Samantha Hutchinson Reporter

Samantha writes on exports, Islamic finance and the business of doing business across borders. Before moving into journalism she worked in executive recruitment and public policy.

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CEO Q&A: Suzie Wright

Published 06 September 2012 05:00, Updated 06 September 2012 05:32

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What was your first job?

Junior at the first Norgen Vaaz Ice Creamery in Surfers Paradise and strapper/track rider at the Gold Coast racetrack.

What has been the most challenging task of your professional career?

Being a good parent, partner and successful businesswoman, all the while looking after my own health. Time is my enemy. Whoever said women can have it all was kidding themselves, something is always sacrificed.

How do you improve your own skills?

Surround myself with older mentors and new ideas to improve our people and business. I love manufacturing and visit factories around the world, sharing ideas and learning the methods and ideas of others.

What was the worst deal you’ve done?

Acquiring and merging two businesses into the group and trying to install a new enterprise resource planning system within 12 months. The biggest mistake was having technical people with no people skills to drive the change. For our company to grow we had to get away from manual systems. I underestimated the importance of nurturing people through the change and having the right team to manage it.

What is your worst habit?

I’m eternally late. My maiden name is Stanford and everyone used to refer to me arriving at EST – Eastern Stanford Time.

If you were PM for the day, I would…

Privatise WorkCover.

Samantha Hutchinson

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