnership structure. Today, Dental Corporation is the largest dental provider in Australia and New Zealand, comprising 150 practices with turnover and EBITDA in excess of $250 million and $45 million respectively. The company provides management and back office services – finance, HR, IT and marketing – while allowing the dentists retain autonomy over the day to day operations at an individual practice level.
What the judges said: Mark is a business savvy corporate entrepreneur, undertaking a well executed strategy in an industry ripe for aggregation. His clever business model allows his dentists to focus on their core skills of being health practitioners.
Christopher Ride - Interactive
Interactive is one of the largest privately owned IT service providers in Australia, delivering critical IT services to more than 1,700 of Australia's most successful organisations. Interactive services include, cloud computing, data centre, disaster recovery, web hosting and hardware maintenance. Christopher joined Interactive in 1992 as a sales person. In 1999 he became Managing Director and is now one of Interactive's two major shareholders. Employing more than 275 staff, Interactive currently has annual service contracts of $97.6 million with a steady growth rate of over 20% compounding per year. Christopher is also a best-selling fiction author with Random House.
What the judges said: Christopher has shown a great deal of courage, drive and determination - taking a gamble on the business and turning it into an outstanding niche operator in a rapidly growing industry.
He is a true people person who encourages his team to dare to dream and then supports them to achieve their dreams.
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.
Brian McNamee AO – CSL Limited
In the early 1980s, after successfully graduating from medicine and working in the hospital system, Brian McNamee realised he needed a new challenge. After two years as a medical marketing associate in the German pharmaceutical industry, Brian made a life changing decision to return to Australia and build a global pharmaceutical company. At age 33, Brian was approached by Senator John Button to run the Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL). Brian has since led CSL through a successful public listing, implemented agreements with global pharmaceutical companies and overseen several high profile acquisitions in overseas markets. Today, CSL is a global biopharmaceutical company with major facilities in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and the United States. It employs over 10,000 people in 20 countries and generates after-tax profits of more than $1 billion annually.
Category: Social entrepreneur
Marion Webster OAM and Renata Singer – Fitted for Work
In 2004, a casual discussion between Marion Webster and Renata Singer about the need for a national organisation serving disadvantaged women led to the creation of Fitted for Work. Since then, Fitted for Work has grown from a fledgling two-room operation into a national not for profit organisation. Committed to preparing women experiencing disadvantage to find and keep work, and ultimately achieve financial independence, the organisation now has services in Victoria and New South Wales and over 250 volunteers. Since 2005, Fitted for Work has assisted over 6,500 women experiencing hardship with free, interview appropriate clothing, and a range of other support services to give them the skills and confidence to get decent jobs and improve their lives.
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.
Lyndsey Cattermole AM
At age 25, Lyndsey founded Aspect Computing Pty Limited; the largest Australian software and services company, going on to be a major force in Australian ICT with 1,300 employees. She remained as the Managing Director from 1974 to 2003, before selling the business to KAZ Group Limited, where she served as a Director from 2001 to 2004.
Lyndsey has been at the forefront of the Australian IT Industry including the Australian Computer Society, the Prime Minister’s Science and Engineering Council, the Federal Government Electronic, Electrical and Information Industry Board, the Multimedia Advisory Committee, and the State Development Committee.
Lyndsey has held many board and other membership positions on a range of government, advisory, association and not for profit committees. Lyndsey was instrumental in forming the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, one of Australia’s largest biomedical research institutes. She is currently a Non Executive Director of Treasury Wine Estates, Tatts Group Limited and PaperlinX Limited.
Lyndsey holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Melbourne and is a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society. She has been awarded a Medal of Australia, Centenary Medal, Rotary Vocational Services Award, the Pearcey Medal and been inducted into the IT & T Hall of Fame.
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