Monthly Luncheons & Guest Speakers

Learn from the business sharks – Naomi Simson & Dr Glen Richards

Newcastle City Hall
Tuesday, 16 May 2017 –
11:30am to 2:00pm

With thanks to our luncheon sponsor – Merchant Business Brokers

Merchant Business Brokers

Special Luncheon | Naomi Simson & Dr Glen Richards

We are pleased to present a function designed especially for business owners and entrepreneurs – the Hunter’s own Shark Tank! We will be welcoming ‘sharks’ Naomi Simson and Dr Glen Richards to give us some insight into their business journey. They will also participate in a Q&A, with pre-submitted questions welcomed from our guests. And finally, one lucky budding businessperson will pitch their idea to the sharks, live on stage!

We are collaborating with KOFM to bring you Hunter Shark Tank! For two weeks KOFM will invite you to submit your business idea. The winner will be decided by a panel of local experts, with the winner receiving:

  • Radio, TV and digital package from Southern Cross Austereo | valued at $13,000
  • Hunter Headline advertising package | valued at $2,000
  • Two tickets to the special luncheon | valued at $200
  • 2017 membership to Newcastle Business Club | valued at $65
  • The opportunity to pitch to the ‘sharks’ live on stage | priceless!

About Naomi Simson

We know her from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank as the ‘Red Shark’ and the best-selling author of Live What You Love. However Naomi Simson has many labels: Entrepreneur, Speaker, Blogger, Mother and a passionate individual to name a few.

In 2001, from just an idea and persistence she founded one of Australia’s tech success stories, RedBalloon, an online experience gift retailer with just $25,000 and a second-hand computer. From its humble, home-based beginnings, RedBalloon with its mantra ‘Give, Share Live’ has now served more than 3.5 million customers and supports more than 3000 activity partners throughout Australia and New Zealand. The company also featured in BRW magazine’s Great Places to Work list five years in a row.

Before founding RedBalloon, Naomi worked for large corporate businesses including IBM, Apple, KPMG and Ansett Airlines – all of which influenced her views on workplaces. She is a champion of great workplaces and her entrepreneurial energy focuses on, a leadership tool that drives the alignment of teams through recognition and reward. Along with her investments from Channel Ten’s Shark Tank, Naomi is a keen investor and supporter of the start-up community. Recently recognised as the 7th most followed woman on LinkedIn with some 1.7 million followers, Naomi uses the platform to share her insights, experience and observations about business, innovation and success. Naomi has received a number of high profile awards including the 2008 National Telstra Business Women’s Awards for Innovation and in 2011 she won the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year Industry category. She is author of two books, Live What You Love and Ready to Soar and has been writing blogs for over 10 years, appearing on

About Dr Glen Richards

Glen is the founding Managing Director of Greencross and was a co-founder and Director of Mammoth Pet Holdings Pty Ltd (Petbarn) before it merged with Greencross. Growing up on a grazing property near Richmond NW Qld is where Glen’s love and passion for animals began. His parents owned a number of properties and farmed sheep and cattle.

At 27, Glen bought a small vet practice in Townsville and within 10 short years, had developed five vet clinics and a large format pet store in Townsville as well as two veterinary hospitals in China. From there, he went on to build a multi-million dollar integrated pet care empire, which now operates more than 160 veterinary hospitals in Australia and New Zealand.

Greencross is also Australasia’s leading specialty pet care retailer, with more than 230 stores operating under the brand names Petbarn and City Farmers in Australia and Animates in New Zealand. The company employs over 5500 employees including veterinarians, nurses, retail team members and managers.

Since moving from an executive role, Glen spends his time as a professional investor, mentor, and director with a number of companies. As well as being on the board of ASX listed companies Greencross, 1300Smiles and Regeneus his favourite area of interest is helping to scale up health and allied health companies. He is actively involved with Monserrat Day Hospitals, SmartClinics medical centres, and myFootDr podiatry clinics.

Glen continues to help foster early stage businesses including his Shark Tank investments through active mentoring, investing and strategic planning sessions. He regularly does public appearances and speaking engagements in the business community to share his scaling up story and his V4P message (Vision, Planning, People, Patience, Passion).

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