SA’s entrepreneurial stars shine at awards night

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Friday 25 July 2014 - Four outstanding South Australian entrepreneurs took out top honours at last night’s 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Central Region awards ceremony in Adelaide.

The winners, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Jenny Paradiso, Suntrix
  • Industry –  Paul Crawford, Commercial Motor Vehicles Pty Ltd (CMV Group)
  • Services – Mark Dayman, Fyfe
  • Technology –  Shane Kelly, Kelly Engineering

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

  • Listed award – Jeff Ellison, SeaLink Travel Group Limited
  • Social entrepreneur – Madge McGuire, Catherine House Inc.
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Bob Beaumont, Beaumont Tiles

The Central Region winners, Social entrepreneur and Listed award recipient will go on to represent the state at the national awards in November, where they will compete for the title of 2014 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

EY’s Adelaide Managing Partner, Chris Sharpley congratulated the winners, saying they had each shown extraordinary vision and passion in building successful businesses that were creating jobs, driving productivity, fuelling growth and inspiring others.

“Entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to the economies and communities of South Australia and the Northern Territory. We had a truly impressive field of nominees in this year’s program which clearly demonstrates that entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in our region.”

“On behalf of EY, I congratulate our 2014 Central Region winners and wish them the best of luck as they go on to represent us at the national awards in November,” Mr Sharpley said.

Todd Roberts, General Manager, Institutional and Corporate Banking South Australia/Northern Territory, Commonwealth Bank, said the Central Region winners demonstrate the strength of entrepreneurial thinking in South Australia.

“The South Australian winners showcase the leadership capabilities, progressive thinking and sheer determination which set entrepreneurs apart from the crowd. These leaders have used their entrepreneurial spirit to fuel the growth of their business, the local job market and wider economy,” he said.

“Commonwealth Bank is the principal sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards and is proud to support a program that celebrates the accomplishments of South Australian business leaders and their contribution to 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 1,200 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001.

The overall 2014 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Melbourne on 20 November. 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 winner Andrew Bassat of SEEK.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go to


2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Central Region

Category: Emerging
Jenny Paradiso – Suntrix
In 2009, Jenny Paradiso and her husband David founded solar energy company, Suntrix, from their kitchen table. Today, Suntrix supplies, designs and installs solar PV solutions and complementary products and services to residential, commercial and wholesale clients throughout South Australia. The business also offers a range of maintenance and monitoring services across the life of the system which enables them to build long term customer relationships. Suntrix employs 25 people and has built a solid reputation for integrity, quality and customer service within the South Australian solar industry. Jenny is currently developing her plan for interstate expansion of the business.
What the judges said: With Suntrix, Jenny Paradiso has done a fantastic job of successfully launching a start-up business in what is a highly competitive market. Suntrix is already doing amazing things and, through its strong growth, sustainable business model and technology focus, Jenny is ensuring they are poised and ready to capitalize on the next market opportunities in a fast moving environment.

Category: Industry
Paul Crawford – Commercial Motor Vehicles Pty Ltd (CMV Group)
Paul Crawford is the joint Managing Director of the CMV Group, a family business founded by his grandfather in 1934. The CMV Group runs operations in franchised automotive dealerships and horticulture, predominately in South Australia and Victoria. Today the CMV Group is one of Australia’s largest privately owned companies, employing more than 1,300 staff. The group is a leader in the motor industry, setting high benchmarks for others to follow, especially in the area of skills training. Paul has introduced a fast growing national contracts maintenance business and is considering expansion of the core CMV Group offerings beyond South Australia and Victoria.
What the judges said: As a third generation family business, the CMV Group is a South Australian icon. Since taking the reins, Paul Crawford has been instrumental in the company’s success, changing the business model to achieve spectacular growth. Paul and the leadership team have also taken an innovative approach to fourth generation management opportunities for the family which will help ensure the long term sustainability of the business.

Category: Services
Mark Dayman – Fyfe
Mark Dayman takes pride in being a self-taught man. Working his way up, Mark was appointed as Managing Director of land, resource and infrastructure development consultancy, Fyfe in 2005. Fyfe specialises in comprehensive environment, engineering, planning and survey services for the Australian land development, energy, mining, and oil and gas industries. Mark has overseen significant growth of the business since taking leadership, increasing turnover and growing staff numbers from around 50 people to over 500. Fyfe is now the largest consultancy headquartered in South Australia. Mark is also considering building on recent international expansion in the Philippines, with a number of offshore opportunities including the United States and other countries.
What the judges said: A true South Australian success story, Mark Dayman embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship having pulled himself up by the boot-straps to achieve his business goals. His passion and drive have seen him grow Fyfe into a highly diversified consulting group which is profitable. Mark has a great vision for the future of the business and is already executing it.

Category: Technology
Shane Kelly – Kelly Engineering
Shane Kelly was a farmer for more than 15 years before entering the family business, Kelly Engineering, in 2002. Kelly Engineering is one of the largest farm machinery exporters in Australia. The business designs, manufactures and distributes a range of farming machinery to assist farmers with soil management and seed bed preparation. Holding around 90% of the Australian and US disc chain markets, the brand has become synonymous with the practice, with farmers often saying that they “Kelly Chain” their paddocks. Shane is planning to replicate their success in the US as the business expands into Africa and Europe.
What the judges said: From its humble beginnings in rural South Australia, Shane Kelly has built Kelly Engineering into a globally recognised business and a leader in its field. The combination of Shane’s innovative approach and the local manufacturing and exporting of quality farming machinery has seen Kelly Engineering achieve a majority market share in both Australia and the USA.


2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year non-competitive award recipients, Central Region

Category: Listed award
Jeff Ellison – SeaLink Travel Group Limited
Jeff Ellison has led the growth of successful ASX listed tourism and transport provider, SeaLink Travel Group Limited, since 1997. Today, SeaLink Travel Group Limited has operations in South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory through the well-recognised brands SeaLink and Captain Cook Cruises. In 2013, Jeff won the South Australian Tourism award for Outstanding Contribution by an Individual. He is focused on attracting tourists from the high growth international market in addition to the more stable domestic commuter transport market to ensure the company’s continued growth. Jeff also continues to seek out new acquisition opportunities for SeaLink.

Category: Social entrepreneur
Madge McGuire – Catherine House Inc.
Madge McGuire is CEO of Catherine House Inc., a not-for-profit organisation which aims to break the cycle of homelessness for women. Their services include emergency, transitional and permanent accommodation, clinical case management, post-crisis services and job readiness training. Madge is a sought after public speaker, raising awareness of the important work done at Catherine House. In 2004, she completed a trek to Mt Everest Base Camp, raising over $400,000 to help build the first Catherine House education and employment centre. In 2013, she was nominated as one of the 50 Most Influential People in SA.

Category: Champion of Entrepreneurship
Bob Beaumont – Beaumont Tiles
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.
At the age of 18, Bob Beaumont joined his father in a small business selling tiles and other wholesale goods to the building trade. Together they grew the business whilst Bob studied marketing at the South Australian Institute of Technology, later known as University of South Australia. In 1978 Bob became General Manager and Beaumont Tiles grew to multiple locations. Today the business is the largest tile retailers in Australia with nearly 100 outlets comprising of about half company shops and half franchises as well as extensive trade operations in South Australia, Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland. Beaumont Tiles employs over 450 people in addition to those employed by their franchises. Bob is still actively involved in the business and can’t think of anything more boring than retirement.


About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™
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 1,200 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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Rebecca Aley
Ernst & Young Australia
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