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South Australian Excellence Awards finalists announced

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

South Australia’s best and brightest managers are set to be unveiled this Friday at the Australian Institute of Management’s annual Excellence Awards.

The winners of the South Australian Excellence Awards will be announced at an exclusive ceremony hosted by 5aa Radio Host and AFL legend Mark Bickley.

The awards recognise outstanding leadership in a range of industries through categories such as Not for Profit Manager of the Year, Young Manager of the Year as well as a Manager of the Year category.

For the past 22 years, the AIM Excellence Awards have been uncovering some of the unseen heroes in Australian business, government and community groups and this year promises more of the same with a high calibre of finalists represented in each category.

See below for a full list of South Australian finalists. 

AIM CEO David Pich has said he is excited about the prospect of discovering some of Australia’s best leaders in this year’s awards and he’s wished all of the finalists the best of luck for the judging process.

“Year after year, the feedback from finalists highlights to us the tremendous thrill that comes with being part of such a prestigious awards process and program,” Mr Pich said.

“For many, the AIM Excellence Awards are an unforgettable career milestone and we extend our sincere congratulations to each of the finalists.”

Judging for the 2015 South Australian Excellence Awards will be taking place at AIM South Australia on Friday 28 August and the winners will be announced at the awards event that evening.

Winners from each category will then go through to the National Excellence Awards finals taking place in Melbourne on Friday 16 October.


Young Manager of the Year Finalists

The Young Manager of the Year category recognises successful young entrepreneurs and business leaders aged between 18 and 30 years. This category acknowledges rising stars and aspiring leaders from business, government and industry. They are Australia’s “high potentials” and are recognised through AIM’s commitment to educating and developing Generation Y.


Abhijit Mishra - Adelaide

President - Adelaide Consulting club

Abhijit Mishra is an international graduate student at Carnegie Mellon University and he served as the President of the Adelaide Consulting Club, as well as initiating the student club to inspire younger generations to learn from the experience and knowledge of industry leaders.

Abhijit has also started YouTube video interviews of prominent personalities such as the Lord Mayor of Adelaide, Leader of the Opposition and other South Australia industry leaders. He also lead Bloomberg initiatives for students as the Bloomberg Ambassador Australia and was awarded a position in prestigious Finance Leadership Program of Tsinghua University, China.


Daniel Marro - Newton

State Lead, Learning - Westpac Banking Corporation

Daniel Marro started at Westpac in 2005 in the Adelaide call centre. He undertook various roles before securing a position in the learning and development team.  Over the past eight years he has worked to develop his own skills and knowledge – sharing these and applying them to his own experience.

Now, Daniel leads the South Australian Learning Delivery team – a group of internal facilitators responsible for delivering learning across the various business units and brands that make up the Westpac Group. His approach to leadership is characterised by transparency, authenticity and empathy.

Daniel supplements his business skills with knowledge and experience gained through community board involvement and tertiary study. He is currently undertaking a double degree in Laws and Human Resource Management at the University of South Australia.  He sees this as applying an academic lens over his work, helping him to manage and lead his team to success.


David Saleh - Hope Valley

Personal Training Manager - Anytime Fitness

David is a qualified and experienced Personal Trainer having graduated from the Australian Institute of Fitness, Master Training Program where he was awarded the Institute Champion. His excellence and passion saw him recognised by his peers and dubbed a Proud Ambassador of the Australian Institute of Fitness. He has participated in State (SA) Athletics, played competitive sports including baseball, volley ball, soccer (State League), indoor soccer (footstall), tennis and was in the State Champions lacrosse team for two consecutive years.

David believes in a holistic approach to health and wellbeing, coaching and mentoring clients to become the strongest version of themselves, both physically and mentally. His approach to personal training includes customising and creating challenging training programs unique to each client. He is committed to ensuring each client reaches and exceeds their potential in collaborative, supportive and outcome focused way


Kylie Kuchel - Tanunda

Sales Executive - Loscam Australia

Currently employed at Loscam Australia Pty Ltd as the Customer Service/ Sales Executive/ HMS SA/NT, Kylie’s role see her responsible for managing the South Australian and Northern Territory portfolio of 300+ customers for customer service and account management. 

Over the past two years Kylie has worked very closely with a large national food manufacturer whose site and account experienced 340% growth over the last year.  Her work with them ensured that they had excellent management processes in place to serve their operational, manufacturing and warehousing needs. 


Kymberly Davis - Hallett Cove

Operations Manager - Maxilift Australia Pty Ltd

Kymberly is the Operations Manager for Maxilift Australia, a fast growing, national family business that imports and sells vehicle loading cranes and hydraulic liftgates.

While Kymberly completed her Bachelor of Laws at UniSA, she also worked in Real Estate as a Property Manager, which gave her an excellent start in difficult negotiations and customer relations.

Kymberly utilises the skills her degree has given her on a daily basis for international business negotiations, managing daily operations as well as her team of eight staff while being trained to become the Managing Director of the business.


Nidal Rasheed - College Park 

Managing Director - Silvertail Property Group

Property Investment expert and entrepreneur Nidal Rasheed is Managing Director of Silvertail Property Group. Mentored by top industry figures, Nidal has developed a business ethos that breaks conventional thinking and challenges the standard approach to business and investment.

Within ten years of leaving school, Nidal’s trademark efficient and ethical practices, along with endless determination, took him from running lolly vending machines to launching Silvertail Property Group. The ten-year journey saw him working in sales at Cleaner Energy SA and ASX500 listed, Devine Homes.

Nidal has an enduring passion for inspiring growth, creating wealth and enabling financial freedom for his clients and his employees. He is focused on developing long-term relationships with his clients and serving them in the best way possible through a stress-free, streamlined, investment process.


Not for Profit Manager of the Year Finalists

The Not for Profit sector makes important contributions to society and the economy, the impacts of which are sometimes overlooked. Finalists for the Not for Profit Manager of the Year category are senior managers, executives and leaders in this sector who have worked for their organisation in a professional management capacity. Our finalists have transformed cultures, aligned the development of individuals in their organisation to the needs of the business culture and managed the demands of stakeholders with finesse.


Amanda Porter - Adelaide

General Manager Business Services - Mental Illness Fellowship South Australia

Amanda has been working in community organisations for the past ten years and is passionate about mental health, taking any opportunity to contribute to improvements for the mental health sector, and the broader health system in South Australia.

Amanda has an academic background in Psychology and has completed a Master of Business Administration (Health Management). Amanda feels a connection with MIFSA's vision, mission and values and embraces opportunities to take creative and innovative approaches, working with teams to build systems and supporting the growth and professional development of team members.


Chris Linden - Nuriootpa

General Manager - Vine Inn Barossa

Chris is a task-orientated individual who focuses on the development of both internal and external customers. He enjoys a challenge and adopting a fresh and enthusiastic approach to all projects.  During Chris’s five year tenure at the Vine Inn, Barossa’s Community Hotel, he has made significant improvements to its financial and operational position.

Chris is actively involved in a range of Community based activities including: Chairman of the Nuriootpa Futures Association, Vice-Captain of the Barossa Golf Club, Chairman of the Nuriootpa Football Club Disciplinary Committee, Board member of the Nuriootpa Centennial Park Authority, Board member of the Liquor Industries Golf Club, and participation with virtually every other sports and social club in the region.


Heidi Limareff - Hendon

General Manager of Group Operations and Client Services - CAN: DO Group

Heidi Limareff is currently the General Manager of Group Operations and Client Services with the Can:Do Group, an umbrella organisation managing South Australia’s two oldest service charities. Heidi earned her BA in Communication Disorders, her Masters of Art in Audiology in San Diego and her MBA from UniSA.  Heidi has been fortunate to have been able to combine her two loves of audiology and business in a career that has taken her around Australia and landed her in Adelaide where she started a business for the Deaf society ten years ago. 

Today Heidi continues to manage the audiology business, Can:Do Hearing, whilst also leading the client services team of both Can:Do 4Kids and Deaf Can:Do.  Heidi enjoys growing and developing people and change management.  She is currently taking Can:Do 4Kids through the transition to NDIS and meeting the daily internal and external challenges of changing a not for profit culture to a mindset of not for loss.


Loraine House - Adelaide

Executive Officer - Eating Disorders Association of South Australia

Loraine began working for the original Eating Disorders Association of SA in 2006. The association amalgamated in 2009 and in 2012 funding was withdrawn and the new association closed. Loraine decided that for consumers to receive the service they deserve a standalone association dedicated to eating disorders needed to be reincorporated.

So in 2012 EDASA was re-born, with the same passion and philosophy of the original association that originated from the 1980’s. EDASA is completely non-funded and as such everyone who is involved with EDASA does so in a voluntary capacity including Loraine. 


Dr Natoiya Lloyd - Adelaide

Research Scientist - The Australian Wine Research Institute

Natoiya is an early career researcher at Metabolomics Australia (MA) housed and operated within The Australian Wine Research Institute (AWRI) with a PhD in Analytical Chemistry. Within six months of beginning her role at MA she was promoted to manage the metabolomics team, preparing budgets and reports for both MA and AWRI platforms, meeting with clients, starting new projects and maintaining $1.5Million worth of cutting edge analytical technologies.

In her role Natoiya engages with researchers across both AWRI and Metabolomics platforms and multiple sectors of agriculture, biomedical and environmental to successfully achieve scientific goals and perform world class research.


Paul Scully - Woodville West 

Chief Executive Officer - Baptist Care (SA) Inc

Paul’s career in community services began as a counsellor and in time he took on the role of a regional manager for Lifeline in Queensland. The role included managing a commercial laundry, a social enterprise of Lifeline shops and a counselling centre. In 12 years the service grew into 50 staff, five regional services and seven retail outlets for the social enterprise.

In 2010 he moved to South Australia to be the CEO of Baptist Care which has grown from 400 to 600 staff in four years and from a $27 million to $37 million community charity. A lifelong learner Paul also gained four tertiary qualifications including two masters and is currently completing a professional doctorate. Further whilst working full time his former employer allowed him to lecturer at the University of Southern Queensland where he help set up a new degree and wrote several of its courses.


Vicki Wegmann - Trott Park

Assistant Manager, Christmas Pageant - South Australian Tourism Commission

Vicki started at John Martins fresh out of school in 1976.  She worked in various departments in John Martin’s from the Fashion Buying office to the receiving office at Lockleys and then fortunately with the Christmas pageant.  John Martins’ closed in 1996 and the Pageant was acquired by the South Australian Tourism Commission. 

Vicki has worked with the South Australian Tourism Commission since that time working for Events South Australia on the Credit Union Christmas Pageant. She started as receptionist, and worked her way to event assistant, event coordinator and most recently Assistant Manager.


Manager of the Year finalists

The Manager of the Year category celebrates the innovation, strategic thinking and visionary leadership of executive and C-Suite leaders from the public and private sectors. Finalists include senior managers, executives and leaders of business across all industries who have had an extraordinary impact on their organisation’s financial success through forward-thinking strategies.


Iain Woollaston - Netley

General Manager - Cook Building & Development

As both a General Manager and in previous senior role, Iain has been consistently acknowledged for his ability to manage business, teams and people to achieve success for the organisation and the individual.  For the last four years he has been on the board and finance committee of a not for profit organisation that provides carers for the most vulnerable members of the community.

Iain’s background and experience has taught him an outstanding set of relationship building and communication skills and he is a natural leader with the ability to align groups and get the best out of individuals. He also has a proven track record of mentoring and teaching and is also passionate about culture and driving an environment that is aspirational to work in.


Jody Buchan - Kensington Gardens

General Manager - Human Resources & Services - W&L Aged Care Services

Jody has spent numerous years as a Senior Human Resource Professional, developing corporate HR strategy, managing change, facilitating employee relationships and providing a high level of generalist human resources advice. She has a thorough knowledge of the delivery of contemporary Human Resource practices with a highly developed understanding of Industrial, Legislative, Employee Relations, Recruitment and Selection, WHS, WorkCover, Equal Opportunity, Discrimination and workplace issues.

Her current role focuses on all aspects of HR including connecting and developing business and financial operations and organisational goals and matching these with the requirements of management across a diverse workforce. She holds a Diploma of Business (Human Resources), a Diploma of Business Management and is a Certified Professional of the Australian Human Resource Institute as well as a member of The Executive Connection.


Jamie McDonald - Kent Town

Site Manager - Iluka Resources Pty Ltd

Jamie is a Site Manager for Iluka Resources and is based at Jacinth Ambrosia mine in South Australia. Jamie’s mining career starting in Eneabba on New Year’s Day 1997, as a dump truck operator and quickly progressed to the position of supervisor at the mine. As the site supervisor at Gingin he installed a progressive planning regime and training schedule for employees, promoting his management skills which took him to Cooljarloo (Cataby) where he was responsible for restructuring the mining and rehabilitation of the site whilst improving the site safety records.

Iluka Resources came knocking due to his impressive record on production and notable safety record, which was significantly reduced during his time on site. Jacinth Ambrosia is the largest Zircon mine in the world and needed to be brought from discovery, construction to production, combining all the attributes from mining and mineral separation.  Jamie has been integral in mentoring/coaching and taking all personnel on a journey to achieving great production and safety records. 


Natalie Rowland - Kenton Valley

General Manager - National Home Doctor Service

Natalie has held senior service delivery roles in the private, finance, state and local government sector including Operations Manager for Emergency Operations Centre SA Ambulance Health, Community and Area Operations Manager for Bank SA. She is passionate about customer service, people and culture and change management. The culture, values and vision of her employer are important to her, and health and welfare have been a key theme during her career progression.

Natalie believes in investing in staff to bring out their best and takes pride in promoting team and celebrating success. She has a keen sense of humor, while being outcome driven and goal focused.  In her spare time she is devoted to Animal Welfare, is a Delta Qualified Dog Behaviour Trainer and spends time with her husband revegetating a 17 acre property in the Adelaide Hills.


Kerrie Jackson - Tennyson

Manager Governance & Operational Support - City of Charles Sturt

Kerrie is widely known for her empathic, patient and supportive approach, underlying this she brings political acumen and a thoughtful problem solving approach and a fearless willingness to address core issues. Kerrie is motivational and supports individuals in their growth and development and is viewed as an authentic leader which is based around humility and credibility. 

During her time with the City of Charles Sturt she has actively sought opportunities to build her leadership skills and this has resulted in her managing several areas across Council such as Organisational Development, Library Services, Open Space & Recreation, and Information Technology and more recently as the Manager Governance & Operational Support.