Top entrepreneurs honoured at Perth awards night

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Friday 23 August 2013 — Seven outstanding West Australian entrepreneurs have taken home the top accolades from last night’s 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Western Region awards ceremony in Perth.

EY Perth Office Managing Partner Michael Anghie said the winners were well-deserving of the awards, demonstrating vision, passion, innovation and a strong determination to succeed.

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

  • Emerging – Olivia Humphrey, Kanopy
  • Industry – Frank Wilson, TFS Corporation Ltd
  • Services – Jim Guimelli, Ertech Holdings
  • Technology – Mark Tuke, Sun Connect

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

  • Listed award – Geoff Baker, MACA
  • Social entrepreneur – Dr Fiona Wood AM, The Fiona Wood Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Rod Jones, Navitas

“Entrepreneurs believe in a better way of doing things. By challenging the status quo they create significant economic benefits and social change in our communities,” Mr Anghie 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 Western Australia by creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving productivity.”

“These individuals demonstrate the best of our state’s diversity and entrepreneurial spirit. On behalf of EY, I congratulate all our 2013 Western Region award winners and nominees and commend them for their entrepreneurial spirit,” Mr Anghie said.

Greg Caust, General Manager, Corporate Financial Services WA, 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 Western Region award program this year has set a high benchmark. 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 Western 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.

West Australians have taken out the top national award four times – Michael Malone from iiNet in 2011, John Spence from The Karma Royal Group in 2010, Rod Jones from Navitas Limited in 2008 and John Rothwell AO from Austal Ships in 2002 – and have gone on to represent Australia in Monte Carlo.

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

2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Western Region

Category: Emerging
Olivia Humphrey – Kanopy

Having identified a gap in the higher education market, Olivia Humphrey started her own online video and DVD distribution business, Kanopy, in 2008. Kanopy’s products are designed to enhance the learning experience of students while helping academics become more connected with their class. Its services are used by over five million students, 300,000 academics, 200 higher education institutions and 250 suppliers around the world. Kanopy currently holds around 80% of the national academic market, counting all 39 Australian universities among its clients. Olivia is now focusing on offshore expansion, initially targeting growth in the United States.
What the judges said: Olivia Humphrey is a passionate young entrepreneur who has seized a great idea and turned it into a reality. Kanopy has already captured a sizeable share of the local market and is rapidly expanding overseas.

Category: Industry
Frank Wilson – TFS Corporation Ltd

In 1997, Frank Wilson took advantage of compelling supply-demand dynamics in the global Indian sandalwood market to establish what is now Australia’s largest listed forestry company. Today, TFS Corporation Ltd (TFS) has the largest Indian sandalwood plantation in the world, with a vertically integrated “soil to oil” business operation. Customers for its highly valued oil and wood are based in China, India, the United States (US) and Europe. Frank's initiative in successfully developing and marketing an overseas plantation investment model, and taking TFS to the US for long term funding in the bond markets, saved TFS from the same fate as most other Australian forestry companies following the global financial crisis.
What the judges said: Frank Wilson has built TFS Corporation into the world’s largest commercial producer of sandalwood products. Frank has displayed extraordinary entrepreneurial spirit and true grit allowing him to successfully grow his company within an extremely challenging industry.

Category: Services
Jim Guimelli, Ertech Holdings

A self-reliant child, Jim Giumelli always knew he wanted to be his own boss. He established construction and maintenance services company Ertech Holdings in 1981. The company has an impressive track record, achieving compound growth of 23% per annum for 32 years. With offices in Perth, Melbourne, Adelaide, Port Hedland and Karratha, Ertech Holdings now employs more than 800 people. Jim founded the Ertech Construction Academy to address the need for skilled workers in the resources sector and provide opportunities for indigenous youth. He is also investing in start-up businesses to help foster the next generation of entrepreneurs.
What the judges said: Jim Giumelli is an impressive entrepreneur who has secured a number of long term contracts and strategic alliances to develop his business. Ertech Holdings has shown consistent and impressive growth over a number of years and is well positioned to continue this growth into the future.

Category: Technology
Mark Tuke – Sun Connect

From the age of five, Mark Tuke designed gadgets with which he one day hoped to revolutionise the world. He was CEO of a public software company by the age of 30. Sun Connect imports, designs, supplies and installs commercial grade and scale solar electricity systems. Its business model is based on lower volume, higher value and higher quality - providing innovative componentry, written guarantees and an industry-leading five-year service agreement to clients. Localised renewable energy equipment is a new market for Australia and demand is growing. Mark ultimately aims to have over 10,000 clients on annuity contracts.
What the judges said: Mark Tuke is an ambitious entrepreneur with strong financial acumen and a clear business strategy. Mark has differentiated Sun Connect in the commercial sector through his focus on providing both exceptional service and strong value.

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

Category: Listed award
Geoff Baker, MACA

In 2002, after nearly 30 years in the mining civil industry, Geoffrey founded Mining and Civil Australia (MACA) with four others. MACA provides open pit contracting including loading and hauling, drilling and blasting, crushing, screening and civil works. It listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 2010 and has more than 1,000 employees and contractors. MACA invests 30% of profits into the business and is debt free. This makes it possible to seize emerging opportunities faster than the competition. The company plans to enter new markets in Queensland and New South Wales, and is seeking contracts in Africa and South America.

Category: Social entrepreneur Dr Fiona Wood AM, The Fiona Wood Foundation In 1999, burns surgeon Dr Fiona Wood co-founded the McComb Foundation. Now known as the Fiona Wood Foundation, the organisation aims to advance the development of innovative treatments for use in burn injuries and other trauma. In recognition of her work with the Bali bombing victims, Fiona was named a Member of the Order of Australia in 2003. She has also received the Australian Medical Association’s ‘Contribution to Medicine’ award and was named Australian of the Year in 2005. Through the foundation, Fiona is continuing her research into tissue repair and reconstruction, improving patient quality of life and return to pre‐injury condition.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship Rod Jones – Navitas
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.
Rod Jones is the co-founder, Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director of Navitas. With over 30 years’ experience in educational administration, Rod is one of the pioneers of Australia’s international education sector. Rod launched Navitas in the 1990s, to provide 'pathway' programs for international university students. Today, Navitas is a global leader providing educational services for international students, professionals and migrants in 28 countries. Rod received a Doctor of Education from Edith Cowan University in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the development of the international education sector. He was also the 2008 EY Australian Entrepreneur Of The Year.

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