Circular economies to circular dough – this crop of Queenslanders are leading the field

This diverse bunch of Queensland 40 Under 40 alumni are excelling in a variety of sectors, including manufacturing, healthcare, baking and jewelcraft.

Aug 31, 2023, updated Aug 31, 2023

Shay Chalmers
Graham Lusty Trailers (GLT): CEO

Did you know only two percent of mechanical engineers, and only one perfect of heavy manufacturing CEOs, are female? Shay Chalmers is part of that slim minority. The mechanical-engineer-turned-CEO has spent her entire career navigating male-dominated industries, earning acclaim at every step. In addition to receiving EngExec credential bestowed upon pre-eminent individuals in their field, Shay’s contribution to manufacturing also earned her the National Women in Industry – Excellence in Manufacturing Award and the Brisbane Women in Business Innovation and Technology award. Shay is maximising her experience via a variety of board roles and committee positions, driving positive change across the manufacturing industry, helping the sector – and the next wave of female entrants – achieve their undeniable potential.

One rule you live your life by?
Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it.

Ashleigh Morris
Coreo Pty Ltd: CEO

Ashleigh Morris is a big believer in the philosophy that when you know better you do better. Alongside her sister Jaine, Ashleigh launched The Circular Experiment – Australia’s first circular economy pilot project – in 2017 to tackle the problems inherent in our linear ‘take, make, waste’ economic model. The project was a success and soon after the sisters launched Coreo, a boutique circular economy consultancy firm that serves both people and nature. Social responsibility is core to Coreo’s endeavours, which helps its clients eliminate waste and pollution, circulate resources and regenerate nature. Coreo has offered its strategic advisory services to more than 120 companies, including BHP, Rio Tinto, L’Oréal, Virgin Australia, Lendlease, Mirvac and many more.

Queensland’s best kept secret?
Where I live on the Sunshine Coast in Twin Waters – it’s a beautiful pocket of the Sunshine Coast + the Gheerulla Falls near Mapleton

Adam Graham
A.G Designer Jeweller: Founder, Director and Co-Owner

Any jewellery lover will tell you there’s something special about a piece that boasts a personal, handcrafted quality. A.G Designer Jeweller – founded in 2009 – is a homegrown small business that is beloved by many for its custom-made and designed engagement rings and fine jewellery. Founder Adam Graham has built his business around an ethos that prioritises quality of materials, expert craftsmanship and a luxury-centric customer experience. Sourcing ethically mined gold and diamonds from conflict-free mines, Adam prides himself on making timeless pieces that look good on the body and sit easy on the mind.

One rule you live your life by?
Do things for the right reasons and success will come.

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Edward Tice
NYC Bagel Deli: Co-Owner

Edward Tice built a baked-goods empire from humble beginnings. Alongside his partner Anna Kutek, Edward has grown the NYC Bagel Deli concept from a simple stall at West End’s Davies Park Market into a powerhouse of the Brisbane pastry scene. In addition to operating NYC Bagel Deli locations in West End and Chermside, Edward and Ania have diversified their portfolio to include pink-hued Superthing Croissanterie and long-ferment sourdough specialist Cordelia Sourdough Bakehouse. With a growing wholesale arm putting their baked goods in cafes across Brisbane, the NYC Bagel team has cemented itself as one of the city’s finest carb crafters.

Queensland’s best kept secret?
Our fresh seasonal produce is amazing and not used or celebrated as it should be!

Mannu Kala
KnG Hroup/ KnG Healthcare: Director and Co-Founder

Much like how KnG Group is a diverse entity, director Mannu Kala is a man with a diverse array of talents. The respected business leader has held various positions of leadership, though his work as co-founding director of Covax Australia – an organisation that was crucial in orchestrating the design logistics of the COVID-19 vaccine roll out, testing services and hotel quarantine – proved his talent for overseeing critical business operations. KnG Group as a whole boasts a portfolio of companies that operate in sectors such as healthcare, education, tech and cybersecurity, security services and personalised home care for senior citizens. By nurturing a culture of innovation, social responsibility and positive change, Mannu is undoubtedly an inspiring figure for the next generation of entrepreneurs.

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