Tag Archive for: SOL Results

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.


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

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

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

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant – or join via Zoom

Fighting Poverty through a Social Enterprise – Overcoming Systematic Poverty in All Its Forms

with guestspeaker Isobel Marshall, Young Australian of the Year
Wednesday 1 December 2021 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (networking starts 6.30AM)

Fedoras Restaurant – Hilton Hotel, 264 South Road Hilton

Young Australian of the year Isobel Marshall is the Director of Health and Education at TABOO and is part way through her degree in Bachelor of Medicine (MBBS) and a Bachelor of Surgery at the University of Adelaide. Isobel is passionate about reproductive health and education programs, and has been awarded the 2021 Young Australian of the Year.

At just 18 years of age, Isobel Marshall co-founded TABOO with school friend Eloise Hall, to help women around the world by breaking down stigma around menstruation and providing greater access to hygiene products.

Isobel and business partner Eloise, crowdfunded $56,000 to launch their range of products in August 2019. TABOO sells high quality, ethically sourced, organic cotton pads and tampons to an Australian market, with 100 per cent of net profits going to One Girls – a charity providing education programs for girls and women in Sierra Leone and Uganda.

Locally, Isobel and TABOO have partnered with Vinnies Women’s Crisis centre, providing free access to pads and tampons for women who require emergency accommodation in South Australia. Recognising period poverty is not just a big city issue, they also support the Ngaanyatjarra Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara Women’s Council.

Join us at Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 1 December.

The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you.

Buy your tickets now to secure your place!

A two-part inspirational workshop by Stan Kontos & Peter Gardiakos

Get Motivated with Stan Kontos

speaker, coach, entrepreneur and author with a passion for developing human potential


Create wealth through shares with Peter Gardiakos

entrepreneur in business, health mentor, NLP practitioner, long term investor and public speaker

Join us at Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 3 November 2021, when we hear from our very own mastercoaches Stan Kontos & Peter Gardiakos.

Get Motivated with Stan Kontos
Motivation is a key driver in all our lives. Everything we do, we do to gain a good feeling, or to avoid a bad feeling. The secret is knowing how to use emotions and not emotions using us.

No matter what is happening in our lives (good or not so good), wouldn’t it be good to know how to feel good? What if the events of the external world did not affect (excessively) our inner world? This is the science and art of motivation.

Come along to “Get Motivated with Stan Kontos” and learn how to make yourself (and others) feel good. When you know how to make yourself and others feel good, you will improve your leadership skills, and motivated people have (in general) better health, happier relationships, and growing incomes.


Create wealth through shares with Peter Gardiakos
Peter Gardiakos will share his insights into how wealth can be created with investing through shares.

Peter started his journey in the sharemarket in 1986 and is investing 35 years later.

Peter will share his insights and some simple rules to follow that have assisted him to be successful in the market, plus some mistakes that common investors make ( him included in the early days) to avoid making.

Please note that Peter is not authorised to give advice about your personal investment or share advice, the morning will be purely educational, Peter’s journey lessons and leanings he has encountered.

So if you are a beginner, new to investing or have experience there is always room for improving your education and knowledge is Peter’s belief and you never know one day in the future you can look back and say WOW.


The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you.

Buy your tickets now to secure your place!

Join us at Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 6th October 2021, when we welcome Andrew Downs, Founder, Owner & Executive Director at Sage Automation Group.

Andrew began his working life in 1980 as an apprentice electrician for Bridgestone Australia, in the automotive manufacturing industry. In 1994, he started his own company, SAGE Automation from the family backyard shed.

Today, SAGE Group of companies forms Australia’s largest independent System Integration service provider with 10 offices nationally and three in India, employing more than 470 staff and with revenues of $110 Million per annum. Andrew is passionate about leadership and strategy and has recently completed the Owner President Management course at Harvard Business School. Andrew was named Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year (Central Region – Technology) in 2004. Andrew loves his role as ambassador for SAGE, he serves on a number of privately owned company boards. He is also a member of the Australian Industry Group Defence Council.

Andrew Downs sits on the Board at SAGE Group Holdings as the Executive Director and is a Board Member of My Modular Non-Executive Chairman, Your DC Non-Executive Director, CAMMS Non-Executive Director, Ai Group Training Non-Executive Director and Container Deposit Solutions Non-Executive Director and SA Leaders Advisory Board Chairman

The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you.

Buy your tickets now to secure your place!

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant

What it takes to become a Global CEO – Learn universal principles from Grant Kelley, CEO of ASX listed Vicinity Centres

With guestspeaker Grant Kelley – CEO of Vicinity Centres


Wednesday 1 September 2021 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (networking starts 6.30AM)

Hilton Hotel – Fedoras Restaurant – 264 South Road Hilton

Join us at Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 1st September 2021, when we welcome Grant Kelley, CEO of Vicinity Centres Limited and the Chairman of Holdfast Assets, with over 25 years of global experience in real estate investment, corporate strategy, funds management and private equity.

Grant Kelley joined Vicinity Centres in January 2018 as CEO and Managing Director.

Vicinity is one of Australia’s leading retail property groups with $26 billion in retail assets under management across 66 shopping centres, making it the second largest listed manager of Australian retail property. It is one of Australia top 50 largest public companies with a market capitalisation of $9.7 billion and 26,000 security holders.

Grant began his business career at Booz Allen & Hamilton before moving to Colony Capital, the world’s third largest private equity real estate fund. At Colony, Grant was initially responsible for the operating performance and strategic direction of its Korean and Japanese businesses, and then later appointed Chief Executive Officer Asia Pacific. In 2008, Grant founded Holdfast Capital Limited, an Asian-based real estate investment firm, which was acquired in 2010 by Apollo Management, one of the world’s largest alternative investment managers. He then became Co-Head of Asia Pacific for Apollo Global Management, leading the firm’s real estate activities in the region.

In 2014, Grant was appointed CEO at City Developments Limited, a global real estate company with 103 locations in 29 countries and one of Singapore’s largest companies. Listed on the Singapore Exchange, CDL’s portfolio comprises residences, offices, hotels, serviced apartments, integrated developments and shopping malls.

Grant graduated from the University of Adelaide with a Bachelor of Laws degree, has completed a Master’s degree in Economic Sciences from London University and has an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School.

Grant is Chairman of the Adelaide 36ers, Chairman of Holdfast Assets, a Director of the Shopping Centre Council of Australia, a Governor of Pulteney Grammar School, a Council Member of the Asia Society Policy Institute and a member of the Premier’s Economic Advisory Council (South Australia).

Grant is a proud South Australian farmer, with a background in winemaking and sheep farming, and a self-confessed sports tragic with a passion for basketball which is useful since he owns the Adelaide 36ers.

The SOL Results team looks forward to welcoming you.

Buy your tickets now to secure your place!

Join us at Fedoras Restaurant – or join via Zoom


COVID-19 UPDATE – date change

We are happy to announce we have been able to postpone the event Breakfast at the Next Level from 4th of August till WEDNESDAY the 11th of August, hopeful that by then restrictions will be eased further and we can welcome ALL of our loyal sponsors, annual members and supporters in a safe environment.

So update your calendars…
Wednesday 11 of August 2021, same place same time

Please reach out if you do have any further questions or concerns


Turning Adversity into Strength – The Nick Lee Story & Jodi Lee Foundation

With Nick Lee – Director at Health Minds & Chair at Jodi Lee Foundation


Wednesday 11 August 2021 | 7:00AM – 9:00AM (networking starts 6.30AM)

Join us at Breakfast at the Next Level, on Wednesday 11th August 2021, when we welcome Nick Lee, a corporate health expert and the Chairman of the Jodi Lee Foundation. He is also the Co-Director and Partner of Healthy Minds, a program that aims to provide people with optimal mental health and wellbeing.

With a beautiful family and working as a director of multi-national consumer goods company, Nick Lee had good reason to be happy and optimistic about his future. That changed in an instant when his wife Jodi was diagnosed with stage IV bowel cancer at the age of 39. After battling with the disease for 2 years, Jodi passed away in 2010.

We all face critical hurdles in our lives, but when we do, it is how we react that determines our future health and happiness. After Jodi’s death Nick made the brave decision to leave his job and use his experience to do all he could to stop others suffering a similar experience.

He established The Jodi Lee Foundation to inspire others to protect themselves against bowel cancer and make positive choices to improve their health. The work of the Foundation has saved many Australian lives.

As the Founder of The Jodi Lee Foundation, Nick developed a passion for corporate health and a strong desire to improve the health of ordinary Australians. Joining Tom Nehmy at Healthy Minds presented a perfect opportunity for Nick to fuel his passion. Nick has a wealth of corporate experience and is an accomplished speaker using his powerful story to motivate and inspire others to take action to improve their health. Nick is able to relate his own personal experience to current thinking about mental health, coping with stress and making the right choices when confronted with critical hurdles in our lives.

Nick was a 2015 SA Australian of the Year finalist, and was awarded the 2013 Social Entrepreneur of the Year (Central Region) by Ernst and Young.

This breakfast event is not to be missed! Join us to hear from Nick Lee on his life story, and how he has used his corporate business experience in the not-for-profit sector, successfully driving the growth of the Jodi Lee Foundation.

If you’re looking for inspiration to improve your team’s performance, your business or your own career, mark Wednesday 7th July 2021 in your diary and purchase your tickets for Breakfast at the Next Level featuring SOL Results Mastercoaches Manuel Karkafiris and John Ngatia.

At this special workshop event, Manuel and John will share valuable knowledge to motivate you to go beyond what you believe to be your capabilities. The presentation will include:

• Crucial conversation on communication

• Stepping up and delivering critical messages

• Understand your communication style

• How do you react under conflict

• Proven step by step process to get your message across

• Getting the best out of yourself and your team

• How to achieve your stretch goals

• Tapping into all the resources you need to accomplish your goals.


These insights are derived from Manuel and John’s own business successes, and skills & strategies that the gentlemen have used themselves to create continuous growth in their lives.

Leadership Tools for High Performance, Getting the best out of yourself & your team with Manuel Karkafiris and John Ngatia

Developing a positive mindset is crucial to personal and business success, says Manuel. It’s a practise, and requires commitment to ensure excellence becomes a habit.

“Our mind is a powerful organ and if we use it right, the results can be amazing,” he said.

Passionate about helping SOL Results clients to achieve success, balance and fulfillment in life, Manuel applies his internationally-accredited teachings of neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) to improve performance in all areas from career and finances to relationships and health.

“I have seen people’s lives turn around because they begin to focus on the good things in their life rather than the negative in every situation,” Manuel said.

Professionals including psychology PhDs, doctors, chief executives and chief financial officers have benefitted from working with Manuel to achieve business success, all the while focussing on the power of positive thinking.

Likewise, John Ngatia’s mission is to inspire people around the world to live a life of joy, great health and financial abundance. A dynamic and compelling speaker, John is renowned for his ability to motivate his audience to personally enrich the quality of their life – physically, mentally and financially.

With more than 15 years of experience in accounting and business, including both small businesses and large multinational corporations, John will help you to grasp strategies to adapt and apply to your own business and in your workplace.

John has successfully mentored high profile business owners, executives, doctors, surgeons and sports personalities. He was presented with Africa Media Australia’s African-Australian Person of the Year award in 2015, recognising his endearing and charismatic personality and his ability to capture his audiences’ attention and enable them to improve their lives.

This breakfast event is not to be missed! Join us at July’s thinktank to hear Manuel and John talk about how they have achieved business success, and take onboard a wealth of tips to help you to do the same in your life and career.