CALLED a family business legend by Family Business Australia (FBA), hire business innovator Andy Kennard, has been presented with a 2018 Life Membership Award.
The FBA accolade is an acknowledgment of Andy Kennard’s role in forging the family-centric business that Kennards Hire has become today, along with his contribution to the family business sector in Australia.
Mr Kennard’s life membership award is well earned, according to FBA CEO Greg Griffith. “His contribution to the sustainable growth of Kennards Hire, the equipment hire industry and the Australian family business sector is without peer,” Mr Griffith said. “He also served on the FBA board as chairman from 2012 through to 2014 and funded the development of FBA’s directors course.
Mr Kennard said it was a special honour to receive the recognition from Family Business Australia.
“As a business founded on firm family values, it has always been incredibly important that our employees feel part of the business,” Mr Kennard said. “From the beginning, it is our fair-dinkum values that have enabled Kennards Hire to grow as a multi-generational business in Australia, a country that places great emphasis on hard work and innovation.
“All our branches are part of local communities. From Tamworth in regional New South Wales through to Karratha in Western Australia, it’s a privilege to be able to contribute to local economies through investment, employment opportunities and community activities.
“When you spend money with a family-owned business, it helps our communities. And that’s a great thing to do,” Andy Kennard said.
In operation for 70 years, with a network of over 170 branches and more than 1,600 employees in Australia and New Zealand, Kennards Hire is a third generation family-owned and operated business.
Its current CEO is Andy’s son, Angus. Kennards has been a ‘proud’ member of FBA for 15 years, the business is an FBA Hall of Fame inductee and took home the FBA 2014 Distinguished Family Business of the Year Award.
CHIEF operating officer of international payments start-up Airwallex, Lucy Liu took out the title of the nation’s Female Fintech Leader of the Year at the recent 2018 Finnie Awards.
Airwallex also took home the award for Excellence in Payments.
Co-founder Ms Liu was specifically recognised for her contribution to the fintech sector, acknowledging it provided consumers and businesses with new or improved services that offer a genuine alternative to traditional financial institutions.
“This award is recognition of the hard work of the Airwallex team and validation of our mission to re-imagine the global payments landscape,” Ms Liu said.
“On a personal level, this award is also important because fintech is still largely a male-dominated field. I think an important way that I can support other women is to be a beacon for them.
“This means grasping at every opportunity that comes my way in my own professional life, and being an active member of the fintech community. We have some astonishing women working in fintech, and I am glad to be a part of that.
“Regardless of gender, an entrepreneur isn't someone who owns a business, it’s someone who makes things happen – and I like to think of myself as that person. Sometimes being a female makes it a more challenging experience, but being an entrepreneur is about making the commitment that others won't, being prepared to take a chance, and having the confidence to back yourself up.”
Ms Liu’s award win came hot on the heels of her co-founder Jack Zhang’s recent win at China’s Brilliant10 Awards, where he took home the coveted fintech category.
Starting life as a group of five friends, Airwallex recently hired its 100th employee and opened a new office in Shanghai. Making headlines not long ago for successfully completing one of the highest rounds of Series A funding in Australian start up fintech history, Airwallex is aligned with China’s gargantuan export WeChat Pay, and is also in partnership with financial major players Standard Chartered, Tencent, Sequoia, and SquarePeg.
The business is committed to “connecting all of the world's digital end points, and in doing so promote financial inclusion and create opportunity without exception”.
Airwallex is a financial technology company that offers integrated solutions for cross-border payments. Airwallex facilitates international money transfers through a combination of payment collection, foreign exchange and local payment distribution.