Harvesting local leaders
AS the winner of the 2022 Geelong Business Excellence Awards (GBEA) Business Leader of the Year, sponsored by bay 93.9, Harvest business director Maree Herath is still reaping the benefits of being recognised for her dedication and expertise to making those around her better.
Acknowledged as the first small business owner to win the prestigious Business Leader of the Year Award, Mrs Herath said it was a fantastic honour to be rewarded for her commitment and hopes to inspire others.
“Many that had won the award before me were the CEOs of major organisations and there were definitely feelings of am I enough to be the leader of the year,” Mrs Herath said.
“I certainly felt privileged to get the gong and it ushers the pathway now for small business leaders to have the belief they can actually engage and enter the awards.
“Ultimately, it was just an absolute honour to receive that award and be cited for my work in not only my business but my work for the greater good of the region.”
Based in Geelong and Victoria’s south-west, Mrs Herath’s business Harvest, prides itself on being a boutique talent recruitment and HR consultancy firm that care about being leaders in the space of business excellence.
Harvest provides end-to-end recruitment across a broad range of specialist, technical and hard-to-fill roles, manage executive search assignments, provide people solutions through HR events, programs and consultancy, and deliver outplacement and EAPs.
While already being recognised in the business space before winning the award, Mrs Herath said taking out the prize had resulted in plenty of fantastic leadership opportunities outside her workplace.
“I’ve had a couple of speaking gigs and while I think I was already engaged for executive assignments, its perhaps given further validation to that,” Mrs Herath said.
Mrs Herath said the key for anyone aspiring for the awards as a business leader is to keep presenting for your stakeholders and keep turning up and moving forward.
“I got the award amidst a lot of failures as well… if I was to really look at everything I’ve pitched for in the region, it would be about 70 per cent failure, 30 per cent success.
“But it doesn’t matter. By continuing to be the leader that you are spoused to be, you can be recognised.
“You don’t have to be a Richard Branson type…. you’re still enough for a region… just lead where you can.
“This year I’ll be nominating others for the awards… there’s so many other great leaders in our region and my journey moving forward is to pass the baton on to them.”
For more on Maree Herath and her journey, head to www.harvesthr.com.au