On a night with many memorable moments, the mood of the room was summed up when Rural and Regional Award winner Nick Berry had more than 340 people standing up and ‘grinding’ to demonstrate how his Seed Terminator weed crushing machine works.
Grinding along with the packed house were special guests South Australia Governor Hieu Van Le AC and the Leader of the Opposition Peter Malinauskas MP.
But the gala was much more than the awards and fun.
Keynote speaker Michael Waite shared his experiences around the theme of encouraging awardees to keep evolving, citing the role of mentors, maximizing time and personal health in his journey.
“Don’t be afraid to ask for help and get yourself a mentor,” said Waite, an SA expat who returned to the state and began The Naracoorte Community News and is now a director at Lenswood Apples.
Waite, who at 44 is also a young business leader, shared with the guests his journey – complete with mistakes and setbacks – from a professional tennis player in the South East to grabbing opportunities at university in the United States to being “head of finance for Bill Gates’s investment office” to running for Treasurer of Washington State and back to Australia and Naracoorte.
He challenged the room to imagine a world where we all kept evolving.
“So, imagine for a moment, the connected compassion and excellence of our communities, our state, our nation and our world if we all kept evolving,” he said.
“If you want to see real change and have an impact, you have to stand up and be heard.
“There are so many passionate people here tonight who are doing just that, in their own way and I can feel that energy and collective impact in the room.”
The chair of the judging panel, David Rohrsheim, also told the award winners and guests to be heard.
“Adelaide sometimes can be a ‘wait your turn’ sort of place,” said the manager of the SA Venture Capital Fund Portfolio, who is also young enough to qualify for the awards.
“This is a room that knows that tomorrow will not be a better time to pursue their dreams.”
Rohrsheim said what made the 40 Under 40 Awards unique was that they are concentrated on business leadership.
“SA has plenty of leaders in other fields, such as sportspeople and politicians,” he said.
“Businesses exist to make stuff happen, and along the way you create jobs.
“Jobs are so important for our state to prosper, and this room has created hundreds of jobs.”
InDaily journalist Stephanie Richards, another young leader in the state, told the audience that living in Adelaide is not something she takes for granted, especially now the city has been ranked the third most liveable city on the planet.
“Now more than ever we need young people to step up and prove that Adelaide is more than just a liveable city – but a place to do work,” she said.
“We need people who are already challenging the status quo and who have sharp ideas about how things can be different to inspire the next crop of young people to forge their career here.”
2021 40 Under 40
Aaron Hickmann, Founder & CEO, VALO
Adam Grocke, Founder & CEO, Sherlok
Alice Fitch, Founder, Whola
Allison Nikula, Founder & CEO, CareApp Group
Anna Pak Poy, Chair/Founder, Careerlink People Solutions, Rare Find Foundation, Pak Poy & Partners
Bec Hardy, Co-Managing Director, Bec Hardy Wines
Ben Morton, Executive Director/CTO, Bygen
Ben Tripodi, CEO, Lumin Sports/ Hoap
Bruce Djite, Director of Football, Adelaide United (incoming CEO, Committee for Adelaide)
Craig Rivett, Managing Director, Helping Heroes / Community Assist
Dani Cuff, Co-Founder, Harrison McMillan
Emilio De Stefano, Director & Principal, De Stefano & Co
Emily Welyhorskyj, Chief Operating Officer, HenderCare
George Georgiadis, Co-Founder & Managing Director, Never Never Distilling Co.
Jack Cameron, Founder/ Head of Marketing, Pirate Life Brewing
Jade Torres, Director , Pwerle Pty Ltd
Jake Press, Founder, FOUR
James Preuss, Managing Director and Founder, Concierge Genetics
Jane Brunton, Manager -Commercial, OZ Minerals
Jennifer Lynch, CEO, McLaren Vale Grape Wine and Tourism Association
Jess de Campo, Chair, Imagine Uraidla
Julia Ritorto & Kathryn Forth, Creative Directors, Acler & Significant Other
Katie Donaldson, Managing Director, Praxis Aeronautics
Kellie Taylor, Co-Founder & Managing Director, EP Analysis
Kristin Carson-Chahhoud, Associate Research Professor, University of South Australia
Lisa Mrowka, Founder, ADL Support Services
Louise Heesom, Casting Director, Heesom Casting
Lyndsey Jackson, Chief Technology Officer & Co-founder, Platfarm
Marissa Schulze, Managing Director, Rise High Financial Solutions
Mathew D’Onofrio, Founder/CEO/Owner, Nightlife First Aid
Matt Downie, Director, iElectrical and Communications
Matthew Pezzuto, Managing Director, Horizon Construction Services
Matthew Wilkins, Chief Executive Officer, Venergy Australia
Mike Scott, CEO, Nona Digital
Nick Berry, Founder/Managing Director, Seed Terminator
Paul Baker, Director, Chefs On Wheels
Qi Wu, Director of Research, Australian Institute of Machine Learning
Simon White, Managing Director, Waternish Engineering
Stephen Moss, Chief Executive Officer, Trymoss Engineering Pty Ltd
Tom Welsby, Managing Director, ResVu
Individual Award Winners
First Among Equals presented by Solstice Media
Jack Cameron, Pirate Life Brewing / Founder and Head of Marketing
Emerging Industries Award presented by Piper Alderman
Katie Donaldson, Praxis Aeronautics / Managing Director
Creative Thinker Award presented by KWP!
George Georgiadis, Never Never Distilling Co. / Co-founder & Managing Director
Rural and Regional Award presented by ANZ
Nick Berry, Seed Terminator / Founder & Managing Director
Discovery Award presented by Adelaide BioMed City
Qi Wu, Australian Institute of Machine Learning, The University of Adelaide / Director of Research
Entrepreneurial Award Award presented by William Buck
Aaron Hickmann, VALO / Founder & CEO
Inspiring Disruptor Award presented by OTR
Allison Nikula, CareApp Group / Founder & CEO
Social Impact Award presented by Community Corporate
Craig Rivett, Helping Heroes & Community Assist / Managing Director
Read about all the winners and more in the Winter Edition of CityMag hitting the streets of Adelaide today.