After winning the 2016 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Entrepreneur Award, Jenny Paradiso was named 2016 Telstra South Australian Business Woman of the Year at an event in Adelaide on Friday, 30 September 2016.
However, this is not the first year Jenny has been recognised for her achievements by a Telstra Business Awards program. Under her leadership, Suntrix, a successful solar energy business that operates nationally, was named the 2013 Telstra South Australian Business of the Year.
Jenny impressed the judges with her strong CEO characteristics and values, transforming her business through the clever diversification of products and markets. In addition, she meaningfully gives back to her industry, community and family.
Jenny Paradiso said the key to her ongoing success has been her dedication to the company.
“I see myself as the mother of the business – always looking at the current and future welfare of her child, supporting and encouraging growth and independence and making sacrifices when needed,” she said.
Suntrix helps individuals and businesses save money on their electricity costs, while at the same time reducing their carbon footprint. Operating as a predominantly cloud-based business means that Jenny’s 25 employees have the flexibility to work from anywhere, at any time and can access the data they need from any mobile device. The biggest challenge for Jenny was in 2014 when an unexpected disruption to their industry resulted in an 18-month period of uncertainty. Fortunately for Suntrix, it was through Jenny’s determination that the business was able to survive and even flourish into the multi-million dollar national company that it is today.
Other business women recognised at the 2016 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Awards are:
Sarah Powell — Champions Academy
2016 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s For Purpose and Social Enterprise Award winner
Growing up in rural Australia, Sarah Powell, knows how vital regional communities are and has turned this insight into the social enterprise, Champions Academy. Champions Academy partners with local sporting clubs to foster personal development through sport and mentoring. It teaches aspiring leaders how to lead by example, act with integrity, think selflessly and demonstrate commitment. Starting her career as an office manager before transitioning into banking and accounting, Sarah has been constantly recognised for her outstanding contributions in both her work and community. In 2005, she was appointed president of the Cairns Young Chamber of Commerce before transitioning into economic development. In this role, she was the inaugural CEO of Regional Development Australia Far North QLD and Torres Strait. Subsequently she launched her own consultancy, Shadowbox, and in 2013 she began developing a next gen leadership concept which became the Champions Academy initiative that is known today. For her community work with Champions Academy she won the 2015 RIRDC Rural Women’s Award for SA and went on to be named Australian Rural Women of the Year.
Dr Joanne Bowen — University of Adelaide
2016 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Public Sector and Academia Award winner
Since completing her PhD in 2006, Dr Joanne Bowen has played a key role in academic medical research at the University of Adelaide and is head of the Gastrointestinal Pathophysiology Laboratory. The lab is dedicated to better understanding the mechanisms and management of conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract, working to prevent some of the serious side-effects associated with cancer treatments. Focused on training the next generation of medical researchers, Joanne is a manager and mentor for four research assistants and supervisor of five PhD and three honours students. Joanne collaborates with the private sector and other researchers, having merged her laboratory with two other groups in 2015, to form a larger laboratory called Cancer Treatment Toxicities Group. By partnering academia with the private sector, she ensures that new technologies are tested and effectively translated into useful clinical treatments.
Darlene Mattiske-Wood — People’s Choice Credit Union
2016 Telstra South Australian Business Women’s Corporate and Private Award winner
Darlene Mattiske-Wood is the deputy CEO and chief strategy, members and people officer for People’s Choice Credit Union, the second largest credit union in Australia. Working with the CEO, Darlene provides strategic leadership and guidance for the overall operation and long term growth of People’s Choice. Darlene has been responsible for the people strategy and implementation plan of every significant change undertaken while being employed at People’s Choice, including the largest merger of two mutual organisations ever undertaken within Australia. She developed The People and Culture strategy, which supports the alignment of internal culture to the corporate strategy and vision. The strategy has successfully reduced turnover from 21 per cent to 11 per cent within five years. At the same time the strategy increased staff engagement from 67 per cent to 98 per cent by 2009 and even after one merger and two acquisitions, in 2016 staff engagement is back up to almost 90 per cent. In addition to this, in 2013/14 she implemented a Workplace Diversity policy which included setting and achieving objectives such as increasing the ratio of female part-time leaders from two per cent to 10 per cent.
Grace Lever — GraceLever.com
2016 Telstra South Australian Young Business Woman of the Year
Grace Lever is a passionate entrepreneur who started her first business when she was only 20. She has since built six businesses from the ground up, all of which have been sold, rented or invested in. Her latest venture is GraceLever.com, a platform through which she works with other female entrepreneurs to help them create balanced, automated lifestyle businesses. She holds regular “Doing Days”, live workshops across the country which empower and equip female entrepreneurs to turn their business ideas into reality. Grace also runs an online community, The Doing Academy, with more than 1,000 members, all passionate female entrepreneurs ready to stop dreaming and start doing in their business. Grace is a firm believer in the power of digital marketing and Facebook is instrumental in her strategy. Every month, her brand is in front of more than one million entrepreneurs and she credits the social networking site for enabling GraceLever.com to grow from zero to six figures in six weeks, and a million dollar business in 10 months. Grace was a finalist in the 2015 Telstra South Australian Business Women Awards.
Now in their 22nd year, the Telstra Business Women’s Awards are Australia’s longest running and most esteemed women’s awards program in Australia. They recognise and reward the courage, leadership and creativity of brilliant business women.
State and Territory category winners will be flown to Melbourne for the National Awards judging, culminating in a glittering Gala Dinner on the night of Wednesday 16 November 2016.
For more information visit the website: www.telstrabusinesswomensawards.com