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Gareth Jekel has always aimed high, leaving school at 15 to pursue his apprenticeship as a refrigeration mechanic and winning his College Apprentice of the Year in 1988 out of 5000 other apprentices.
In 1989, he capped off his apprenticeship by winning the annual Victorian WorkSkills competition, along with several other industry awards. This was just the beginning of his winning streak in less than two years of completing his apprenticeship, Gareth started his first business.
Founded in 1992, New Systems Refrigeration was Gareth’s first business. Within six years he had become a preferred supplier of refrigeration systems and service for much of the supermarket industry, including Coles and Woolworths, as well as service station chains such as Caltex and Shell. Gareth designed and developed leading energy efficient equipment for these large energy using clients that opened up a previously very guarded and tough market. Within two years, New Systems had a turnover of $2 million and no overdraft. By 1998 the business grew to 155 staff, a fleet of 45 vehicles and a turnover of $22 million.
In recognition of Gareth’s accomplishments, he was selected as one of only three finalist in 1993 for Channel 10’s Young Achiever Awards. This distinguished acknowledgement is awarded to those who show stellar results in business.
More recently Gareth is applying his wealth of knowledge in the commercial air conditioning industry technology . Sagecon is set to out perform New Systems Refrigeration with its efficiencies and performance. Founded in 2006, Gareth as a non executive, grew Sagecon to $1.5 million with just two staff and less than a couple of hours of Gareth’s time each week. In 2013, Gareth took the role of GM and has grown Sagecon to 55 staff and sales of $13 million in 2018.
In 2005 after Gareth sold his commercial refrigeration business, he was introduced to Marten Runow, the Founder of Performia International based in Sweden.
As a business owner that had hired and fired many hundreds of staff, Gareth immediately saw the benefit of the Performia system and took on the APAC license to sell and distribute Performia services.
Performia is now run by a management team with Gareth as the non executive director, after setting up Performia in Melbourne, Sydney, China and Japan.
One of the major clients to Performia is Gareth’s businesses as he states, “It is just so much easier to build a business with a hiring strategy and the tools required to bring on fun and productive staff”.