Breakfast at the Next Level | September 2020 | Making Diamonds out of Coal

Making Diamonds out of Coal – The Bensimon Family Story


with guest speakers Albert & Toby Bensimon


Welcome the month of September with a hint of sparkle when we sit down to Breakfast at the Next Level with Shiels jewellery proprietor and chairman Albert Bensimon and his son, Toby Bensimon, Shiels managing director. After purchasing the Shiels business in 1977 from the widow of founder Jack Shiels, Albert and his team have grown the retailer from one store in the Central Markets area in Adelaide to a total of more than 40 outlets in all major shopping centres in Adelaide, Perth and, most recently, Brisbane.

The Bensimon’s commitment to quality at great prices has been the foundation of the Shiels business model. When Albert and his wife, Nyra, took over the original Shiels store, they invested in putting solid gold and diamonds into the offering, selling it at “exceptionally good prices”.

“Within three years, Nyra and I had started creating a chain business. Wherever Westfield went, we opened a store,” Albert said. Soon, Albert learnt that operating a multi-store organisation was completely different to managing one store, and required a different skill set.

“Chain stores require a different level of management. Earning trust from customers is easier on a one-to-one basis in a boutique store. On an overall basis, trust comes with good service, good prices, and good product. We’ve done that, and people come flocking through our doors in large numbers”.

Over the next 20 years, Albert became one of Adelaide’s best-known retail identities. His riotous ‘no hoo-haa’ advertising campaigns caught the attention of the Adelaide public, lifting sales during what was a tough time for the business. Albert says that being willing to take risks has been an important part of his entrepreneurship.

“Our business hasn’t always made money. It has gone through some difficult periods where it has actually lost money, so disrupting the market has sometimes been essential to our ongoing success,” he said.

Toby Bensimon began working for Shiels at the age of 15, and has learnt the business literally from the ground up – among his earliest tasks were vacuuming and cleaning windows. Since taking over the managing directorship from his father, Toby has been key to the growth of the Shiels. As well as making inroads in the jewellery trade, he is a co-founder of Podpac, Australia’s largest manufacturer of coffee capsules.

Among Toby’s biggest influences at Shiels has been turning the focus of the business’ marketing to the millennial age group.
“Millennials are our biggest customer group, but not at the exclusion of other age groups. For example, we recognise that Millennials dislike receiving phone calls. So, text-based conversations have been an important addition to our communications.

“We divide our marketing strategy according to the age group of our customers. Understanding our customers to that level is the difference between success and failure in an age where we can choose to communicate through multiple medias,” Toby said.

The culture of Shiels is also important to Toby. He says Shiels fosters a culture of acceptance.
“We truly value the input of people who are better at their jobs than (Albert and I) could ever be. We surround ourselves with people who are outstanding in their field, and we do well to listen to them.”

Albert agrees, saying “A third of our office employees have been with us for more than 40 years, since day one.”
“I think we are reasonable employers,” he continued, with a smile.

The Bensimons are working towards having stores nationwide, and lifting online sales.

In recognition of Albert’s service to business and to the community, Albert was made a member of the Order of Australia in this year’s Australia Day Honours List. In 1994, he established the Helpmann Academy to promote the arts in South Australia. He is a long-serving member of Rotary, and is a Paul Harris Fellow in recognition of his individual financial contributions to The Rotary Foundation.

Join us for this special event. Enjoy the morning with Albert and Toby Bensimon, and hear more about how they have stayed ahead of the competition to create their successful group of stores.


Breakfast at the Next Level | October 2020 | Creating Certainty during Uncertain Times

Creating Certainty during Uncertain Times with Stan Kontos and Peter Gardiakos

How to develop resilience, overcome adversity and be a better leader with Stan Kontos and Peter Gardiakos

About this Event

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant – or join via Zoom

With Guest Speakers Stan Kontos and Peter Gardiakos

Creating Certainty during Uncertain Times

How to develop resilience, overcome adversity and be a better leader

Wednesday 7 October 2020 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (networking starts 6.30AM)

Hilton Hotel – Fedoras Restaurant – 264 South Road Hilton

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant Hilton or online via Zoom

At Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 7 October 2020, guests will be treated to a big helping of leadership inspiration. SOL Results directors and co-founders Stan Kontos and Peter Gardiakos will share tried and proven strategies about how to develop resilience, overcome adversity and be a better leader during uncertain times. Buy your tickets today, and get set to learn about establishing and maintaining a mindset targeted on personal and professional improvement and how it’s going to create incredible and lasting results in your life.

Peter Gardiakos is an entrepreneur, an NLP (neuro-linguistic programming) practitioner, a business owner, coach, mentor, and public speaker. He holds a Bachelor degree in Pharmacy and, over the past 30 years, has become a leader in the industry.

His areas of specialty include health optimisation, sustaining vitality and energy, and creating life balance, as well as business mentoring and culture development.

Currently, Peter is the director and co-founder of a number of privately-held companies in a range of sectors from health and self-development, to consumer-based retail, and mentoring, coaching and business services.

At SOL Results, Peter’s mission is to coach entrepreneurs and executives to use focussed strategic plans and learn how to measure the execution of strategies in order to create a culture of success.

Stan Kontos is also an accredited NLP practitioner and trainer. As an author, mentor, coach, and inspiration speaker, Stan’s purpose is to share his insights into how to live successfully and positively while achieving better life balance. Overcoming stress and mastering time management are among his areas of passion that he enjoys sharing with other South Australian business leaders.

Together on 7 October at this special breakfast event, Peter and Stan will inspire guests in creating certainty, develop resilience and overcome adversity to become better leaders during these uncertain times.

Get set to be inspired at this special breakfast event. You’ll be sure to return to your business and your relationships with new motivations and ideas about how you can be the most successful leader.

Don’t wait. Join the SOL Results team and South Australian business leaders on Wednesday 7 October 2020. Buy your tickets now to secure your place!

Yours in success,

The SOL Results Team

Breakfast at the Next Level | November 2020 | The Influence of Media in Our Life

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant – or join via ZOOM
With guestspeaker Brenton Ragless – Nine Presenter
The Influence of Media in Our Life – The Brenton Ragless Story – The voice of calmness in a turbulent world
Wednesday 4 November 2020 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (networking starts 6.30AM)
Hilton Hotel – Fedoras Restaurant – 264 South Road Hilton or ONLINE via ZOOM
Welcome the month of November, when we catch up with Brenton Ragless, TV news anchor for Nine’s 6pm bulletin in Adelaide & occasional host for their national ‘Today’ show in Sydney.
Born in South Australia, Brenton has an extensive background in broadcast media, public relations, emergency services, weather, defence & tourism.
Prior to starting with Nine as their weather presenter in 2008, Brenton was a media spokesperson for the SA Country Fire Service, and a fire & emergencies reporter for ABC radio.
He graduated from a Masters Degree in Communication at UniSA in 2007, followed by a year in Public Affairs for the Department of Defence, both in Adelaide & Canberra.One of his first jobs after finishing Blackwood High School was voicing national forecasts for Telstra’s ‘Dial-it Weather Information Service’ before working full-time as a Radio Announcer on Adelaide’s 107.9 Life.
Over that same period, Brenton studied a Diploma of Business in Tourism, which led to casual work as a driver/tour guide for Grayline.
Outside of Nine, Brenton is a regular event host, speaker & commentator & still provides support to the CFS as an advocate for fire safety & prevention. He is also an Ambassador for the CFS Foundation, Professional Firefighters Foundation, Junction Australia, ‘Watch Around Water’ safety initiative, Jodi Lee Foundation, School’s Ministry Group, Masters Swimming & the SA State Aquatic & Leisure Centre.
He also lends a hand in the preservation & promotion of South Australia’s railway heritage and is a qualified steam train driver for the National Railway Museum.
The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you on 4 November 2020.
Yours in success,
The SOL Results Team

Breakfast at the Next Level | December 2020 | The Secret to Living is Giving

Dr James Muecke – Australian of the Year 2020

The Secret to Living is Giving – Sight For All
– The James Muecke Story

Welcome the month of December, when we catch up with Dr. James Muecke.

Dr. James Muecke AM, graduated with Honors from the University of Adelaide Medical School in 1987. Following his internship, James lived and worked as a doctor in Africa and subsequently as an eye surgeon in the Middle East, battling malaria, wild animals, and rebel soldiers.

He founded Sight For All in 2008, turning his boundless energy into a fight against blindness in the Aboriginal and mainstream communities of Australia and some of the poorest countries of Asia and Africa. Sight For All’s comprehensive and sustainable projects are now impacting on the lives of over one million people each year.

His commitment to social impact and humanitarian endeavors has earnt him a number of awards including an Order of Australia in 2012, the Australian Medical Association’s President’s Leadership Award in 2013, and Ernst & Young’s Social Entrepreneur for Australia in 2015. James is Australian of the Year for 2020.

James is a researcher, a teacher, an author, a musician, a photographer, and a film producer, and uses his many skills to deliver passionate, fascinating, and at times confronting presentations about his life, his work, philanthropy, resilience and social entrepreneurship.

A neurological condition impacting on his dexterity has forced James into a premature retirement from surgery. Not letting his disability slow him down, James has redirected his vigor to crafting films, and has a number of powerful documentaries under his belt and several compelling projects in production.

The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you on 9 December 2020.

Yours in success,

The SOL Results Team

Breakfast at the Next Level | December 2021 |

Watch this space

Breakfast at the Next Level | November 2021 |

Watch this space

Breakfast at the Next Level | October 2021 |

Watch this space

Breakfast at the Next Level | September 2021 |

Watch this space

Breakfast at the Next Level | August 2021 |

Watch this space

Breakfast at the Next Level | July 2021 |

with Master Coaches – Manuel Karkafiris & John Ngatia