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Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments


In this week’s executive appointments column, InDaily tracks the movements of those driving South Australia’s public and private sectors in industries including finance and mining. Plus the latest executive employment opportunities.

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Financial faces take on new roles

Adelaide KPMG Partner Alex Demetriou has been appointed National Partner, Accelerating Business Growth with the firm. He succeeds National Partner, David Gelb who remains with the KPMG.

Demetriou has spent the last 16 years leading charted accounting firms, including Ernst & Young and Arthur Anderson, in Australia and Singapore.

He has also sat on a number of boards and is a prominent member of the Greek community as former President of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of Australia Parish of St Dimitrios and as a current member of the Greek Welfare Centre of SA board.

Last month, Demetriou was also announced as a member of AmCham (American Chamber of Commerce) Australia’s new Space Committee. The committee aims to support the development of Australia’s space sector.

Todd Roberts

Credit Union SA CEO Todd Roberts has been named as a member of the not-for-profit Leaders Institute of South Australia Board.

Roberts was named CEO of the South Australian financial institution in July following more than two decades in leadership positions with financial companies including the Commonwealth Bank and Ferrier Hodgson.

It follows Roberts' relocation to South Australia from Victoria, where he most recently worked as the state’s Commonwealth Bank general manager of business and corporate banking.

He previously held a similar position in South Australia for the bank and headed Adelaide-based Valuation Exchange’s financial department as CFO.


SA startups grow

Penelope Bettison
Gary Olsen

Penelope Bettison has been named Chief Operating Officer with SA lighting and energy start-up VALO Corporation.

Bettison spent the last three years with 1414 Degrees as Head of Corporate Services after working in business development and marketing with organisations including the South Australian Tourism Commission, the Adelaide Convention Centre and the Adelaide Showground.

Bettison is also a Non-Executive Director for agricultural not-for-profit Women Together Learning.

Her appointment at VALO Corporation follows the addition of CFO Gary Olsen in March.

A chartered accountant, Olsen spent the past two decades as Director of Business Advisory Services for Bentley's Adelaide.


For the past nine months, Olsen has also worked as Managing Director of accounting firm Vaekst Advisory.

Nate Godfrey
Laura Chapman

Nathan Godfrey has also joined VALO as Chief Commercial Officer.

He spent the past decade working with professional sporting clubs across rugby union, AFL and motorsport, including as Adelaide Football Club Senior Projects Manager, CEO of Glenelg Football Club and CEO of the Canterbury Rugby Union in New Zealand.

Between 2018 and May 2020, he also sat on the Duke of Edinburgh Australia Award board.

Meanwhile, Cortex Interactive at Lot Fourteen has also expanded, introducing Business Development Manager Laura Chapman to the company.

Chapman comes to the South Australian software company from the Adelaide Convention Centre where she was Conferences and Exhibitions Sales Manager.

Originally from the Festival State, Chapman spent the past three years working across Canada and Southeast Asia in positions including as Trump International Hotel and Tower Toronto Group Sales Manager and Vintage Hotels Multi Property Sales Manager.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Expressions of Interest are being sought for two Board Members at GPEx Limited, the South Australian Training Organisation delivering training to doctors selected to specialise in general practice in Australia. Candidates for the remunerated positions will have experience in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health and Rural Health and will bring the ability to provide stewardship on the critical topic of workforce shortages in rural and remote South Australia. It is expected that candidates will have Board experience and AICD training is desirable.

Peninsula Ports is looking for a Chief Engineer to drive a two-year deep water grain terminal project at Port Spencer on the Eyre Peninsula. As part of the Executive Leadership Team, and reporting directly to the CEO, the Chief Engineer will take full accountability for completing the final design and execution of the project safely, on time and within budget. Whilst experience in the construction of deep seaports is highly desirable, professionals with comparable experience are also encouraged to apply.

In a rare opportunity for a proven supply chain professional to have national influence from head office in Adelaide, Nobles seeks a Supply Chain Manager to lead the end-to-end supply chain operations and manage a diverse team of purchasing, logistics, forecasting, planning and inventory control professionals. Reporting to the GM of Products and Marketing, the Supply Chain Manager will manage an annual spend of circa $20m, a supply chain with more than 5,000 active SKUs, up to 10,000 customers and over 100 suppliers to ensure Nobles has the right products, at the right cost, in the right quantities, in the right place and at the right time.

New head of Australian Space Agency

Enrico Palermo

Virgin Galactic’s Chief Operating Officer Enrico Palermo has been appointed the new Chair of the Adelaide-headquartered Australian Space Agency.

He replaces inaugural Chair Megan Clark from January 2021.

Palermo has worked in the space industry across Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States for the past two decades.

Most recently he has led The Spaceship Company, Virgin Galactic’s aerospace-system manufacturing organisation, as President after holding various leadership positions with the company for the past 11 years.

He also previously held board roles with American social services organisations Revitalize Mojave and the Mojave Foundation.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said Palermo would drive Australia towards becoming a “major player” in the international space industry.

“By 2030, we want to triple the size of our space sector – adding $12 billion to our economy and creating up to 20,000 new, high-skilled jobs,” Morrison said in a statement.

“I extend my deepest thanks to Dr Clark who has led the Agency from its infancy in 2018 and set a clear path forward.”

Former Fielders CEO to mining company

Keith Middleton

American Rare Earths Limited has appointed former South Australian construction company Fielders Manufacturing CEO Keith Middleton as Managing Director.

Middleton was appointed as a Non-Executive director of the NSW-based mining company in March and became an Executive Director two months later.

He previously led Fielders Manufacturing as CEO between 2004 and 2012 before heading to Rivergum Homes as Director Corporate Services for two years.

For more than a decade, Middleton was Company Director for corporate advisory firm SA Capital Funds Management.

Changing wine positions

Purple Giraffe Founder and Head Lynda Schenk has been appointed a Non-Executive Director with Wine Communicators of Australia, after four years as Executive Officer with the national organisation.

Schenk founded the South Australian company in 2014 and was last year named a finalist at the Telstra Business Woman of the Year awards for small business.

As well as her role with Purple Giraffe, in July she joined the Business Advice Agency as Marketing Expert.

She also sits on the Destination Riverland board and the Independent Commission for Basketball SA and was previously the Starlight Children Foundation’s Partnerships Executive.

Corporate Ladder is part of our weekly Business Insight edition, which is brought to you by BDO.


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