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The Dynamic Business Expert Panel: Management and Growth

Here at Dynamic Business we’ve brought together some of the biggest names in Australian business to work with us in offering our readers expert business advice on every aspect of managing and growing a SME. Each month you’ll receive expert business advice on the issues that matter to you most. Be inspired and learn from their wealth of experience.

Craig Emerson MP
Minister for Small Business
Dr Emerson is Minister for Small Business, Independent Contractors and the Service Economy, federal member for Rankin and Minister assisting the Finance Minister on deregulation.

He has held senior appointments in the public sector and as an economic adviser. He has first-hand experience of small businesses, having run one in a partnership, and was economic adviser to Labor’s longest serving Australian Prime Minister, Bob Hawke.

He was appointed Small Business Minister in the Rudd Government in December 2007. He holds a Bachelor of Economics and a Masters of Economics from the University of Sydney, and PhD in Economics from the Australian National University.

Mary Henderson
CEO, GeekIT Group
With more than15 years of top level sales and marketing experience, when it comes to sales, business development and marketing strategies in the IT and digital media spheres, Henderson is an expert.
A natural communicator and passionate visionary, she started her professional career as a media advertising sales executive, a role which fostered a keen eye for sales strategies and genuine passion for business relations.

Having held numerous national sales and business development roles (including Australian/NZ sales director for Belkin), she has a deep understanding of sales systems, strategies and structures.
Henderson is also a longstanding e-commerce advocate and in 2005 she established web development firm GeekIT Group.

At the end of 2006 she was auspiciously appointed as the Victorian President of AMIA (Australian Multimedia Industry Association), Australia’s most prestigious and well regarded digital media representative body. More recently, she was invited to sit on the Victorian AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association) board.

Matthew Nolan
Managing director, Provident Cashflow
Nolan has 16 years’ banking and finance experience and joined Provident Cashflow from Macquarie Bank. He has held management positions at both ANZ and Westpac and is experienced in structured lending and asset finance, particularly funding of SMEs and investors.

He founded Provident to provide loans to Australian SMEs for the acquisition of additional inventory. Through this, he helps other SMEs to grow, overcoming existing working capital constraints.

Nolan’s knowledge of small businesses, their management and finance is second to none. His experience in launching this new product to SMEs has given him a unique insight into what it takes to succeed as an SMEs, and the challenges they face through finding funding that’s innovative enough to meet their needs. He is now using his knowledge to complete his doctorial thesis on small businesses, their working capital management and the accessibility of suitable finance and advice.

Janine Allis
CEO and managing director, Boost Juice
From zero to 85 stores and 1,250 employees in the first three years, thirty-something Allis has established and grown Boost to become the number one juice bar business in the Southern Hemisphere.

She admits that she never imagined she would be leading a multimillion dollar empire and achieving a staggering revenue of more than $100 million per year in sales.

Since opening the first store in Adelaide in 2000, Allis has grown Boost to become a dynamic, innovative business with almost 200 stores in Australia and New Zealand and several overseas. In September 2004 Boost Juice opened an outlet per day in Australia.

Allis’ enthusiasm and passion have driven the company to where it is today. She has experienced every facet of the company, from painting the floor in the first store, to negotiating the purchase of another juice bar chain.

She was 2004 Telstra Australian Business Woman of the Year and 2005 American Express Franchisor of the Year.

Brad Sugars
Owner, ActionCOACH
International entrepreneur, best-selling author, business coach and educational speaker, Sugars knows a thing or two about business. He built ActionCOACH up from nothing to today being ranked by the USA’s Entrepreneur magazine as the 16th fastest growing franchise in the world and 53rd out of the top 500. All this in just 12 years!

His dad decided he was going to be a businessman when he caught him selling his Christmas presents to his brothers at the tender age of seven. The following year he worked out he could make money and get the toys back, if he just rented them out for a few days at a time.

Sugars started ActionCOACH in 1993. For the first time, SME owners had access to hundreds of powerful, yet relatively simple and affordable sales, marketing and team-building strategies that brought about dramatic improvements in their revenues and profits. He franchised his concept in 1997 and now with more than 640 coaches globally, ActionCOACH stands proud as the industry leader.

He is the author of The Business Coach, Instant Cashflow, Billionaire in Training and many more books.

Deepak Ramanathan
Business Marketing Manager, Google Australia and New Zealand
Deepak leads Google’s Business Marketing operations in Australia and New Zealand. He is responsible for growing Google’s services for advertisers and web publishers, with a special focus on SMEs.

He joined Google in 2006 and has focused on educating businesses about how to achieve best results from marketing campaigns and how to generate a high return on investment from online advertising campaigns through Google’s AdWords service.

He has been involved in technology businesses for more than 15 years. Prior to joining Google, he worked at IBM in several marketing management positions promoting sales and channel effectiveness and actionable marketing strategies.

Deepak managed the marketing for a small business acquired by IBM, and learnt firsthand how to market a small business under time, budget and resource constraints.

He has three degrees, including an MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management.

Kristina Karlsson
Founder, kikki.K Swedish Home/Office Style
When Swedish born Kristina ‘Kikki’ Karlsson decided to set up a home office almost 10 years ago, she couldn’t have known where that decision would take her. Today she is the creative director and founder of international fashion stationery label kikki.K, with retail boutiques in Australia and New Zealand, and more than 120 stockists around the world.

Karlsson opened her first boutique in Melbourne in 2001. kikki.K, named after her childhood nickname and last initial, was an immediate success. By 2005 there were kikki.K boutiques in Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. The following year saw incredible growth with eight new boutiques opened. The speed at which this young business has grown, and continues to grow, is testament to Karlsson’s determination and self-belief.

She has twice been a finalist in the Telstra Business Woman of the Year, has been named Young Entrepreneur of the Year by Women Chiefs of Enterprise International, was named Most Successful Newcomer in the Swedish Business in Australia Awards, and was recently named Best Small Business in the Ethnic Business Awards.

Gavan Ord
Business policy advisor, CPA Australia
Gavan has responsibility for the development of policy and research on issues related to small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs). During the course of his career, Gavan has established himself as a technical expert, particularly in the area of taxation.

Before joining CPA Australia, he held a senior role in technical policy and international development and was a member of various Australian Government consultation committees, including the National Small Business Forum, the Australian Tax Office’s National Taxation Liaison Group, Tax Practitioner Forum and Treasury Tax Design.

Gavan holds a Master of Taxation Law.

Carl Walsh
Managing director, GE Money Australia and New Zealand
Carl is the managing director of GE Business Solutions, the business unit focused on developing lending solutions to meet the needs of the SME market in Australia.

He has been with GE for more than 10 years, staring with the company in Dublin as a senior analyst. He moved to Melbourne in 2001 as the chief financial officer for Motor Solutions and was involved in the acquisition and integration of the Australian Guarantee Corporation (AGC). He was promoted to regional controller of GE Money A/NZ in October 2003, during which he was involved in the Wizard Home Loans acquisition and integration.

Prior to GE, Carl worked for Deloitte (Luxembourg), Antigen Pharmaceuticals, CSS (Russia) and Microsoft. He has a Batchelor of Law from University College Cork and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants. He is also an English, Foreign Languages and Philosophy (EFLP) graduate (2002).

Maureen Frank
CEO, Emberin
Maureen is passionate about helping other women in business achieve their career goals and is also a woman who has learned to do the juggling act –sometimes backwards and in high heels!

An entrepreneur, celebrated author, business strategist, professional speaker and facilitator, she sits on a number of boards and is a lead advisor on women’s issue to the Diversity Council of Australia. In addition, Maureen is a single mother to seven year-old twins.

A qualified solicitor with a corporate legal background, Maureen decided early on in her career that she was not cut out to be a lawyer. She left the corporate world to start her own company, emberin, which is devoted to ‘stoking’ the embers inside women to awaken the under-utilised potential within.

She won a Telstra Business Woman of Year Award in 2004 and in 2005 she released her first book, You Go Girlfriend, aimed at inspiring women to believe that they can achieve anything in the business world.

Adrian McFedries
MD, DC Strategy
Adrian is internationally respected as a business growth specialist and is managing director of DC Strategy, the region’s leading specialist consulting and legal firm.

As a proud New Zealander he has developed a practical reputation as an entrepreneur, board advisor and regular speaker having lived in France, Ireland, the USA, and Australasia.

As a channel strategy and international specialist his predominant focus has been driving serious growth in national and international markets for both small family business and corporates such as Boost Juice, Nokia, Bank of Ireland, ANZ, Flight Centre, Forty Winks, Darrell Lea, and OPSM.

He is a barrister and solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand and the supereme Court of Victoria and a visiting professor at the Beijing  Normal University in Zhuhai, China.

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