2015’s top Western Australian entrepreneurs named

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The top Western Australian entrepreneurs haven taken home honours from last night’s 2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Western Region awards ceremony in Perth.

The winners, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Matthew Allen, Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd
  • Industry – Torsten Ketelsen, GMA Garnet Group
  • Services – Russell Baskerville. Empired Limited
  • Technology – Prof Tim St Pierre, Resonance Health Limited

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

  • Listed award – Peter Botten, Oil Search
  • Social entrepreneur – Lockie Cooke, ICEA Foundation
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Dale Alcock, ABN Group

The Western Region winners, Social entrepreneur and Listed award recipient will go on to represent the state at the national awards in October, where they will compete for the title of 2015 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

EY’s Perth Managing Partner, Michael Anghie said the high quality of this year’s nominees and winners demonstrated that the entrepreneurial spirit continues to thrive across the state.

“Western Australia has a strong history of innovation and business excellence and our 2015 award winners are excellent examples of that.”

“This year we are celebrating the 15th anniversary of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Australia. Entrepreneurs drive job creation, spark innovation and grow our economy. It’s for these reasons that we have a long-term commitment to recognising and supporting the best entrepreneurs from across the region, the nation and the world,” Mr Anghie said.

Gary McGrath, General Manager, Corporate Financial Services WA, Commonwealth Bank, said that the quality of the Western Region nominees and winners are a testament to the calibre and diversity of business leadership in Western Australia.

“The Western Region continues to produce some of Australia’s top entrepreneurs. Their achievements continue to inspire innovation within the broader business community and elevate the profile of Western Australian business on the national and international stage.

“Commonwealth Bank is the principal sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards, and is proud to support a program that showcases the accomplishments of Western Australian business leaders and their contribution to the region’s economic development.”

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and is the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Over 1,400 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The overall 2015 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Sydney on 15 October. The national winner will then go on to represent the country and compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next June, following in the footsteps of last year’s Australian winners Joe Davenport and Owen Kerr of Pepperstone.

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

2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Western Region

Category: Emerging
Matthew Allen – Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd

After six years in the merchant navy, Matthew Allen built a successful international career as an offshore installation engineer. He started his own company in 2011. Subcon Technologies Pty Ltd (Subcon) is a leading marine foundation, subsea stabilisation and enhanced reefs company with 80% market share in Australia. Its premium products and services reduce installation times and vessel costs for clients, including major oil and gas companies, renewable energy operators, civil construction companies, government agencies and local councils. Subcon now has 40 staff and contractors in four countries. Matthew wants to increase the company’s global market share from 5% to 25% in the next five years.
What the judges said: Matthew Allen is a consummate entrepreneur who has a deep knowledge of his industry and is going to go a long way. With Subcon Technologies, he was able to utilise innovative technology and combine that with deep customer knowledge to create a profitable business. The business is becoming international, with Matthew investing substantially in offshore markets for the next stage of business growth.

Category: Industry
Torsten Ketelsen – GMA Garnet Group

Since 1987, Torsten Ketelsen has transformed a previously unknown garnet mineral resource with little local or international demand, into a profitable mining, processing and distribution business with 40% global market share in the garnet abrasive market. Today, GMA Garnet Group is the global market leader for high-performance blasting and waterjet cutting abrasive and for other niche applications. It has over 7,000 end-users and a wholly owned global distribution network. Torsten has successfully pioneered the garnet reprocessing and recycling technology, extending the useful life of the product. He plans to double the enterprise value of the business over the next five years.
What the judges said: In GMA Garnet Group, Torsten Ketelsen has delivered a fantastically profitable business that is totally integrated from mine to customer. He has taken what has traditionally been considered an industrial commodity and created a series of different products with clever branding. Torsten puts a lot back in to the community as well, so he’s an absolute pin-up person for entrepreneurs.

Category: Services
Russell Baskerville – Empired Limited

In 2007, Russell Baskerville successfully listed Empired Limited (Empired) on the ASX, even though it was a small company with a very ambitious plan. As an IT services provider, Empired helps its enterprise clients improve their efficiency, productivity and competitive advantage. The company now has 826 employees across Australia and New Zealand. Empired offers local knowledge supported by strong capability and experience, and has competed against some of the largest IT services companies in the world. It has contracts with the world’s largest mining firms and a range of major state government departments across Australia. In future, Russell plans to develop offices in Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia.
What the judges said: Russell Baskerville is proof that sometime the CEO can also be the best business development person for a company. With determination and focus on solutions, Russell has driven the growth of Empired Limited both organically and inorganically.  He has been able to compete against major IT companies and win multi-national business by delivering clients operation efficiencies that also provide them with bottom line savings.

Category: Technology
Prof Tim St Pierre – Resonance Health Limited

In 1995, Prof Tim St Pierre made his first attempt to measure liver iron concentration in a rat, using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). FerriScan® is now the gold standard for measuring liver iron concentration in human subjects. Resonance Health Limited (Resonance) develops innovative technologies for non-invasive measurement of the composition of human tissues such as the liver and the heart. The company provides these diagnostic medical imaging solutions to MRI centres around the globe, and analyses and reports on the data. Tim plans to do further clinical trials on his new products by collaborating with other hospitals and pharmaceutical companies.
What the judges said: For Professor Tim St Pierre and his team, the sky’s the limit. In Resonance Health Limited we have a West Australian company that has created unique intellectual property with worldwide health applications. With an ageing population, healthcare is one of the great challenges of our time and we should be enormously proud of the technology that has come out of this state to address those challenges.

2015 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Western Region

Category: Listed award
Peter Botten – Oil Search

Peter Botten joined Oil Search in 1992, just after oil and gas production started from Papua New Guinea’s Kutubu and Hides fields. Peter was appointed as Managing Director in 1994 and has overseen the growth of Oil Search from a market capitalisation of around $200 million to its current $11 billion, within the top 30 companies on the ASX. Oil Search currently operates all producing oil fields in Papua New Guinea, in which it is the largest corporate investor.  The Company holds a 29% interest in the recently developed PNG Liquefied Natural Gas Project and 23% interest in the Elk/Antelope gas field.

Category: Social entrepreneur
Lockie Cooke – ICEA Foundation

By the time Lockie Cooke got to university, he was already well and truly down the path of entrepreneurship. ICEA (Indigenous Communities Education and Awareness) is a youth-run not-for-profit organisation committed to reconciliation. It has 600 volunteers. Through a series of programs, ICEA brings together young Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians to create positive experiences and promote cultural understanding of the shared history of Australians. Lockie is working to decrease a reliance on grants and sponsorships by evolving ICEA into a more sustainable “fee for service” organisation. He was Australia’s head delegate at the Y20 Summit in 2014.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
Dale Alcock – ABN Group

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.
A third-generation home builder, Dale Alcock started his career as an apprentice bricklayer in 1979. Under the direction of his father, Dale learned the hands-on skills of his trade and gained valuable knowledge and experience that would shape his career. In 1987, he moved to Perth and became a registered builder. Soon after, Dale joined partners, Garry Brown-Neaves and John Webb, to launch Dale Alcock Homes. Dale went on to establish what would become one of Australia’s leading construction, property and finance companies: the ABN Group. Over more than 30 years, ABN has built more than 59,000 homes, provided finance for more than 23,000 homeowners and has developed the largest private group of building apprentices in Australia, having trained more than 800 new tradespeople. Dale still plays an active role as Managing Director of Dale Alcock Homes and the ABN Group. As a Founding Trustee of the ABN Foundation, he has donated more than $7 million to various worthy causes.

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About EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM
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 more than 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 1,400 entrepreneurs who have participated in the program. Since the program’s inception more than 15,000 people have attended Entrepreneur Of The Year events and award ceremonies in Australia.

About EY
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