Meet the Locals

The Illawarra Business Leaders Series

The Illawarra has a huge number of successful businesses run by incredibly talented people.

Trever Molenaar has taken on the role of interviewer to really find out what makes these leaders tick, their success stories, difficulties, what keeps them motivated, and more.

Michael Bolt

First up we have Michael Bolt, Wollongong business royalty. Micheal Bolt started out his career playing for Illawarra Steelers before he turned his hand to some of the most successful haunts in the region.

Ash Nisbet

Hear about Ash Nisbet’s business Coal Coast Fitness! He and his partner started out running 1-on-1 training sessions and now have a gym, group sessions as well as a tight-knit fitness community. Learn how they’ve been successful and advice they’d give any budding entrepreneurs out there.

Tom Chiumento

Hear about restauranteur Tom Chiumento’s world, running two incredibly successful restaurants Caveau and Night Parrot in Wollongong. See what it takes to lead, stand out, and what sets their hatted fine dining experience apart from the rest.

Craig Osborne

Trever Molenaar sat down with Craig Osborne, Managing Director from RMB lawyers to understand how he leads a 100 employee firm. From the long lunches of the 90s, women in leadership positions, to getting up at 4am and what he looks for in his people.

Polly Thronsen / Polly Jane

Illawarra’s business leaders interview continues with Polly Thronsen one of the regions best photographers and how she juggles family life and running a successful business.

Ben Mitchell

One of the most insightful entrepreneurial guys you will meet. Ben Mitchell has seen more than most and really shares in our interview a raw insight into what it’s like to be in business and running auction stable @soldbuyauction About Ben Mitchell Started his career in 1997 after studying Land Economics at UWS. Award-winning Agent, Principal & Auctioneer. Having sold in excess of 750 homes when an agent, owning several real estate offices including a master franchise for a major brand & having conducted over 7000 property Auctions. Moved into corporate life in 2010, with roles including recruitment, training, mentoring, and management.

Clint O’Connor

Clint O’Connor the owner of Grand Pacific Homes builds beautiful homes from Sutherland to Nowra. He has a recognisable style that has helped him and the team grow a wide following, where the majority of his work comes from word of mouth. If you are wanting to get into building or start a trades business, then take note of Clint’s sound advice. Learn what is expected, and be proud of the work that you do to ensure you can build your reputation on quality.

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Michael Papac

M2 kitchen’s Michael Papac – interviewed by Trever Molenaar from Molenaar + McNeice – interviewing business leaders on what makes them tick …click on the link below to view the video

Sion Gruffydd

Sion Grufydd from Kraken Kreative speaks to Trever Molenaar Almost out of nowhere murals started popping up everywhere with a distinctive style. I wanted to know who was the person behind the logo. Sion delved into where the name came from and where his business will take him. We got to know his favourite projects and how hard that first year was. A fresh totally real discussion with this creative mastermind.

Insta: @kraken_kreative

John Hennessy

“If you have an idea, you’ve got to go for it. You may not sustain an income from the idea straight away but you’ve got to keep going.” – John Hennessy 🎥 Trever sat down with John Hennessy of @hennessycoffee to hear about his journey, and the advice he’d give others starting their own business. No matter what industry you are in there is some level of customer service. When the difference between your product and another is minute it’s about how the customer is made to feel. Sit back grab some 🍿 or a ☕️

Jonathan Crowe

From the competitive Iron-man series to the competitive world of business with @zambrero. How @jono_crowe career took him overseas and back to Wollongong and his stint in Baywatch. Sit back and watch the full interview.

Matthew Clark

Trever sat down with Matthew Clark, the leader of RAMS Illawarra. He switched careers from mechanical engineering to become a business owner and mortgage broker, opening up RAMS in 2004 focusing predominantly on residential mortgages. Watch and learn about what it takes to lead, and build a scalable business in the Illawarra. 🍿

“Find a way to make sure every customer gets treated well” – Matthew Clark

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