Leader Talk Podcast

Looking for inspiration and advice to take your small business to the next level? Look no further than Leader Talk, the weekly podcast proudly brought to you by Brainiact.

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Hosted by Gustav Arianto, Pacific (Wholesale) Director at Signify, and Natalie Dawson, Director of Brand and Communications at Brainiact, this podcast features insightful conversations with successful leaders from around the world. Our vision is to connect the world’s business owners with support and resources to empower their success. Leader Talk is just one of the many initiatives by Brainiact to make this a reality.

Tune in each week to our livestream on YouTube, Facebook, and LinkedIn, or catch up later on your favourite podcast platform. Join the conversation today and start building your business with the best!

Scroll down to see our lineup of past and upcoming guests and hear their incredible stories of success.

Podcast Episodes
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Clint Hewish is the Founder and Managing Director of Concept Electrical Estimating. Since founding the company in 2017, Clint has expanded it to include mechanical and plumbing estimating, as well as electrical design.

Concept Electrical Estimating partners with tier 1 and tier 2 contractors across the commercial and residential sectors. The company provides estimating services and project management, significantly helping contractors, developers, and builders in securing more projects and ensuring timely delivery. Clint’s expertise in cost planning, budgeting, and procurement has helped hundreds of businesses enhance their quoting processes and scale effectively.

Ivan Tandyo is the CEO and founder of Navanti Holdings, an investment company for diversified businesses.

Starting with a small food and beverage venture in 2003, Navanti Holdings expanded to multiple restaurants in Melbourne’s city centre. His entrepreneurial spirit led him to diversify into the property business, establishing Xynergy Investment Group in 2008 across Australia and SEA countries. Under Ivan’s leadership, Navanti now owns 20+ subsidiaries spanning the manufacturing, services, and property development sectors. Ivan also created the 11th Space Business Hub, nurturing SMEs and start-ups across Australia and Indonesia. Committed to social impact, he mentors potential leaders through NFoundation.

Charlotte Lloyd is the CEO and founder of Charlotte Lloyd Sales Consulting, specialising in LinkedIn and sales coaching for solopreneurs, founders, and B2B companies.

Charlotte has coached hundreds of sales representatives and entrepreneurs. With over 20 years as a top sales performer, she now helps business owners increase sales pipelines and client conversions by teaching effective social selling and personalised cold outreach strategies. Her accelerator program enhances social selling skills on LinkedIn for small to medium-sized businesses, using content creation and targeted outreach to engage prospects. Charlotte was in the Top 50 Sales Creators in 2023 and Top 30 Women in Sales to follow on LinkedIn Monster Connect in March 2023.

David Abdelmessih is a dynamic leader in the business world. David is the Managing Director of UConnect (International), which includes several well-known companies under its umbrella, including Buzz Cleaning.

David shares his knowledge as a mentor with UConnect, helping new entrepreneurs find their footing. He has also authored “Lead Generation Mastery,” a detailed guide aimed at teaching business owners how to attract and connect with potential customers. David’s work is marked by his dedication to business growth and expertise in reaching customers worldwide.

Trena Blair is an expert in helping Australian businesses expand into the U.S. She founded FD Global Connections, which advises Australian and U.S. companies on entering each other’s markets.

Trena’s first book, “Decoding Global Growth: How Successful Companies Scale Internationally,” made her a #1 Amazon Best-Selling Author in Australia and USA. This book offers essential advice for businesses looking to grow internationally. With over 20 years of experience in leadership roles in the Asia Pacific and the Americas, Blair has become a trusted advisor in global expansion. She helps businesses build holistic sustainable business models, and is a renowned industry presenter and speaker

Steve Loe, Managing Director of the event management company Precedent Productions, has been helping small businesses shine for over 30 years.

Using his experience in strategy, marketing, and event production, Steve founded the Australian Small Business Champion Awards in 1999 to celebrate the nation’s entrepreneurial spirit. This initiative now spotlights around 1,000 small businesses from around Australia every year. He also introduced the Local Business Award brand where 25 programs are presented involving 15,000 business registrants annually. He was also the mind behind the Australian Child Care Week which has significantly impacted the sector.

Brad Kasell, Principal Technology Strategist at Domo APAC, boasts over 27 years in software engineering, management consulting, sales, digital strategy, and data protection.

With a career spanning roles at global giants like McKinsey, Deloitte Digital, PwC, Oracle, IBM, Microsoft, and Salesforce in both Australia and the US, Brad is a vanguard in driving digital strategy and executing global transformation programs across sectors including retail, healthcare, and utilities. Passionate about leveraging data analytics and emerging technologies to enhance productivity, Brad advocates for the democratisation of data across organisations, emphasising its value as a pivotal asset for innovation and efficiency in today’s fast-paced digital landscape.

Matthew Lakajev, founder and CEO of UnlockAI, is the number one fastest-growing LinkedIn creator in Australia.

UnlockAI empowers businesses to automate their LinkedIn lead generation with AI. His approach, which combines organic content and strategic messaging, has proven successful, generating over $247,000 in 100 days on LinkedIn. He also hosts “The AI Sales Revolution” podcast where he gives actionable advice on using AI for sales and marketing. UnlockAI’s program, based on Lakajev’s strategies, promises a transformative approach to enhancing online brand presence and accelerating lead acquisition on LinkedIn.

Hakim Halim is the founder of Ripe Cheese, the world’s first all-Australian artisanal cheese shop.

Hakim moved to Australia from Singapore in 2011. In 2017, he pivoted from digital marketing to cheesemongering at the iconic Queen Victoria Market. Noticing a gap in the market for local cheeses, he founded Ripe Cheese, showcasing over 50 varieties from local artisan producers. Ripe Cheese was awarded the 2023 Melbourne Small Business of the Year and the 2022 and 2023 Australian Good Food Guide Readers’ Choice Winner. Also a judge at the Australian Grand Dairy Awards, Hakim champions the Australian cheese industry, marking Ripe as an industry beacon.

Louise Broekman, Founder of the Advisory Board Centre, is a trailblazer in professional advisory services with over 20 years of experience.

Louise specialises in executive education and professional development and is an expert in building collaborative business communities. Her notable achievements include expanding a licensed model across eight countries and chairing advisory boards for high-growth firms.

The Advisory Board Centre provides support for businesses and advisors, including executive training, market intelligence, and networking services. Louise’s role in shaping the advisory sector through innovation and education has made her a respected figure in driving value for businesses and professionals.

Check out Louise Broekman’s article on why your small business needs an advisory board.

Steve Finn is the Director and Co-Founder of Finn Business Sales, an influential Australian brand renowned for business sales, valuation, and consulting.

With 20 years of experience, Steve has personally sold hundreds of businesses and franchises, amassing a combined value of over $100 million. His expertise lies in handling large or complex businesses with multimillion-dollar revenues, supported by an extensive network of private investors.

Since its inception in 2004, The Finn Group has diversified into various niches, including Finn Business Sales, Finn Franchise Brokers, Finn Mergers and Acquisitions, and Finn Consulting Services, leading a team of over 70 professionals nationwide.

Emma Walsh is the founder and CEO of Parents At Work, Australia’s first service dedicated to helping parents return to work. 

Parents At Work supports both parents and organisations to better manage the challenges that employees face when balancing work and family life. The company was recognised in Westpac’s 2017 list of Australia’s Top 200 Businesses of Tomorrow.

As a mother of three, Emma is a passionate advocate for improving parental leave and flexible work rights for working parents. She is an author and international speaker and also helps develop aspiring female leaders through leadership programmes. Emma was even shortlisted for the Telstra Business Woman of the Year 2010.

Check out Emma Walsh’s article on Prioritising team well-being: A pathway to business success

Marina Pullin, as the Managing Director of The Jungal and Founder of MCBI, has made significant strides in the professional world. 

The Jungal, an award-winning platform, connects clients with Australia’s top 1000 verified freelancing professionals using innovative technology and data analysis. MCBI, equally acclaimed, is a consulting firm that enhances the skills of business analysts. With over 20 years in management consulting, Marina has driven positive change across various sectors through smart technology and people management. 

Marina is also a not-for-profit director for Orana Australia Limited, a dynamic public speaker, and a university lecturer.

Check out Marina Pullin’s article on Navigating customer relationships: A small business guide

Former Sportsgirl CEO Colleen Callander and executive life coach Shannah Kennedy are authors of Elevate and co-founders of Human Elevation.

Shannah Kennedy has coached top athletes, CEOs, and high-performing executives, empowering them to achieve their goals. She is the author of the global bestseller The Life Plan – Simple Strategies for a Meaningful Life and six other acclaimed titles.

Colleen Callander, with a 30-year retail career, is the former CEO of two top Australian fashion brands, Sportsgirl and Sussan. Known for building brands and winning cultures, Colleen also authored Leader by Design – Be Empowered to Lead with Confidence in Business and in Life.

Check out Shannah Kennedy and Colleen Callander’s article on to lead your business to success, you must first lead yourself.

Phil Hayes-Brown, inspired by his daughter who lives with a moderate intellectual impairment, has worked in the disability sector since 2010 and is the CEO of Wallara Australia.

Wallara Australia is a nonprofit organisation that works with 500 adults with various abilities, helping them achieve their fullest potential. Phil has a rich background as a commercial lawyer and sports marketer, including 13 years in elite sports leagues like the NBA and AFL. He uses his experience to engage the mainstream community through innovative partnerships and educational platforms to drive social change and empower individuals. Phil’s goal is to reshape the conversation around disabilities, emphasising what people with disabilities can do rather than what they can’t. He provides employment to people with disability at Wallara Australia, primarily in the hospitality, warehousing and land management services space.

Check out Phil Hayes-Brown’s article on why your business should be using disability support services

Justin Roff-Marsh is a renowned author, thought leader, and founder of Ballistix, a sales management and marketing consultancy.

Ballistix specialises in Sales Process Engineering, a radical approach to the resourcing and management of the sales process. The approach enables organisations to a build high-throughput sales process, where salespeople focus on the conduct of appointments and delegate all non-critical tasks to the sales support function. Justin is also the author of “The Machine: A radical approach to the design of the sales function,” a groundbreaking work that challenges conventional sales practices.

Justin is a prolific speaker for industry events, conferences and workshops and his Solution Design Workshops have benefited hundreds of companies across the globe, making him a respected figure in sales innovation.

Check out Justin Roff-Marsh’s article on Revolutionise your sales: Sales Process Engineering

Dan Cahill, a former McDonald’s manager, now thrives as a Regional Franchisor for Jim’s Mowing. Dan dreamt of starting his own business and making his mark on the entrepreneurial world.

His search for growth and opportunity led him to Jim’s Group, where he could have the perfect combination of owning a franchise with an established support system and a proven business model. Under the Jim’s Mowing franchise, Dan’s business soared with weekly sales reaching 17 to 21 thousand dollars. His journey from fast-food management to a successful Regional Franchisor highlights the transformative power of the right franchise, proving that with determination and guidance, entrepreneurial dreams can become a reality.

Check out Dan Cahill’s article on how to go from employee to employer: 5 key lessons

Larry Robertson is a globally recognised leadership advisor and speaker with more than three decades of experience guiding some of Australia’s most high-profile leaders, including people like Mark Bouris, Westpac CEO Peter King. He helps current and aspiring leaders around the world be their best and give their most.

After starting his career in the Irish Guards in the 1970s, Larry transitioned into the UK advertising industry, where he built a strong reputation as a creative and passionate leader. After moving to Australia in the 1980s and establishing – and subsequently selling – an advertising agency here, Larry then launched Robertson Burns. This leadership consultancy offers one-on-one or team-focused leadership guidance and training. Larry is also an in-demand speaker.

Check out Larry Robertson’s article on the three core qualities of true leadership.

Lauren Oakes is the CEO of Megaphone, a Melbourne-based digital agency that has been recognised as the 2021 #1 Social Media Agency of the Year. Under her leadership, the agency has grown to over 120 employees and expanded to six cities. Lauren’s journey with Megaphone began as a Junior Account Manager when the agency was just a small startup. She is passionate about promoting women in leadership and has achieved over 70% female representation in leadership positions at Megaphone. 

Beyond the day-to-day work, Lauren is passionate about giving back to the community through pro-bono marketing services and volunteering opportunities for her team. And as a mentor to fellow women in business, Lauren is always eager to share her wisdom and support others in their own professional journeys.

Check out Lauren Oakes’ article on the six pillars of marketing in 2023.

Michelle Tillis Lederman is a highly regarded business professional renowned for her expertise in communication, leadership, and networking. With over two decades of experience, she has held influential roles in business development and strategic relationship building.

As the founder and CEO of Executive Essentials, Michelle empowers individuals and organisations with effective communication tools to achieve success. Her acclaimed books, such as “The 11 Laws of Likability” and “The Connector’s Advantage,” offer practical insights on building meaningful connections. Michelle’s dynamic speaking engagements and executive coaching sessions inspire audiences worldwide, helping them cultivate authentic relationships and drive business growth. With her profound understanding of human dynamics, she continues to be a sought-after authority in communication and leadership, enabling others to unlock their full potential.

Check out Michelle Tillis Lederman’s article on how being liked is only one element of being a connected leader

Braian Szwarcberg-Poch, along with his wife Allie, is the Director and co-founder of Allie’s Cold Pressed. Having enjoyed a successful corporate career in management, in 2018 Braian decided to join his wife on her entrepreneurial journey. However, amidst their rising success, Braian was diagnosed with stage 3 colorectal cancer. Despite the shock, Braian approached his treatment with determination, undergoing surgery and chemotherapy. He views himself as not yet a cancer survivor, but a cancer fighter. He finds strength in swimming, dedicating 30 minutes each day to laps at the local pool.

His wife Allie, is a former marketing professional who founded Allie’s Cold Pressed in 2014 out of her passion for creating nutrient-rich juices using locally sourced ingredients. Together, they supply top Australian eateries and hotels with their refreshing and authentic products. The story of Braian and Allie is one of perseverance, resilience and success.

Check out Braian and Allie Szwarcberg-Poch’s article on conquering business adversity.

Steve Sallis, the Founder of Solutions Mindset, is an executive mindset coach who supports and helps create elite teams in the workplace. He excels as a leadership mentor, trainer, keynote speaker, and elite development mentor in business and elite sports.

Previously, he served as the Head of Performance Mindset at AFC Wimbledon and Cardiff City FC and also worked with the England U15 National Squad. With a background as a former footballer at Brighton and Hove Albion FC, Steve’s passion for education and sport is evident.

At Solutions Mindset, he provides high-performance support for elite athletes, business leaders, headteachers, and the families and children of CEOs. He ensures his clients fulfil their personal & professional objectives. Steve was featured in the Netflix documentary “Sunderland til I Die,” where he stood by the side of Wales international footballer Jonny Williams. He also spoke on BBC Radio 5 Live, The High Performance Podcast, with millions of downloads.

Check out Steve Sallis’ article on why emotional intelligence is so important for success.

Ambreen Nadeem is a bestselling author, keynote speaker and founder of Psychology Talks, among other notable roles. With a master’s degree in industrial psychology, Ambreen has always been passionate about understanding human behaviour and helping others gain insights into how their mind can lead to a successful life.

Ambreen is actively spreading awareness and helping people deal with mental health issues through her counselling, blogs, podcasts and live shows called Psychology Talks. On top of this, Ambreen has over 15 years of marketing research experience and was nominated for the Global Best Practice magazine of Unilever during her role as Unilever’s Consumer Insight Manager. Since 2012, Ambreen has been conducting research projects for notable clients from across the globe in her own freelance consultancy.

Check out Ambreen Nadeem’s article on how to embrace your passions and a positive mindset to stand out.

Sharon Williams is a successful, female business leader known for building people, brands, and businesses with her award-winning solutions and unique and proven methodology, The TaurusBullseye©.

As the founder and CEO of Taurus Marketing, one of Australia’s longest-established integrated Marketing and PR agencies, Sharon has delivered solutions for over 1500 brands across six continents. With over 29 years of experience, Sharon is a sought-after speaker offering strategic marketing, PR, growth strategies, personal branding, social media, creative, crisis, IR and government relations delivered with a personalised and ‘No Bull’ approach. Having lived through a number of crises, she takes adversity as an opportunity to strengthen focus, tenacity and determination, which has helped Taurus Marketing and her countless clients thrive today.

Check out Sharon Williams’ article on the most important leadership qualities to have today.

Verity Hare is the founder and director of TradieWives, a collaboration platform to support wives and partners of tradies.

Verity’s journey started when she left her full-time job to help her husband run his trade business. As their business expanded, Verity found herself feeling isolated and in need of support. She started TradieWives, a community for others in similar situations to come together, engage in discussions, and share insights on helping their partners run a trades business.

Verity also created TradieWives Business Directory, where businesses can list their products and services and support other businesses. Verity is passionate about helping women in trades overcome obstacles and building a strong trade community.

Check out Verity Hare’s article on setting boundaries, achieving breakthroughs.

Matt Aitken is the CEO of IVE Group, Australia’s leading holistic marketing company, and leads over 1,800 staff across Australia, Singapore, Hong Kong and China. He recently won the 2021 Power 50 award at the ProPrint Awards, marking him as one of the top leaders in Australia’s print industry.

Matt is a remarkable senior executive with extensive expertise in sales, new business, and customer relationship management. With a passion for both customers and staff, Matt is a key leader in all acquisition-related activity for IVE Group. Matt is also a director on several industry association boards, demonstrating his ability to engage at all levels. With his array of experience in marketing, print management, and supply chain solutions, combined with his merger and acquisition experience, Matt is a proven leader in the industry.

Jose Marquez is the CEO of Quantum Motors South America, the first Bolivian company dedicated to manufacturing electric cars.

With a focus on environmental and regional sustainability, Jose aims to make Quantum Motors SA a leader in the electric transport industry, contributing to solving problems caused by combustion vehicles. With a background in metalworking production and machinery for construction and mining, Jose is well-versed in people management, resource allocation, sales strategies, and software engineering, making him a well-rounded leader in both the production and software development industries.

Check out Jose Marquez’s article on the power in understanding your purpose.

Shannah Kennedy is one of Australia’s leading strategic life coaches and co-founder of Human Elevation. She has consistently been ranked Australia’s top 10 business coaches, with over 15 years of experience in executive strategy, transition, values, vision and life planning.

As the co-founder of Human Elevation, Shannah’s mission is clear: to elevate humans. Through leadership courses, she teaches participants how to gain control of their lives and create new blueprints for success. She has helped many high-profile clients including Deloitte, Macquarie Bank, CBA and more. She is also the author of two best-selling books, The Life Plan and Plan B, and her latest book is due for release in late 2023. Shannah is also an intrepid adventurer and walker, leading small groups on inspiring walks across the globe.

Check out Shannah Kennedy’s article on asking who are you without your job?

Greg Gillies is the founder of The Evolved CEO. He is a highly acclaimed intuitive advisor, transformational healer and coach for high-achieving CEOs and businessmen.

After 20 years of experiencing the highs and lows of executive roles in the corporate world, Greg had achieved material success but found himself unfulfilled and empty inside. Drawing from his experiences and the lessons he learnt through healing, Greg now helps CEOs and founders find their inner truth, peace, alignment, and happiness.

Greg is an expert in guiding people to overcome their emotional blocks and subconscious past beliefs, in order to choose better beliefs and become the best they can be. Greg runs the Evolved CEO and 9 Pillars of Success, Love and Happiness programs to help businessmen build stronger, healthier relationships. Through this, they can become better partners, husbands, friends, and business professionals.

Check out Greg Gillies’ article on true success: Prioritising mental health in a stressful world.

Sara Batalha is the CEO of Media Training Worldwide (MTW) Portugal, one of the world’s leading authorities on the teaching of media training, public speaking and presentation.

With 25 years of professional experience in communications, she was a former journalist at Expresso, writing coordinator for RTP, and also worked in radio. Additionally, Sara worked as a communication consultant for several agencies and companies and also acted as a press officer.

Sara is a specialist in behavioural analysis, certified in the DiSC tool by Wiley International. She is a persistent, creative person that is endowed with balanced initiative and dedication. Her intellectual curiosity, varied knowledge, ingenuity and professional rigour, have led her to the position she now has as a communication specialist.

Check out Sara Batalha’s article on mastering the art of communication.

James Norquay is the founder of Prosperity Media, a specialist SEO agency, recently awarded best SEO Agency in Australia by SEMrush.

Having specialised in SEO and online marketing for the past 20 years, James is passionate about helping companies grow their presence online. After becoming intrigued by the world of online marketing in the early 2000s, James became a self-taught expert in coding, SEO and social media strategies. He developed his own network of content websites which generated over 22 million unique visitors, which he later sold. He then worked as an SEO consultant for various companies, including Virgin Mobile, David Jones, Woolworths, and Columbus, a Merkle Company.

With a strong dedication and drive for helping others succeed, James now runs Prosperity Media, a high-performing SEO agency helping ASX-listed companies navigate their strategic SEO and content.

Check out James Norquay’s article on how to maximise your SEO strategy.

Aga Bajer is a culture strategist, coach, and founder and CEO of CultureBrained. Over the past 20 years, Aga has been helping companies strengthen their culture in a way that brings the best results. Scaling a business is not all about the figures. Company culture plays a pivotal role in getting your team to roll at top speed. Having worked in the start-up, scale-up and corporate world herself, Aga knows this all too well. The right culture comes from choice, not chance.

Aga has developed a network of culture leaders in growth-stage companies through CultureBrained. She is also co-author of Building and Sustaining a Coaching Culture, a guide on how to create a supportive environment that grows and develops every day and is the host of the CultureLab Podcast inspiring many to put culture at the forefront.

Check out Aga Bajer’s article on how to unlock greatness in your employees.

Roger Jowett is the former CEO of Motion Asia Pacific, the leading force in industrial engineering product distribution in Australia and New Zealand.

Over the past decade, Roger has held various leadership positions as a board director, CEO and COO of notable enterprises across the world. With board-level experience in the fire protection, electronic security, air conditioning service and industrial distribution industries, Roger is highly adept at leading businesses towards growth and success.

With his extensive experience in strategy development, marketing, and building organisational capabilities, Roger has grown an adaptive mindset and believes building energised and high-performing teams is the key to delivering business success.

Check out Roger Jowett’s article on why you should plan to sell your business.

Mike Spirkovski is the founder of Sustainability Revolution. Prior to establishing his company, Mike was the national CEO of Saatchi & Saatchi Australia for eight years. 

With over 20 years of experience, Mike has been a leader in some of the top agencies in Australia. During 2018 and 2019, Mike was appointed chairman of AWARD (Australasian Writers and Art Directors Organisation), educating and inspiring the next creative generation.

Mike is passionate about driving a ‘nothing is impossible’ spirit and creating work that makes a difference for humanity and the planet. He has a track record of purposeful ideas, including Toyota’s Landcruiser Emergency Network, Westpac Rescue Rashie, UNICEF’s 5 Fund, Made from Melbourne by Maton, and the Donation Dollar for the Royal Australian Mint which received acclaim as the most celebrated and awarded idea in the world in 2022.

Check out Mike Spirkovski’s article on what it really means to be a sustainable business.

Vanessa Stoykov is CEO of the award-winning financial education media company, Evolution Media Group.

For over 22 years, Vanessa has been helping Australians get real about money. She knows how important it is to have courageous conversations in order to achieve financial freedom.

With a deep understanding of the finance world, Vanessa has the unique ability to communicate complex financial concepts through storytelling and engaging content without the jargon. Her work has been recognised by media outlets such as News.com.au, Sydney Morning Herald, BC, and The Today Show, where she regularly appears as a financial educator. Vanessa is also a member of the CEW (Chief Executive Women).

Check out Vanessa Stoykov’s article on how to get rid of the taboo around money.

Amanda Rose is the founder of six businesses including Western Sydney Women and Small Business Women Australia. Amanda is one of Australia’s foremost professional development trainers, business consultants and keynote speakers. 

Amanda has been dubbed as an “internet winning blogger” by TIME.com and has weekly appearances on SkyNews Weekend Edition and Channel 7’s Sunrise ‘Hot Topics’. She also writes the #BossLady careers column for News Ltd., which includes the Daily Telegraph, Courier Mail, Herald Sun and The Advertiser.

Amanda has been working with businesses to help solve internal and multi-level conflict, build individual and team confidence, and train leaders in resilience and transforming workplace culture. She is an expert in navigating the many issues blocking an individual, team or company from achieving success.

Check out Amanda Rose’s article on how to always stick to your core values.

Ian Mills is the CEO and founding director of Transform Performance International, a global advisory firm that provides solutions to business performance challenges. With over 20 years of extensive industry experience, Ian has worked with world-renowned brands, including Virgin Media, HP, and American Express.

Ian is renowned for successfully creating ‘distinctive customer experience’ strategies and developing world-class leadership teams in complex, highly regulated international environments. His passion for helping businesses and business owners has been the key to his success in the industry.

Ian has co-authored three books: ‘100 Big Ideas to Help You Succeed’, ‘The Salesperson’s Secret Code’, and ‘The Leader’s Secret Code’, which showcase his skills, expertise, and qualifications.

Check out Ian Mills’ article on asking why do you do what you do?

Pratik Thakker is the founder and CEO of INSIDEA, a popular online tool helping businesses find exceptional talent, and Webzoly, an outsourcing and offshoring consultancy.

Pratik has achieved great success in his career, yet his hunger for more knowledge and growth never ceases. From being a young kid that sells firecrackers to becoming a stock trader and analyst sailing India to Israel, Pratik has had an extraordinary journey. Now, as a successful digital and tech entrepreneur, he shares with his audience his key drivers to reaching greater heights.

With an incredible following on LinkedIn of over 100K followers and 100+ million views, Pratik is passionate about helping small to medium businesses grow, as he spreads the message that even after you have reached success, you still have room to do more.

Check out Pratik Thakker’s article on giving yourself 1000 days to achieve a goal.

His Excellency Prof. Dr Ambassador Tal Edgars is group executive chairman of GBSH Consult Group Worldwide and chairman of the National Master Plan Task team in South Africa in Social Entrepreneurship and Social Development.

H.E. Prof. Dr Ambassador Tal Edgars, Q.C. is a renowned global multi-award-winning business authority, diplomat, mentor, erudite speaker, cutting-edge strategist, and academician. He has an outstanding record in planning, managing and executing highly successful private and public sector initiatives in Africa, Europe, America & Asia. 

His personal and business sphere of influence includes presidents and heads of states across several continents, to whom he provides confidential strategic advisory services. There are also many firms in Europe, America and Africa whom he has provided strategic direction for and continues to work with many leaders. He has authored and co-authored numerous publications and policies around the world.

Check out Tal Edgar’s article on your business is your baby. Here’s how to raise it.

Adrian Fadini is the founder and head coach at TradesFormation, the training and coaching organisation helping tradies to learn today and earn tomorrow.

As a successful trade business owner himself, Adrian is passionate about sharing his knowledge of business strategies and processes with others, helping them to become more profitable and grow their businesses. Over the course of a decade, he experienced the highs and lows of owning a small business and learnt how to overcome the day-to-day struggles. Leveraging his extensive experience and skills in training and coaching, Adrian has created a comprehensive sales and business education program designed specifically to transform small to medium trade businesses, helping them build a strong foundation and achieve lasting success.

Check out Adrian Fadini’s article on transforming your trades business.

Trent Lines is the CEO of Access 2 Place Housing, a leading not-for-profit community housing provider of affordable and accessible housing for people living with disabilities in South Australia.

With over 25 years of experience in construction projects and developments, Trent’s focus has been on residential properties. Prior to joining Access 2 Place Housing, he spent 12 years as an equity partner with Keith Timber and the Westpac Banking Corporation. Trent is passionate about helping small and medium-sized businesses expand and firmly believes that building a team of devoted and dedicated employees is essential for a company’s success.

Check out Trent Lines’ article on growing your business sustainably.

Dan Ratner, the founder & CEO of Uberbrand, has over 15 years of experience in marketing, communications, and branding. He believes that branding is essential for organisations to achieve their objectives. Dan works closely with Uberbrand’s clients to comprehend and address current customer perceptions and ensure a positive customer experience while achieving business goals. 

Dan graduated from the University of Technology Sydney with a deep knowledge in business commerce, marketing, and media communications. Since then, Dan has been working with well-known Australian brands across a variety of sectors including financial services, travel and education. In today’s rapidly changing economy, Dan believes that it is crucial for business owners to understand who they are and who they serve.

Check out Dan Ratner’s article on how to build a brand, be consistent.

Kenny Tosh is the company director at Eco Walling Systems, a company that offers luxury along with unique walling solutions to the housing market. With an impressive creative career, Kenny’s expertise is predominantly focused on CFC walling systems, flooring and AAC party wall systems.

He is a customer-oriented director who understands that every custom home and development requires the correct and highest-quality advice available. As a result, he goes above and beyond to ensure that their clients receive the advice they need to achieve the best possible outcomes. 

When it comes to leadership matters, Kenny believes that understanding the project’s needs is crucial and that providing expert, well-informed advice is essential to ensuring customer satisfaction and achieving the best results for partners.

Check out Kenny Tosh’s article on how success means going through a few thorny tunnels.

Anthony Koutoufides, a former Australian footballer from the Carlton Football Club, is widely regarded as one of the most powerful and athletic players of all time. He played all positions effectively and was often called the prototype of the modern footballer.

Throughout his life, Anthony has found that staying fit and healthy determines one’s overall success and general well-being; that’s why he created KOUTAFIT, his own personalised online program designed to help people reach their fullest potential.

Anthony’s experience as a professional athlete has honed his leadership skills. Passion and focus have been crucial to Anthony’s success. He believes that a positive mindset combined with hard work and dedication is the key ingredient to success.

Check out Anthony Koutoufide’s article on controlling the controllable.

Irene Ochem is the founder and CEO of the Africa Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF), a not-for-profit and pan-African women empowerment organisation that works to support women’s enterprises and innovations across Africa.

With over 25 years of experience in entrepreneurship, commerce, and innovation, Irene is a recognised expert in her field. Irene’s passion lies in seeing women-owned businesses thrive and become more competitive. She has directly supported over 2,000 female-owned startups across Africa through curated entrepreneurship capacity building programs. Irene’s work is focused on gender economic equity and social inclusion.

As a result of her work, Irene has been featured on many international media platforms including CNN, BBC, SABC (South Africa), Channel Africa (South Africa), and Channels TV (Nigeria), cementing her position as one of the greatest leaders in women’s empowerment in the corporate world.

Read Irene Ochem’s article on letting passion drive resilience.

Damien Sheehan is the country head of IWG plc Australia. He is a driven and accomplished leader with extensive international experience. Damien is an expert in ecommerce, logistics, sales, and marketing.

Having spent over 20 years in the transport and logistics industry across Asia, the Americas, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, Damien is a globally recognised leader. This experience has granted him exceptional skills in employee management and a team-oriented mindset. Prior to this, Damien was the Managing Director of DHL ecommerce for Australia and New Zealand.

Damien is a firm believer in the free-market economy and believes that the most crucial approach to growing a small-to-medium enterprise is to ensure a positive work environment, emphasise workplace planning, and to put all of your efforts into expanding, instead of focusing on short-term profit.

Tauran Black is the owner of Tradie Design Co, a business born with the aim of helping small business owners grow their trades business online through effective marketing. Tauran and his team specialise in making Australian trades businesses look great online and offline through developing brand identities, websites, signage and other marketing collateral.

Tauran is a passionate and engaged leader on a mission to help tradies take their businesses to the next level through clever design and effective brand identity. His unwavering commitment to client satisfaction has earned him a stellar reputation, resulting in a thriving online business and a steady stream of referrals and loyal clients.

Check out Tauran Black’s article on going above and beyond for all your clients.

Marcel Donnelly is the CEO of FlatRateNOW, an Australian-made quoting solution for trade service businesses.

Prior to becoming the CEO, Marcel was the director of sales and marketing of the company. In this role, Marcel developed incredible communication skills, enabling him to achieve outstanding outcomes for tradies across Australia by coordinating his team to an exceptionally high standard.

Marcel acknowledges both the value and importance of cooperation and teamwork as core growth mechanisms for an innovative business. He believes that the key to a successful business lies in fulfilling customers’ needs, and this forms the core philosophy of FlatRateNOW. The company strives to help tradies by streamlining the process of creating, calculating, and manipulating quotes on the spot. 

Check out Marcel Donnelly’s article on don’t be afraid to charge what you’re worth.

Angela Orsaris is the managing director at The Market Intelligence Co, a leading Australian-owned company that specialises in business-to-business and industrial market intelligence and research.

With a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Wollongong, Angela is passionate about helping clients to better understand their opportunities in new or current industries. Having over 30 years of experience in desk research and hybrid methodologies, Angela firmly believes that to succeed in relevant fields, it is crucial for companies to understand what drives their data/metrics. With technological advancements, she believes that any company can set up its own customer database to gain information.  With her purpose-driven and passionate approach, Angela is committed to ensuring that her clients gain the best insights into their industries, enabling them to make informed decisions.

Check out Angela Orsaris’ article on how customer complaints are the key to a successful business.

Annette Slunjski is the managing director at the Institute of Analytics Professionals of Australia and the founder of Lucidity Marketing Communications. Annette is dedicated to promoting data-driven business and the value of analytics to organisations.

With over 20 years of experience in marketing and communications, Annette specialises in B2B marketing, growth and technology, which she uses to enhance the strategic position and success of blue chips and startups.

With a focus on strategy first and a special interest in market data analysis, Annette helps businesses find innovative solutions that are increasingly essential for modern-day marketers and small business owners. She explains complex ideas in easy to understand language so that richer conversations and informed decision making can occur in business.

Check out Annette Slunjski’s article on business data: with great power comes great responsibility.

Jim Penman the CEO of Jim’s Group, the largest franchise chain in Australia and the most renowned lawn-mowing business in the world. He has become a symbol of success in the Australian business sector, and despite his extraordinary achievements, is still driven to continue the growth of his enterprise.

Jim famously started Jim’s Mowing with only $24 to market himself to the world. Now, Jim is a globally recognised entrepreneur with over 50 unique trade divisions and over 4,350 individual franchises across four countries.

Jim has authored best-selling books to share his corporate experience from the bottom to the top. Jim is also active in a research program into the epigenetic of social behaviour, to help in the treatment of mental illness and addictive disorders. Jim is dedicated to his business and believes the key to success relies heavily on customer service.

Check out Jim Penman’s article on how you should constantly strive to improve.

Dan Goodwin is the head of content production at Off Limits Entertainment and the creator of Lions TV, a Millwall fan channel.

Dan exudes passion and has a deep love for football. He began Lions TV on his own in 2016 and has since grown it exponentially. He firmly believes that this is the key to success in the content creation industry. Dan’s commitment and hard work have resulted in the creation of a large fan-based community, which has earned him numerous accolades.

Having worked in the industry for many years, Dan has amassed a wealth of experience that he brings to the table. His efforts have not gone unnoticed, as Lions TV won the prestigious Best Club Content Creator award at the UK Football Content Awards in 2019 and 2020.

Check out Dan Goodwin’s article on howdedication doesn’t cost you a penny.

Alison Attard is the executive director at BNI Global (Sydney South West).

With her extensive experience in the industry, Alison believes that networking plays a significant role in every business. Alision actively advocates for networking as a means for business owners to broaden their prospects and uncover opportunities. Alison’s focus and expertise lie in effective networking. With BNI, she helps professionals support each other in their respective fields by facilitating the exchanging of ideas and collaborating to achieve success and growth.

Alison completed her Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Law from Western Sydney University. Moreover, she is also highly skilled in interior design, making her an incredibly qualified individual.

Check out Alison Attard’s article on how networking isn’t about selling yourself. It’s about making genuine connections.

Michele Lombardi is the senior vice president at CNH Industrial. He has earned his executive leadership role through profitably growing profit and loss statements across businesses and markets, as well as by globally leading transformational acquisitions and integrations.

His expertise lies in commercial operations, corporate strategy, new business development, mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, and joint venture negotiations. Michele’s work in the industry has made him a valuable resource in the technology, automotive, and industrial goods business sectors in North America, Europe, and Asia. His international ventures have made him a distinguished leader and a notable character in the business sector.

Check out Michele Lombardi’s article on how everyone can learn to be a great leader.

Nick Sheehan is the founder and CEO of EFEX Group, an Australian business technology service provider. Nick and his team are dedicated to making IT simple and accessible for SMEs and enterprise-sized companies.

Nick believes in presenting flexible, scalable, simple and robust solutions to clients. These elements are what distinguish EFEX from their competitors. Nick has been an instrumental driver in EFEX Group’s strong growth. A combination of Nick’s strong work ethic and passion for helping others have seen EFEX named on the AFR BRW Fast Starter list twice and placed as runner-up in the CRN Fast50 Awards in both 2015 and 2016.

Check out Nick Sheehan’s article on keeping things simple, even as CEO.

Lucy Jones is the co-founder and president of Neuroblastoma Australia. Lucy is driven by the belief that every child as the right to grow up healthily. 

Lucy, together with Neuroblastoma Australia, organises events to raise awareness of and fund research for children’s cancer. Lucy’s tireless work in raising awareness of neuroblastoma has earned her recognition as the Westfield Local Heroes for Chatswood, and a nomination for the 2020 Westfield Local Hero award. She currently works on behalf of the consumer and community committee for Sydney Children’s Hospital and Children’s Comprehensive Cancer Centre redevelopment project in Randwick.

Lucy, with her kind heart, is focused on driving change in neuroblastoma survival rates through fundraising and believes that research will lead to better treatments for devastating childhood cancer.

Check out Lucy Jones’ article on how she’s on a mission to save children’s lives, one step at a time.

Steven Walker is the co-owner of Kookaburra Homes, one of the leading home builders in South Australia. He also acts as one of the board members at Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland.

With over 14 years in the building industry, Steven has helped thousands of customers make their dream home become a reality. Steven is known to be a passionate and resilient leader and his innovative sales and marketing techniques have driven the success of Kookaburra Homes. 

Steven’s extraordinary passion for marketing is what sets him apart. As a result-oriented leader, he emphasises fantastic customer relationships and service. Steven strongly believes that a business can be called successful when it consistently exceeds, not just meets, the expectations of the customers.

Check out Steven Walker’s article on how your business doesn’t have to be your whole world. Here’s why.

Mimmo Lubrano is the CEO of Sandhurst Fine Foods. Mimmo boasts over 30 years of experience in the food industry. Throughout his career, he has become an expert in identifying fresh produce and creating unique recipes, while becoming an inspirational and effective leader. He is an expert in food marketing, purchasing, branding, and distribution.

His success in the industry comes from his passion for food service, as well as supporting family-owned businesses. As an incredibly passionate individual, Mimmo’s drive and leadership make him an excellent resource for anyone looking to get their produce, whether fresh or value-added, onto store shelves, or looking to develop their leadership capabilities.

Check out Mimmo Lubrano’s article on how the purpose of a business is to give you a life, not to take it away.

Yasser Zaki is the CEO of Tender Loving Care Disability Services.

Yasser is a certified and registered NDIS provider that delivers high-quality support for individuals with disabilities. With over 12 years of experience, he has worked through various support positions, allowing him to understand the challenges that come with supporting those who are heavily disadvantaged in society.

Yasser’s vision is to develop a service where people aren’t limited as a result of their bodily functions and is passionate about making regular services more inclusive for those who are physically and cognitively disadvantaged.

Yasser is dedicated to delivering not only quality services but also an extensive, longitudinal approach to helping advance the lives of those who are the most unfortunate in our society.

Check out Yasser Zaki’s article on why employing people with disabilities benefits both businesses and communities.

Kobi Simmat is a business advisor, speaker, and the founder and CEO of bestpractice.biz, a company that helps business owners around the world expand their business.

Kobi is on a mission to guide businesses towards consistent and sustainable growth. He is on his way to achieving his ultimate goal of inspiring improvement in 100 million companies. With over 25 years of experience, Kobi strives to unleash the potential within every business by providing friendly and flexible business solutions and continual support.

Kobi has great knowledge in business management assessments, advisory and training and has consulted businesses in seven countries from 50 different industries. He was a finalist for Outstanding Business Person of the Year in the Northern Beaches Local Business Awards and featured in the ‘Top 50 Unsung Business Heroes’ series.

Check out Kobi Simmat’s article on how there’s no business without employees. Here’s how to attract and retain them.

Todd Towers is the founder and CEO of Farmboy Fine Arts INC. Farmboy Fine Arts is an international art advisory with a hand in hospitality, health & wellness, and fine art leasing.

Todd is well known for both his passion and expertise in arts and creative business. He specialises in art acquisition and procurement, international collection management, business development, channel development/extension, creative development, art leasing, art financing, and art investment services.

Todd claims he is driven by collaboration and teamwork. He also believes that art can inspire passion, compassion and inclusivity to make the world a better place. Todd’s passion in his line of work, as well as his morals, makes him a brilliant leader and an excellent art enthusiast.

Check out Todd Towers’ article on why businesses should focus on customer experience.

Charles Brewer is the group CEO at Pos Malaysia Berhad. Charles has held numerous leadership positions including CEO at Canada Post, Click and Connect, DHL ecommerce in Singapore, Mara Xpress, and DHL South Africa. 

From his international endeavours, Charles has developed a unique ability to adapt to different environments and cultures. He has developed a passion for ecommerce logistics, cross-border fulfilment, international business operations, general business, and digital transformation.

Charles trusts leaders need confidence, character and talent to realise opportunities, engage and organise teams, and deliver high-quality results. To be a strong leader, Charles believes that you have to create a team that has purpose, trust and in order to create priorities and meet deadlines. Charles’ leadership experience makes him a prominent figure and a qualified teacher in all areas involving business.

Check out Charles Brewer’s article on how to be a leader to anyone, anywhere.

Ahmed Abbassi is the executive director of Competitions and Football Development at the Qatar Stars League. He is also the co-founder of Qatar Solar Energy W.L.L. Previously, Ahmed was the director of operations at the Qatar Football National Teams and was the FIFA competitions coordinator during the FIFA World Cup Russia 2018.

Ahmed is widely recognised as an experienced leader with a talent and passion in the sporting industry. Ahmed excels in all areas involving leadership, strategy, football management and governance. Ahmed is also renowned in the areas of public speaking, research, and linguistics.

Ahmed is a world-class information technology (IT) enthusiast with an Executive MBA from Manchester Metropolitan University and is currently a doctoral candidate working on the Executive Doctorate (DBA) in Business Administration and Management from École des Ponts Business School.

Check out Ahmed Abbassi’s article on finding your purpose as a leader.

Kari Baynes is the founder, director and chief vision officer of Different Strokes Swimming. Kari has had an impressive career in the media industry with roles including head of business development, group advertising director, and project lead for News Corp Australia.

Balancing health, well-being, and mental and physical fitness have been crucial to Kari’s performance during her 25-year career in top strategic leadership roles.

Kari founded Different Strokes Swimming after noticing a gap in the fitness and well-being market in areas such as learning to swim, continuous stroke correction, and structured recreational pool and open water swimming. She also saw a potential for social and corporate networking for busy executives, mothers’ groups, and friends looking for new challenges.

With a vision to build confidence and mental and physical fitness, she aims to empower individuals to flourish by creating an environment that fosters technique and performance improvement. 

Check out Kari Baynes’ article on passion, sales, and swimming: Why leaders need to remain curious and keep learning.

Jason Murphy is the CEO and managing director at CSP Architectural.

Jason has a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Swinburne University of Technology. He is an accomplished leader with a meticulous approach to business. He has been instrumental in transforming CSP Architectural from a local Melbourne-only business to a company that now spans three states across the eastern seaboard of Australia.

Highly skilled in team building, process, and financial management, Jason brings a wealth of experience and demonstrated success in growing small and medium-sized businesses.

Check out Jason Murphy’s article on walk the talk.

Michelle Bowden is a trainer, speaker and managing director at Michelle Bowden Enterprise. Michelle is passionate about helping people with their business pitches. She believes that everyone can speak confidently, clearly and charismatically, no matter what their natural ability is.

She is one of 42 female Certified Speaking Professionals (CSPs) in Australia, which is the highest accolade for speakers in the world. She has a passionate, entertaining, and highly interactive approach to her presentations that ensures behavioural change every time.

Throughout her career she has coached keynote speakers and executives for company conferences, road shows and client events. She has been nominated for the past nine years for the Educator Award for Excellence.

She has presented her Presentation Skills Masterclass over 890 times for over 10,000 people. With a dedication and drive to help businesses, Michelle understands what it takes to thrive in fast-paced environments.

Check out Michelle Bowden’s article on be mindful how you present.

Leanne Heywood is currently the non-executive director at three ASX-listed businesses – which are Galaxy ResourcesQuickstep Holdings and Midway Limited.

Leanne is an experienced executive leader with broad general management experience gained through an international career in the mining, rural, government, and not-for-profit sectors. She has been in the industry for over 25 years and has worked in nine different countries.

Leanne is recognised as an experienced leader of transformational change, for leading divisional start-ups, organisational restructuring, disposals, and acquisitions. She is passionate about global leadership.

Leanne completed her undergraduate degree in accounting at Charles Sturt University and her MBA at the University of Melbourne. Leanne also attended programs at Harvard for Negotiation and Competitive Decision Making and at Stanford University for Innovative Marketing for Strategic Advantage.

Check out Leanne Heywood’s article on the importance of having a risk management plan.

Tony De Domenico is currently the chair of Bertocchi Smallgoods, Abalone Victoria (Central Zone), and Plastic Oceans Australasia, and the director of Common Equity Housing,  Prahran Market, and the Italian Chamber of Commerce. He is also a life member of the Urban Development Institute of Australia, and a corporate life governor of The Royal Life Saving Society.

Previously, Tony was the executive director of the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) and has been chair of Places Victoria, deputy chair of Development Victoria and has also served on the Council of Latrobe University including a term as deputy chancellor.

Tony was awarded a medal in The Order of Australia at the Queen’s
Birthday Honours List in 2018 for his contribution to urban planning, research, and development in Victoria.

Check out Tony De Domenico’s article on passion shines through persistence.

Emilee Cherry is a former Australian Rugby Union player, representing Australia in Sevens Rugby.

Emilee won a gold medal at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio after defeating New Zealand. Emilee won the Women’s Sevens World Player of the Year award in 2013 and 2014. She was selected as the 2014 World Sevens Player of the Year after scoring the most tries and being the standout player during the 2013–14 IRB World Series season.

As well as being a professional athlete, Emilee possesses a degree in Health Sport and Physical Education from The University of Queensland.

Results-driven, Emilee is a hardworking, dedicated and passionate individual. Throughout her professional career, she has developed the ability to collaborate in a team while maintaining her own high-performance as an individual contributor.

Check out Emilee Cherry’s article on how investment is a two-way street.

Michael McNab is the managing director and founder of Queensland’s construction and civil company, McNab. Michael is also the chair of the Young Presidents Organisation (YPO) Queensland Chapter.

With over 25 years of experience in the property, development, and construction industry, he has significant expertise in rapidly growing a business successfully.

Michael has grown the McNab business into one of Queensland’s
leading privately-owned construction companies. With his background in engineering, Michael is passionate about the sustainable growth of the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region.

Check out Michael McNab’s article on being clean with your feedback.

Catherine Cannuli is a former Matildas Australian football player who is the former head coach of the women’s Western Sydney Wanderers team in the A-League. She played national league football in the Women’s National Soccer League. As a professional footballer, she has won several championships and awards, one of them being the Women’s National Soccer League Golden Boot: 2003–2004.

In 2020, Catherine was named Female Coach of the Year at the Female Football Awards for her work at the Wanderers and in grassroots football as the Women’s Technical Director at Southern Districts Soccer Football Association.

As a football coach, Catherine has experience in sports management and leadership, she is recognised for being an inspirational leader for embracing the power of collaboration and being a team player. Purpose-driven and passionate, she knows how to lead individuals and teams to success.

Check out Catherine Cannuli’s article from football pitches to business meetings: What business leaders can learn from elite sport.

Graciela Szwarcberg is an organisational consultant and executive coach. She is a change, leadership and culture specialist, making her a master of understanding leaders and how to improve as one.

Graciela has over 20 years of experience as a facilitator and executive coach assisting organisations and their leaders to become more successful and reach their full potential. Her passion and diverse industry knowledge make Graciela a leader in supporting businesses to create a culture of ambition and success.

Graciela has multiple qualifications in social psychology and social communication science. Further, she has achieved a Master of Management at the University of Technology Sydney.

Graciela has experience in full scale transformations at individual and organisational levels and regularly assists leaders in all fields. Results-driven and motivated to implement critical changes, Graciela understands how to shape a leader into their best self.

Check out Graciela Szwarcberg’s article on forever learning – your key to growing as a leader.

US Marine Sergeant Major Max Garcia understands what makes a great leader.

Max Garcia is the only former US Marine Sergeant Major speaking in Australia. Since writing an Amazon #1 best seller with Joe Vitale, Max has used leadership stories from Iraq and Afghanistan to provide inspiring presentations to audiences which have included the Wests Tigers, members of Parliament, businesses, professional golfers, universities, and radio.


Max Garcia joined the Marines in 1994. In 2003-2004, he deployed to Iraq twice and was awarded the combat action ribbon, and a medal for Valor from General Mattis who was recently the US Secretary (Minister) of Defence.

From 2012-2014 Max served with the Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST Company, in Spain until his selection to Sergeant Major, the top enlisted rank in the Marines. Overall, Max has travelled to all 50 US states and over 70 countries.

Check out Max Garcia’s article on overcoming limiting beliefs to become a strong and resilient leader.

Umesh Phadke is currently the chief transformation officer and former president director of L’Oréal Indonesia.

Prior to joining L’Oréal, Umesh Phadke gained over 17 years of sales, marketing and general management experience across four countries. He is proficient in six languages, including Bahasa Indonesia and Thai.

Starting in 1995, Umesh has had a successful career with P&G and Glaxo SmithKline where he held various commercial and marketing positions across India, Thailand and the ASEAN region. 

In 2020, Umesh had been recognised as Most People-Focused CEO by HR Excellence and one of the Best CEO Indonesia by SWA Magazine. He also led the company solidarity efforts to employees, business partners and communities, and L’Oréal Indonesia has been recognised as Corporate Pandemic Heroes by SWA Magazine.

Check out Umesh Phadke’s article on the key to attracting, developing and nurturing talent.

Jarrod Sanfilippo is the managing director at Burbank Group.


Jarrod has established an expert knowledge of the residential market and possesses a comprehensive understanding of the homebuilding process from the early stages of sales and marketing, right through to operations and construction.

Leading from his father’s strong accounting background, Jarrod has further grown the finance brokerage company to become an established name in the industry, winning numerous awards along the way. Beyond this, Jarrod has extensive experience in land acquisition, development and project management, and strategic business expansion and development, including the evolution into the building repair and maintenance industry.

Through his strong team building and leadership attributes, Jarrod focuses on improving the way people and systems work by enhancing and developing companies to have a strong digital technology focus to improve customer experiences and company deliverables.

Check out Jarrod Sanfilippo’s article on how to be aware of how you show up.

John Arneil has diverse experience working at James Hardie Australia. Currently the president and general manager Asia Pacific, John has worked in almost all areas as the director of sales and marketing, the national business development manager and both the Canadian and UK manager for James Hardie Building Products.

An expert in sales management and the sales process, John understands how to lead businesses to success. John gained a Bachelor of Business at the University of Queensland before achieving a Master of Business Administration at the University of Leicester. 

With a dedication and drive to achieve the company’s objectives, John understands what it takes to thrive in fast-paced and stressful environments. His high standards and confidence in his teams has seen him achieve the impossible in every role he’s been in.

Check out John Arneil’s article on busting the myths about sales people.

Preeti Inchody is the senior managing director of transactions at Ankura.

Preeti has extensive experience as a leader across a range of industries and countries. She actively champions diversity in every company she works for, advocating for open communication and encouraging idea generation from everyone.

Preeti completed her undergraduate degree in accounting at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, her MBA in corporate finance at Cornell University and her Master of Business Administration at IE (Instituto de Empresa).

Results-driven, Preeti;s goal is to make a significant impact at the inflexion points of the journeys of over 100 companies by using her extensive corporate finance skills.

She is passionate about working in high growth and stressful situations, showcasing her resilience in all scenarios. Preeti is motivated to gain the best possible outcome for her clients and company.

Check out Preeti Inchody’s article on how to be a successful leader during times of uncertainty.

Kaushal Kapadia is currently the CEO of Schréder Australia, with a successful lighting career dating back to the early 90s.

He has been instrumental in the growth of Schréder Australia, transforming it into a leading intelligent outdoor and customised indoor lighting solutions provider. Over the last decade, he has led the Sylvania-Schréder Australia business to be a leader in large government/infrastructure projects and developing and implementing smart cities and IoT applications.

Kaushal’s focus and expertise lies in change management and team building, which in turn enables him to build solid and trusting relationships. He believes the trust and growth of the team is critical to help build solid business foundations. Kaushal has a drive is to deliver innovative and reliable solutions for all stake holders, with sustainability as a core value.

Check out Kaushal Kapadia’s article on how to keep it simple.

Vincent Buggs is a retired army general in United States Army Reserves and CEO of Embrace the Power and Power Pony Express Sports LLC.

As the CEO of Embrace the Power and Power Pony Express Sports LLC., one of the main projects General Vincent Buggs is developing is the Holistic Service Member program which is combining a community approach to enhance the lives of military families in the Reserves and National Guard.

Embrace the Power’s focus is working in communities to help people find their inner ability to navigate life. Power Pony Express Sports is about creating opportunities for parents who have little to no means for private training lessons.

Vincent also holds a master’s degree in Global History from the American Military University and is a graduate of the U.S. Air Force Air War College where he earned a master’s degree in strategic studies.

Check out Vincent Buggs’ article on why small businesses need resilience, courage, and agility to succeed.

Conrad Groenewald is the CEO of Detmold Group. He also has global experience in important organisations, such as James Hardie, HealthShare NSW and Visy.

As an innovative and progressive leader, Conrad understands the power of collaboration and being a team-player. Purpose-driven and passionate, he knows how to lead complex teams to success. 


Highly qualified, Conrad achieved the Council Award for Best Student in South Africa in his undergraduate business degree, before gaining his MBA the year after. He most recently completed the Australian Institute of Company Directors Course strengthening his leadership skills even further.

Conrad has expertise in leading high-performing teams, generating a company culture around winning and motivating stakeholders with his structured and profitable business strategies. 


Check out Conrad Groenewald’s article on how finding your North Star should be a priority for every business.

Liz Jones is the former CEO of Lotus Doors and the current CEO of Ripple Group

Prior to joining Lotus Doors, Liz operated her own business, advising in the areas of strategy, marketing and sales, with a particular passion for the development of compelling and sustainable value propositions, founded on deep customer insight.

She has consulted some of Australia’s largest manufacturers and distributors including: Polytec, GWA Bathrooms and Kitchens, Dux Hot Water, One Steel, Carter Holt Harvey and The Laminex Group.

Liz has a Bachelor of Marketing and Business from the David Syme Business School at Monash University and holds a Bachelor of Law from La Trobe University. Liz is also the 2019 Telstra Victorian Business Woman of the Year and the 2019 Telstra Victorian Women’s Winner, Medium and Large Business.

Check out Liz Jones’ article on becoming a better leader through values-based leadership, diversity of thought and performance.

Justin Burgess is the executive general manager at Laminex Australia. He is also a board member of Wespine Industries and Hexion Australia.

Justin has over 15 years of experience running full profit and loss within the Australian and New Zealand building products segment. He has a strong focus on aligning the company’s vision with his teams’ everyday efforts on the ground. As a visionary leader, he regularly challenges the status quo and brings an expansive view to strategy development. 

Justin’s specialties are leading sales and profit turnarounds, building and developing successful teams, as well as identifying and growing new market segments. Justin has a restless desire to make things better through a customer-centric mindset.

Check out Justin Burgess’ article on how innovation breeds success: Why businesses must always look to improve.

Mark Burgess has over 25 years of experience in the global aerospace and defence industry. He is the CEO and managing director Quickstep (ASX: QHL).

He has been successful in the delivery of profitable growth and complex projects in advanced technology businesses. Mark has held leadership roles of increasing responsibility for British and American companies across Europe, North America, the Middle East and Asia.

Mark has extensive experience in governance and stakeholder management, working in and with public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

Mark has managed several successful post-acquisition integration projects and has held numerous board positions on subsidiaries and international joint ventures.

Check out Mark Burgess’ article on how a ‘start local go global’ mindset can change your world.

Daniel Wood is the current vice president of sales and marketing Asia Pacific and the former managing director Australia and New Zealand for Tupperware Australia.

He has significant experience and expertise in sales and possesses practical industry knowledge spanning nutritional supplements, FMCG, homecare products, durable consumer goods, transport and more. Over the last ten years, he has led the Australian operations of two US multi-nationals in the direct-sales industry.

In these roles, he has completed business transformations which have changed the way direct-sales businesses operate in the Australia market. Daniel excels in tackling challenging situations, and thrives on driving teams to analyse data, formulate strategies, and execute plans with excellence. He takes pride in his ability to foster a collaborative, results-driven environment that empowers his teams to achieve their goals and exceed expectations. 


Check out Daniel Wood’s article on don’t let the perfect be the enemy of good.

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