Home / Stuart Craig – Principal

Stuart Craig is the principal of Climb Business. Stuart has a unique background combining significant commercial, financial and operational experience in small and large businesses in a range of industries at the highest levels. He is particularly inspired by forward thinking entrepreneurs.

Stuart has enjoyed tremendous success in the last few years through firstly, the winning bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast and secondly, conducting a business review and developing and implementing an innovative business transformation plan and asset divestment program at Toll Helicopters measured to increase EBIT by around $7 million.

His extensive background in insolvency situations has provided an understanding of how businesses do work and how they “break”.

First Career Stage

Stuart commenced his working life as an insolvency practitioner at Ernst & Young (in London and Brisbane) then at Jefferson Stevenson & Co.. The highlights of this time included participating in the operation of a CBD hotel and direct responsibility for the completion of construction of 64 houses for a residential home builder.

A valuable 18 months performing forensic accounting, business valuations and economic loss reporting at Vincents Chartered Accountants was an instructive extension of the insolvency experience.

Second Career Stage

A career jump saw Stuart pursue his dream of working in events and sport at Events Queensland (now Tourism and Events Queensland) for 10 years in Brisbane.

Stuart had oversight and direct responsibility for all commercial and financial obligations for the EQ Group.

Stuart has been involved in the Goodwill Games, Rugby World Cup, International Rotary Convention, CHOGM, Gold Coast Airport Marathon, Brisbane International Tennis, Pan Pacific Masters Games, Asia Pacific Screen Awards, Noosa Triathlon, Mooloolaba Triathlon and British Lions Rugby Tours and multiple arts and cultural events.

Testimonials

“I appreciate the enormous challenges you confront in balancing …accountability with corporate governance and commercial acumen and your genuine passion and enthusiasm…is to be applauded as is the professional manner in which you provide informed and objective advice to the Board…”   Peter Beattie – Premier – December 2007

 “Many thanks for the very professional way you are handling your current role (as Acting CEO) – one cannot but be impressed.”  Geoff Dixon – Chairman – December 2009

 “Stuart’s…people skills and team management ability are excellent.  His capacity to develop sound and enduring relationships with key stakeholders and clients is outstanding.  At the Board and executive level, Stuart has been a reliable and independent source of advice across a diverse and complex range of matters…and was constantly called upon to provide advice to the Board.”  Michael Denton – CEO – December 2009

Commonwealth Games Bid

In 2010, Stuart was approached to become the Executive Director of Bid Operations of the Gold Coast bid for the 2018 Commonwealth Games, working between Brisbane and the Gold Coast. The key role objective was to lead the development and implementation of the strategic plan and prepare a winning $1.95 billion bid for the Games – mission accomplished!

Over 18 months, Stuart was directly responsible for the preparation of the bid book, the operational and infrastructure Games budget of close to $2 billion, drove the consultation and approval process with the three levels of Government and managed the operations of the bid company with an $11 million bid budget and up to 15 staff. He built, maintained and leveraged key stakeholder relationships with State, Federal and local Governments (Premier’s Office and Department, Treasurer’s Office and Department, Prime Minister’s Office and Department and Mayor’s Office and Council administration), the corporate community and industry, the relevant international Commonwealth Games Federation and associations, the community and sports.

“This bid is the best bid I have ever seen at an Olympic or Commonwealth Games level.”  HRH Prince Imran of Malaysia – President of the Commonwealth Games Federation – July 2011

“Please accept my sincerest thanks for the significant contribution you made to the successful bid for the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games. You have been an outstanding Ambassador for our city and our bid.”  Anna Bligh – Premier – December 2011

Current Career Stage

In 2012, Stuart became a business consultant and was retained for a 3 month engagement (which evolved into 18 months) at Toll Helicopters working between Brisbane and Melbourne. The scope of work was to review and diagnose issues in the commercial, financial and operational functions of Toll Helicopters for Toll Remote Logistics/Toll Global Resources and report on structural and process inefficiencies and weaknesses and possible improvement strategies. That scope was expended to include developing a business transformation program to enhance productivity, efficiency and the bottom line at Toll Helicopters.

Reporting to the executive management of TRL and the Board of Toll Global Resources, the TRL parent company, Stuart designed and led the development of the strategic Opex business transformation and process improvement plan resulting in a projected increased EBIT of over $2 million or around 7% of revenue. The program also involved the development and management of a successful $10 million Capex asset divestment program and assignment of existing client contracts worth close to $5 million annually, through a sophisticated online, print and email marketing and communication strategy.

“The…project…was a great success and largely so because of your effort so well done.”  David Jackson – Director of Toll Holdings and CEO of Toll Global Resources – August 2013

Since completing the engagement at Toll, in addition to Climb Business, Stuart has worked with his wife in expanding the operations of their thriving online women’s fashion and lifestyle/homewares business Blue Bungalow (www.bluebungalow.com.au) into new warehouse and office premises at Newstead in Brisbane which included the establishment of a retail showroom.

What he brings to the table:
  • a personal, agile, encouraging and quietly confident leadership and management style;
  • a drive for opportunities and improvement and resolving obstacles to success;
  • a focus on identifying key operational drivers and positive bottom line commercial and service delivery outcomes;
  • a strong, decisive and engaging operational ability;
  • fostering stakeholder awareness, management and communication;
  • extensive Board and governance experience;
  • financial and commercial and operational management;
  • an ability to develop and implement a strategy/plan; and
  • engaging and directing teams, communicating the bigger picture and understanding environmental challenges.

 

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