Howcroft is new chair of AFTRS Council

TELEVISION and advertising industry identity Russel Howcroft has been appointed as chair of the Australian Film, Television and Radio School Council.

Mr Howcroft is known for has extensive experience in Australia’s screen industry, having been executive general manager of Network Ten and served on a number of boards and foundations which focus on arts and film, including the Australian Film Institute and the Screen Forever Advisory Board.  

Mr Howcroft is currently the inaugural chief creative officer at PwC Australia. He has also served as the chairman of the Advertising Federation of Australia and chief executive officer of leading advertising agency George Patterson Y&R. He is best known to the Australian public as a regular panellist on ABCTV’s The Gruen Transfer.

Mr Howcroft will commence as chair on July 1, 2017.

“As a leader in the creative industries, he has a strong understanding of working in the media and creative entrepreneurship in both the private and public sectors which will be invaluable for the council,” Federal Communications Minister Mitch Fifield said.



Fraser steps up as Brisbane Marketing CEO

BRETT FRASER has been appointed as the new chief executive officer for Brisbane Marketing, taking over after an almost 10-year stint by John Aitken.

Mr Fraser has been Brisbane Marketing’s chief operating officer since January 2016 and had earlier in his career been a business development officer for Brisbane City Councils previous office of economic development, known as Velocity, which was later combined with Brisbane Marketing. 

Since leaving Brisbane City Council he has held a range of executive positions in industry and for government bodies. He most recently held several senior roles at Vale, one of the world’s largest global resource companies.

Before that he was general manager at Australia TradeCoast and investment director for the North American market for Invest Australia.

Brisbane Marketing chairman Ian Klug said Mr Fraser was “ideally suited to lead the city’s economic development board as he brings extensive global experience in the private sector and economic development field”.

“As CEO, Brett will continue to work with the board to deliver on the city’s economic blueprint as directed by the Lord Mayor Graham Quirk and councillors, and further enhance Brisbane’s reputation as Australia’s New World City.

“The board is delighted to have such a high-calibre executive take over the reins as the head of Brisbane Marketing. Brett has enormous experience in economic development gained from many years both in Australia and overseas. He is extremely well regarded in Brisbane's business community.”

Mr Klug thanked outgoing CEO John Aitken for his almost 10 years as the head of the city’s economic development board.

“Brisbane Marketing has enjoyed many successful years under John's leadership and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours,” Mr Klug said.




Silvia Del Vitto is new Whirlpool MD for Oceania

WORLD-LEADING appliance manufacturer, Whirlpool Corporation, has relocated its new Oceania managing director for integrated business, Silvia Del Vitto to Melbourne from Singapore.

Ms Del Vitto relocated to Melbourne in March with a mission to focus on continued growth for the Whirlpool and Ariston brands in the Australian and New Zealand markets, as well as across Oceania.

An experienced global executive with Whirlpool, Ms Del Vitto has spent the last 15 years of her career with the organisation in a wide variety of management roles, most recently as market director of the Far East region for the Ariston and Indesit brands, which included Australia and New Zealand. 

Prior to this, Italian-born Ms Del Vitto spent many years working in Whirlpool’s Europe. Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region based in Europe, as product marketing director and senior brand manager. Whirlpool Corporation South Asia president Arvind Uppal said Ms Del Vitto brought “global insight, hands-on experience and management strategy” to her new Oceania region role.

“I’m very excited to be joining the Oceania team and bringing my global Whirlpool experience to the region at a time of such positive growth in the business,” Ms Del Vitto said.

Whirlpool has re-asserted its place in Australian homes over the last 12 months by driving compelling product offerings and wide national distribution with The Good Guys. In 2016, Whirlpool began with a focus  on its cooking range and has since successfully re-launched back into the laundry and refrigeration sectors.

“While the local business has grown significantly, especially in the last 12 months, there is so much more to be done,” Ms Del Vitto said.

“Our multi-brand portfolio ensures we have many compelling options for our key channel partners, which is backed by our global commitment to drive innovation in the (sector Whirlpool calls) Smart Kitchen, Smart Laundry and beyond.”

The corporation’s Ariston brand continues to be one of the premium cooking brands in the country, its Italian heritage and strong presence in Harvey Norman cementing its place with Australian consumers “who have relied strongly on the quality of Ariston products for more than 20 years” she said.

“These are iconic, trustworthy brands already well-known to Australian and New Zealand consumers, and I’m looking forward to being involved in the next chapter of their growth across this region,” Ms Del Vitto said.

Mr Uppal said, “Silvia brings a strong background in product and brand development from Europe. Combined with her recent stint in Asia Pacific in operations she is ideally suited to develop and build the Oceania business where our focus is to build a multi brand/channel strategy with largely European sourced products.”

Whirlpool Corporation, Mr Uppal said, was “the number one global appliance manufacturer in the world” with 97,000 employees and 70 manufacturing and technology research centres globally.




EY Entrepreneur of the Year among equals

ASPEN MEDICAL founders Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys have been jointly named 2016 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

As the Australian winners, Dr Walker and Mr Keys will travel to Monaco in June next year to compete against national winners from more than 60 countries, for the chance to be named the 2017 EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year – a feat Australian Manny Stuhl achieved last year.

Dr Walker and Mr Keys founded Aspen Medical in 2003 to provide high-quality healthcare in challenging and under-resourced environments. Today, Aspen Medical employs more than 2,200 healthcare professionals and support staff across Australasia, Africa, the US, Europe and the Gulf Region. 

Chair of the independent judging panel, Josephine Sukkar, who is the co-owner and principal of Buildcorp, said there was strong competition among this year’s applicants but Aspen Medical stood out for its capacity to drive economic and social change on a global scale. 

“Aspen Medical is an extraordinary business with the potential to make a huge impact in the health sector,” the judges’ comments read. “Andrew and Glenn design solutions to problems in a way that can move the world forward. It is an innovative and noble Australian business with global reach.”

Aspen Medical was named this year’s winner at a ceremony attended by EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year 2016, Manny Stul and a selection of Australia’s leading entrepreneurs, alumni winners and judges at the Star Casino in Sydney in October.

Five other impressive Australian entrepreneurs also took home national trophies from the awards ceremony.

Other national category winners were Tim Gurner, of GURNER in the Emerging category; Bec Scott of STREAT in Social Entrepreneur; Ray Dennis of Lightforce Australia in the Technology category; Radek Sali of Swisse Wellness in the Industry category; and the Honan Family’s Manildra Group won the EY Family Business Award of Excellence.

EY Oceania CEO and area managing partner Tony Johnson congratulated the winners, saying at a time when innovation and entrepreneurialism was top of mind for the Australian government and business community, there was much to be celebrated.

“The quality and creativity of the finalists this year is proof of the overwhelming potential of Australian businesses and entrepreneurs,” Mr Johnson said. “We congratulate Dr Andrew Walker and Glenn Keys, and we wish them all the best in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year competition in June next year.

“The entrepreneurial spirit and bold efforts of these two men are to be applauded. Aspen Medical combines philanthropy with a service model that delivers affordable, efficient, and exceptionally high quality health solutions.

“As businesses and governments respond to previously unimaginable levels of disruption, entrepreneurship has never been more important to our future.  Recognising the contribution of leading entrepreneurs and empowering them to innovate is key to EY’s purpose of building a better working world,” Mr Johnson said.

“EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is much more than just an awards program – it’s an opportunity for participants to embark on a lifelong journey with a network of like-minded and talented program alumni.

“It’s part of EY’s long history of nurturing and supporting the entrepreneurial spirit and enabling individuals to take risks and deliver a vision which could make a positive difference to us all.”