Director Interviews

Justin O'Donnell Head Shot

Interview with Executive Chairperson / President Mr Justin O’Donnell (Managing Director Print Express) 

The below questions were asked to all CSPA board members to ensure their time on the board was more rewarding and also to provide great insight to their fellow directors and the CSPA General Manager of what their individual support could possibly look like to maximise cross-functional collaboration.

How are you wanting to contribute to the CSPA?
JO: To help create a culture of excellence, respect and openness to allow all contributors to put forward their ideas and advice, without fear or favour to embrace the points of difference and breadth of experience we have in our Precinct, with our staff, contractors, board members and fellow traders.

I would like to contribute as a leader and mentor to support our office to help with key decision making, strategy, financial management and as a sounding board to help represent the views of our diverse member group. I often play devil’s advocate to help dig deeper and scope out ideas and focus on how they will be perceived by our members and community.

To support our General Manager to continue delivering outstanding results for our members and to be available to meet with key stakeholders from local, state and federal government and corporate Australia.

To draw on my extensive contacts and networks in business and government for the benefit of the CSPA.

What do you think that tangibly looks like?
JO: This would include regularly meeting with our General Manager to review and help advise on strategic direction, reviewing our financial budgets, plus being available for advice and direction of the CSPA to help with any issues or roadblocks that may arise.

Liaising with the Mayor, Local Councilors and Council Officers as needed and with State and Federal Government bodies when required. 

Being visible and available to talk with our traders and members of the CSPA, and to help address any concerns or questions they may have in partnership with our General Manager.

What value are you wanting to add in your CSPA board position?
JO: With my 8 years experience on the CSPA Board, the last 4 years in the Vice President role and Treasurer roles, I have a wealth of knowledge and experience dealing with the City of Stonnington, State and Federal Government.

I have also been a member of a large Melbourne business network for 9 years and have served twice as their President and twice as Treasurer. During this time I established a large network of business contacts that I can draw upon when required.

Prior to staring Print Express (10 years ago) on Chapel Street, I had a previous 20 years management experience leading and managing teams of up to 70+ staff in print, marketing and retail senior executive management positions. In addition to this, I was the key relationship manager for corporate contracts with NAB, ANZ, The Department of Defence, Goldman Sachs, and the Victorian State Government. 

I will utilise these key management, marketing, leadership and negotiation skills to help lead a culture of support and excellence ensuring we support our staff, suppliers and members to future proof Chapel Street Precinct as Australia’s premier shopping strip.

Maxwell Gratton CSPA

Interview with Vice President & Treasurer Mr Maxwell Gratton (CEO,  Melbourne Queer Film Festival representing Prahran Market Clinic) 

How are you wanting to contribute to the CSPA?
MG: As a long term resident of the South Yarra and Prahran areas, Chapel Street is my primary local shopping destination. Chapel Street is one of Melbourne’s iconic premier locations outside of the CBD. Ensuring that we have a thriving Precinct is important for both the local area in particular and for Melbourne generally. To that end, I seek to contribute to the renascence of the Chapel Street Precinct.

What do you think that tangibly looks like?
MG: The Chapel Street Precinct is going through a considerable time of change. From Cato Street, to the Jam Factory, along with numerous other developments. The Chapel Street Precinct will be at its best when it is able to attract more visitors and shoppers to the area, through supporting, advocating for and promoting local offerings, whilst underpinning its culture and protecting what already makes Chapel Street a premier destination.  

What value are you wanting to add in your board position?
MG: As someone with over four years of CEO experience, along with extensive involvement sitting on Boards and Committees over many years, I aim to contribute to the Board’s duties and responsibilities in the areas of strategy, performance (financial), risk, reputation and governance.

Interview with Newest CSPA General Board Member Mr Andrew (Zok) Szoeke (Director of Operations & Hospitality Consultant, Studio Legal) 

How are you wanting to contribute to the CSPA?
AZ: I am hoping to provide and insight and voice for the late-night industry/members and to keep the CSPA aware of any issues, needs or wishes that these members may have from the association. I am also keen to offer my knowledge around liquor licensing and event planning to assist when these skills may be required.

What do you think that tangibly looks like?
Regular attendance at the Liquor Accord(s) Meetings with the intent of collecting data to present back to the CSPA. This may include attendance to other accord meetings, other than Stonnington, to collect further information on other locality issues that may be relevant to the Chapel St Precinct.
2. I would be happy to present/represent the CSPA at these meetings is this was deemed appropriate.

3. Making myself available to General Manager, Chrissie Maus so she can lean on me to assist her where necessary.

What value are you bringing to your new CSPA board position?
AZ: As mentioned… my knowledge of the hospitality and entertainment industries, combined with my history of working and living in the locality should provide value to the group..I hope!