Thursday, March 21, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

Local Couple Recognised For Service To Community

Meet Mark Richards

Operations Manager

It has been a whirlwind of 13 years for Mark Richards, acting as Operations Manager of Whitsunday Foodservice with confidence, pride, and tenacity. With a logistics and warehousing portfolio background, Mark transitioned seamlessly into this role, and has not looked back once.

His greatest pride has been watching the gradual evolution of Whitsunday Foodservice, originally operating out of a cold storage warehouse with 25 staff and a fleet of six trucks, when he first started, to now working from a technologically advanced facility, over 60 staff and 11 trucks, with one of the largest employers in the Whitsundays region.

“The key highlight for me was project managing the new facility build in 2018,” Mark explained.

“This facility started with a piece of paper, ruler, and a pencil on my desk and to see it become a reality was an amazing experience. The highlights keep stacking up thanks to the new warehouse as I get to actively pursue and implement new ways to stay ahead of the pack with the latest tech aimed at warehousing and distribution.”

Mark is particularly proud of his ability to visualize a solution to any problem, overcoming hurdles as they appear, including every from mechanical breakdowns, scheduling conflicts, and island resort logistics.

“I find I am able to step back, view my resources as a whole and implement solutions.”

Overseeing a staff of over 40 himself, split across six different departments, Mark ensures that his finger is on the pulse of the business, that each member of his team is confident in their ability and the wider teams efficiency.

In his spare time, Mark can be found with his partner, Sara and their two sons, usually fishing together, playing guitar, and building DIY projects. And he will always be ready to tune into the rugby league game and shout for his team, the Cronulla Sharks.

Meet Trish Smith

Office and IT Manager

Following love to the Whitsundays 13 years ago was twofold for Trish Smith, moving to be with the love of her life, but also finding a second home within the all-embracing walls of Whitsunday Foodservice. Now, having been married for nearly seven years, and been with Whitsunday Foodservice for 12 years and 10 unforgettable months, Trish has never looked back.

A calm yet passionate person, Trish loves her customer focussed role with the business, feeling a deep sense of purpose and accomplishment each and every day. This fulfilment translates to exceptional customer service and impeccable work ethic.

“When you do what you love,” Trish explained, “Work doesn’t feel like work.”

“Although some days may be more challenging than others, supporting colleagues and helping boost positivity in the workplace promotes a productive team environment.”

In her official role as Office and IT Manager, Trish is often managing a great number of projects and developments. Everything from IT development and support, to managing the EOM finances, reporting, as well as social media creation and management, Trish is kept on her toes.

However, she greatly enjoys the various responsibilities she holds with her role, leaving her with the sense of accomplishment and satisfaction that she is seeking.

When she does step away from the office, Trish can be found spending quality time with her husband, relaxing, often partaking in a Sunday breakfast or lunch date together on a weekend. The pair also love being active, soaking up the Whitsunday sun walking their two dogs, bike-riding, or socialising out and about in Airlie Beach.

Trish also loves heading over to Hamilton Island, or regularly travelling up to Townsville to spend time with her daughter and grand daughter.

Describe your personality in three words:
Compassionate, exuberant, and EXTRA!

Meet Elisa Teuma

Sales Administration

Looking for an exciting career change that allowed her to develop her skills and experience, Elisa Teuma was eager to join the Whitsunday Foodservice team over six years ago in the Sales Administration department.

With thorough experience in retail sales, Elisa already had significant knowledge which enabled her to take on a more customer account management role which was something new and unique, and a change that Elisa has flourished within.

Her indelible strengths in the role include her incredible adaptability.

“I’m fortunate to have great mentors in our managers, who are all talented at what they do and have helped me continually develop skills, which is important given the nature of our ever-evolving, fast paced industry,” Elisa explained.

Elisa’s most memorable milestone with the business is being able to witness the expansion and growth of the close-knit team. Her own appreciation of the team has only grown, with the birth of her baby last year, and being able to return on a part-time basis to allow her quality time with her budding family.

Outside of the office, Elisa loves spending time with her amazing partner Pat, and their beautiful daughter Stella, exploring the region and creating lasting memories.

Having relocated from Sydney when she was 23 years old, Elisa initially only planned on being in the region for one or two years, but now eight years later, she has never looked back.

“I am well and truly anchored here and completely in love with what the area has to offer, particularly the natural beauty and great people.”

Describe your personality in three words:

Thoughtful, kind and resourceful

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