About Me

I’m a passionate believer that anyone can achieve success in life, however you may define it.

About Me

I’m a passionate believer that anyone can achieve success in life, however you may define it.

I’ve been fascinated with the subject of success since my early 20’s. I’d often wonder – what is it that sets the successful apart from the rest?

Born into a working-class family as the eldest of four children, I was a very average student in school who went on to become the first person in my extended family to complete a university degree. My parents ran three of their own businesses and from a young age, this taught me the value of a strong work ethic.

Having always had a fascination with the way things worked and a love for technology, I went on and completed a double degree in engineering and management, which landed me my first graduate role as a mechatronics engineer in Australia’s largest defence company, BAE Systems Australia.

From there I was fortunate enough to receive some great recognition and within only a couple of years I was provided with the opportunity to lead my first team. This was the experience that ignited my passion for leadership. To understand what it is that makes people really tick. Why some leaders appear to have people lining up behind them to follow, where others are on a solo journey.

In 2012 I left my safe career within BAE Systems Australia for a General Management role within a family-owned heavy engineering business named Smart Fabrication. Whilst many called me crazy – I’ve always truly believed that people often regret the decisions they never made, more than the regretful decisions they did. With that, I took the plunge.

I was 27 years old at the time and the challenge associated with leading a multi-million dollar business into an uncertain future was exciting! For me, I knew the experience would provide me with the learnings I needed to successfully run my own businesses in the future. In 2014, that future became a reality when I co-founded my first business, Adelaide Gardening Group.

After returning from an Executive Education program at the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business, only a year later I took the ultimate plunge, throwing in my senior executive role to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time entrepreneur, where I established De Stefano & Co, a management consultancy focused on helping organisations achieve their business growth ambitions.

I was 27 years old at the time and the challenge associated with leading a multi-million dollar business into an uncertain future was exciting! For me, I knew the experience would provide me with the learnings I needed to successfully run my own businesses in the future. In 2014, that future became a reality when I co-founded my first business, Adelaide Gardening Group.

After returning from an Executive Education program at the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business, only a year later I took the ultimate plunge, throwing in my senior executive role to pursue my dream of becoming a full-time entrepreneur, where I established De Stefano & Co, a management consultancy focused on helping organisations achieve their business growth ambitions.

The pace of change has never been so frantic. In a world where disruption has become the norm, not even the best can go it alone.

These days, I spend much of my time helping my clients understand this so that they can leverage the opportunities it presents. It’s not just about remaining relevant, but staying ahead of the pack.

I bring a different perspective; an engineer’s mindset guided by my global consulting experience which sees me working with organisations at the forefront of digitisation, the future of work and collaborative business.

Understanding how the components come together is important, but understanding why they come together the way they do is what matters most.

Understanding how the components come together is important, but understanding why they come together the way they do is what matters most.

My business expertise & interests

  • People and culture
  • Future of work
  • Disruption
  • Digitisation
  • Industry 4.0: The next industrial revolution
  • Entrepreneurship and start-ups
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)
  • Career development and management
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Strategic leadership
  • Structuring companies for growth
  • Business / process improvement
  • Board / advisory board positions
  • Systems Engineering and engineering management

My business expertise & interests

My business expertise & interests

  • People and culture
  • Future of work
  • Disruption
  • Digitisation
  • Industry 4.0: The next industrial revolution
  • Entrepreneurship and start-ups
  • Science, Technology, Engineering & Maths (STEM)
  • Career development and management
  • Coaching and mentoring
  • Strategic leadership
  • Structuring companies for growth
  • Business / process improvement
  • Board / advisory board positions
  • Systems Engineering and engineering management

I truly believe that people often regret the decisions they never made, more than the regretful decisions they did.

I truly believe that people often regret the decisions they never made, more than the regretful decisions they did.

My prizes & awards

My prizes & awards

Individual Awards

  • 2017: Finalist in the category of STEM Professional in the South Australian Science Excellence Awards
  • 2014: Awarded Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) Grant to attend Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • 2011: Awarded BAE Systems Australia Early Career Engineer of the Year Award
  • 2010: Awarded Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) Young Achiever Award

Company Awards

These company awards Emilio significantly contributed to.

  • 2015: Smart Fabrication – Defence Teaming Centre (DTC) Most Outstanding SME Award
  • 2014: Smart Fabrication – National Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Award in the category of Business Transformation
  • 2009: BAE Systems Australia – Bronze Chairman’s Award in the category of ‘Enhancing Customer Performance’ for EWSP Lear Jet Pod Trials (Flight Trials)

My qualifications, education & memberships

My qualifications, education & memberships

  • Double degree in a Bachelor of Electrical & Mechatronic Engineering (First Class Honours) and a Bachelor of Management – University of South Australia (UniSA)
  • Master of Engineering (Military Systems Integration) – UniSA
  • Executive Program for Growing Companies – Stanford Graduate School of Business
  • South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program (SADILP) – Defence Teaming Centre (DTC)
  • Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng) – registered on the National Engineering Register (NER), License 2613150 in the Areas of Practice of Leadership and Management and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics
  • Member of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (MIET)
  • Member of Engineers Australia (MIEAust)
  • Affiliate Member of Professional Speakers Australia

My current positions & volunteer roles

My current positions & volunteer roles

  • Director & Principal of De Stefano & Co
  • Co-Founder of Adelaide Gardening Group
  • Immediate Past Chairman of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) South Australia & Northern Territory (SA&NT) Local Network
  • Treasurer of the Institution of Engineering & Technology (IET) Australia Forum (national board)
  • Career Ambassador, Speakers in Schools, Schools in Business
  • Editorial Committee Member, Defence Business Magazine
  • Committee Member, Industry Leaders Fund (ILF) Scholars Network

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