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.

Jan 23, 2023, updated Jan 30, 2023
Andrew Kedzior (left), Kathryn Presser AM (top centre), Christopher Annicchiarico (bottom centre), Deborah Heithersay (top right) and David Mullins (bottom right) have all be appointed to new positions. Meanwhile, Brian Smedley (centre) is stepping down as CEO of SAWIA.

Andrew Kedzior (left), Kathryn Presser AM (top centre), Christopher Annicchiarico (bottom centre), Deborah Heithersay (top right) and David Mullins (bottom right) have all be appointed to new positions. Meanwhile, Brian Smedley (centre) is stepping down as CEO of SAWIA.

Andrew Kedzior

Andrew Kedzior

Stephen Lyons

Stephen Lyons

Adelaide legal eagle finds new nest

Corporate law firm Thomson Geer has appointed long-time Finlaysons Partner Andrew Kedzior to lead its banking and finance practice.

Kedzior has been a Partner at Finlaysons since 1998 and on the firm’s board since 2013.

He was voted by Best Lawyers as the 2022 “Lawyer of the Year” in Project Finance and Development Practice. Throughout his career, he has advised banks and major Australian corporations on large transactions, some worth more than $200 million.

“Andrew is well respected in the Adelaide market as a front-end Banking & Finance lawyer,” Thomson Geer Chief Executive Partner Adrian Tembel said.

“His experience and client coverage will be an excellent fit for us.”

Kedzior’s move to become a Partner at Thomson Geer sees him take over from fellow Partner Stephen Lyons.

Lyons has been at Thomson Geer for more than 40 years but has decided to step back from his practice this year, the firm said.

Deborah Heithersay

Philanthropy leader’s career move

The Animal Welfare League has appointed not-for-profit executive Deborah Heithersay as its new CEO.

Heithersay, who was CEO of the Flinders Medical Centre Foundation from 2000 to 2013, is currently the University of South Australia’s Director, Advancement Services (Alumni and Philanthropy).

Animal Welfare League Chair Katherine Bartolo said Heithersay’s career “has been distinguished by demonstrated success and a passion for philanthropy, marketing, business development, volunteer engagement, and lobbying for leading South Australian organisations”.

“Deborah comes to AWL with over 25 year’s leadership in the philanthropy and not-for-profit sector having held senior executive roles and led many key initiatives in the health, education and the arts sectors across her career,” she said.

Heithersay’s appointment at the Animal Welfare League will see her replace Dr Julie Bellamy, who has been CEO for the last three years.

Brian Smedley

Wine industry veteran corks career

South Australian Wine Industry Association (SAWIA) CEO Brian Smedley is retiring.

The association announced last week that Smedley has submitted his resignation ahead of transitioning towards retirement in mid-2023.

Smedley has been a part of SAWIA since 1996 when he joined as Business Services Manager. His move to the industry peak body followed five years with BankSA.

He stepped up to CEO in January 2008.

SAWIA President Kirsty Balnaves said Smedley “will leave an unprecedented legacy with the association and the wine industry and has the respect of the SAWIA Board, SAWIA members and wine industry bodies from all sectors – regional, state and federal”.

She said the association hoped to appoint a new CEO within three months and would launch a recruitment process “shortly”.

Greg Ratsch

Greg Ratsch

Ian Hill

Ian Hill

Leadership change at top council body

The Adelaide Economic Development Agency (AEDA) is under the new stewardship of Greg Ratsch following the resignation of inaugural Managing Director Ian Hill.

Hill had led AEDA since its inception in January 2021. He left the organisation to “spend more time with his family and explore some other opportunities”, according to City of Adelaide CEO Clare Mockler.

Prior to leading AEDA, Hill was Adelaide City Council’s Director, Growth. He moved to South Australia in 2018 after senior roles with VisitCanberra, Australian Capital Tourism and the South Australian Tourism Commission.

His last day at AEDA was Wednesday, January 18.

His interim replacement, Ratsch, is currently AEDA’s Executive Manager, Business Growth and Investment Attraction.

Ratsch has had a long career in local government administration, spending close to a decade with the City of Salisbury as Manager, Economic Development and Urban Policy. He was also Economic Development Manager at the City of Adelaide from 2004 to 2010.

It’s unclear when AEDA will begin searching for Hill’s permanent replacement.

Kathryn Presser AM

Kathryn Presser AM

SA director tapped for AEMO board

Former Beach Energy Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary Kathryn Presser AM has been appointed to the Australian Energy Market Operator (AEMO) board.

Presser, a professional non-executive director, sits on several South Australian boards including the Police Credit Union SA & NT, Funds SA, Walford Anglican School for Girls and the Department of Treasury and Finance’s Risk and Performance Committee – the latter as Independent Chair.

She was CFO and Company Secretary at Beach Energy – an ASX top 200 oil and gas firm and one of South Australia’s top five companies by size – from 1997 to 2016. She is credited with directing major capital raisings and multiple mergers and acquisitions during her nearly 20 years at the company.

Presser was awarded an Order of Australia in 2022 for her service to business. She was appointed to the AEMO board earlier this month along with Sydney-based business executive Christine Williams.

The AEMO board is currently chaired by Drew Clarke AO, a former Chief of Staff to Malcolm Turnbull and Secretary of the Department of Communications.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Executive recruitment firm Hender Consulting is looking to appoint a Team Administrator on a part-time or full-time basis. The opportunity presents for an experienced or emerging administrator/team support officer to join Hender Consulting in a diverse and stimulating role. Key responsibilities will include calendar management, interview scheduling, client and candidate communication, preparation and proofing of a range of documents, advertising activities, digital, database and system functions and wide-ranging support activities to the consultants and admin team. The qualities considered important for success in this role include absolute attention to detail, a mindset of accuracy and service excellence, competency across the MS Office suite, a genuine team orientation, understanding and commitment to confidentiality and the integrity, accountability and professionalism that underpins communications at all levels of client and candidate interactions. Hybrid work arrangements can be offered to secure the right appointee to this key position in the team.

Resthaven Incorporated is a highly respected leader in the rapidly growing aged and community services sector in South Australia. It is now looking for an Executive Manager, Community Services to take over from Sue McKechnie, who is retiring after 18 years of dedicated service. This role reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer as an important member of the Executive Leadership Team. Key responsibilities include: leading, developing and motivating the Community Services team, facilitating a positive client service culture and ensuring that quality and safe care and services are provided to clients; providing feedback and advice on the significant government reform program; managing the Division’s financial and physical resources, and workforce requirements through budget planning and monitoring; and working collaboratively across the organisation in the development of corporate initiatives. The successful applicant will have senior management experience in aged care or a similar service sector environment. Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and inspire a team, instil a positive service culture, develop and implement new initiatives and manage change are essential. Relevant qualifications in health, management or social sciences will be well regarded.

Nic Jeffries

Nic Jeffries

Ben Finn

Youth Orchestra’s new exec

The Adelaide Youth Orchestra (AdYO) has appointed Nic Jeffries as its new Executive Director.

Jeffries, a singer and saxophonist, has run his own music tuition academy in Sydney with his wife Skye for the last five years and has also led numerous school bands in New South Wales.

A graduate of the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, he has performed with the likes of Guy Sebastian, James Morrison, Renée Geyer and Steven Clisby.

Jeffries has relocated to Adelaide to take on his new executive role with AdYO, an organisation that supports around 300 young musicians each week through five orchestras, six chamber groups and a percussion ensemble.

AdYO Artistic Director Keith Crellin OAM said the organisation was “extremely pleased to have secured Nic for this role, given his extensive and relevant experience in the music world”.

“I think AdYO will benefit from his expertise in managing a music tuition academy, his leadership of various schools’ music ensembles, and his extensive touring and performing career,” she said in a statement.

Jeffries replaces Ben Finn, who was AdYO’s Executive Director since September 2020.

David Mullins

Iain Kemp

New local leadership at Grant Thornton

Audit, tax and advisory firm Grant Thornton has appointed David Mullins as its new Office Chair in Adelaide.

Mullins has been with Grant Thornton since 2009 and rose the ranks to be appointed Partner, Private Business and Tax Advisory in 2017.

He now leads the firm’s real estate and construction teams in Adelaide. He is also Chair of the SA Property Council’s Social Infrastructure Committee and sits on the board of community housing organisation Access 2 Place Housing.

Mullins’ latest promotion sees him replace Iain Kemp, who had been Grant Thornton’s Adelaide Office Chair since 2016.

Kemp will remain part of the firm’s executive in his new role as National Managing Partner, Community and Office Chairs. Like Mullins, he has also been with Grant Thornton since 2009.

Josh Carver

Josh Carver

Linh Dao

Linh Dao

Duo promoted at BDO

BDO Australia has made two Partner promotions in its Adelaide office.

Duo Josh Carver and Linh Dao have made the step up from Associate Director to start the year, bringing the total number of Partners at BDO Australia to 250.

Carver, who works in audit and assurance, has been with BDO Adelaide for the best part of a decade. During that time, he has taken on secondments in the United Kingdom and United States.

According to Carver’s LinkedIn, BDO has promoted him every two years he’s spent at the firm.

Dao has also quickly risen through the ranks after joining BDO Adelaide in 2014.

Formerly of Ernst and Young and Crowe Horwath International, Dao currently works in BDO Adelaide’s audit division. She is also Treasurer of animal welfare group Save Our Wildlife Foundation.

She was promoted to Senior Manager at BDO in 2018 and then Associate Director in 2021.

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Sarah Clarke

Andrea Betti

Piper Alderman Partner makes company move

South Australian energy and resources lawyer Sarah Clarke has joined Andromeda Metals as General Counsel and Company Secretary.

Clarke’s appointment at the ASX-listed mining company follows six years as a Partner at Piper Alderman. She joined the national firm in 2016 following its merger with Adelaide boutique Watsons Lawyers.

Clarke had been a resources and energy lawyer with Watsons for more than 10 years. She is also a former Councillor with the South Australian Chamber of Mines and Energy and a Company Secretary at Asiatic Gold Limited.

Her appointment at Andromeda Metals, effective last Monday, sees her replace Andrea Betti as Company Secretary.

Betti was appointed on an interim basis in August 2021 and will stay on with Andromeda until January 31 as part of a transition phase.

The change comes just a week after Andromeda decided to shakeup its leadership by appointing global mining executive Bob Katsiouleris as its new Managing Director and CEO.

Katsiouleris is due to take over from incumbent Managing Director James Marsh in April, with Marsh to transition to Executive Director of Sales and Marketing.

Christopher Annicchiarico

Christopher Annicchiarico

Julia Zisos

Julia Zisos

Trio promoted at Adelaide law firm

WRP Legal & Advisory has promoted three lawyers – headlined by Senior Associate Christopher Annicchiarico stepping up to Director.

A specialist in taxation, commercial and corporate law, Annicchiarico joined WRP in January 2015 as a graduate after nearly a year with DW Fox Tucker as a Law Clerk.

He has since been promoted to Lawyer, Associate, Senior Associate and now Director.

The Flinders Street firm said Annicchiarico “works tirelessly to deliver commercially driven solutions and beneficial outcomes to clients, ranging from ASX listed companies to small to medium enterprises and high net worth individuals”.

Meanwhile, WRP Associate Julia Zisos has been promoted to Senior Associate.

Zisos has been with WRP all her career since joining as a Law Clerk in May 2015. She specialises in commercial law and “regularly advises major Australian companies and high net worth individuals in relation to share, asset and business sales, capital raises, commercial contracts, and restructures”.

WRP also last week announced the promotion of Lawyer Avery Truong to Associate. She joined the firm as a Law Clerk in March 2020 and has developed specialist knowledge in wills, estates and succession planning.

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