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Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments


South Australia’s premier executive appointments column tracking the movements of those driving the state’s public and private sectors. Plus the latest executive recruitment opportunities.

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Adrian Tembel
Dr Matthew Butlin

Legal chief takes the helm at Productivity Commission

Thomson Geer Chief Executive Partner Adrian Tembel has been promoted as the new Chair of the South Australian Productivity Commission.

Tembel has been a Commissioner on the SAPC since November 2018, one month after the commission was established to conduct inquiries and make recommendations on economic productivity matters referred by the Premier.

A corporate and technology lawyer for close to 30 years, Tembel has been Chief Executive Partner of national law firm Thomson Geer since 2009 and is the owner of more than 700 hectares of land at Seabrook Farm on the Fleurieu Peninsula.

The legal high-flyer’s promotion in the part time government role comes after former SAPC Chair and Chief Executive Dr Matthew Butlin indicated in February he would not seek reappointment.

Butlin, a former Economic Society of Australia President, has been splitting time across Adelaide and Melbourne after leaving his role as Victoria’s Red Tape Commissioner in 2018 to be the SAPC’s inaugural leader.

Since then, he has conducted five inquiries in South Australia on matters relating to government procurement, local government, research and development, and health and medical research.

Butlin will temporarily stay on as an SAPC commissioner while an existing inquiry into South Australia’s Regulatory Framework is completed.

Tembel’s appointment as Chair commenced on Saturday, July 17, and runs until July 16, 2024.

Grant Reubenicht

AnglicareSA opts for continuity at the top

Long-time AnglicareSA executive Grant Reubenicht has been made permanent CEO after eight years with the social services organisation.

The Australian Institute of Company Directors graduate has been serving as Acting Chief Executive at AnglicareSA since December 2020 following the retirement of former CEO Peter Sandeman.

Reubenicht joined the South Australian charity in 2013 as Chief Financial Officer, Executive General Manager Corporate Services and Company Secretary.

His time at AnglicareSA came after 10 years in financial management roles with the Anglican Diocese of Adelaide and Anglican Funds.

AnglicareSA Chair Bruce Linn said Reubenicht was recruited from a field of national and international candidates.

“Grant’s dedication, experience and commitment will help to steer us as we grow and adapt in the rapidly-changing social services sector across our major lines of business in aged care, housing, disability and foster care,” Linn said.

AnglicareSA employs more than 1800 staff alongside 500 volunteers who support more than 60,000 South Australians every year through its social services, which include foster care, aged care, disability accommodation and mental health support.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Employing 160 staff, the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) is a fully accredited private higher education provider and the market share leader of online MBAs in Australia. With students located in Australia and across the globe, this progressive business is poised and positioned for future growth. An exciting new position has been created for a versatile Chief Operating Officer to add value to AIB. Reporting, as a natural deputy, to the Chief Executive Officer and working closely with the Executive Team, this important position will be a key driver of the newly developed strategic plan. Functionally, the role will lead the Technology, Reporting and People and Culture teams but, most significantly, will ensure that organisation resources are aligned with the critical growth priorities of the business. CA/CPA status is highly desirable and experience in private equity, management consulting and corporate transformation is a definite advantage.

For over 30 years, Lighthouse Disability Ltd has been a leading provider of disability support in South Australia. Lighthouse is a values-based organisation with a long and successful history of service to adults with complex and diverse disabilities. With just over 200 staff, revenue approaching $35m and a very strong balance sheet, the organisation has expanded rapidly and is poised for further growth and success. An opportunity has arisen for two Board Members to join the highly experienced, skills-based Board of Directors with a particular focus on candidates who have a lived experience of disability, clinical expertise in quality care and continuous improvement. However, expressions of interest are also most welcome from candidates from a broad range of professional disciplines and industry settings.

Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd (ANI) supports the Commonwealth’s continuous naval shipbuilding program by being the owner, developer and manager of existing and new shipbuilding infrastructure and related facilities at Osborne. Operating from ANI’s offices at the Osborne Naval Shipyard, the newly created Facilities Electrical Engineer position will play an instrumental role in ensuring the integrity and functionality of electrical systems across all ANI owned facilities. This broad, hands-on role will be responsible for the management of HV, LV, communications, automation and security systems throughout ANI owned ship and submarine building facilities. Applications are invited from Australian citizens with experience in the implementation, integration, maintenance and operation of electrical systems and a willingness and aptitude to mentor emerging professionals.

Established in 1975, Hunts Fuel is a family-owned fuel distribution business supplying Ampol fuels and lubricants from depots located in Jamestown, Kadina, Maitland, Riverton, Port Lincoln, Port Augusta and Wudinna. It has a reputation for providing quality products throughout its network of retail outlets and delivering bulk fuel to primary producers, transport companies, small and large businesses and local government. Ideally based in the Jamestown region and reporting to the Managing Director, this key autonomous Accountant role is a great opportunity to combine regional lifestyle and career with a growing and respected family business. Applications are invited from appropriately qualified finance professionals with demonstrated a sound working knowledge of bookkeeping, debits/credits, tax, compliance, business planning, investments and financial reporting. CA/CPA qualifications will be well regarded but are not essential.

Ben Kavenagh

Career sports manager finds new home in energy

Former Adelaide 36ers CEO Ben Kavenagh has joined South Australia’s Kozco Energy Group as the company’s inaugural General Manager.

Kavenagh said the “time felt right” to move out of sports management after a more than 20-year career in the field which has included CEO roles with the Adelaide Lightning (WNBL), South Adelaide (SANFL) and as Regional Development Manager at the International Cricket Council in the Americas.

“Sport is in my blood and always will be,” Kavenagh said.

“I’m fortunate to have enjoyed an incredibly rewarding career on both a local and international level across basketball, football, cricket and golf.”

Kozco, who have been club sponsors of the Adelaide 36ers since September last year, are a family-owned South Australian energy business providing solar panel and battery installations, air conditioning and electrical services.

Founded in 2005, the Croydon-based company says it provides services to more than 1500 residential homes in SA every year and the creation of the new General Manager role follows a restructure over the last 12 months designed to facilitate future growth.

Kozco Energy Group Director and Co-Founder Danny Mudronja said the company was “extremely excited” to bring Kavenagh on board.

“He has great knowledge and a broad skill set gained from his many years of study and diverse work in the business sector,” Mudronia said.

“His expertise will be a great asset to our company and we’re excited for our future plans with Ben’s involvement.”

The 36ers last month chose former A-League executive Nic Barbato to replace Kavenagh as CEO.

Mark Deuter
Alex Sinclair

Movements at Adelaide’s 3D mappers

South Australian 3D modelling and mapping company Aerometrex is on the hunt for a new CEO/Managing Director after long-time leader Mark Deuter announced his intention to retire at the end of the year.

Deuter has been with the aerial photography firm for more than 16 years and has been CEO and Managing Director since 2011.

The Glynburn Road based company, which has offices in Queensland and Colorado, offers public and private sector clients an aerial imagery subscription service along with laser point ground measurements and 3D city models.

Aerometrex Chairman Mark Lindh said Deuter’s leadership was “instrumental” in helping the company prepare for its ASX listing in 2019.

Deuter will finish his 44-year career in photogrammetry on December 11 after reaching a mutual agreement with the Aerometrex board.

The company also this month announced the appointment of Adelaide businessman Alex Sinclair as National Sales Manager.

In a more than 20-year career in business, Sinclair has held managerial roles with companies including Chubb Security, National Wireless and Sage Automation.

He is also the founder of Sinclair Distillery – a small independent gin distillery based in Colonel Light Gardens.

Sinclair joins Aerometrex after spending the last five years as CEO of Adelaide-based LATSA Training and Consulting, where he is continuing on as a Board Member and Director.

He replaces Aerometrex National Sales Manager Todd Dunow, who the company says will remain at the firm in a sales-production co-ordination role.

Tasha Naige
Nicole Mead

String of promotions for commercial lawyers

South Australian commercial law firm DMAW Lawyers has elevated six lawyers in its Adelaide office.

The Flinders Street firm – whose lawyers specialise in corporate litigation, transactions and disputes – announced the promotion of its newest Principal Tasha Naige.

Naige has been with DMAW since joining as a Law Clerk in 2007 and has been a Senior Associate since 2015. She is touted by the firm as a key leader on their transactions team.

Her background is in financial services and superannuation and she is also the Director of national advocacy and networking group Women in Super.

DMAW also announced the promotion of commercial disputes lawyer Nicole Mead to Senior Associate.

Mead joined the firm in 2017 after completing a summer clerkship with DMAW two years earlier.

She is among three promotions in the commercial disputes team, with Jessica Punch and Lachlan Chuong elevated to Associate status along with Annika Beaty and Meegan Prior in DMAW’s transactions team.

Karen Limb

Cara goes out on a Limb for new CFO

South Australian disability service provider Cara has appointed experienced business executive Karen Limb as its new Chief Financial Officer.

Limb’s business career stems more than 20 years after starting as a Business Analyst with SA Water in 1997. Since then, she has spent nine years with former Adelaide law firm Kelly & Co Lawyers where she was Financial Controller and later Chief Financial Officer.

Her most recent role was General Manager, Corporate Services at holiday accommodation site West Beach Parks. She is also a board member of the Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Chair of St John Ambulance SA.

Cara, who employ more than 1000 staff across eight sites in South Australia and provide disability accommodation and support services, says Limb will lead the organisation’s finance, ICT and commercial teams.

She takes over as CFO from Matt Law who has held the position since 2016.

Cara says Law is pursuing new opportunities in open source software development.

Brent Hill

SATC marketing head scores plum Fiji gig

Outgoing South Australian Tourism Commission Executive Director of Marketing Brent Hill has scored a new overseas role as CEO of Tourism Fiji.

Hill, who has been with the SATC since November 2015, finishes up with the commission this week and says he intends to move to his new home in Fiji early next month.

The SATC announced in June that former San Remo Chief Marketing Officer Erik de Roos is replacing Hill in the executive role.

Hill's move to Fiji follows an extensive marketing career in Adelaide which included senior roles with People’s Choice Credit Union, Harris Scarfe and Telstra.

“I’m excited to continue in tourism in such a beautiful country renowned for their hospitality and spirit, knowing that we have a real fight on our hands to get tourism and the visitor economy back to where it belongs” he said on LinkedIn.

“I have always respected the honour of being entrusted with the role here at SATC and feel the same way now going into this role with Tourism Fiji.”

Rhen Soggee

Theatre promotion for Soggee

Youth-led Adelaide theatre company ActNow Theatre has promoted Rhen Soggee to Executive Director and Co-CEO.

Soggee is stepping up from their role as General Manager and International Producer with the interactive theatre group, and joins fellow Co-CEO and Artistic Director Yasmin Gureeboo in leading ActNow.

Gureeboo said it was “a great joy to have Rhen step into the role of Executive Director”.

“At ActNow we create bold, socially conscious theatre, and Rhen is a fierce champion for our artists and communities and someone who is deeply committed to telling stories that can drive social change,” Gurreeboo said.

Soggee’s previous roles include Program Coordinator with the OzAsia Festival and Adelaide arts organisation Carclew, as well as a long career as an independent producer and event supporter in various roles both in South Australia and internationally.

Soggee is also Co-Chairperson of the Post Office Projects art gallery in Port Adelaide.

Steven Walker

Board appointment for regional home builder

Homebuilding industry figure Steven Walker has been appointed to the Board of Regional Development Australia Murraylands and Riverland.

Walker is the co-owner of home-building and design company Kookaburra Homes based in Murray Bridge and with offices in Mount Barker and Adelaide.

The construction entrepreneur is also the Co-Founder of Design HQ, which Kookaburra Homes says will be the largest multi-level interior design studio in South Australia when completed.

Walker was previously a franchisee owner at Harvey Norman and is also a Residential Building Committee Member with Master Builders SA.

RDAMR Board Chair Jodie Hawkes – who is Chief Financial Officer at South Australian metal fabricators Bowhill Engineering – said Walker will be responsible for attracting investment and opportunities in the Murraylands and Riverland.

“[He] has a strong understanding of the opportunities that exist now and into the future, and a clear commitment to the region through direct investment and active community engagement,” Hawkes said.

“Mr Walker was a prime candidate to be appointed to the RDAMR Board.”

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