Retail Manager / Sales
After moving to Perth at an early age from a wheatbelt town and settling in the suburb of Floreat, neighbouring City Beach became my water playground where I discovered the pleasures of the ocean and the joy surfing brings. Starting out on a Coolite (the original foamie), dodging swimmers at the City Beach and Floreat Groynes I was hooked for life. I progressed to a 2nd hand Odyssey ‘Fibo’ once owned by Wiz Kid, John ‘Shindig’ Schmittenberg, which was eventually traded at Murray Smith’s Churchlands shop where I was a local frothing grommet who frequented the store on a daily basis.
I guess this early exposure to the life of working in the surf industry somehow had an inadvertent impact on my journey into developing a career around the lifestyle I’m obsessed and passionate about.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m starting my first foray into making ‘surfing pay its way’, working for WA Surf Retail pioneer, the late Dave Kennedy (R.I.P DK…) at Star Surf Shop on the floor of his Murray St. store in Perth. I couldn’t think of a better mentor to educate me on how to develop a successful surf business and create a network of friends who shared a similar passion and pathway in life.
After 6 years at Star Surf and a two year stint at Gath Helmets, I assume I had done my ‘apprenticeship’ in Surf Business 101, as I was approached by Yallingup local, Barry Young, to take over his Wholesale Surf Agency, which at the time represented Rip Curl and Reef Brazil in WA.
The ever-changing nature of the surf industry saw corporatisation take effect in the early 2000’s with many of the big brands setting up their own state offices. After owning and running my own Surf Agency business for 7 years, I was back working for the ‘man’ again as Rip Curl’s WA State Manager.
In 2005 I felt a change of scenery was needed and I had a chat to the boys at Rusty, who were on an upward trajectory, to see if they could use someone like me. Luckily enough they had some room in their salary base and a need for my skillset, I commenced a 10 year stint with ‘the dot’ wearing a few different hats across my time with them, including running the surfboard program and eventually ending up as Operations Manager.
Post GFC and with the surf industry facing some challenges, I decided I’d try my luck at something different, initially working for a Shark Attack Mitigation business, then onward to taking up a role to run the Clontarf Aboriginal Engagement Program in Kalgoorlie. After 2 years in the desert, my ‘gills’ had well and truly dried out and I had to get back to the coast doing what I love, surfing and the surf industry.
Fortunately for me, a position opened up at Yahoo and I’m grateful Oggy and Sherylle have provided me with the opportunity to join the Yahoo family, and live the ‘down south’ lifestyle, something I always yearned to do.
In my first 2 months at Yahoo I’ve reacquainted myself with many a familiar face, mainly from my Star Surf days, recalling my 20-year stint as surf reporter for 96 Fm in Perth (ok….I didn’t get it right sometimes!), and how the industry has changed over those years. I look forward to continuing those yarns with the ‘Yahoo Crew’ and servicing their surfing needs for many years to come…