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.

Oct 11, 2021, updated Jan 17, 2022
Brenton Cox has been appointed Managing Director of Adelaide Airport (Photo: supplied)

Brenton Cox has been appointed Managing Director of Adelaide Airport (Photo: supplied)

Mark Young

Adelaide Airport promotes new MD

Adelaide Airport has found its replacement for outgoing Managing Director Mark Young, promoting Executive General Manager of Finance & Corporate Brenton Cox to the top job.

Cox has been with the airport since 2013 and currently sits on the boards of the SA Property Council, SA Freight Council and the Adelaide University Business School Advisory Board. He is also Chair of Seymour College’s Finance, Risk and Compliance Committee.

With a background in law and commerce, the 42-year-old has held directorships with Sydney and Hobart Airport and executive roles with Macquarie Group.

Adelaide Airport Chairman Rob Chapman said Cox demonstrated a “clear vision” for the airport’s post-COVID growth plan from an aeronautical, property and business development perspective.

“Mr Cox has played a key role in managing Adelaide Airport’s expansion and significant passenger growth pre-COVID, and subsequently the airport’s response to COVID over the past 18 months,” Chapman said.

“He led a number of business changing initiatives including securing the first loan in Australia that incentivised a borrower to further improve its sustainability performance against a set of Environment, Social and Governance criteria.”

Cox is scheduled to take over as Managing Director on December 10. His promotion comes two months after Mark Young flagged his intention to retire from the top job.

Young has been at the helm of Adelaide Airport since 2011 after joining the company in 2001 as Chief Financial Officer.

The outgoing executive oversaw the airport’s current terminal expansion and the development of the Altura Hotel and says he’s looking forward to pursuing new non-executive director roles in future.

The 2021 SAWIA Executive Committee

SAWIA finalises executive committee

The South Australian Wine Industry Association has reappointed President and Chair Nick Waterman to another term alongside Vice President Kirsty Balnaves, as the industry peak body finalises its Executive Committee for 2021-22.

Waterman is the Managing Director of the Barossa Valley’s Yalumba Family Winemakers where he has worked since 2014. He was appointed President and Chair of SAWIA last year.

Conversely, Balnaves has worked in the state’s south east for more than 32 years as Director of the Balnaves of Coonawarra winery.

Their term extensions at SAWIA, announced at the association’s Annual General Meeting on September 30, coincided with the new appointment of Alex Trescowthick to SAWIA’s Executive Committee.

Trescowthick, who is Chief Wine Maker and Operations Manager at Nuriootpa’s RedHeads Wines, has been appointed as SAWIA’s Adelaide Hills representative.

He replaces previous Hills representative and Pawn Wine Company Owner Tom Keelan on the Executive Committee.

The association’s ten other committee members were retained at the September AGM.

SAWIA Chief Executive Brian Smedley said continuity on the Executive Committee would ensure the association will “continue to guide the delivery of the services and resources wine businesses need to thrive in this rapidly evolving market”.

“This stability is important given the uncertainty associated with the COVID-19 pandemic, disruptions in global wine markets and other challenges.”

Andrew Mills

John Oliver

New start for HomeStart

State Government-backed lender HomeStart Finance has promoted Chief Financial Officer Andrew Mills to CEO.

Mills has been with the non-bank home loan provider for nearly 20 years – joining in 2002 as Business Analyst and moving up to Head of Strategic Development in 2013 before taking on the CFO role in December 2019.

His promotion to CEO comes after current Chief Executive John Oliver signalled in August his intention to retire from full time corporate work at the end of the year.

Oliver has been CEO since 2009; Mills will take over the leadership position in December.

According to HomeStart, Oliver oversaw an $800 million boost to the organisation’s balance sheet during his time at the helm.

HomeStart Chair Jim Kouts said Mills’ leadership skills, knowledge and experience put him in good stead to take on the leadership of a financial institution with a loan portfolio of more than $2.3 billion.

“Andrew possesses strong financial and business acumen and has been a key contributor to the success of HomeStart, fostering strong relationships within the organisation and externally,” he said.

The incoming CEO said he is “looking forward to building on HomeStart’s strong relationships with our stakeholders and partners to ensure home ownership remains achievable in the future”.

Corporate Ladder: your weekly guide to executive appointments

Maggie Beer established the Foundation in 2014 to improve the food experiences for older Australians, including those living in aged care. In fellowship with her Board of industry leaders, professors and health advisors, Maggie has made it her personal mission to link the latest research of how the food we eat can impact brain health and general wellbeing, with her innate knowledge of what good food can do for everyone’s emotional wellbeing – a truly nourishing mix so much greater than the sum of its parts. The next Chair will build on the strong foundations laid down by the inaugural chairs and board directors and steward Maggie Beer Foundation’s next stage to extend and enrich the lives of older Australians by promoting healthy and tasty food. Applications are encouraged from leaders with a genuine desire to volunteer their time and capabilities to enhance an already accomplished entity through its next phase.

ACH Group is looking for a Chief Financial Officer in a pivotal role for an innovative, strategic thinking finance and accounting professional to manage a significant balance sheet. Reporting directly to the Chief Executive and working with an experienced skills-based Board, the CFO is an integral part of ACH Group’s executive leadership team. The role will oversee the procurement, finance, and accounting functions of the organisation, ensuring that robust financial due diligence is undertaken, supported by applying a data driven financial perspective to strategic decisions. The successful candidate will be an appropriately qualified senior finance executive with demonstrated capability to lead this function in a large organisation through ongoing reform, growth and increasing competition. Aged care or human services experience is an advantage as well as experience in property development, however candidates with significant leadership experience from highly comparable regulated domains are also strongly encouraged to apply.

Residential developer Villawood Properties has established a South Australian office expanding its national presence with the acquisition of a multi-billion-dollar suite of Adelaide residential projects. The award-winning developer has announced plans for five projects that will deliver more than 5,000 homes over the coming decade. As a result of this significant expansion and commitment within the SA, three newly created opportunities have emerged within the SA office: Project Finance Manager, Development Manager, Assistant Development Manager. These are rare job opportunities to join a dynamic and highly respected national land development entity as it continues its growth trajectory and focus on seriously raising the standards for sustainable communities in Australia.

St John Ambulance Australia SA Inc has been serving the South Australian community since 1885 and internationally is part of a wider organisation with a long and honourable history. The opportunity now presents for a proficient and motivated Executive Assistant to provide high-level and confidential executive support to the Chief Executive Officer, the Chair of the Board and to support projects undertaken by the CEO’s office. Applications are encouraged from versatile, enthusiastic and highly organised professionals with demonstrated experience in a comparable executive support role

Louise Small

Alexandrea Cannon

Big appointment for Small

Credit Union SA has appointed Turnbull Built General Manager Louise Small to their board.

The experienced banking and sports manager replaces Credit Union SA’s inaugural Chair Alexandrea Cannon, who has retired from the board 12 years after its formation in 2009.

Small’s new director appointment comes on top of her board roles with the Stadium Management Authority and the South Australian Football Commission.

Currently the GM of boutique Adelaide home building company Turnbull Built, she started her career with a 12-year stint as Business Development Manager at Adelaide Bank and another 11 years as State Manager SA/NT of home loan brokers Mortgage Choice.

She has since ventured into sports management, taking on player development and wellbeing roles with the Adelaide Football Club and Netball SA, alongside an eleven-year volunteer coaching career with Premier League Netball team the Matrics.

“Louise is an extremely impressive and well-rounded professional,” Credit Union SA Chair Carolyn Mitchell said.

“Her wealth of experience, broad skillset and strategic approach are highly valued.”

Mitchell, who replaced Cannon as Chair in 2017, also thanked the outgoing board member for her contribution to Credit Union SA.

“She remains a dear friend of our organisation and we wish her every future success.”

Melinda Richardson

A helping hand for Helping Hand

South Australian aged care organisation Helping Hand has appointed long-time SA Health Director Melinda Richardson as Executive Manager of Residential Services.

Richardson joins Helping Hand after more than three years with fellow aged care service providers Eldercare as General Manager of Residential Care.

Prior to that, she spent around 13 years as a Nursing Director at SA Health, most recently as Patient Services Manager at SA Pathology.

The experienced manager has also held senior nursing roles within the Southern Adelaide Local Health Network and the Flinders Medical Centre.

Helping Hand CEO Chris Stewart said Richardson would provide the aged care not-for-profit with a new focus on supporting young leaders.

“The aged care sector requires a strong balance between clinical and quality excellence and fostering the next generation of people who will lead our industry through a rapid reform agenda,” Stewart said.

“We are delighted to welcome Melinda to our team who will deliver on both.”

Helping Hand operates nine residential care homes across South Australia and support more than 7000 South Australians in retirement living.

Janet Carey

Arts org lures ASO coordinator

Chamber Music Adelaide have chosen a new Director – bringing on board Adelaide Symphony Orchestra Coordinator Janet Carey as its new leader.

Carey, who is currently the ASO’s Learning and Community Programs Coordinator, is a euphonium player and has more than 20 years’ experience in arts management.

Prior to joining the ASO as Orchestra Coordinator in 2017, she worked in development and marketing with both St Andrew’s School in Walkerville and St Mark’s College in North Adelaide.

She is also an independent producer of the Pop-Up Brass concert series and has been involved with the Australian Band Association and the Kensington and Norwood Brass Band.

Carey replaces interim CMA General Manager Amanda Macri, who took on the temporary role in January this year to conduct a strategic and administrative review of the organisation.

Chamber Music Adelaide Chair Jodi Glass, whose organisation supports seven local ensembles and the On the Terrace mini-festival, said Carey was filling a “critical leadership role for chamber music in South Australia”.

“We are fortunate to have someone coming into the Director role with such a strong insight into the musical life of the state, and I’m really looking forward to working with Janet in this next chapter of CMA’s evolution,” Glass said.

Phil Hood

James Woodhams

Promotion for long-time airport manager

National aviation services company Cobham Aviation has promoted veteran airport manager Phil Hood as their inaugural Head of South East Australia.

Hood joined Cobham Aviation in September last year after eight years as Airport Services Manager at Adelaide Airport for Emirates.

His move to the Arab airline followed more than 31 years with Qantas in various senior customer service roles, including 13 years as an airport manager across China, Indonesia, Thailand, India and Canberra.

Cobham Aviation provides charter, freight, search-and-rescue and surveillance services to both private and public clients. Headquartered at Adelaide Airport, the company employs more than 800 people and has a fleet of 19 aircraft.

Cobham Aviation CEO John Boag said Hood has already “hit the ground running” in the newly created role.

“Phil has a great understanding of the passenger experience and is already working with both our internal teams and existing customers to identify where we can enhance services and improve the overall customer experience,” John said.

It comes amid a spate of senior appointments for Cobham, with former BAI Communications Chief Strategy Officer James Woodhams appointed as the airline’s Managing Director, Special Mission, and Claude Alviani appointed Managing Director, Regional Services.

Alviani is an Australian Defence Force flying instructor with more than 40 years’ experience in the aviation sector. His most recent role was with New Zealand aviation services company Airwork Holdings as Business Development Manager.

Woodhams has worked in senior finance and telecommunications roles for more than 15 years, including stints with global consultancy firms Ernst & Young and Bain & Company.

Tanya Wilkins

New comms head for Business SA

Business SA has appointed long-time State Government communications adviser Tanya Wilkins as their new Director of Media and Communications.

Wilkins joins the chamber of commerce after a two-year-stint with the Fight Food Waste Cooperative Research Centre and around 17 years with the South Australian Government in various senior communication roles.

She has also held comms positions with the UK Civil Service and the University of Oxford.

“After working overseas and then with a national research centre, it is so fantastic to have the opportunity to hone my craft across our bustling local commercial world,” Wilkins said.

“The best part about now working for Business SA is that I get to promote and celebrate all that is awesome about the South Australian business community.”

Wilkins replaces Business SA’s Acting Director of Media and Communications Anthony Caldwell, who is moving back into his prior role as Digital Marketing and Social Media Specialist.

Caldwell held the temporary comms role from February this year.

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