SA’s entrepreneurial stars shine at awards night, including Suntrix MD

Four outstanding South Australian entrepreneurs took out top honours at last night’s 2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The YearTM Central Region awards ceremony in Adelaide.

The winners, by category, were:

  • Emerging – Jenny Paradiso, Suntrix
  • Industry –  Paul Crawford, Commercial Motor Vehicles Pty Ltd (CMV Group)
  • Services – Mark Dayman, Fyfe
  • Technology –  Shane Kelly, Kelly Engineering

Also recognised in the non-competitive regional award categories were:

  • Listed award – Jeff Ellison, SeaLink Travel Group Limited
  • Social entrepreneur – Madge McGuire, Catherine House Inc.
  • Champion of Entrepreneurship – Bob Beaumont, Beaumont Tiles

The Central Region winners, Social entrepreneur and Listed award recipient will go on to represent the state at the national awards in November, where they will compete for the title of 2014 Australian EY Entrepreneur Of The Year.

EY’s Adelaide Managing Partner, Chris Sharpley congratulated the winners, saying they had each shown extraordinary vision and passion in building successful businesses that were creating jobs, driving productivity, fuelling growth and inspiring others. “Entrepreneurs make a significant contribution to the economies and communities of South Australia and the Northern Territory. We had a truly impressive field of nominees in this year’s program which clearly demonstrates that entrepreneurial spirit is still alive and well in our region.”

“On behalf of EY, I congratulate our 2014 Central Region winners and wish them the best of luck as they go on to represent us at the national awards in November,” Mr Sharpley said. Todd Roberts, General Manager, Institutional and Corporate Banking South Australia/Northern Territory, Commonwealth Bank, said the Central Region winners demonstrate the strength of entrepreneurial thinking in South Australia.

“The South Australian winners showcase the leadership capabilities, progressive thinking and sheer determination which set entrepreneurs apart from the crowd. These leaders have used their entrepreneurial spirit to fuel the growth of their business, the local job market and wider economy,” he said.

“Commonwealth Bank is the principal sponsor of the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Awards and is proud to support a program that celebrates the accomplishments of South Australian business leaders and their contribution to economic development.”

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year is considered the world’s most prestigious business award and is the only truly global program of its kind, with entrepreneurs participating in 145 cities in more than 60 countries. Over 1,200 outstanding entrepreneurs have been recognised through the Entrepreneur Of The Year program in Australia since 2001. The overall 2014 Australian winner will be named at a gala ceremony in Melbourne on 20 November. The national winner will then go on to represent the country and compete in the EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year awards in Monte Carlo next June, following in the footsteps of last year’s Australian winner Andrew Bassat of SEEK.

For more information on the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year program go

2014 EY Entrepreneur Of The Year category winners, Central Region Category:

Emerging Jenny Paradiso – Suntrix  In 2009, Jenny Paradiso and her husband David founded solar energy company, Suntrix, from their kitchen table. Today, Suntrix supplies, designs and installs solar PV solutions and complementary products and services to residential, commercial and wholesale clients throughout South Australia. The business also offers a range of maintenance and monitoring services across the life of the system which enables them to build long term customer relationships. Suntrix employs 25 people and has built a solid reputation for integrity, quality and customer service within the South Australian solar industry. Jenny is currently developing her plan for interstate expansion of the business. What the judges said: With Suntrix, Jenny Paradiso has done a fantastic job of successfully launching a start-up business in what is a highly competitive market. Suntrix is already doing amazing things and, through its strong growth, sustainable business model and technology focus, Jenny is ensuring they are poised and ready to capitalize on the next market opportunities in a fast moving environment.

Category: Industry Paul Crawford – Commercial Motor Vehicles Pty Ltd (CMV Group) Paul Crawford is the joint Managing Director of the CMV Group, a family business founded by his grandfather in 1934. The CMV Group runs operations in franchised automotive dealerships and horticulture, predominately in South Australia and Victoria. Today the CMV Group is one of Australia’s largest privately owned companies, employing more than 1,300 staff. The group is a leader in the motor industry, setting high benchmarks for others to follow, especially in the area of skills training. Paul has introduced a fast growing national contracts maintenance business and is considering expansion of the core CMV Group offerings beyond South Australia and Victoria. What the judges said: As a third generation family business, the CMV Group is a South Australian icon. Since taking the reins, Paul Crawford has been instrumental in the company’s success, changing the business model to achieve spectacular growth. Paul and the leadership team have also taken an innovative approach to fourth generation management opportunities for the family which will help ensure the long term sustainability of the business.

Category: Services Mark Dayman – Fyfe Mark Dayman takes pride in being a self-taught man. Working his way up, Mark was appointed as Managing Director of land, resource and infrastructure development consultancy, Fyfe in 2005. Fyfe specialises in comprehensive environment, engineering, planning and survey services for the Australian land development, energy, mining, and oil and gas industries. Mark has overseen significant growth of the business since taking leadership, increasing turnover and growing staff numbers from around 50 people to over 500. Fyfe is now the largest consultancy headquartered in South Australia. Mark is also considering building on recent international expansion in the Philippines, with a number of offshore opportunities including the United States and other countries. What the judges said: A true South Australian success story, Mark Dayman embodies the spirit of entrepreneurship having pulled himself up by the boot-straps to achieve his business goals. His passion and drive have seen him grow Fyfe into a highly diversified consulting group which is profitable. Mark has a great vision for the future of the business and is already executing it.

Category: Technology Shane Kelly – Kelly Engineering  Shane Kelly was a farmer for more than 15 years before entering the family business, Kelly Engineering, in 2002. Kelly Engineering is one of the largest farm machinery exporters in Australia. The business designs, manufactures and distributes a range of farming machinery to assist farmers with soil management and seed bed preparation. Holding around 90% of the Australian and US disc chain markets, the brand has become synonymous with the practice, with farmers often saying that they “Kelly Chain” their paddocks. Shane is planning to replicate their success in the US as the business expands into Africa and Europe. What the judges said: From its humble beginnings in rural South Australia, Shane Kelly has built Kelly Engineering into a globally recognised business and a leader in its field. The combination of Shane’s innovative approach and the local manufacturing and exporting of quality farming machinery has seen Kelly Engineering achieve a majority market share in both Australia and the USA.