I was born in Tasmania some time ago, and grew up in a small country town. My first career was as a Speech Pathologist, working with people of all ages and a wide range of needs. I then moved into Speech Pathology Management and executive leadership roles before becoming a CEO, Non-Executive Director and executive coach and mentor. I’ve had my fair share of life experiences along the way and these have shaped who I am today and how I operate as a business leader.
My parents were a strong influence in my life – in different ways. I am fortunate to have received special gifts from both parents. They’ve both passed away now. I still miss them both.
My mum was a tireless volunteer in the community. A caring person, always helping others, someone who everyone loved. Often as a young person I helped my mum sell raffle tickets outside our newsagency to raise funds for different causes.
My gift from my mum is a strong desire to serve, to make a difference, to give back and operate from a strong values base.
My dad came to Australia from Lithuania with nothing just before WW2 started. He was just 24 and came to Australia to join his father. The war started and they were unable to bring the rest of the family out to Australia to live. He faced some difficult and challenging times in those early years. I’m now just starting to learn about some of these.
My gift from my dad is the desire to always strive to be the best I can be and to take responsibility for my own actions and to persevere in the face of adversity.
So I have a very clear purpose in life – to serve, to make a difference, to help others achieve their potential and ultimately to transform organisations, which I’ve come to learn that I love doing and I’m good at.
Some of my challenges & what I learned on my journey
I’ve had many challenges in my personal life that have been opportunities to learn, to grow and to build resilience. In my early years of marriage, when my 2 sons were very young, my ex-husband and I were in business in Tasmania. From a very successful start-up business with 5 outlets and a large turnover in those days, we were embezzled by our bookkeeper and lost everything. It was a very difficult and challenging time. We moved to Perth with the help of my parents, to start afresh. My boys were 2 years old and 3 months. For the first 6 months, we lived in a caravan park in the summer heat of Perth with almost no money. I learned to be very resourceful but it was a difficult and lonely time. Over a period of time, my ex-husband had some success in business, which was followed by another financial wipe-out where we lost everything for a second time. This was starting to become a pattern! This was followed by a move to the north west of WA to start yet again, with me as the main bread-winner. Six months after we arrived, my ex-husband left with one of his employees, who was pregnant. He moved interstate and left me with all the debt from the business and refused to pay maintenance for my boys who were then, 6 & 4 years old. I was 32, a single parent with 2 small children, working full time with a good job but considerable financial debt. This was really the beginning of my journey to independence. The beginning of me taking responsibility for my own and my boys’ future and the choices I would make going forward. It was a challenging and difficult few years, but I managed with a great deal of support from people around me in the local community. I learned to ask for help. Looking back, I now realise that I’d been in an emotionally controlling relationship that wasn’t healthy and it was a good thing that it ended when it did. There have been many other personal challenges in my life with different family members that have shaped who I am today and why I do what I do.
I believe that we all travel a fine line in life. At any point in time we can be on the other side of the line as a result of circumstances beyond our control. It’s important not to judge, to accept people at the place they are at and ultimately take responsibility for yourself, the choices you make and the consequences of those choices.
I think that many of these life experiences have prepared me well for my journey as a leader and ultimately a CEO. I’ve been a CEO now for more than 18 years – a long time! I love what I do and believe that what I do matters. There is a strong alignment between my personal values and philosophies about leadership and the values and philosophies of Holyoake where I currently work. I believe that this alignment is very important. I once resigned from a senior position that I loved because I believed that changes in the organisation would mean that my personal values would no longer be aligned with where the organisation was headed. I’ve learned to understand who I am, to be authentic as a leader, to understand what’s important to me, what matters most, and most importantly, to be comfortable with who I am.
To lead others you need to first understand yourself.
Angie’s current roles
- CEO at Holyoake, an award-winning organisation operating in local, national and international markets
- Board Chair, Interchange WA and Vice-Chair, WA Network of Alcohol & other Drug Agencies
- Executive coach and mentor at Angie P Coaching
- More than 20+ years’ experience as a Non-Executive Director and Board Chair
- Strong senior executive, management and operational experience including 19+ years as a CEO
- Extensive experience in leading successful business transformation and growth in uncertain environments
- Strong governance expertise
- Big picture strategic thinking
- Ability to foster strong relationships
- Ability to develop diverse and sustainable revenue streams
- Executive coaching and mentoring
Angie’s awards and memberships
- Chairs’ Mentoring Program 2018, Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2017 (National Finalist), Third Sector Awards
- Leader of the Year in the Not For Profit Sector 2017, Institute of Public Administration (IPPA) WA
- Difference Maker Board Diversity Award 2017 (Finalist), Engaging young Leaders on Aged Care & Community Boards
- Western Australian of the Year 2017 (Finalist)
- Member of the WA Hall of Fame 2017
- Change Maker 2017, Pro Bono Australia
- Telstra WA Business Woman of the Year and National Finalist 2015
- Telstra Social Purpose and Social Enterprise Award Winner and National Finalist 2015
- Telstra WA Business Woman of the Year Judge 2016, 2017, 2018 & 2019
- Impact 25 Awards 2016, (Nominee) Pro Bono Australia
- Director Pipeline Program 2015, Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Fellow of the Australian Institute of Management
- Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration WA
- Member of WA Leaders
- Member Women on Boards
- Former member of TEC (14 years)
More about Angie, including interviews and podcasts, on her blog