From O to E 01/01/2023. That was the printed note in the envelope Ron Lesh, BGL Founder and Managing Director, handed me on 16 November 2022 at 6.07 pm. It took me a few moments, but the message was clear – from COO to CEO on 01/01/2023.
After almost 26 years at BGL, I have been passed the baton to be CEO. This is truly an honour and a highlight of my life.
This moment brought up many, many mixed emotions. While I was so excited, at that very moment, I realised I was being trusted to step into the shoes of one of the most remarkable, respected, longstanding and proven leaders, Ron Lesh. This trust bestowed on me to lead one of Australia’s greatest software companies is something that I will not take for granted. With 26 years of training, I have served the ultimate apprenticeship.
I see this moment as a celebration of the wonderful people I get to lead, work with, interact and participate in life with. It’s been a long journey, but one that I have no regrets about. The journey has been a powerful collection of moments, seasons and opportunities that have positioned me to be who I am today. From the highest of highs to the lowest of lows, these experiences have allowed me to lead with competitiveness, understanding, compassion and humility.
Software is at the core of what we do. It’s the reason thousands of firms choose to transact with us. Our market-leading solutions will continue to evolve from strength to strength as we grow our presence in Australia and overseas. Centred in all that we do will be people, community and culture. My desire is for clients, prospects and the community to engage with us because of who we are, what we stand for, and the exceptional experience we deliver. Our people are our greatest point of differentiation, and I am truly blessed with the best.
There are many people I would like to acknowledge. Firstly, my wife, Danni. Stable. True. Encouraging and believing in every sense. My BFF. To those who have been a huge part of my journey at BGL – Jeevan Tokhi, Adriana Cavallo, Warren Renden, James Luo, Ashley Avileli, Adrian Muscan, Anthony Costa and Anthony Fernandez – you inspire me to be a better person every day. I am so proud of each and every one of you, and I desire nothing more than for you to step into all that your careers and life have to offer you. Quite simply, I couldn’t do it without you.
To my great friends in the accounting industry, thank you. While there are countless, I want to acknowledge a few. Sam Rotberg, Lielette Calleja, Aly Garrett, Andrew Van De Beek, Rebecca Mihalic, Taryn Holman, Mark Said, Romeo Velardo, Peter Locandro, David Boyar, David New, Trent McLaren, Alan Spicer, Steph Hinds, Mark Pizzacalla, Amy Brandmeier, Lauren Wood, Natalie Lennon, Aaron Dunn, Ethan Cooney, Bryan Williams, Michael Risoli, Mike McHenry, Michelle Griffiths, Nick Sinclair, David Goldsmith, Patrick Frigo, Mark Donato, and John Spinella. Your support, example and willingness to invest in my journey are something I do not take for granted. Your wisdom and ability to help me understand and develop greater insight and foresight have been invaluable. To the countless clients, Ecosystem, members, prospects and friends, you are amazing.
Finally, a few words on Ron Lesh. First and foremost, as my CEO for the past 26 years. Your business acumen, entrepreneurship and leadership are simply the best. Most people only get to experience such leadership in books. I have had the privilege of being able to experience this excellence on a daily basis. You have passed on a baton of greatness. One that I will keep at the core of who I am and how I lead the amazing BGL you have built for over 32 years. As a friend, you have been true in every sense. A reliable confidant that has been the most incredible supporter.
As I venture into this next chapter of my life, you have my word that I will do what is best for the business, the people and the incredible client base you have established over 5 decades.