Connect 2015 to bring business community together
  • Tuesday 28 April 2015

Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson today helped to launch Connect 2015, a business event developed by the Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce specifically to meet the needs of the Coast’s business community

Connect 2015 will see more than 400 business owners and operators from across the region come together to invest in their professional development.

High-profile speakers from around the country will be part of the one-day program.

 “It’s great to see an event in the region that not only provides practical tools for the local business community but also addresses the seven high-value industries that have been identified by council as key to the future employment and economic strength of the Sunshine Coast,” said Mayor Jamieson, who is also part of the speaker line-up for the event.

“Connect 2015 is set to be an educational and inspiring business conference and I trust local business owners and operators will draw great value from attending.”

Maroochydore Chamber of Commerce Event Chair Ross Hepworth said Connect 2015 — to be held at the Mooloolaba campus of TAFE Queensland East Coast on July 30 — would include a comprehensive program of keynote speakers, business panels and networking opportunities.

“The event has evolved from the traditional business expo of years past and has been developed to meet the needs of the Sunshine Coast business community,” Mr Hepworth said.

“The feedback we’ve received from business owners and executives suggested a conference-style event would be of most benefit, so we have listened to the feedback and delivered a conference that will connect people to new business ideas, assist in establishing meaningful professional relationships, and challenge business owners’ perspectives on the direction their business is taking.”

Mr Hepworth said some of the business entrepreneurs who had already joined the speaker line-up included Wayne Gerard, founder of the RedEye engineering management app which recently expanded to the US; CEO of Acumen International Greg Loudoun and local icons Kim McCosker of 4 Ingredients and Noosa’s Jim Berardo from Berardo’s restaurants.

“We’re also delighted to welcome the CSIRO’s principal scientist in strategic foresight, Dr Stefan Hajkowicz who has devoted his career to helping governments, companies and communities comprehend patterns of change so they can make informed decisions; and Director of BrandGenetics Allan Bonsall, who possesses extensive knowledge of branding and has helped to build iconic brands including Toyota, Myer, Sheraton Hotels, Cadbury, Bank of Queensland, RACQ and Suncorp,” Mr Hepworth said.

“The line-up will also include Zach Johnson, CEO of Peregian-based atmail, Australia’s largest email software developer.

“Zach has overseen the evolution and growth of the company over the past 18 months including a significant rebrand and a strategic refinement to focus on service providers around the world. During this time, atmail has taken on major clients including KDDI in Japan, Charter Communications in the U.S., and continues to power email for all but one of the top ten internet service providers in Australia.”

“The speaker program reflects a broad range of industries and expertise, and offers informative start-up success stories as well as insight into topical business issues such as staff retention, branding and future planning.”

“It’s a real coup to have such talented and renowned speakers on board for the conference and we look forward to unveiling more high profile presenters as we move closer to the event.”

Tickets to Connect 2015 are now on sale, with only limited number of seats available. The one-day event costs $199 (including GST) per person and includes the full-day conference program, lunch, morning and afternoon tea and the first drink and canapés at the post-event function.

Tickets can be purchased at Please visit the website, ‘like’ the Connect 2015 Facebook page or call (07) 5443 5661 for further information.