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.

Sep 05, 2022, updated Sep 05, 2022
Dr Susan Stone has been appointed UniSA's Credit Union SA Chair of Economics. Photo: Brenton Edwards/supplied

Dr Susan Stone has been appointed UniSA's Credit Union SA Chair of Economics. Photo: Brenton Edwards/supplied

Jennie Zeiher

Leaders rising at Rising

Jennie Zeiher has been appointed President of Rising Sun Pictures after nearly 15 years with the visual effects company.

Zeiher joined the Adelaide studio in 2008 as a VFX Coordinator after six years as Production and Events Manager with immersive theatre tech company Sky-Skan.

She rose the ranks at Rising Sun Pictures to become Head of Business Development in 2014. Her time in that role also saw her earn a Master of Business Administration at the University of South Australia and become a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

Zeiher’s promotion to President gives her responsibility for overseeing Rising Sun Pictures’ daily operations. She succeeds the company’s Co-Founder Tony Clark, who is staying on as Managing Director.

“Jennie was the obvious choice to be RSP’s next leader,” Clark said in a statement.

“Her skills, knowledge, strong relationships with clients and sheer passion for the organisation will ensure RSP’s continued success. Jennie has my full support and I know she will excel in this role.”

Over its 25-year history, RSP has provided visual effects work on blockbusters including Mortal Kombat, Black Widow, Ford v Ferrari, Spider-Man: Far from Home, Game of Thrones, and Thor: Ragnarok.

The company was sold to American studio FuseFX in April 2021, meaning Zeiher will report to Fuse Group’s Canada-based CEO in her new role.

Craig Brooke

Lester Wynne-Jones

Key appointment at KeyInvest

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank executive Craig Brooke has been appointed CEO of financial services firm KeyInvest.

Brooke has had more than 25 years’ experience in senior roles across the banking and financial services sectors, including long stints with ANZ and Commonwealth Bank.

A Deakin University graduate, he first moved to South Australia in 2013 to take on the role of General Manager, Retail at Commonwealth Bank before moving back to ANZ where he was appointed Head of Operations in 2019.

Brooke joined Bendigo and Adelaide Bank in August 2021 as Head of Enterprise Lending Strategy and Credit Transformation.

His appointment at KeyInvest – a 144-year-old financial services firm specialising in investment and funeral bonds – sees him replace Interim CEO Lester Wynne-Jones, a former Head of Retail Banking at Westpac.

Wynne-Jones was appointed Interim CEO in March this year following the departure of then-KeyInvest CEO Steve Aspinall, who the firm says left to pursue his own private business interests.

Aspinall has remained with KeyInvest on a consulting basis and will do so for another six months, the firm says.

Wynne-Jones is due to leave KeyInvest on September 9. Brooke is due to start as CEO on October 3.

Dr Susan Stone

OECD economist tapped for UniSA role

Former UN and OECD economist Dr Susan Stone has joined the University of South Australia as its inaugural Credit Union SA Professorial Chair of Economics.

The full-time role gives her license to be a “prominent spokesperson” on economic issues in South Australia and provide “informed media commentary for both UniSA Business and Credit Union SA”.

Stone’s move to Adelaide comes after five years with the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) in Paris, first as a Senior Advisor and then as Head of the Emerging Policy Issues Division.

She was also with the OECD as a Senior Economist from 2009 to 2015 before a two-year stint with the United Nations in Bangkok where she led the international body’s regional Trade, Investment and Innovation Division.

Her CV also includes stints as an economist/analyst for the Australian Productivity Commission and the US Environmental Protection Agency.

UniSA Business Executive Dean Professor Andrew Beer said Stone’s “mission is to talk to everyone” and “bring economic insights into the public debate in order to make this state a better place for all”.

“There is a real need for informed economic commentary in South Australia – and Dr Stone’s appointment will provide that expertise,” he said in a statement.

“Her appointment will be an asset for South Australian business, government, the media and citizens.”

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

Located in the heart of Adelaide’s biomedical precinct on North Terrace, Adelaide Plastic Surgery (APS) is one of Australia’s largest plastic surgery practices, comprising seven plastic surgeons and a breast and surgical oncologist. APS is looking for an Executive General Manager to oversee operational and clinical management to ensure the practice runs effectively. This position will be responsible for implementing the business strategy and ensuring sound governance; leading, mentoring, developing and motivating staff; ensuring financial sustainability and identifying growth opportunities; and maintaining and enhancing productive relationships with a range of public and private stakeholders. This position will suit an appropriately qualified and highly accomplished executive who has a successful record of leadership in a comparable business ideally within the health care industry.

Precision component manufacturer Levett Engineering is on the hunt for a new Quality Manager. The Elizabeth South firm, which has an Australian and international client base across the defence, aerospace, medical, electronics and commercial engineering sectors, is seeking applications from skilled Quality professionals with a minimum 5 years’ (or equivalent) experience in a manufacturing or engineering environment. Reporting to the General Manager, the Quality Manager provides leadership across the quality portfolio, identifies and applies process improvements, and implements, manages and maintains AS9100 and ISO9001 Quality Management System Standards accreditation. Aerospace and Defence or similar experience with AS9100 will be highly regarded and proven capabilities in accreditations and standards, internal audits and relationship management are considered essential. Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, high attention to detail, a commitment to team and business outcomes will be key qualities for success in this role.

Shyla Mills

Mark Waters

Health leader returning home

The state’s palliative care peak body, Palliative Care SA, has appointed Shyla Mills as its new CEO.

Mills, a registered nurse and Adjunct Associate Professor at Flinders University, has held the equivalent role in Brisbane for the last five years as CEO of Palliative Care Queensland.

A University of South Australia nursing graduate, she has worked in various palliative and aged care leadership roles across Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne and Canberra along with volunteer roles in India, Nepal and Mongolia.

Her appointment, effective from October 5, will see her take the reins from long-time PCSA CEO Mark Waters, who has led the peak body since 2000.

“It’s such a privilege to take on this role, PCSA has always had a special place in my heart as I grew up in South Australia.” Mills said in a note to members.

“I look forward to working with members to ensure that PCSA continues to be the collective voice for the sector, deliver high calibre programs, community awareness and development campaigns, as well as influencing sector strategy and policy.”

Tony Berg

Jim Whalley

Sydney corporate heavyweight joins festival board

Former Macquarie Bank Managing Director Tony Berg AM has been appointed to the Adelaide Festival board.

The Sydney-based business leader was the inaugural CEO of Macquarie Bank from 1985 to 1994. He was then appointed CEO of building multinational Boral Limited, where he worked until it split into two companies – Origin Energy and Boral Limited – in February 2000.

Berg has since been Executive Director of Corporate Advisory and Funds Management firm Gresham Partners Limited and has held a number of board roles with Australian arts institutions, including the National Gallery of Australia Foundation, Musica Viva Australia and the Australia Council for the Arts.

Arts Minister Andrea Michaels touted Berg’s appointment as a “coup” for the Adelaide Festival.

“I am confident he will strengthen the composition of the Board and his experience in business, combined with his love for the arts, will enable him to make a significant contribution to Adelaide Festival,” Michaels said in a statement.

The appointment follows the departure of former South Australian Chief Entrepreneur Jim Whalley and ex-Santos Managing Director David Knox from the Adelaide Festival board.

The duo, whose terms expired in August, had been on the board for seven years.

Chair Judy Potter, Deputy Chair Mark Roderick and Director Amanda Vanstone AO all had their terms extended.

Professor Mark Hutchinson

Govt panel looks to Adelaide Uni Professor

Science and Technology Australia President Mark Hutchinson has been appointed to a Federal Government panel tasked with reviewing the Australian Research Council.

Hutchinson, a Medical Sciences Professor at the University of Adelaide and Director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, will review the ARC’s role and purpose after a Senate inquiry found concerns about its governance and research funding processes.

The ARC administers around $800m in non-medical research funding every year.

The objectives of the review, announced by Federal Education Minister Jason Clare last week, include considering the “role and purpose of the ARC within the Australian research system so it can meet current and future needs and maintain the trust of the research sector”.

Hutchinson said he was “deeply honoured” to be part of a “pivotal review at a pivotal time”.

“I look forward to contributing to the review and working with outstanding colleagues to shape the future of the ARC and its crucial role to support our country’s researchers and the research sector,” Hutchinson said in a statement.

Hutchinson is a researcher and neuroscientist who has been Director of the Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics since 2014.

He was elected President of Science and Technology Australia, which boasts more than 90,000 members nationwide, in November 2020 before commencing in November 2021.

The ARC review panel is being Chaired by Queensland University of Technology Vice Chancellor Professor Margaret Sheil AO and La Trobe University Senior Deputy-Vice Chancellor Professor Susan Dodds.

Veselin Stefanov

Moving up at Matthews

North Adelaide architecture firm Matthews Architects has promoted Veselin Stefanov from Senior Architectural Technician to Associate.

Originally from Ruse, Bulgaria, Stefanov has been with Matthews Architects since 2003 and is credited with working on thousands of South Australian building projects.

Among those to come across his desk include the Mercedes Benz Vans dealership on the corner of Unley and Cross Road, St Peter’s College’s Pentreath Middle School expansion and Lexus of Adelaide on West Terrace.

Prior to his move to Adelaide, he worked for Bulgarian architecture firm Nord Plan in Ruse from 1998 to 2003.

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