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Leadership and experience

The City of Adelaide Needs Leadership Today

As a committed city resident and business owner for more than two decades, I am uniquely qualified to become your next Lord Mayor. I have a vision for our city where our residents and business people are proud to live, work and invest in their city and supported by a more efficient Council that understands their needs and aspirations. I step forward as an independent candidate to become your Lord Mayor. I look forward to meeting you and listening to your views.

Why is leadership needed today?

My Life at a Glance:

I was born and raised in Adelaide by my parents David and Cecily Haese. My father was a lawyer who became a Judge on the bench of the Industrial Court and later the Family Court of Australia. I went to school at St Ignatius and matriculated from Muirden College on Pulteney Street in 1983.

After the untimely passing of my father in 1985, I deferred my University studies in property valuation to work for a real estate firm on Currie Street. In 1993, I opened my first retail store in the city in Regent Arcade and from humble beginnings built that business into something considerably larger. I have been a business owner in the City of Adelaide ever since.

I am married to Genevieve who was born and raised in Singapore to Eurasian parents. Genevieve obtained a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Communication in Los Angeles, worked in the advertising industry in central London for 10 years and then founded her own advertising business in Singapore. Genevieve’s passion for helping others saw her join the Board of the Home Nursing Foundation in Singapore and develop a number of holistic healing retreats across Asia.

Genevieve Theseira Haese

Other than a brief stint living in Melbourne, I have always lived in Adelaide and in recent years Genevieve and I have travelled throughout Asia and Europe for business, recreation and family. In recent years, my mother Cecily has remarried to a gentleman named Obbe and they continue to take an active interest in the city.

Since 2006, my offices have been located on North Terrace in the heritage listed Shell House where I look across to a statue of my late Godmother, Dame Roma Mitchell. Roma was an inspiration to me and her memory continues to be so today.

Having founded my business in the city at 27 years of age, I have walked the path of being a young entrepreneur, educator and advocate for the City of Adelaide over a number of years. I have legitimacy in stating that my journey has equipped me with considerable experience, empathy, steadfast resolve, determination and an ability to listen to and help others.

I am now 48 years of age and fiercely supportive of building the City of Adelaide’s credentials as a better place to live, work and visit. As a city resident, a long term city retailer, Board Member and later General Manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority, I have already played an influential role in the City of Adelaide.

I also volunteer my time by contributing on an honorary basis to the Boards of several high profile community and industry organisations. As a result of my work and interest in community matters, I have firsthand experience in the challenges that residents and business owners experience as they work tirelessly toward realising their goals. Entrepreneurship, retailing, education, tourism and community engagement are not theory for me; they are my daily practice.

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My Career at a Glance:

In 1993, I launched Youthworks Retail Co which over a period of 12 years expanded across Adelaide and Melbourne to 16 store locations, 220 employees and annual sales of over $25M. With its flagship store located on Rundle Mall, Youthworks and (later) Sole Shoes became Australia’s leading youth fashion retail company and recognised with over 20 industry based awards for innovation and excellence. We sold the business in 2005.

In 1998, I co-founded the Entrepreneurs' Organisation (EO) in Adelaide and over the next 10 years went on to hold several roles on the Board including that of Chapter President

In 2001, I was appointed to the South Australian Youth Arts Board (Carclew)

In 2006, I launched Retail IQ which provides strategic advisory services for local governments, retailers and property groups in Australia and Asia

In 2008, I completed a Master of Business Administration (MBA)

In 2009, I worked as a lecturer for the University of Wollongong where I facilitated subjects in retail management and retail marketing for Masters level students in Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide

Since 2009, I have worked as a lecturer for the Australian Institute of Business (AIB) where I have taught Entrepreneurship, New Venture Creation, Strategic Marketing and Globalisation of Trade for MBA students in Adelaide. Over the past 5 years, AIB students have consistently rated my facilitation methods with satisfaction scores in excess of 96%

From 2010 to 2013, I was the General Manager of the Rundle Mall Management Authority (RMMA) where I worked closely with a Board of Directors, an office team, the retail community, property community, elected members, Council administration, neighbouring precincts, media and the general public. I played an instrumental role in attracting considerable private investment, securing public holiday trading exclusively for the city, developing a masterplan for the Rundle Mall precinct, unifying the stakeholders and lifting the prominence of the city’s retailers. In representing the interests of over 700 retailers and up to 200 service businesses within the Rundle Mall precinct, I received an approval rating in excess of 82%

In 2011, I was appointed as Chairman of the Bay to Birdwood which has become the largest historic motoring event of its kind in the world today. As a long time historic motoring enthusiast, I continue to serve in this role today

In 2011, I was appointed as a founding member of the Property Council of Australia’s (SA) Mainstreets Committee where I continue to play a key role in raising the prominence of the city’s mainstreet communities. In 2014, my work with the Property Council was published in the Socrates Almanac, Oxford UK

In 2012, I was appointed as a Board Director of the Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) where I remain active and passionate about growing the city’s share of business (and leisure) tourism

Having spoken at over 50 retail industry and entrepreneurship events throughout Australia and Asia, I am an experienced and influential public speaker. Having taken hundreds of media interviews in recent years, I provide a credible voice for the future of retail precincts and communities in a changing world

I am experienced in international business and have developed close relationships with members of the business community in Singapore and parts of Asia

Having negotiated numerous successful outcomes with Local and State Governments, I am a confident advocate for residential, retail and property stakeholders. I am tertiary educated, a competent marketer, financially literate, digitally aware, entrepreneurial in my approach, an influential leader and an inclusive team player

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My Personal Interests

As city residents, Genevieve and I enjoy exploring the many delightful experiences that the City of Adelaide has to offer. I enjoy the arts, music, reading, world history, architecture, heritage, cultural tourism, cycling, hiking, yoga, tennis, cinema, travel, historic motoring and visits to the Parklands. I speak conversational French and am learning Bahasa Indonesia. I am not a member of a political party.

Key awards received:

Mainstreet SA : Excellence in Mainstreet Marketing Award
Australian Business Arts Foundation (ABAF) Award
Inducted in the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) Hall of Fame
Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO) - Member of the Year
Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year - Finalist
Australian Retailers Association - Retailer of the Year

Current Directorships, Board roles and Memberships:

Company Director, Retail IQ P/L www.retailiq.com.au
Company Director, Infinity Ventures P/L
Chairman, Bay to Birdwood Run Inc www.baytobirdwood.com.au
Board Director, Adelaide Convention Bureau (ACB) www.adelaideconvention.com.au
Committee Member, Property Council of Australia (SA) Mainstreets Committee www.propertyoz.com.au
Member, National Trust of South Australia www.nationaltrust.org.au
Member, Sporting Car Club of South Australia www.sportingcarclubsa.org.au
Member, Jensen Car Club (SA) www.jensencarclub.org.au

Former Directorships and Board roles:

Company Director, Youthworks Group P/L
Board Member, Rundle Mall Management Authority (RMMA) www.rundlemall.com
Board Member, South Australian Youth Arts Board (SAYAB) www.carclew.com.au
President, Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO) www.eonetwork.org
Committee Member, Rundle Mall Marketing Committee (Rundle Mall Round Table)

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