Michael, tell us a bit of your history
I grew up on a dairy farm in Hinton outside of Newcastle. My family ran the farm and had a commercial milk run. My Dad always included me in business discussions, asked my opinion and gave me responsibilities working with customers from a young age. These experiences made me passionate about customer relationships and business problem solving.
After finishing school, I completed my Business degree at Newcastle University full-time at first and then part-time to allow me to focus on competing in motocross, aspiring to be a professional motocross rider, which ultimately wasn’t to be.
During my degree, I was working casually on a margarine production line. I approached the Sales & Marketing Manager at the time for an opportunity and was given a Marketing assistant role, where I would help prepare tender bids and coordinate promotions. Being part of a small team, I got involved in a variety of things, including the implementation of an ERP system. This sparked a passion for IT and Technology and caused me to search out roles in that space.
A university friend called me about role at Novell, where he worked. Two weeks later I got the role and moved from the dairy farm to a 1 bed apartment in Sydney.
The job was an inside account manager for Novell’s NSW Clients. I progressed quickly from that role and was promoted to an outbound role travelling and doing business in India, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand. The team culture was for the senior staff to mentor the more junior staff and I felt that almost all of my senior colleagues gave me advice and coaching that I still lean on regularly.
In 2009 my wife and I were married and we decided that the Maitland region was home. Enjoying my job at Novell so much I tried to commute and work remotely. This lasted about twelve months before it became too much and I found a job in Newcastle with the Internet service provider Pacnet (recently acquired by Telstra). This role gave me great exposure to internet and networks and to Forsythes Technology as a partner of Pacnet. I enjoyed working with Jeff (CEO Forsythes Technology) and the team here so much that when a sales opportunity arose here I jumped at it.
I started at Forsythes in 2011 and it quickly felt like the place for me. The skills that I had learnt in all my previous roles were helpful to our customers and set me up to help the business grow.
After three years of contributing growth to the organisation, I became a Director of Forsythes Technology, an opportunity that for me realised a lifelong dream of being a business shareholder.
What are you passionate about?
My wife Stephanie, my daughter Makaira- Eve, my un-born child, game fishing with my Dad and being a part of the Directorship group at Forsythes Technology.
What Technology Area are you most excited about?
Changes in Internet and network availability and pricing are allowing us to deliver technology solutions that deliver significant digital transformation for our customers that just was not achievable 12-18 months ago.