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 10, 2022, updated Oct 12, 2022
Matt Mitolo (left), Daniel Gannon (centre bottom), Chelsey Potter (centre top), Ryan Millar (top right), Justyna Jochym (centre right) and Lester Wynne-Jones (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions. Image: Tom Aldahn/InDaily

Matt Mitolo (left), Daniel Gannon (centre bottom), Chelsey Potter (centre top), Ryan Millar (top right), Justyna Jochym (centre right) and Lester Wynne-Jones (bottom right) have all been appointed to new positions. Image: Tom Aldahn/InDaily

Lester Wynne-Jones

Heidi Limareff

Can:Do a new CEO

Financial services and banking executive Lester Wynne-Jones has been appointed CEO of Adelaide disability services organisation Can:Do Group.

A former Head of Retail Banking at Westpac, Wynne-Jones was most recently Interim CEO at Adelaide investment and funeral bonds firm Keyinvest – a position he held from March to September this year.

Prior to that, he was in high-level roles at Westpac and HSBC, including as Westpac State General Manager, South Australia, and HSBC CEO, Abu Dhabi.

He currently sits on the board of the Hospital Research Foundation Group and is a former Director at the Committee for Adelaide, Westpac Community and the Chiefs for Gender Equity South Australia.

Wynne-Jones replaces Heidi Limareff, who resigned as Can:Do Group CEO in August.

With a background in audiology, Limareff joined the Can:Do Group in 2005 as General Manager, Can:Do Hearing, before being appointed Deputy CEO in 2015 and Group CEO in 2017.

Can:Do Group said Limareff stepped down to pursue other career opportunities and thanked her for “having steered our organisation to operating within the NDIS environment”.

Mark Fortunatow

Saurabh Jain

Spacetalk dumps company founder

Adelaide smartwatch company Spacetalk has fired its CEO, Managing Director and Founder Mark Fortunatow.

The company, which posted a $6.3m loss last financial year, announced the decision to the ASX after the market closed on Friday.

It also signalled its intention to remove Fortunatow from the board at Spacetalk’s annual general meeting on November 23.

Director Saurabh Jain, a Sydney-based software executive who was appointed to Spacetalk’s board on March 1, has been appointed Acting CEO while the company searches for a permanent replacement.

Spacetalk said Fortunatow’s employment contract has been terminated with 12 months’ notice and he will be “available to assist the company” during this time – but will be out of the office.

Spacetalk Chair Georg Chmiel, the global proptech executive who replaced Fortunatow as company chairman in July, gave few reasons for Fortunatow’s termination other than “the board has formed the view that it is time for a change in leadership and direction”.

“We thank Mark for his contribution to Spacetalk over the last 21 years and wish him all the very best for the future,” Chmiel told the ASX.

Fortunatow co-founded Spacetalk’s predecessor MGM Wireless in 2001 and has led the company as CEO in the 21 years since.

He has also been on Spacetalk’s board since October 2003 and was Executive Chairman until June 30 this year.

The company’s share price has dropped significantly over the past four years, slipping from a high of 0.49c in 2018 to 0.06c this year.

Chelsey Potter

New gig for Potter

Political consultant Chelsey Potter has joined social services organisation Uniting Communities as Senior Manager of Advocacy, Communications and Marketing.

The prominent former Liberal Party staffer held a similar role with AnglicareSA, where she was Strategic Stakeholder Relations Adviser from September 2016 to December 2021.

Since then, she has focused on work with her freelance political consultancy, the Suffragette Group, which provided campaign support and strategic advice to women candidates at the 2022 State Election.

A spokesperson for Uniting Communities said Potter will “help drive Uniting Communities’ long-standing commitment to advocating for social and public policy reform, striving to create better outcomes for vulnerable and disadvantaged people and communities across South Australia”.

Potter opted against running as an independent for the blue-ribbon seat of Bragg earlier this year. She now sits on a Liberal Party taskforce designed to address the party’s dearth of women MPs in state parliament.

Ryan Millar

Noel Cornish AM

Fresh 3D leadership

Large-scale 3D metal printing company AML3D has brought on a new CEO and Chair in successive weeks.

The Edinburgh-based manufacturer has appointed Ryan Millar as CEO and Noel Cornish AM as Chair.

Millar joins the ASX-listed company after five years as CEO at Sydney-based EESI Group (Environmental Earth Sciences International) – a group of companies focused on mitigating risk from contaminated land, groundwater and waste.

Prior to that, he was General Manager and Sales Director at technology advisory MOQdigital and an Asia Pacific Director at Hewlett Packard. He also has held senior roles at software company West Interactive along with Qantas and Chase Manhattan Bank.

Millar replaces AML3D Founder and Managing Director Andrew Sales, who is staying on as Chief Technology Officer and Executive Director.

Following Millar’s appointment on September 26, AML3D announced a week later he would be working under newly appointed Chair Cornish – a former National President of the Australian Industry Group.

Now retired from executive duties, Cornish’s career included stints as CEO of Bluescope Steel in Australia and New Zealand, President of Northstar BHP LLC in the United States, and Chair of Snowy Hydro Ltd.

He is currently Chair of IMB Bank in Wollongong and Hunter Valley Coal Chain Coordinator Limited.

Cornish replaces Interim AML3D Chair Sean Ebert, who has held the role since November 2021.

Tim Brenton

Phil Sinnott

Basketball SA scores new boss

Former NBL player Tim Brenton has been appointed CEO of Basketball SA.

A well-known figure within South Australian basketball circles, Brenton is currently General Manager of the Adelaide Lightning and Head Coach of the Aboriginal Basketball Academy, which he co-founded in 2017.

The former Adelaide 36er, who played in the NBL from 1993 to 1996, has been involved in a wide range of youth work throughout his career, including co-founding support services organisation Connected Self and youth workshop group Rock & Water Central.

He is also a former Head Coach of the West Adelaide Bearcats women’s team, winning Coach of the Year in 2016 for guiding the side to a Premier League Grand Final.

Basketball SA Chair Wade Burns said Brenton’s “depth of basketball expertise… coupled with demonstrable business achievements” made him the ideal candidate for the top job.

“With a high degree of professionalism, integrity, and self-awareness, Tim’s people-centric approach and genuine ability to build positive partnerships will hold him in good stead to lead Basketball South Australia into the future,” Burns said in a statement.

Brenton will take the helm of Basketball SA, the state’s basketball peak body, on October 31, replacing Phil Sinnott, who resigned in September.

Sinnott, a former Recreation SA President and Squash SA CEO, was appointed Basketball SA CEO in 2017.

Brenton said he would be focused on ensuring “all facets of the sport are improved across South Australia including facilities, membership, competitions, and stakeholder partnerships”.

“With all the goodbyes, comes an opportunity of a lifetime for me personally and professionally and I am humbled, grateful and excited to lead Basketball South Australia into a new era,” he said on LinkedIn.

“Our sport is a beautiful connection point for all people, it breaks down barriers of race, age, sexuality, ability or disability and I can’t wait to leave a positive footprint alongside other passionate South Australians.”

Daniel Gannon

Bryan Moulds

Movements at the Property Council

SA Property Council Executive Director Daniel Gannon has vacated his post to take on a national role within the lobby group.

Gannon has been appointed Executive Director of the Retirement Living Council, a national division of the Property Council focused on seniors housing and retirement villages.

The move sees Bryan Moulds, a former Masonic Homes executive, appointed Interim Executive Director of the SA Property Council while the group searches for a permanent replacement.

Moulds is a life member of the Property Council and Managing Principal of Bryan Moulds Advisory.

Gannon, a former Senior Media Adviser to Steven Marshall, Isobel Redmond and Rob Lucas, has led the Property Council of SA since 2014.

His national appointment was made possible by the resignation of Brisbane-based Retirement Living Council Executive Director Ben Myers earlier this year.

“The senior living industry has a crucial role in delivering housing choice for Australia’s ageing population, and I look forward to driving our advocacy agenda in the interests of our valued members and the Australian community, Gannon said in a statement.

“My family actually has a long history of building and managing retirement villages around the country, so I know the industry and its incredible people well.”

Mary Patetsos

Gary Storkey

Back in the saddle: Govt reappoints former Housing Trust Chair 

The Malinauskas Government has reappointed Mary Patetsos Presiding Member of the South Australian Housing Trust, replacing Liberal appointee Gary Storkey.

Patetsos was on the SAHT board from 2006 to 2018 – the last four years as Presiding Member – until she was replaced by Storkey when the Marshall Government came to power in 2018.

A professional board director, Patetsos has since been appointed to a number of South Australian and national directorships, including with the Can:Do Group, Glenelg Community Hospital, Consumers Health Forum of Australia and the National Aged Care Advisory Council.

She remains Chair of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia and aged care organisation ACH Group.

Her reappointment as Housing Trust Presiding Member is for a three-year term. The State Government said the appointment follows a decision by Storkey, a former Homestar Finance CEO, to retire.

Shawn Patrick O’Brien

Scott Richards

Former AstraZeneca VP to lead Mayne Pharma

Adelaide pharmaceutical company Mayne Pharma has appointed a new CEO based in the United States.

The struggling drug manufacturer announced on the ASX the appointment of Philadelphia-based executive Shawn Patrick O’Brien as CEO and Managing Director, effective October 1.

O’Brien is Chair of US biopharma start-up SFA Therapeutics and Founding Partner of C-suite consultancy Key BioPharma Partners.

He is a former Chair and CEO of Pennsylvania pharmacogenomics company Genomind and listed Canadian drug manufacturer Cipher Pharmaceuticals.

From 1996 to 2004, he was an executive at AstraZeneca in North America – holding senior roles including Executive Director, Specialty Production, Executive Director, Oncology, and Vice President, Commercial Operations and Emerging Brands.

His appointment at Mayne Pharma follows a board decision to permanently relocate the CEO position from South Australia to the US. The company, based within the Salisbury South pharmaceutical precinct, has significant commercial interests in the US.

O’Brien replaces Australian CEO Scott Richards, who has been in the US on a temporary basis for the last five years but could not commit to a permanent move, the company said in August.

Richards has led Mayne Pharma as CEO since 2012 and is staying on with the company  until November 30.

Corporate Position: the latest executive employment opportunities

The State Government is on the hunt for South Australia’s first Cross Border Commissioner. Reporting to the Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development, the appointee will provide a new mechanism to address issues in cross border communities and facilitate collaboration and engagement with residents, businesses and community organisations, as well as all tiers of government. The position will be based in Mount Gambier and will involve intra and interstate travel. Applications are invited from suitably qualified, results-driven senior executives. Experience in public administration, media/communications and cross border community issues will be well regarded. Primary industries or agribusiness experience is considered helpful but not essential.

Endeavour College in Mawson Lakes is looking to appoint a new Principal. The Christian co-ed school is seeking a highly experienced education professional with the passion and ability to lead a dynamic vision for teaching and learning that takes the school into the future. Reporting to the College Board to deliver a refreshed strategic plan, the new Principal will be responsible for the provision of spiritual, educational, operational, industrial and financial leadership within the College, as well as being a committed Christian with a desire to embrace and draw upon the tradition of Lutheran spirituality.

There is a new vacancy at disability services organisation Minda, with the organisation looking for an Executive Director, Infrastructure & Services. Reporting directly to the CEO, this executive role will contribute to the strategic direction of the organisation as a key property and commercial services adviser who plans, directs and develops the infrastructure division and its projects along with commercial activities such as Brighton Dunes, Café Inc, Minda Cleaning, Minda Catering and Envirocare. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified and proven senior property and general management executives.

The Maggie Beer Foundation was founded by Maggie in 2014 to improve food experiences for all ageing Australians including those living in aged care. The organisation is searching for a Project Lead to help deliver a three year plan to enable proper focus on food in aged care, including development of new standards and to provide education and training programs to support the sector in achieving mandated objectives. The program is backed by a $5 million investment from the Federal Government. Applications are encouraged from appropriately qualified professionals with management experience in multi-functioned service environments.

The Adelaide Symphony Orchestra is looking for a new Manager, People & Culture to cover the institution’s full range of functions associated with human resources. The successful candidate will provide consulting services as a trusted advisor to the CEO and facilitate talent management services including recruitment, induction, performance management and career development. Applications are invited from emerging or proven HR professionals with appropriate qualifications and experience. Experience in the performing arts is not a prerequisite but a genuine passion for the arts and affinity with the values and ethos of the ASO will be important for success.

Strata and community title services company Whittles is also looking to appoint a Manager, People & Culture. Applications for this newly created position – which can be based in Adelaide, Melbourne, Brisbane or Canberra – are sought from appropriately qualified HR professionals with highly developed HR generalist experience including contemporary practice in performance management and development, employee relations and HR operations leadership. There is also scope to negotiate flexible working hours from 0.60 – 1.0FTE.

West Beach Parks is hiring a new ICT Manager. Reporting to the General Manager, Corporate Services, this role will be responsible for the day- to-day management, delivery and support of ICT infrastructure and operational service delivery, while leading and managing a small IT team. The successful candidate will be competent in network and firewall administration. Previous demonstrated experience in a similar ICT or project management role together with high level technical skills, contemporary ICT knowledge and relevant qualifications is essential. The availability to participate in an on-call roster to support 7-day coverage in meeting the demands of a hospitality industry operation is required and candidates must have or be willing to obtain a NV1 (Negative Vetting Level 1) Federal Government Security Clearance. Therefore, only applicants with current Australian Citizenship status are eligible to apply.

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Matthew Mitolo

Clocking on at Tic:Toc

Senior Beach Energy General Manager Matt Mitolo has joined Adelaide fintech platform and digital lender Tic:Toc as Head of Corporate Development and Investor Relations.

Mitolo has been with Beach Energy for the best part of the last nine years, joining the South Australian oil and gas company in 2013 as Strategic Planner and Economics Manager after senior roles at BHP, Viterra and Ernst & Young.

He briefly moved to London in 2017 after being appointed Senior Merger and Acquisition Manager at software company Civica, before returning to Beach Energy in 2018 as Commercial Manager (WA).

More recently, he was promoted to Beach Energy Acting General Manager, Finance, and Acting General Manager, Commercial and Marketing.

Tic:Toc CEO Anthony Baum said Mitolo’s experience “will be invaluable in helping expand our strategic business partnerships”.

Marianna Panopoulos

Sean Pearce

Former CFO tapped for Business SA role

Marianna Panopoulos, former Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary at the Australian HR Institute, has been appointed General Manager of Strategy and Finance at Business SA.

She replaces former Business SA CFO Sean Pearce, who has since been appointed CEO of Adelaide IT consultants Solutions Plus.

Panopoulos sits on the board of the Adelaide Film Festival, where she is Chair of the Audit and Risk Committee.

She first joined the Festival in June 2019 on a short-term contract as CFO. Prior to that, she had a short stint as Finance Manager at YMCA South Australia after more than nine years with the Australian HR Institute as CFO and Company Secretary.

Her career in accounting has also included time in the public sector with roles at the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman’s Office, the South Australian Attorney General’s Department, Consumer and Business Services and the Department of Treasury and Finance.

Panopoulos joins a new-look executive team at Business SA, with the chamber of commerce losing CEO Martin Haese and Director of Policy and Advocacy Andrew McKenna this year.

The duo have been replaced by Andrew Kay and Kendall Crowe respectively.

Vivien Cheung

New board member lands at Adelaide Airport

IFM Investors Vice President Vivien Cheung has been appointed to the Adelaide Airport board.

Cheung has been with IFM Investors – a global funds manager representing more than 600 institutional investors – since 2016, joining after a three-year stint with NAB in Melbourne and Sydney.

IFM first appointed her as an Investment Analyst, Infrastructure, before promoting her to Associate, Senior Associate and then Vice President in July this year.

Adelaide Airport Chair Rob Chapman touted Cheung’s “strong reputation for her aviation infrastructure asset management expertise”.

“Her asset management responsibilities have included energy and utility assets, toll roads and major capital city airports across Australia, including more than six years’ experience managing IFM Investors’ investment in Adelaide Airport,” he said in a statement.

IFM Investors has a 15.1 per cent stake in Adelaide Airport.

Kirsty Balnaves

Robert Taddeo

New wine industry leaders elected

The South Australia Wine Industry Association has elected Balnaves of Coonawarra Director Kirsty Balnaves as President and Chair.

Most recently SAWIA Vice President, she replaces Yalumba Wine Company Managing Director Nick Waterman at the top of the association.

Originally from Penola, Balnaves has been involved with her family’s winery since 1989. According to the company’s website, she is currently responsible for the financial side of the family business and is also a Member of the Coonawarra Vigneron’s Association Executive.

 Meanwhile, SAWIA elected Pernod Ricard Winemakers Australian Operations Director Robert Taddeo to replace Balnaves as Vice President.

Taddeo has been on the executive since 2018 and has worked at Pernod Ricard since 1998.

Justyna Jochym

Jess Greatwich

Duo added to Tourism Commission board 

Festival City Adelaide CEO Justyna Jochym and Yorke Peninsula Tourism Manager Jessica Greatwich have been added to the South Australian Tourism Commission board.

The government body, which is still looking for a permanent CEO, announced the two appointments on Friday.

Originally from Warsaw, Jochym has led Festival City Adelaide, the state’s festivals peak body, since February 2020, and is also serving as Chair of Writers SA, Deputy Chair of the Arts Industry Council and Director of the Tourism Industry Council.

Prior to taking on the CEO role at Festivals Adelaide, she was a Project Officer at the University of South Australia and the Adelaide Festival Centre, and an Independent Researcher for the City of Adelaide.

Before her move to South Australia in 2018, she was Director of International Cooperation and Development at the Krakow Centre for Culture, Business and Festivals, where she managed close to 350 international partnerships, according to the State Government.

Greatwich, meanwhile, comes from a legal background and has a long history with the Barossa region.

She was for more than a decade the Owner and Managing Director of Krondorf Creek Farm, during which time she was also a Regional Tourism Manager at Tourism Barossa.

Greatwich has since been appointed Regional Tourism Manager at Yorke Peninsula Tourism.

The SATC also last month appointed long-time Majestic Hotels CEO Eoin Loftus to the board.

Guy Bennett

Top Knight Frank exec finds new role

Former Knight Frank SA Managing Director Guy Bennett has joined Cushman & Wakefield as Managing Director and Head of Capital Markets, South Australia.

Bennett’s move to head up the South Australian arm of the US real estate multinational comes after 10 years with Knight Frank Australia, most recently as SA Managing Director and Head of Institutional Sales, SA and Victoria.

He is also a former National Leasing Manager with Charter Hall in Sydney and Commercial Sales and Leasing Manager at Colliers Australia.

Cushman & Wakefield, headquartered in Chicago, is one of the largest commercial real estate companies in the world.

In February, the corporation appointed senior JLL property experts Jed Harley and Hamish Crouch along with Colliers Associate Director Jay Nash to expand its commercial real estate team in Adelaide.

“This new agency team is a natural extension of Cushman & Wakefield’s current Adelaide business, as we look to expand our service offering for our valued clients,” Bennett said in a statement.

“I am excited to be joining at an exciting time for the local market and working with a high-performing national and global team.”

Rob DiMonte

Alexandrea Cannon

SATAC enrols new leader

The South Australian Tertiary Admissions Centre has appointed long-time Deloitte Managing Partner Rob DiMonte as Chair.

DiMonte led Deloitte’s operations in South Australia from 2001 to 2014 during a 23-year career with the big four consulting firm.

Now a prominent South Australian non-executive director, DiMonte sits on a number of high-profile boards. He is currently President of the RSPCA, Chair of Junction Australia, Chair of Australian Grain Technology Pty Ltd and Chair of GP Partners Australia.

He is also a Director at the Botanic Gardens of South Australia and Plexus Research, as well as Chair of the RAA’s Board Nomination Committee.

DiMonte’s appointment as Chair of SATAC – the not-for-profit which processes the applications of South Australian high school students – sees him replace Alexandrea Cannon as leader of the board.

Cannon has been SATAC Chair since 2016. DiMonte commenced in the role on October 1.


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