As the sun set over the Yarra riverbank, Crown Melbourne’s grandest venue, The Palladium, began to fill with sharp-suited men and elegantly dressed women. All were gathered for the 2015 Executive of the Year Awards, the most highly anticipated event on the annual business calendar.

More than 600 entries were received across 22 categories, with the expert judges scrutinising every application closely, identifying the achievements of aspiring and established leaders before determining the worthiest of winners. And here they are…

CEO of the Year – Winner

Christine Holgate

CEO of Blackmores

Under the leadership of Christine, Blackmores group sales grew 36% and profits more than doubled. Blackmores is now the largest Austra-Asia Natural Health Group.

Christine Holgate

CEO of the Year – Runner-Up

Jason Dooris

CEO
Atomic 212

Atomic 212’s Jason Dooris oversaw the transformation of the agency from a digital-only business into a full service media agency.

Jason Dooris

CEO of the Year – Highly Commended

Vaughn Richtor

CEO
ING DIRECT

ING DIRECT Australia is the nation’s most recommended bank (Nielsen 2014/15). Under Vaughn’s leadership, bank profit rose by 9.4%.

Vaughn Richtor

Chairperson of the Year

Barbara Yeoh

Chairperson
Monash Health

Barbara Yeoh is an extraordinary woman, with over 25 years’ experience as a director across public and private sector agencies in the health, education, finance, transport, technology and infrastructure sectors.

Barbara Yeoh

Chairperson of the Year – Runner-Up

Julien O’Connell

Chairman
Mercy Health

Runner-up for Chairperson of the Year was Julien O’Connell, Chairman, Mercy Health.

Julien O’Connell

Managing Director of the Year

Andrew Stewart

Managing Director of Australia and Asia Wood Group PSN

Andrew Stewart oversees over 2,200 employees and is accountable for leading, planning and controlling a diverse range of oil and gas, refining, chemicals, coal seam gas and water contracts.

Andrew Stewart

Managing Director of the Year – Runner-Up

Chris Ridd

Managing Director
Xero Australia

Since January 2014, Chris Ridd’s achievements include doubling the number of employees from 109 to over 200 and growing the Australian management team from five to eight.

Chris Ridd

CIO of the Year

Ajay Bhatia

CIO
Carsales

Over the last year Ajay implemented a customer focused structure (called Tribal Structure) within his team that allowed them to focus on the customer/ business metrics rather than pre-defined projects outcomes.

Ajay Bhatia

CFO of the Year

Michael Da Gama Pinto

CFO
Swiss Wellness

Since joining Swisse in 2013, Michael has helped lead the business to deliver accelerated growth with sustainable financial performance.

Michael Da Gama Pinto

CFO of the Year – Runner-Up

Darren Smith

CFO
Sirtex Medical

Runner-up for CFO of the Year was Darren Smith, CFO, Sirtex Medical.

Darren Smith

HR Executive

Robyn Batson

Group People & Development Manager
Sportsgirl / Sussan Group

Robyn is a passionate driven senior HR leader with a wealth of experience and applies the company’s business values in everything she does.

Robyn Batson

Marketing Executive

Michael Howard

Director of Marketing
Swisse Wellness

Michael has helped Swisse to outperform business objectives, including increased revenue by 90 per cent, improved EBITDA margins and transitioning from a highly leveraged position to a net cash position.

Michael Howard

Sales Executive

Matthew Kates

Sales Director ANZ
Zerto

Matthew Kates, Sales Director for Zerto has been pivotal in opening up the business in Australia and launching Zerto in Asia Pacific and Japan (APJ) back in January 2014.

Matthew Kates

Start-up Executive

Anurag Chakradhar

Founder and CEO
Blrt

Anurag Chakradhar invented Blrt – a groundbreaking communications platform that enables meeting-like collaboration to happen in an asynchronous fashion.

Anurag Chakradhar

Not for Profit Executive

Louise Baxter

Chief Executive
Starlight Children’s Foundation

Since Louise become the CEO of Starlight in 2009 (post GFC), there has been a complete business turnaround with every metric recording improvement.

Louise Baxter

Young Executive

Adam Schwab

CEO and Co-Founder
AussieCommerce Group

At only 35, Adam Schwab has managed to create an ecommerce giant and a strong player in the Australian market.

Adam Schwab

Executive Assistant

Dimitra Zographos

Executive Assistant to the Executive and Leadership Team
Western Union Business Solutions

Dimitra is passionate for the Executive Assistant function and thrives on having a great partnership with her executive and leadership team, adding value to the business and helping people progress.

Dimitra Zographos

Financial Services

Chris Ridd

Managing Director
Xero Australia

Under Chris’ leadership, Xero Australia has gained recognition as the #1 Most Innovative Company in 2015 by BRW Magazine and was ranked #16 in BRW’s Great Place to Work Awards

Chris Ridd

Retail

Michael Ford

CEO
The Good Guys

Michael has led The Good Guys into a new age of prosperity by identifying and utilising industry trends, investing in best-of-breed systems and adapting practices to accommodate rapidly changing consumer needs.

Michael Ford

Manufacturing

Frank Seeley AM

Executive Chairman
Seeley International

Under Frank’s guidance Seeley International has continued to grow year on year, with growth of more than 30 per cent in the past 2 years.

Frank Seeley AM

Building & Construction

Jonathan Hallinan

Managing Director
BPM

Jonathan has taken BPM from purely a property brand into an entire lifestyle brand, introducing a series of coffee houses, hotels, and champagne bars which will be housed within Shadow Play.

Jonathan Hallinan

Energy & Resources

Ian Murray

Executive Chairman
Gold Road Resources Limited

Ian’s prime objective is ensuring the production of the company’s gold resource in the Yamarna Greenstone Belt in Western Australia, a newly discovered world-class gold region.

Ian Murray

Hospitality & Tourism

Barry Robinsons

President and Managing Director
Wyndham Hotel Group

Barry has been the driving force behind many significant new hotel acquisitions, hotel franchises, management agreements and enhanced resort developments across Australia and South East Asia.

Barry Robinsons

IT & Telecommunications

David Dicker

Chairman and CEO
Dicker Data

David founded Dicker Data in 1978 and has since grown his operation to boast revenues in excess of AUD$1.1B.

David Dicker

Health & Pharmaceutical

David Cade

Global Medical Director
Sirtex Medical

As CMO, Dr Cade is responsible for the medical affairs of this rapidly growing global healthcare business, which operates in 40 countries.

David Cade

Transport & Logistics

Kerrie Mather

Managing Director
Sydney Airport

Kerrie works with stakeholders to foster the growth of aviation for the benefit of Sydney, NSW and Australia, including driving tourism growth and delivering a world-class airport experience.

Kerrie Mather

Media

Luke Littlefield

CEO
Dentsu Aegis Network

Dentsu Aegis Network is the largest, most diverse and successful marketing and communications business in Australia. Luke’s philosophy is one of a collaborative, ‘values based performance culture’.

Luke Littlefield