Leader Talk - Produced by Brainiact
Leader Talk is a weekly podcast proudly brought to you by Brainiact. In this weekly show, our hosts Pierlite ANZ CEO Gustav Arianto and Elite Words's Founder and Managing Director Natalie Dawson meet with leaders from across Australia and around the world. We have one goal in mind: to give back to small to medium businesses across Australia and around the world.
Our vision is a world where everyone has access to great ideas. Leader Talk is just another Brainiact initiative to manifest this into reality.
The show is livestreamed each week on our YouTube, Facebook and LinkedIn accounts. It's also syndicated to wherever you listen to your favourite podcasts.
Keep scrolling and you'll see who our upcoming guests are.
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Jared Dawson - Brainiact Founder
Daniel Wood - 4 August 2021
He has significant experience and expertise in sales.
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.
Check out Daniel Wood's article on don't let the perfect be the enemy of good.
Mark Burgess - 10 August 2021
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's article on how a 'start local go global' mindset can change your world.
Justin Burgess - 20 August 2021
Justin has extensive experience running full profit and loss within the Australian & New Zealand Building Products segment.
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.
Check out Justin Burgess's article on innovation breeds success: Why businesses must always look to improve.
Liz Jones - 27 August 2021
Liz Jones is an experienced business professional and values-based leader, with proven experience delivering large scale, strategically critical outcomes for organisations. With a combination of problem solving and critical thinking skills, Liz is uniquely positioned to deliver the right commercial and business results for the organisations with which she works.
Liz is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Lotus Doors, the leading supplier of adaptive space solutions in Australia. Prior to joining Lotus, Liz was the Executive General Manager (EGM) of the Specialty Lighting Group (SLG) at Australia’s largest lighting company, Gerard Lighting, and an Advisory Board Member of Lotus.
Prior to joining Gerard, 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 to 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, as well the retailers which many of these manufacturers supply, including Bunnings, Mitre 10 Australia and Snooze.
Liz is degree qualified in marketing and business from the David Syme Business School at Monash University and holds a Bachelor of Laws 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 our article on becoming a better leader through values-based leadership, diversity of thought and performance to find out more.
Conrad Groenewald - 2 September 2021
Conrad 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. His energetic personality, perseverance, and end to end business insights has meant that Conrad has thrived and supported his colleagues everywhere he’s worked.
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. Conrad is an exceptional leader that inspires his employees through his hard work every day.
Check out Conrad Groenewald's article on finding your North Star should be a priority for every business.
Vincent Buggs - 5 September
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 a 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 main company 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. As a leader, his bottom line is Human Capital to help others improve their quality of life.
Vincent also holds a Master’s Degree in Global History from 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.
Kaushal Kapadia - 8 September 2021
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 the Schréder Australia business 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.
With Kaushal’s leadership SCS – Schréder Australia’s smart city integration business, has made remarkable inroads in the Australian smart city space, that delivers reliable, scalable, and sustainable solutions.
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 solid business foundations.
He is recognised for being an inspirational leader and mentor in the lighting and smart city industries.
Kaushal’s drive is to deliver innovative and reliable solutions for all stake holders with sustainability as a core value.
Check out Kaushal's article on the importance of simplicity in business.
Preeti Inchody - 16 September 2021
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 is highly qualified completing her undergraduate degree in accounting at The Institute of Chartered Accountants of India, her MBA in corporate finance at Cornell University and the Master of Business Administration at IE (Instituto de Empresa).
Results-driven, Preeti has a goal 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 by the aim to gain the best possible outcome for her clients and company.
John Arneil - 24 September 2021
John Arneil has diverse experience working at James Hardie Australia. Currently the Country Manager, John has worked in almost all areas such 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. His resilience and drive to achieve, has inspired his employees to attain excellence and improve their overall performance.
John gained a Bachelor of Business at the University of
Queensland before achieving a Master of Business Administration at the University of Leicester. He is highly qualified in a wide area of business skills, which help him to perform effectively in his role.
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 team has seen him achieve the impossible in every role he’s been in.
Jarrod Sanfilippo - 30 September 2021
After a successful career in the automotive industry, Jarrod joined his father, Eddie Sanfilippo, at the helm of the family business in 2005 as Managing Director of the Burbank Group.
Having worked in the industry for several years, Jarrod has established an expert knowledge of the residential market including detached homes, townhouses and apartments, 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 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, as well as strategic business expansion and development, including the evolution into the building repair and maintenance industry.
As a respected name in the industry, Jarrod is known for his ability to build and sustain solid relationships with suppliers, developers and industry associations. Through his strong team building and leadership attributes, Jarrod has been able to focus on improving the way people and systems work by enhancing and developing the companies to have a strong digital technology focus to improve customers experiences and company deliverables throughout all departments and teams.
Check out Jarrod Sanfilippo's article on be aware of how you show up.
Umesh Phadke - 30 September 2021
He joined L’Oréal over ten years ago. Prior joining the company, Umesh Phadke has over 17 years of sales, marketing and general management experience across 4 countries. He is proficient in 6 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. At P&G, Umesh was responsible for the haircare category across South East Asia and therefore he knows Indonesia quite well. Umesh and his talented team have continued to build a very successful subsidiary in Thailand for over 5 years. In April 2016, Umesh Phadke joined L’Oréal Indonesia.
Under his leadership, Indonesia is among key L’Oréal subsidiaries, which has demonstrated major advancement in sustainability achievements throughout operational locations, from the factory, the warehouse and head office in Jakarta.
In 2020, Umesh had been recognized as Most people-focused CEO by HR Excellence, 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 is recognized as Corporate Pandemic Heroes by SWA Magazine.
Max Garcia - 7 October 2021
As a 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 who was featured in the movie "The Secret", Max has used leadership stories from Iraq & Afghanistan to provide inspiring presentations to audiences which have included but not limited to The Wests Tigers, Members of Parliament, businesses, professional golfers, universities, and radio.
Max Garcia joined the Marines in 1994, later becoming a Drill Instructor in 1999. In 2003 and 2004, he deployed twice to Iraq and was awarded the combat action ribbon, and a medal for Valor from General Mattis who was recently the US Secretary (Minister) of Defense.
From 2006 to 2009 Max taught future officers at at the University of South Florida and was a Drill Instructor for Officer Candidates before deploying to Afghanistan in 2010.
From 2012 to 2014 Max served with Fleet Anti-terrorism Security Team, better known as FAST Company, in Spain until selection to Sergeant Major, the top enlisted rank in the Marines. He then transferred to Okinawa, Japan deploying to multiple countries in the Pacific. Max has traveled to all 50 US states and over 70 countries.
Graciela Szwarcberg - 14 October 2021
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.
With 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.
Her intelligent insights and influential skills are harnessed to alter business behaviour to create beneficial outcomes. 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.
Catherine Cannuli - 21 October
Catherine Cannuli is a former Matilda's Australian football player who is the headcoach of the Western Sydney Wanderers team in the A-League Women. She played national league football in the Women's National Soccer League. As professional footballer, she has won several championships and awards, one of them is 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.
Michael McNab - 22 October 2021
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.
Emilee Cherry OAM -29 October 2021
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.
Result-driven, Emilee is a hard worker, dedicative and passionate individual. Throughout her professional career, she has developed the ability to collaborate in a team whilst maintaining her own
high-performance as an individual contributor.
Tony De Domenico OAM - 4 November 2021
Tony De Domenico is currently the Chair of Bertocchi Smallgoods Pty Ltd, the Chair of Abalone Victoria (Central Zone), Chair of Plastic Oceans Australasia, Director of Common Equity Housing Ltd, Director of Prahran Market, and Director and Life Member of 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 (ACT).
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.
Through his extensive business experience, he has developed skills in business relationship management, risk management, business development, strategy, and executive management.
In terms of leadership, Tony trusts the power of persistence and passion and believes that it is a leader's task to find people that exhibit these values to empower their teams to success.
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.
Leanne Heywood OAM - 11 November 2021
Leanne is an experienced non-executive director, consultant and senior executive 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, including integration.
She is passionate in the area of global leadership, which includes complex cross-cultural negotiations, broad commercial leadership and command of international customer and stakeholder relationship management.
Leanne is highly qualified, completing 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.
Michelle Bowden - 19 November 2021
Michelle Bowden is a trainer, speaker and managing director at Michelle Bowden Enterprise. Michelle is passionate about helping people on 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 designation for speakers in the world. Michelle is renowned for achieving results through learning and laughter. She has a passionate, entertaining, and highly interactive approach to her presentations that ensures behavioural change every
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.
Jason Murphy - 24 November 2021
Jason has a Bachelor degree in Engineering from Swinburne University of Technology.
Jason 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.
Kari Baynes - 3 December 2021
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 need in the fitness and well-being market in areas such as learn to swim, continuous stroke correction, and structured recreational pool and open water swimming. She's also seen a potential for social and corporate networking for busy executives, mothers' groups, and friends looking for new challenges.
With her skills in marketing and strategic skills Kari's mission is to help everyone, regardless of age or ability level, thrive. With a vision to build confidence and mental and physical fitness, she aims to empower individuals to flourish in all parts of life by creating an environment that fosters technique and performance improvement.
Anthony Mullane - 10 December 2021
Having worked in the business industry for several years, as an innovative and progressive person, Anthony understands the power of collaboration and being a team player. Purpose-driven and passionate, he believes in the power of the entrepreneur and their ability to change the world. His energetic personality, and end-to-end business insights has led him to establish CUB, a community of influential leaders who actively assist in each other’s ambitions.
Anthony believes that by collaborating people will can discover valuable information that will help grow their business acumen and empower them to thrive in a tough business landscape. He also believes that business plays an important role in creating a better world and he is on a mission to unite leaders who share this belief.