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What the 2018 judges think about the Executive of the Year Awards

With applications closing soon, here’s why you should apply for an award at this year’s most prestigious business event.

Recognition, exposure and celebration – they’re three pretty convincing reasons to submit an application for The CEO Magazine’s 2018 Executive of the Year Awards. But what do our esteemed panel of judges think about the event?

This year the cohort consists of some high-profile names. All have had incredibly successful careers in a diverse set of industries, and their collective knowledge covers all 24 award categories, from education to financial services.

When applications close on 3 August 2018, the 12 judges will begin the challenging task of filtering through the applications and then the finalists to determine who wins in each category, including the pinnacle CEO of the Year Award.

To take time out of their busy schedules is a big ask, our judges have to truly believe in what the Executive of the Year Awards is all about to make it worth their while.

So, we asked them why it’s such an important event on the business calendar:

Chris Beer, Founder, CEO and Managing Director of George and Matilda Eyecare

“Australian businesses need to build a competitive advantage. Economically, we don’t have many, but what we do have is leadership. It is critical to increase awareness and reward executives in these leadership positions, hence the importance of these awards.”

John Banfield, CEO of BPAY Group

“The Executive of the Year Awards is integral for commending the achievements of some of Australia’s most impressive and inspirational executives. It can be a lonely job, therefore recognising leaders who are excelling is an incredibly important message.

“It’s great to take time to reflect on the success of our peers and leaders we admire. But what’s even more important is the opportunity to hear some insightful lessons about leadership, and think about how we can apply these lessons in our own lives or organisations.”

Lorna Jane Clarkson, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Lorna Jane

“I think it’s important to take the time to acknowledge the people who are achieving great things and changing the face of business. Not only to celebrate them and what they’re doing, but also to share their stories and inspire our next leaders.”

Marcella Romero, Founder and Managing Director of Rehab Management

“Recognition for hard work and success is always important. This recognition may come from clients, staff, other service providers, injured people who have a better quality of life, or from our peers.

“The Executive of the Year Awards is one such peer award that means a lot to me.

“Being viewed as a strong business leader is also particularly important to me as a woman in business. We need more female entrepreneurs in senior roles in the occupational rehabilitation industry.

“Challenging the status quo and following my passion have been two essential qualities that have enabled me to build a team of talented people across Australia. I see these awards as a special way to reward people in business for their strengths and proven success.”

Maureen Jordan, Founder and CEO of Switzer Media and Publishing

“We all need pats on the back and recognition for our hard work. To be honoured with titles is great for our CV but it’s more than that – it’s that great feeling that our colleagues, our community, our employer is holding our achievements up for public recognition. It’s as if they’re saying, ‘We know you’re good and we want to put that on the record’.

“Awards give others a benchmark for their success too.”

Michael Ebeid AM, CEO and Managing Director of SBS and 2017 CEO of the Year winner

“The Awards celebrates the standout individuals who are contributing immensely to their organisations, the wider economy and communities. Business success is driven by the people behind the brands – the Awards is an opportunity to acknowledge and reward these efforts, and also act as a great source of inspiration.”

Louise Baxter, CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation

“The Executive of the Year Awards shines a light on the amazing leaders responsible for great stories of success across a variety of business sectors every day. These individuals are always moving forward and always inspiring people to go with them.

“The Awards pays tribute to their courage, tenacity and achievements and importantly shares their stories so we can all learn.”

Steve Baxter, Founder of Transition Level Investments and Shark Tank Australia investor

“Recognising people at all levels in enterprises is an exceptionally important thing.”

John Karagounis, Managing Director and CEO of The CEO Circle

“The Awards is the pre-eminent awards night recognising the most successful, inspirational leaders in our magnificent country. It goes a long way towards recognising excellence and acknowledging extraordinary talent. The positive impact this has on people, teams and organisations is immeasurable. It’s an outstanding initiative by an outstanding organisation.”

Chris Dutton, Co-founder and CEO of The CEO Magazine

“I was told last year that this event genuinely changes careers/lives and really makes a difference – more so than I know. I had the idea for the awards to shine the light on the most important assets any company can have, its staff, and it’s an important event because of how many companies enter these awards to underscore that belief.
“It’s so great to see it grow every year, I’m proud of everyone that has helped make it the success it is.”

Daniel Di Loreto, Managing Director of The CEO Magazine

“The Executive of the Year Awards is paramount to the executive community as it highlights the individuals who ‘steer the ship’, and their vital function in the success of their broader team. The event showcases a wide variety of industries and shines a spotlight on those who excel in their job specifically and deserve the recognition among their colleagues and peers.”

Event Details

Wednesday 21 November 2018

ICC Sydney

For more information on the 2018 Executive of the Year Awards and criteria to apply, visit

Need some help with your application? We answer all of your questions and last year’s winners share their tips for applying.

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