Bundy ginger beer boss named entrepreneur of the year
FOR generations Bundaberg Ginger Beer has been one of Queensland's favourite drinks.
And now John McLean's efforts to export Bundaberg Brewed Drinks to the world has seen him named as one of Queensland's top entrepreneurs.
On Wednesday night Mr McLean was named a finalist in the prestigious EY Entrepreneur of the Year award. He will be among six Queensland businesses to advance to the competition's finals later this year.
The judges said, in his 10 years as company CEO, Mr McLean had taken the iconic Bundaberg brand to the world.
"In the ultra-competitive soft drinks market from a small regional Australian base, John has created a differentiated product and authentic company culture with a global opportunity,” the judges said.
Mr McLean was the only winner in the competition's Northern region to come from outside south-east Queensland.
The five other finalists included Cornetts Supermarkets CEO Graham Booysen who was credited with "saving” the retail chain, and the popular website Urban List's founder Susannah George who has created the country's largest "curated lifestyle website”.
Ernst and Young Australia Queensland managing partner Paul Laxon said the finalists showed the strength of Queensland's entrepreneurs.
"Entrepreneurship drives innovation and these finalists are an inspiration. They are creating jobs and productivity and driving both our local and national economies forward,” he said.
"Each of these entrepreneurs should be very proud - to reach this stage is a significant milestone. We wish our Queenslanders every success both in the EY Entrepreneur Of The Year Award and in their outstanding businesses.”