Ignition Institute Team
Dr. Kathryn Ritchie
Founder and CEO of Ignition Institute, Kathryn is a master strategist, executive & C-suite consultant, facilitator, leader, change-agent, and entrepreneur. Kathryn is passionate about business and people. She works at the nexus of enabling optimal performance and enabling leaders to shape and create environments where people thrive and grow. This lifetime project continues as ii works full spectrum from start-up to Fortune 500 companies. AIG, CBA, Macquarie, ASIO, and Australian Federal Government.
Peter J. Fitzpatrick
Head of Ignition Institute’s executive facultii, Peter Fitzpatrick is second to none in terms of corporate experience and consulting track record. From his time as HR Head at AIG (US), Coles Myer (AU), Pacific Dunlop (AU), and London Stock Exchange (UK), to CEO of Gunderson Partners, Coghill Global, and more, Peter has been instrumental in delivering the highest level of performance at every tier of organisational development.
Dr. Simon Mills
Dr. Mills is the President of Ignition Institute and also the technology lead, digital infrastructure developer, in-room data capture and distribution, and manages all facets of client-side software platform training. With a background in media, marketing, music, video production, advertising, software platform development, brand architecture, tech startups, enterprise software deployment, writing, web development, system design, graphic design, finance, and business, he is well suited to leading the digitally distributed architecture of Ignition Institute globally.
Kelly is a multi-disciplined business owner and professional operations veteran. With over 20 years of experience in the marketing, video production, event, digital media, broadcast industries, Kelly has a no-nonsense approach to managing the Australian operations for the Institute.
James is a knowledge-driven, respectful, strategic & successful culture change leader with deep subject matter expertise in succession planning. Through a tailored program, James creates the safe environment for the ‘tough’ conversations to be had, the ability to generate and explore options before reaching agreement ensuring the previously unsaid is heard, dealt with, and a new future stated, agreed upon, and planned for.
Michael van Neikirk
Mike has over 25 years of financial services experience, including with AMP Wealth and Asset Management, and in the media sectors at the Australian Broadcasting Commission (ABC) and Consolidated Press. He has worked in Australia and internationally with senior executives on corporate finance and strategy. His capabilities are in strategy development and execution, financing and structuring transactions, M&A, investment analysis, funds management and sustainability.
One of the Institute’s leading cultural change consultants and transformation navigators who thrives on building change confidence in others, inviting and facilitating self and organisational awareness in order to build sustainable, high performance cultures. Working with CEOs, Senior Executive Teams, Change Leads, Leadership teams, and organisations who make a genuine effort to make a long term, positive difference is at the heart of Gai’s methodology. Decades of immersion in learning, transformation, personal development, and social ecology has been distilled into Gai’s insightful, practical, effective approach to organisational change and adaptation.
Lily has worked and lived in the US, UK, Australia, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore and Indonesia, She effectively connect multi-level stakeholders to forge international and multi-industries collaborative partnerships and projects, including developing institutions in international education arenas and beyond. Adept at navigating complex situations and multiple-group cultures, I lead and facilitate teams to agily respond to external and internal opportunities and developments; fine-tuning strategies while persisting in result-oriented execution, honing in on short till mid-term targets while building for long-term health and growth of organization.
Nina has 25 years of working in senior executive positions within mid to large corporations – often taking the business from a level of negative growth to one of positive returns through appropriate business strategy, management and processes.
Nina is well known with the Australian Financial services industry and has been awarded the Distinguished Services Award by the Board of the leading industry body, Financial Planning Association. This award recognizes the impact and influence the individual has made within the industry and is given to a limited number of recipients.
Jenni has 29 years of working in senior executive positions within mid to large corporations that required either an increase in sales, focus on distribution or being primed to sell.
Jenni is well known with the Australian Financial services industry both within advice and superannuation funds. Her most recent full time role was as CEO of an Australian Prudential Regulated Authority (APRA) regulated superannuation fund that required an out of the box distribution strategy and a search for a suitable purchaser.
Facilitator, consultant, coach, business developer, business IT infrastructure specialist, futurist. Extensive experience managing IT service / products companies: developed and/or implemented service-oriented business management tools.Strong operational experience in start-ups / mid-sized companies. “Let’s focus on what really matters and get it done” attitude. Computervision, Oracle, Sumtotal Systems, U&I Learning, Itesoft.
Experienced International management consulting, leadership development, organizational design, strategy and strategy execution, entrepreneurship, financial services, telecom.
Strong on business transformation and innovative leadership strategies as they relate to strategy execution and to assisting firms in realizing their objectives.
Throughout her career, strategy and strategic programs have been central to her approach.
Dr Kirk partners with CEOs and leaders embarking on complex change programs or culture change transformations to deliver on the organisation’s strategy. With approximately 65% to 70% of large-scale change not fully delivering on its promise, Chris is passionate about ensuring that change programs relentlessly focus on realising the committed benefits – in a sustained way. Clients include: Woolworths, Commonwealth Bank, Qantas, Myer, Fonterra, Coles, Aurecon, ACT (USA), Selfridges (UK), Safeway (UK) and Marks & Spencer (UK).
Christine is a passionate change maker, a corporate translator, and a master at making the complex simple. Uniquely qualified to navigate and guide through complex change at all levels, Christine brings a wealth of capabilities including employee engagement, change leadership, communications, community engagement, project management, governance, facilitation, and creative conceptualism, all with infectious curiosity and enthusiasm. Past roles include: Manager Corporate Services Redesign Commonwealth Bank, NBN, SBS.
As founder and director of Offswitch Institute, Cate partners with the consultants at Ignition Insitute. Cate works with individuals to identify blockages, release them and allow the individual’s potential to be unleashed. This creative process transgresses mindfulness, self-awareness, and personal transformation principles. This then builds better teams and inspires creative problem-solving.
(advisor on Fin-Service – Royal Commission)
Anne had a 30-year executive career developing deep operational risk, governance and strategy experience. Currently serving on the boards of GUD Holdings Ltd, The Citadel Group Ltd, and WorleyParsons Ltd. Former Chairman Commonwealth Bank’s financial advice companies and is a former director of Cuscal Ltd, HT&E Limited, Pioneer Credit Ltd, TAL Superannuation Fund, and HBF’s private health and general insurance companies
John Rives is a lead designer, consultant, and facilitator in organisational change and customer experience. In addition to founding and running Growth Mindset Institute, he works with Prof Carol Dweck (Stanford) and Susan Mackie to develop Growth Mindset programs for organisations and schools. John came to Australia in 1992 to establish Optus as a leading customer-centric brand. His work at Optus saw him gain a reputation as an expert in the field of service design. Past roles include: Unified Healthcare Group, UCMS, and CIO – Optus Vision.
While Heath’s primary focus has been on innovation and broader Customer Experience, his work in innovative culture change at Commonwealth Bank’s client, community, and employee innovation lab has led to ground-breaking positive change. Developing new operating models & functions in corporate and go-to-market approaches such as intrapreneurship, social innovation, consulting/advisory, and innovation-as-a-service have earned Heath deep industry respect. Past roles include: Director, Client Consulting & Strategic Sales, and at Commonwealth Bank
As is the case with many of Ignition Institute facultii members, Cody has deep business expertise. An entrepreneurial business strategist with experience in the biomedical, banking, international logistics, and software industries. He was formerly the COO and founding team of four startup ventures located in China, Singapore, and New York. He scaled one venture to over 200 FTEs and achieved a multimillion-dollar exit. In his youth, he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year by NFTE and interned at the Beijing, Peter F Drucker Academy of Management. He continues his entrepreneurial ventures, most recently as the Co-Founder of Product Gym, a career accelerator that transitions professionals into the software product management space. He speaks native Cantonese and during his 3+ years in China, Taiwan, and Hong Kong acquired professional fluency in Mandarin.
Ignition Institute Partners
over 30 years of information technology, business development, and operations experience in a wide range of industries that includes ITO and BPO – retail – manufacturing – warehousing, distribution and logistics – travel – healthcare and biotech – media and publishing – cellular and satellite communications – AIA commercial construction, and audio/video.
Over 30 years of executive experience in IT and Operational Planning, Acquisitions and Divestitures, Contract Negotiations, and Program Management.
Joseph is a visual communication leader. His innovative visualisation techniques foster within the teams an appreciation and understanding of the business; from where it has come, to what it is now and where it is headed. With forty years of experience in the industry, Joseph has contributed to the success multiple major brands and won over twenty creative awards nationally and internationally.
Robyn’s rare mix of skills and abilities along with her diverse background and experience gives her unique perspectives when addressing her work with individuals, teams and organizations – which can take the form or consulting, facilitating, executive coaching, developing (corporate executive education) or researching – or a mix thereof – in the areas of strategy, leadership and team/organizational capability building, innovation, cultural awareness and global/regional readiness, and customer/stakeholder experience. Robyn’s “hard” science background is enhanced by her hands-on management and consulting experience including years in a CIO-like role (prior to coming to Singapore in 1996).
“Healthy conversations, healthy culture” will teach you skills to navigate the blurred roles and relationships that cross between generations, family, friends and business. Participants will learn a range of skills and behaviours that build relationships, improve communication, decrease conflict and lower stress levels. A focus will be on learning to prevent or resolve complex situations with positive outcomes for all when participants are in business or work with others who are also family members or friends.