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2008 Queensland Managers of the Year

Professional Manager of the Year

Read more about the Professional Manager award category.


Ian Gillespie
Chief Executive Officer, RACQ - representing Brisbane

With an extensive background in law and industrial relations, Ian is a seasoned corporate executive and company director with wide experience in multiple industries and markets worldwide.

When Ian took the helm of RACQ, its iconic brand status was dwindling and perceived as a mature aged brand.

Ian has introduced innovative customer loyalty initiatives that have attracted 100,000 additional customers in the highly sort after under 25 age-group.

Ian has delivered efficiency gains, reinvigorated organisational culture and driven multi-dimensional growth in a highly commercial business.


  • Ian Gillespie, Chief Executive Officer, RACQ - representing Brisbane
  • Tanya Harris, Director, Ageing in Place Australia Pty Ltd - representing Cairns
  • Adrian Bubb, Gladstone Area Manager, Monadelphous Engineering - representing Gladstone
  • Rhonda Thorburn, Regional Director, Kelly Services - representing Gold Coast
  • René Monteith, Area Sales Manager, Telstra Countrywide - representing Mackay
  • Keith Twyford, Former Director Strategy and Planning Branch, Queensland Parks & Wildlife Division, Environmental Protection Agency - representing Rockhampton
  • Lianne Dickson AIMM, Branch Manager, St George Bank - representing Sunshine Coast
  • Stewart McRae, Manager Integrated Regional Planning, Toowoomba Regional Council - representing Toowoomba
  • Scott Brooks, Area Manager North Queensland, Commonwealth Bank Corporate Financial Services - representing Townsville

Owner Manager of the Year

Read more about the Owner Manager award category.


Darren Steinhardt
Managing Director, Infocus Wealth Management - representing Sunshine Coast

Darren has worked to revolutionize the Australian financial services industry, and his company is recognised as one of the industry's fastest growing enterprises.

The Infocus Group employs 400 individuals, has 53 franchises, and manages over $3 billion on behalf of 31 million clients.

This emerging financial juggernaut was the brainchild of Darren, who started the business in 1994 and has ensured progression through strength, clarity, stability and fairness in all of his business and personal dealings.


  • Christine Moody FAIM, Managing Director, Moody Design - representing Brisbane
  • Scott Brown AIMM, Managing Director, All Copy Printing & Signs - representing Cairns
  • Terri Read, Owner Manager, Terri's Swim School - representing Gladstone
  • Domenico Battaglia, Managing Director, Base Group Developments Pty Ltd, Supplycorp International Pty Ltd - representing Gold Coast
  • Melissa Green, Area Manager, Bank of Queensland - representing Mackay
  • Scott McGregor AIMM, General Manager, Plantability Pty Ltd - representing Rockhampton
  • Darren Steinhardt, Managing Director, Infocus Wealth Management - representing Sunshine Coast
  • Troy Campbell, Managing Director, Easternwell Group - representing Toowoomba
  • Marcel McLeod, Managing Director, Totalfab Pty Ltd - representing Townsville

Rural/Regional Manager of the Year

Read more about the Rural/Regional Manager award category.


Geoffrey Pike
Managing Director, General Trade Industries Pty Ltd, Thargominda - representing Toowoomba

Geoff's business is based in Thargominda, 1000 kilometres west of Brisbane. To provide some context, he employs 30 full time staff and has up to 20 contractors working for him at any one time in a town of 220 people. His organisation truly is the lifeblood of the community.

Geoffrey did not let his isolation hold him back... He has developed a venture with increased scope, to service the needs of almost any trade client. The business has also received various industry accolades, which can largely be attributed to the vision and work ethic of its leader.


  • Thomas Troncone AFAIM, Branch Manager Sales & Service Atherton Commonwealth Bank - representing Cairns
  • Fiona Jensen, Manager, Library & Information Services, Banana Shire Council, Biloela - representing Gladstone
  • Angela Duffy, General Manager, Central Queensland News Publishing Company - representing Mackay
  • Wayne Hansen, Owner/Manager, Hansen's Tyre & Mechanical - representing Rockhampton
  • Elizabeth Benson-Stott, Chief Executive Officer and Senior Psychologist, BetterLife Directions Pty Ltd, Hervey Bay - representing Sunshine Coast
  • Geoffrey Pike, Managing Director, General Trade Industries Pty Ltd, Thargominda - representing Toowoomba

Young Manager of the Year

Read more about the Young Manager award category.


Rick Coker
Engineering Manager, Russell Mineral Equipment Pty Ltd - representing Toowoomba

Rick withstood a baptism of fire when first accepting his position as Engineering Manager in 2006.

With no managerial experience, he was asked to lead a team working on a world first design project. Now, Rick has made the transition from senior engineer to team leader, and has exceeded performance standards in his sphere of influence.

Growing his team by over 50% in the last 18 months, Rick has a 'We can do anything' philosophy.


  • Phillip Di Bella FAIM, Managing Director, Di Bella Coffee - representing Brisbane
  • Amy Eden, Coordinator, Youth Empowered Towards Independence (YETI) - representing Cairns
  • Simone Holzapfel, Founding Partner, shac Public Relations - representing Gold Coast
  • Belinda Hughes AIMM, Manager, Apprentice Careers and Employment, MRAEL - representing Mackay
  • Melissa Schembri, Owner, Home Sweet Home Conveyancing Solicitors - representing Sunshine Coast
  • Rick Coker, Engineering Manager, Russell Mineral Equipment Pty Ltd - representing Toowoomba
  • Silvanna Morris, Quality Assurance Manager, Bestlan Group of Companies - representing Townsville

Fisher & Paykel Medal for Management Innovation

Read more about the Fisher & Paykel Medal for Management Innovation.


Mark Pascoe FAIM
Chief Executive Officer, International Water Center

Under Mark's leadership, the International Water Centre (IWC) is known as a leader in promoting new ways of thinking about water management.

The IWC consciously encourage people to acknowledge the multi-dimensional nature of future water challenges and the critical role culture, politics and society have in shaping solutions.

Mark's work as CEO of IWC has brought global recognition for Queensland's commitment to innovative approaches to sustainability.