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 2018 national judges:

  • Laura Anderson, Chairman, SVI Global Pty Ltd

    Laura AndersonLaura is Chairman of SVI Global Pty Ltd, OneGlobalVenture Pty Ltd, LaunchVic and the Foundation for the Advancement of Science and Technology in Schools. Laura is also on the board of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, Epworth HealthCare, National Basketball League, Defence Council Victoria, Fulbright Commission, Defence Science Institute and several private investment companies.

    She has worked extensively across governments and industries locally and globally as a senior adviser on global governance, strategy transformation and risk optimisation. Her professional speciality has been in harnessing the power of big data and its effects on global supply chains, trade, investment and infrastructure development.

    Laura was honoured both as an Ambassador of International Women’s Day on its 100th anniversary and as an Australia Day Ambassador. She was also honoured as a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Transport for her contributions to industry and appointed as a Governor of the American Chamber of Commerce. Laura is emeritus Chair of the CEO Circle and immediate past Chairman of The Good Foundation and the Melbourne Fashion Festival.

  • Christian Beck, Founder, Australian Technology Innovators

    Christian BeckChristian Beck is the reigning Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ having won the award last year as the founder of Australian Technology Innovators. Christian is a self-taught tech guy who, after failing his first year of schooling, is now one of Australia’s leading tech entrepreneurs running a multi-billion dollar global technology company – one of the few technology companies from Australia to find global success.  Developing software for legal firms before the search engine concept was an internet byword, his first company, LEAP Legal Software, delivers technical solutions to improve the productivity of law firms and conveyancers. InfoTrack, which is complimentary to LEAP Legal, is a one-stop-search engine for critical legal and other company-related information from sources including ASIC, credit agencies, the electoral roll, and litigation services. Brought together as Australian Technology Innovators, these thriving technology companies are undertaking rapid global expansion.

  • Melinda Cruz, Founder, Miracle Babies Foundation

    Melinda CruzShowing that you can overcome adversity to impact change, Melinda is the awarding winning founder of Miracle Babies Foundation. She is a published researcher, influencer and expert international speaker on topics such as not for profit start up and social entrepreneurship, health and consumer advocacy, and how being resilient can help to live a life of inspired action.

    Starting the Foundation in 2005 after her own experience of having three premature babies, the incredible difference Melinda has made to thousands, along with her impact as a successful entrepreneur has seen her win numerous awards including the 2011 EY Social Entrepreneur of the Year and be a regular guest on radio, TV and speaker at national and international conferences. In 2013 she was inducted into the Australian Businesswomens Hall of Fame and was a 2015 NSW Woman of the Year - Premiers Award finalist.

    She is a trusted consumer expert to medical professionals seeking to improve treatments and understanding of premature and sick babies and the impact a birth has on the family unit. In 2012, she was awarded the title of Honorary Research Associate by the University of Sydney, Medical School and was the first parent to be invited as an Associate Investigator on a National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) funded neonatal trial.

    In 2014, Melinda joined the Perinatal Society of Australia & New Zealand’s (PSANZ) Consumer Advisory Panel as the inaugural Chair and accepted a position on the PSANZ Clinical Trials executive committee. In 2016, she was asked to join the NHMRC Clinical Trials Ready Development Committee and in 2017 and 2018, was part of two award-winning global trials improving the lives of millions of premature newborns.

    For the second year in a row, she is an Australian EY Entrepreneur of the Year Regional Judge and currently sits on the Red Cross Blood Service Milk Bank Advisory Committee.

    In 2014, Melinda ran the New York Marathon with 18 others raising more than $230,000 for Miracle Babies.

  • Vanessa Garrard, Managing Director, SourceHub Group

    EY - Vanessa GarrandVanessa is an Australian entrepreneur, mother to four young children and a leader in the consumer products industry. Vanessa is the founder and Global CEO of SourceHub Group which recently acquired OZtrail, Australia’s #1 Camping & Outdoor Leisure Products Brand.

    Products designed by her team can be found in over 5,000 retail stores covering more than 30 product categories including consumer electronics, outdoor furniture, tents and gazebos.

    Her passion for business and developing products with proven appeal to consumers has seen Vanessa ranked in Australia’s Top 30 Female Entrepreneurs list, BRW Fast 100 lists, and in 2013 she was named the Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year for Industry. More recently Vanessa was named in the Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence.

    With over 25 years of experience in building businesses across Australia, China, UK, Europe & US, Vanessa understands what it takes to build and grow a global business.

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

    Chris HadleyChris is one of the longest serving executives in the Australian Private Equity industry. Chris has led and managed the raising of all nine Quadrant funds, the first in 1996, and has been a member of the Investment Committee of all funds. Quadrant was recently named on Preqin’s global list of top 10 buyout funds, and was the only Australian fund in the global list of private equity managers.

    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, A-Mart/Barbeques Galore, Fitness and Lifestyle Group, Rockpool Dining Group, Superior Food Group, APM and Worldmark.

  • Anthony Kittel, Chief Executive Officer, REDARC Electronics

    EY - Anthony Kittel Anthony is the CEO and owner of REDARC Electronics. REDARC is a Lonsdale SA based, advanced manufacturer employing 170 staff and also has an office at the Williamtown, NSW Aerospace Centre employing 10 staff. REDARC was established in 1979 and manufactures a range of portable power products for vehicle applications including battery management systems, power supplies, voltage converters, vehicle safety products and inverters. REDARC supplies products to the automotive, mining, defence, trucking, agricultural and marine industries.

    At the 2015 and 2017 Australian Auto Aftermarket Excellence Awards, REDARC was awarded Gold – Excellence in Manufacturing over $10 million annual turnover. REDARC was awarded 2014 Telstra Australian SME Business of the Year and in 2017 was named a Westpac Top 20 Business of Tomorrow.

    Born in Port Augusta South Australia, Anthony graduated as a qualified Mechanical Engineer at the South Australian Institute of Technology (now UniSA), and completed his MBA at the University of Adelaide. In 2013, Anthony graduated from the three year Owners Presidents Management (OPM) program at Harvard Business School.

    In April 2018, Anthony was conferred the Degree of Doctor of the University honoris causa, Flinders University. His Honorary Doctorate recognises his unrelenting focus on transformative workplace culture and new product development, as well and his investment in the business leaders of tomorrow through mentorship, professional development and career guidance.

    Anthony is the National Vice President and SA Branch Councillor of Australian Industry Group, a member of the Flinders University Engineering School Industry Advisory Board and a member of the Adelaide University Business School Industry Advisory Board. He is also the immediate past Chairperson of the South Australian Training and Skills Commission.

    He is a Chartered Professional Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Engineers Australia and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

  • Sarah Morgan, Non-Executive Director

    Sarah MorganSarah Morgan is an experienced board director, corporate advisor and professional investor. Her previous executive roles included 16 years with independent corporate advisory firm Grant Samuel. Over this time she was involved in a large number of transactions including public company M&A, IPOs, capital raisings, asset acquisitions and divestments, and company and business valuations, across a broad range of industries.

    Sarah is a respected non-executive director, serving on a number of boards such as Hansen Technologies Limited, Adslot Limited, Future Generation Global Investment Company Ltd and the National Gallery of Victoria Foundation. She has also served on the boards of Luxe City Guides Pty Ltd, the Melbourne Accelerator Program and Museum of Contemporary Art Australia.

  • Ingrid Puzey, Director, West Australian Ballet

    EY - Ingrid PuzeyAfter completing her studies at the University of Western Australia, Ingrid also studied French and German languages in Switzerland.

    Working for two years in Sydney in the merchant banking sector, she returned to Perth in 1987. Ingrid joined her family’s small to medium enterprise in the surgical and medical industry where she worked for fifteen years, the last six as Managing Director.

    Her experience in management, marketing, administration and human resources has translated in recent years to roles in the not-for-profit Sector, most particularly as a Director of West Australian Ballet and Chair of the UWA Centenary Trust for Women.

    Ingrid is the Chair of Equus Bonding Inc., sits on the Perth Festival Philanthropy Committee, and is a member of the Black Swans State Theatre Company White Swans.

    In 2017 she was awarded Citizen of the Year in her local community.

  • Henrietta Rothschild, Chief Operating Officer, iSelect

    EY - Henrietta RothschildHenrietta is Chief Operating Officer at ASX listed iSelect, a role she has held since August 2017.  In this role Henrietta is responsible for the performance of the company’s 3 Business Units (Health & General Insurance; Energy & Telco and Wealth), including customer contact centre operations and commercial partnerships.

    Previously, Henrietta had over 25 years’ experience in sales, marketing, human resources and management consulting.  For over six years she was the Managing Director of Hay Group (now Korn Ferry Hay Group) across Australia, NZ, Japan and Korea, a global management consulting firm focusing on organisational performance and people advisory services.

    Henrietta is an Independent Director on the Board of Brown Brothers and is also a Board Member of Richmond Football Club and a member of the Risk Committee and Chair of the Governance & Remuneration Committee.

  • Wai Tang, Non-Executive Director

    EY - Wai TangWai has more than three decades of retail and FMCG of knowledge and experience in both executive and non-executive roles. She previously held executive position as the director of operations for the Just Group Ltd and CEO of Peter Alexander Sleepwear division concurrently. Prior to joining Just Group, she was the GM of Business Development for Pacific Brands and Pacific Dunlop. In addition to other senior roles held within FMCG industry, she was co-founder and managing director for Happy Lab Pty Ltd.

    She currently holds non-executive directorship at Vicinity Centers Ltd, JB HiFi Limited, PMP Limited and also is on the Board of Visit Victoria and Melbourne International Arts Festival.

  • Ryan Trainor, Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder, Udify, Executive Chairman, BSchool, Chairman, CG Spectrum College of Animation & Game Design

    Ryan TrainorSpanning more than 20 years, Ryan Trainor has been the founder or investor in a number of high profile educational ventures in South East Asia including building and exiting one of Australia’s largest Workforce education companies to Kaplan, part of the Washington Post in 2011.

    Today he remains Executive Chairman of BSchool, Chairman of CG Spectrum College of Animation & Game Design and CEO and Co-founder of Udify, an EdTech platform that has digitised international student recruitment with offices spanning the sub-continent.

    Ryan has a number of investments that sit outside of education through Crosby & Prince Ventures, including Fortress Esports venues and Founding Director of Order Esports, Australia’s largest professional Esport club with more the 60 professional players over seven teams.

    Outside of business, he sits on the board of the Mirabel Foundation, a strong supporter of the Enterprize Start-up hubs in Tasmania and past Vice President of the Carlton Football Club.

    Ryan was a national finalist in EY’s Entrepreneur Of The Year program in 2010.