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Australian Innovative Systems - Executive of the Year

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Company: Australian Innovative Systems Pty Ltd (AIS) Company, Brisbane, Australia
Company Description: Australian Innovative Systems (AIS) is a multi-award winning leader in the design, manufacturing and supply of chlorine generators and water disinfection technology. With over 20 years of industry experience and a reputation for continuous innovation, AIS remains one of Australia’s most trusted water disinfection companies exporting its technology to over 55 countries worlwide
Nomination Category: Management Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Executive of the Year - Manufacturing

Nomination Title: Elena Gosse, CEO

Tell the story about what this nominated executive has achieved since 1 January 2016 (up to 650 words). Describe the impact he or she has had on your organization. Focus on specific accomplishments, and relate these accomplishments to past performance or industry norms.

Elena Gosse was destined to be a high achiever. As the trail-blazing entrepreneur, owner and CEO of one of Australia’s most innovative companies, Australian Innovative Systems (AIS), Elena is paving the way to success in two traditionally male dominated industries – water disinfection and manufacturing.

To help understand the true weight of Elena’s achievements over the past 15 months, we need to step back in time to a once successful Russian performer who followed her heart and moved to another country with two young children in tow (including one with a disability).

In Australia Elena found herself without English language skills, social skills, a support network and was unemployed. After her husband was diagnosed with lung cancer she threw herself in further studies and started working in the family business. Armed with an Australian University Degree (her second after her Russian Degree) she has transformed AIS from a 3-staff operation to a multi-million-dollar manufacturing success story. She is a highly-respected industry and community leader.

In the past 15 months Elena has:

Significantly raised the profile of Australian Manufacturing and the importance of skill and job creation - through Elena’s extensive media coverage, participation in industry events, extensive public speaking engagements and her business and community networks.

It is unusual for a water disinfection company to have such a high profile for advocacy for manufacturing and job creation.

Continued to drive company innovation, releasing a revolutionary new product – EcoLine Residential.

Some seven years ago Elena predicted the trend toward families wanting to move towards freshwater swimming to reduce exposure to chemicals such as liquid chlorine. Late 2016, thanks to Elena’s leadership, AIS released EcoLine Residential – a premium chlorine generator for freshwater swimming pools that is set to revolutionise the home pool industry.

The benefits include creating a swimming experience that is gentler on people, property and the planet (compared to standard chlorine or salt water pools).

It is unusual for a female CEO to work in the water disinfection industry and to be so actively involved in R&D. It is also unusual for R&D and manufacturing facilities to be inhouse – Elena feels this is a key component of AIS’ innovation.

Elena first championed AIS’ EcoLine technology as commercial technology and has applied it to the residential market.

Assisted her community which in turn, benefits her organisation.

Elena firmly believes in giving back to her community and is heavily involved in a range of business and other groups. In 2016:

Elena participated in Dancing CEOS, an event to raise awareness and funds to assist women and families affected by domestic violence. Elena’s creative and innovative campaign raised $23,472. Elena was awarded the title of Community Awareness Champion.

Was part of the Queensland Government’s Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council to help the Queensland Government with advice on red, green and blue tape areas of most concern to small business, and assist the State to provide a business environment conducive to strong, profitable, and globally competitive businesses.

Continued her role as a Board Member of Access Community Services Limited - one of Australia’s leading community-based, NFP organisations providing settlement, employment, training and youth support services to migrants and refugees in Queensland.

Delivered presentations about innovation, water disinfection technology and empowerment, including the ArchXpo, Singapore; Womens’ Leadership Symposium Australia; Women Leadership Summit; Splash! Trade Show and Conference, Australia; Water Quality Education Seminar, ALFA, Australia; Australian Swim School Association and Swim Disability Conferences;

Continued to support her Russian community as a proud Australian citizen and Russian Immigrant.

Continued to promote gender equity and multiculturalism.

Elena is well-known as a champion for gender equity and multiculturalism in the workforce. She invested in leadership programs to empower and promote women; and is continuing to acknowledge and celebrate the 14 different cultures that make up AIS workforce.

Elena is a strong believer in helping and empowering others.

In bullet-list form, briefly summarize up to ten (10) of the chief accomplishments of this nominated executive since the beginning of 2016.

Under Elena’s leadership as CEO AIS has:

-Been a sought-after speaker (Elena Gosse) at major industry events (local and international) - themes including business success, women’s leadership, inspiration and multiculturalism.
-Released a revolutionary new product internationally, EcoLine Residential – a premium chlorine generator for freshwater swimming pools (seven years in the making).
-Expanded AIS’ manufacturing facilities - purchased and opened new, 1900m2 production facility for commercial production & R&D departments.
-Secured a major international contract – AIS’ EcoLine commercial technology specified for competition swimming pools at Malaysia National Aquatic Centre - venue for Kuala Lumpur 29th Southeast Asian Games.
-Expanded AIS’ commitment to industry education and collaboration – through speaking engagements, event participation, sponsorships, networking and extensive media coverage.
-Improved company profile and financial performance - increased profitability, distribution networks and marketshare.
-Restructured staff roles/company make-up –to improve performance, productivity and further encourage innovation.