Queensland’s top entrepreneurs take centre stage at awards night

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Friday 9 August 2013 — Eight exceptional Queensland entrepreneurs have taken home the top awards from last night’s 2013 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Northern Region awards ceremony in Brisbane.

EY Brisbane Office Managing Partner Jenny Parker congratulated the winners, saying the awards showcased the significant contribution that successful entrepreneurs made to the region’s economy and business community.

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

  • Emerging – Ben Bradshaw, SponsoredLinX
  • Industry – Vanessa Garrard, E3 Style
  • Services – Mark Scherrer, Ferra Engineering
  • Technology – Dr Andy Boud and Dr Alex Streit, ImmersaView

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

  • Listed award – Andrew Buckley, Cardno
  • Social entrepreneur – Hetty Johnston, Bravehearts Inc.
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Terry White AO, Terry White Chemists

“Entrepreneurs believe in a better way of doing things. They are inspirational, passionate, calculated risk takers who find opportunities where others only see obstacles,” Parker 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 Queensland by creating new jobs, fuelling growth and driving productivity.”

“This year’s winners are all extremely deserving of the awards, showing vision, innovation, entrepreneurial spirit and a strong determination to succeed. On behalf of EY, I congratulate all of our 2013 Northern Region award winners and nominees,” Parker said.

Mark Toon, General Manager, Corporate Banking, Queensland, 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 Northern 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 Northern 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, Northern Region

Category: Emerging Ben Bradshaw – SponsoredLinX
Ben Bradshaw is an authority on online marketing in Australia and an established Google AdWords pioneer. He is the founder and CEO of Australia’s largest Australian-owned, multi-award winning internet marketing company, SponsoredLinX. With self-taught digital marketing skills and an ability to convert online opportunities into business results, Ben provides clients across Australia with guaranteed digital marketing solutions. Established in 2007, the business now has 70 staff, a national client base of 2,000 and has doubled its revenue year on year. His aim is to become the number one provider to SMEs for online marketing.
What the judges said: Ben Bradshaw is a born entrepreneur. Ben has an excellent knowledge of his industry which has allowed him to build SponsoredLinx into what is today a leading, multi-award winning online marketing company.

Category: Industry
Vanessa Garrard – E3 Style

Vanessa Garrard’s entrepreneurial spirit was evident from a young age, selling lollies around the neighbourhood. In 2006, Vanessa pioneered the youth electronics category in Australia, co-founding E3 Style. E3 Style provides major retailers and distributors with a complete product development outsourcing solution for consumer electronics, creating products that are fun, fashionable and on-trend. E3 Style is now the largest youth electronics supplier in Australia, as well as the largest licensed electronics supplier in Australia and New Zealand. Vanessa is expanding the business globally, setting up offices in Hong Kong, China and Los Angeles and establishing exclusive licensing agreements.
What the judges said: Vanessa Garrard is an impressive entrepreneur who is passionate about her business. With E3 Style, Vanessa has carved out a new market segment in Australia; executing an exceptional business model with rigor and discipline.

Category: Services
Mark Scherrer – Ferra Engineering

Through university, his first job as a machine designer and his journey in building Ferra Engineering, Mark Scherrer has grabbed opportunities, come up with ideas and collaborated as necessary. Ferra Engineering designs, manufactures, assembles and tests aerospace structures and subsystems as well as medical devices and components for renewable energy systems. The company has operations in Australia, the United States and India. Ferra Engineering’s workforce is now more than 100, with one third based overseas. Mark would like to expand into the medical and energy sectors and share the investment with someone in two to five years, either through private equity or an initial public offering. What the judges said: Mark Scherrer is an outstanding entrepreneur who is working with some of the world’s biggest aerospace companies. His business, Ferra Engineering, is delivering exciting and innovative services in a sophisticated global market.


Category: Technology Dr Andy Boud and Dr Alex Streit – ImmersaView Dr Andy Boud and Dr Alex Streit founded ImmersaView in 2006 to work on image warping software which could make real-time communication more effective. ImmersaView’s cutting-edge solutions include immersive high-resolution displays, curved screens, 3D stereoscopic displays and video capture recording and streaming. ImmersaView has sales offices in the United Kingdom and United States (US), with clients in defence, academia and mining. Andy and Alex want to increase their presence in Europe and the United States and establish a strong re-sale network. They would not rule out any future exit strategies but for now want to spend more time working in the business.
What the judges said: Through ImmersaView, Dr Andy Boud and Dr Alex Streit are developing new technology that will revolutionise real-time communication. ImmersaView already has a global footprint with potential for even greater market expansion.

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

Category: Listed award
Andrew Buckley – Cardno

Andrew Buckley has helped grow Cardno from a small Brisbane-based engineering business with 180 staff, into an ASX-200 listed infrastructure and environmental services company. With 8,000 staff working from 290 offices on projects in more than 85 countries around the world, Cardno delivers projects that make a difference – creating new infrastructure to improve communities, conducting environmental assessment and remediation projects and also providing strategic guidance to communities in emerging markets. Andrew is focused on Cardno’s vision which is to become a world leader in providing professional services to improve the physical and social environment.

Category: Social entrepreneur Hetty Johnston – Bravehearts Inc.
Hetty Johnston founded not-for-profit organisation Bravehearts Inc. in 1997 to help break the silence on child sexual assault. Bravehearts Inc. actively supports and advocates for the rights of children and families impacted by sexual assault. It provides education and counselling services, advocacy support for adult survivors, research, lobbying and training support for professionals working with children. Today the organisation has more than 50 employees and over 300 volunteers in offices across Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania. Hetty also plans to establish additional centres in the other states to allow for a national roll out of their support services.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship Terry White AO – Terry White Chemists
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.
Terry White opened his first pharmacy in 1958. Together with wife Rhonda, he helped make pharmacy ownership more accessible to graduating pharmacists, selling his first franchise in 1994. Today, there are over 162 Terry White Chemists across Australia, employing more than 4,500 people. Over the years, the Terry White Chemists name has become synonymous with trusted pharmaceutical advice. One of the founders of the Australian Institute of Pharmacy Management, Terry was made an Officer of the Order of Australia for his contribution to the development of the pharmacy industry, the Australian community and the Parliament in the 2006 Australia Day Honours.

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