Entrepreneur Of The Year

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Entrepreneur Of The Year awards judging process

Finalists are assessed by an independent panel of judges, who are captains of industry, leaders in their professions and academia, and previous Entrepreneur Of The Year winners. EY is not represented on any judging panel.

Meet the 2016 national judges:

  • John Bennetts - Director, M-Group

    John Bennetts, EYJohn Bennetts started his career as a corporate lawyer and advisor. In 1993, he joined Australian technology company Datacraft. The company grew to having in excess of 1,500 staff in 13 countries across the Asia Pacific region.

    In 1997, after the sale of Datacraft, he established M-Group, a private investment company that is an active investor in many companies including Cohda Wireless Pty Ltd, SciVentures Pre Seed Fund, Avipep Pty Ltd, Inlink Pty Ltd, Open Directory Pty Ltd and APVC Finance Pty Ltd.

    John was a Founder and Director of Cellestis Ltd, whose lead product now provides the global standard for the diagnosis of latent tuberculosis and a Director and major shareholder of McMillan Shakespeare Ltd, Aqua Diagnostics Pty Ltd, Glutagen Pty Ltd and FMCG manufacturing business, Modern Baking Pty Ltd.

  • Kathryn Gramp - Non-Executive Director, Masonic Homes Limited

    Kathy Gramp, EYKathy Gramp was Chief Financial Officer of Austereo Group Ltd, one of Australia’s largest commercial radio and online broadcasters, until June 2011.

    Kathy’s career in the radio industry spanned over 22 years. She was closely involved in the growth of two FM radio stations into two national FM networks, their international expansion and the successful move into digital and online media.

    In addition, Kathy has over 15 years board experience across a wide range of industry sectors. She currently holds board positions with the Australian Institute of Company Directors, Codan Limited, RAA Group, Silver Chain Group, Masonic Homes, and Flinders University.

    Kathy is a Fellow of both, the Australia Institute of Company Directors and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia.

  • Chris Hadley, Managing Director, Quadrant Private Equity Pty Ltd

    Chris Hadley, EYChris is one of the longest serving executives in the Australian Private Equity industry and was one of the founding council members of AVCAL. Chris has led and managed the raising of all eight Quadrant funds, the first in 1996, and has been a member of the Investment Committee of all funds.

    Chris has led and managed a number of Quadrant investments and has been a director on many investee boards. Chris is a director of Quadrant investee companies Seniors Money International, CQMS Razer, Super A-Mart/Barbeques Galore, Zip Industries, Urban Casual Dining Group, The Real Pet Food Company, Superior Food Group, Home Care Holdings and Worldmark.

  • Maxine Horne, CEO and Founder, Vita Group

    Maxine Horne, EYVita Group is an independent technology business, with over 1,700 employees, a national footprint, and an annual revenue in excess of $645 million in FY16.

    Maxine has significant global experience in telecommunications and technology and has been at the forefront of the digital revolution for the past 20 years, creating strategic alliances with industry leaders such as Telstra.

    In 1995 Maxine established Fone Zone, one of Australia's first mobile retailers, and rapidly grew the business from a single Gold Coast shop to a national publicly-listed company. After its 2005 ASX listing, Vita Group became one of the fastest-growing companies in Australia and was ranked in BRW's Fast 100 over four consecutive years. In 2016, Maxine was the subject of a book written by journalist and author, Madonna King, titled Think Smart Run Hard.

    Maxine was named QBR Business Woman of the Year, Retail in 2006 and received the 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year award for the Industry category in the Northern region. Maxine is a proud supporter and Corporate Ambassador of Act for Kids.

  • Brian M Schwartz AM, Independent Chairman and Non-Executive Director, Scentre Group and Westfield Corporation

    Brian Schwartz, EYBrian Schwartz is the non-executive Chairman of Scentre Group and a non-executive Director and Deputy Chairman of Westfield Corporation. He was Chairman of IAG and Insurance Manufacturers of Australia Pty Limited from 2010 to 2016.

    Brian was chief executive of Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd from 2005 to 2009 and EY from 1998 to 2004 during which time he introduced the Entrepreneur Of The Year™ Program to Australia.

    He is Chairman of the Moriah Foundation and until recently Deputy Chairman of Football Federation Australia Limited. Brian was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2004 and in 2001 he was named Leading CEO for the Advancement of Women by the Equal Opportunity for Women in the Workplace Agency.

  • Karen Penrose, Non-Executive Director, Bank of Queensland

    Karen Penrose, EYKaren Penrose serves as a full time non-executive director for public, Government, private and charitable organisations. Her listed boards include Vicinity Centres, Bank of Queensland, Spark Infrastructure and Future Generation Global. Her NSW Government NED role is with UrbanGrowth NSW.

    She has had an active engagement with Chief Executive Women, initially as a Council member from 2009 to 2014 and currently as a participant on the advisory panel for CEW's Leaders Program in Australia and Singapore. Karen was a participant in the Women Leaders Trade Mission to Israel, hosted by the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in May this year.

    Karen's career, prior to her NED roles, included 20 years with CBA and HSBC and 8 years as a CFO with two publicly listed companies and, much earlier, as a surf life saver on Sydney's northern beaches.

  • Josephine Sukkar - Co-owner and Principal, Buildcorp (Chair of Judges)

    Josephine Sukkar, EYJosephine Sukkar is co-owner and principal of construction company Buildcorp and Chair of the Buildcorp Foundation. She is currently a Director of Opera Australia, the Sydney University Football Club Foundation, The Australia Rugby Foundation and The Centenary Institute, and is President of the Australian Women’s Rugby Union.

    From October 2011 until July 2015, she was Co-President of the YWCA NSW, and from 2010 to 2013 was a non-executive director of The Trust Company Limited.

    Josephine is also involved with the Museum of Contemporary Art with their annual Bella Dinner, is on the National Judging Panel of the General Sir John Monash Scholarship Foundation, and is a member of the Women and Diversity in Property Committee of the Property Council of Australia.

  • Steve Wilson AM - Non-Executive Director, Pinnacle Investment Management

    Steve Wilson, EYSteve Wilson has 35 years’ experience in the investment business, including 4 years with JP Morgan Cazenove in London and 25 years as chief executive of the Wilson/Pinnacle Group Limited. He transformed the business from its traditional stockbroking base to investment management by establishing Hyperion Asset Management in 1996 and Pinnacle Investment Management in 2006. It’s funds under management have grown from $1 billion in 2006 to $20 billion in 2016.

    He is currently Chair of Racing Queensland and the Russo Business School and previously chaired South Bank Corporation, Hyperion Asset Management, St John’s Cathedral Completion Fund and Queensland Rugby Union. He was a Director of Telstra Corporation, Tourism Queensland and the Council of Queensland University of Technology.

  • Heather Zampatti - Head of Wealth Management, Bell Potter Securities

    Heather Zampatti, EYHeather Zampatti has over 30 years’ experience in investment advising and providing investors with professional portfolio management. As Head of Wealth Management, Australia, for Bell Potter Securities, Heather combines her strengths as an adviser with a leadership role to help Bell Potter achieve its goal of establishing itself as the nation’s most respected provider of wealth management advice and service.

    Heather is the Chair of Lotterywest and sits on the boards of Chief Executive Women, Osteoporosis Australia, Financial Sector Advisory Council, University of Western Australia University Club, WA Regional Council of FINSIA and ASIC Financial Services Consultative Committee.

    Heather is the former member of The Australian Government’s Takeovers Panel, West Australian Ballet, Chair of Princess Margaret Hospital Foundation and Australian Institute of Management (WA). She also lectures for the Australian Stock Exchange and FINSIA.