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SA Tourism Commission names interim CEO

A long-serving senior official at the SA Tourism Commission will lead the agency for the next six months while the government conducts a global search for a new chief executive officer.

Jul 22, 2022, updated Jul 22, 2022
The Fleurieu App is a guide to what's happening across the peninsula, including Kangaroo Island. Photo: SA Tourism Commission

The Fleurieu App is a guide to what's happening across the peninsula, including Kangaroo Island. Photo: SA Tourism Commission

The SATC’s chief financial officer Stephanie Rozokos has been promoted to interim CEO until January 22. 

Rozokos has worked for the SATC since 2010 and has previously acted as the agency’s CEO.

She is a practicing accountant, graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is also the deputy president of the Resthaven board.

Her appointment comes after Tourism Minister Zoe Bettison earlier this month announced the commission’s former CEO Rodney Harrex was stepping down after nine years in the role. 

Interim SA Tourism Commission CEO Stephanie Rozokos. Photo: Supplied

Bettison announced the government would launch a global recruitment process to find Harrex’s permanent replacement.

Harrex earlier this week tweeted that he had a “rollicking trip” leading the SATC through the COVID pandemic and bushfires.

He said he left the SATC “in the knowledge there is a very capable team with a shared mission & many thousands of passionate tourism operators whose offerings are world-class”.

My last week at @tourismsa – what can I say, it’s been a rollicking trip. I started in 2013 with the aim to grow tourism – & we did, reaching a record $8.1bn visitor economy in '19. Through bushfires & a global pandemic, what's stood out is this industry is resilient & innovative pic.twitter.com/iSTll1uB5P

— Rodney Harrex (@rodharrex) July 20, 2022

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Harrex led the SATC when it made the decision in October 2020 to axe the Adelaide 500 race, citing the impacts of the COVID pandemic and declining interest in motorsport.

The SATC said it would not renew a contract with Supercars organisers to host an Adelaide race in 2021, with the 2020 event recording its lowest spectator turnout in 17 years.

Former Premier Steven Marshall said he had accepted the SATC recommendation to cancel the race, saying it cost more than $10m to stage and the money spent would better be redirected elsewhere. Much of the race infrastructure was later sold off.

But the Malinauskas Government went to the March state election promising to return the race to city streets, with a race now locked in for this December.

In a statement published on the commission’s website yesterday, board chair Andrew Bullock said Rozokos had “terrific credentials and knows the tourism sector extremely well”. 

“We are extremely fortunate to have someone of Stephanie’s calibre already working within the SATC and who is available to step up as interim CEO while the recruitment process is underway,” he wrote.

“Stephanie has terrific credentials and knows the tourism sector extremely well, which ensures the transition will be smooth, and the industry can expect very much business as usual from the SATC.”

Rozokos said she had worked with SATC’s business groups over “many years” and understood the importance of the SATC’s role in “driving the visitor economy”. 

“I am determined to keep looking forward, growing the sector and keeping South Australia top of mind for tourism, business and events,” she said.

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