Emerging Speakers

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Mike Silverman

A dynamic entrepreneur and senior executive with strong commercial and professional acumen demonstrated during a diverse and rewarding international career.  An outstanding negotiator capable of influencing and directing strategic decision makingMike processes to facilitate the growth and development of start-up and growth businesses in competitive global markets.  Effectively combines financial and technical expertise to instigate and lead projects and initiatives designed to add bottom line value to the business portfolio.  Utilises strong skills in communication to build mutually beneficial relationships at the highest level whilst ensuring optimum standards of integrity and professionalism in all business transactions – a motivational and inspirational manager who thrives in highly pressurised and challenging working environments

Mike worked extensively in the media industry since 1980 during which time he held a variety of senior executive roles as well as establishing and building his own successful business ventures and being directly involved in the management of business critical projects aimed at facilitating future, profitable growth in this competitive industry sector.

Throughout the course of his career he has spearheaded successful merger and acquisition projects and has also utilised a combination of commercial and financial awareness to lead other initiatives designed to improve overall performance.  One of his most significant achievements was his leadership in the successful bid to secure a £150 million contract with The Walt Disney Company in the UK, a venture which he subsequently managed from concept through to completion.  Mike was also personally head-hunted by Richard Branson to establish the television division of the Virgin Group.

Mike is currently Chief Executive Officer of Brúarfoss he, a world leader in medium and large bulk water exports.

Mike is a keen golfer, fitness enthusiast, an active member of Toastmasters International and is a founder member of The Professional Speakers Association.

Mike has a relaxed and humorous style of presenting and either in an MC or Keynote Speaker role his experience and humour will not only keep your event/conference audience laughing but your delegates will come away having learnt from a man who has diverse and extensive working experience in UK, Europe, USA, Far East, Australia and New Zealand.

Mike speaks about:-

  • Communication and leadership
  • Improving business performance and achieving more for leaders, teams, individuals and businesses
  • Irreverent nonsense for those after-dinner occasions when everyone is in a food and drink induced state of relaxation

Darryl Soljan’s first job out of high school was as the ‘office lady’ for a small entrepreneurial wharf cartage company that

Darryl_Soljanbecame so successful it was eventually acquired in a huge deal by a publicly listed company.

At 27 years old and with a reawakened interest in the family’s wine history, Darryl & his wife Bridget established Ascension Wine Estate from a bare paddock in Matakana which went on to become a business and literal icon of the north Auckland landscape.

He remembers leaving a well paid job, dropping off his company car, walking up the stairs to the home they had just sold, seeing his young children playing on the floor and asking himself ‘what the hell have I just done’.

Trailed by a 9 month old baby and a 3 year old toddler, the couple built Ascension into a well known and trusted brand and a multi-million dollar business, creating everything literally from the ground up – not just the buildings but systems, products, finance, marketing, staff, service, events, operations – everything.

Ascension was an entrepreneurial & innovative event and hospitality business that cared for hundreds of thousands of customers, employed up to 40 staff at any one time and won several national awards for customer service, innovation, leadership and marketing – all great passions of Darryl’s.

Then everything turned upside down for him and he placed Ascension into receivership – 17 years and millions of dollars gone.

So Darryl’s story is in two parts – how to build a great company and market it without spending a cent, and how to positively deal with adversity when things don’t turn out as planned.
It is full of proven tips and tricks that really work in the ‘real world’ and shows how to thrive and stay positive when your dreams full apart which he shares with full honesty.

Darryl has MC’d and presented to a range of NZ and Australia forums with acclaim for his no nonsense style, witty sense of humour and enthusiasm.