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Executive of the Year Awards: How does it feel to be named a winner?

Becoming an Executive of the Year is an experience unlike any other. The lucky winners from 2018 describe what it meant to them.

Best in business: The winners in the 2018 Executive of the Year Awards

One of the most basic emotional needs for any human is recognition of a job well done.

It doesn’t matter what your job is – everyone appreciates acknowledgement of the effort they’ve put into something.

For Australian executives, The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards offers exactly that, and November will see the eighth iteration of this celebration, amid glitz and glamour at The Palladium at Crown, Melbourne.

Here’s how some of 2018’s winners described the experience, when we spoke to them just after their big win.

Mathew Jacobson
Education Executive of the Year: Mathew Jacobson

Mathew Jacobson, Founder and CEO of Ducere Global Business School

Education Executive of the Year

“It’s so inspiring. It’s a great recognition of the work we do as a social enterprise in higher education and philanthropic education across Africa. We’re really proud, and we’re grateful to The CEO Magazine for recognising the amazing work that our team does.”

Rob Goudswaard
Financial Services Executive of the Year: Rob Goudswaard

Rob Goudswaard, CEO of Credit Union Australia

Financial Services Executive of the Year

“We’re owned by our members. We’re there for our members. To be recognised in that regard is great and that’s only because of the people who stand up for what we are in trying to make ourselves different in the market.

“I’m just thinking of Groucho Marx: ‘I would never join a club that would accept me as a member.’ It’s been fantastic. Surreal.”

Caleb Bush
Media Executive of the Year: Caleb Bush

Caleb Bush, Managing Director and Vice President of George P. Johnson Australia

Media Executive of the Year

“It’s a nice bit of recognition for everyone who’s here tonight. There’s a lot of hard work, hours and time away from family that get put into delivering the types of jobs and projects that we do. It’s also nice recognition for our staff. It’s great I get to stand up here tonight but, equally, it’s great that I can take this back to the office on Monday and tell everyone about it.”

Mark Neilsen
CEO of the Year: Mark Nielsen

Mark Neilsen, APAC CEO and Executive Director of Talent International

CEO of the Year

“It’s absolutely amazing. I’m ecstatic. But, ultimately, what it comes down to is the team we built at Talent. We’ve got the most amazing and exciting team. It’s through something a few years ago I wouldn’t have believed in, but it’s about getting your staff engaged, making them passionate and making sure they come to work each day with a sense of purpose. That’s ultimately what’s going to drive your business.

“So, to everyone out there who isn’t a believer – get your engagement sorted, drive it home and you’ll have the most fantastic global business.”

Emma Hendry
Building and Construction Executive of the Year: Emma Hendry

Emma Hendry, CEO of Hendry Group

Building and Construction Executive of the Year

“Winning this award to me is just absolutely phenomenal. I didn’t expect it, but considering what Hendry and our team have been working towards for the past 12 months, this is just inspiration to keep going on the road we’ve been heading down, and trying to make the next 12 months the best 12 months we’ve ever had.”

James Thornton
Hospitality Executive of the Year – Joint winner: James Thornton

James Thornton, CEO of Intrepid Group

Hospitality and Tourism Executive of the Year – Joint winner

“It’s an absolute honour. Hopefully, it’s proof that business can benefit all stakeholders – not just shareholders in terms of making a profit, but also benefiting our staff, our customers and the environment.”

Think you or an executive you know are worthy of industry recognition for achievements as a leader? Find out more about The CEO Magazine’s Executive of the Year Awards here.

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