OUR TEAM

 

Emilio De Stefano

MEng BEng (Hons) BMgmt MIEAust CPEng MAICD

Director & Principal

Emilio De Stefano

An experienced executive and Chartered Professional Engineer (CPEng), Emilio has over a decade of industry experience across a variety of industry sectors including defence, oil & gas, water and infrastructure. Having practiced in organisations ranging from start-ups to large, multi-national corporates, in both technical and executive leadership roles, Emilio has an innate knowledge and understanding of people, culture, leadership, business and what it takes to succeed in any environment.

 

Emilio has Bachelor level qualifications in engineering and management and has undertaken numerous postgraduate programs including a Master of Engineering, the South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program and more recently an Executive Program at the prestigious Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

Prior to establishing De Stefano & Co in 2015, Emilio spent four years in the role of General Manager at a leading South Australian manufacturer, which saw the company experience record year-on-year growth, become a key player nationally and win two prominent awards in 2014 and 2015, including the national Manufacturers’ Monthly Endeavour Award in the category of Business Transformation.

 

Emilio is also a Past Chairman of the Institution of Engineering & Technology SA&NT Local Network, a French-Australian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FACCI) Aerospace, Defence & Aviation (ADA) Sub-Committee member and a 2021 InDaily 40 Under 40 award recipient.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Strategic planning

  • Tender response development and review

  • Grant applications

  • Structuring companies for growth

  • Business collaboration and teaming

  • Business advisory

  • Business / process improvement

  • Business case development

  • Board / advisory board positions

  • Business development

  • Project management

  • Systems engineering

  • Engineering management

Brian McAvoy

BEng PMP CPIM MAISA

Head of Protective Security Services and Senior Associate

Brian McAvoy_square.jpg

Brian is a project management, engineering and supply chain management professional with broad experience in manufacturing, distribution and logistics companies, including global leaders such as GE, Mercury Marine, Bemis and Dunlop Slazenger.

 

As De Stefano & Co's Head of Protective Security Services, Brian lives and breathes all things related to the Defence Industry Security Program (DISP), supporting our clients by managing the entire DISP process, beginning with the initial gap analysis, all the way through to the submission of final documents and finally, membership attainment and ongoing compliance. Brian is also a Member of the Australian Information Security Association (MAISA).

After graduating from the University of Wisconsin - Madison with a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering, Brian joined GE's prestigious Manufacturing Management Program (MMP). This time at GE provided exposure to heavy manufacturing such as locomotives and gas turbines as well as fast-moving consumer goods.

After GE, Brian earned the Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CIPM) certification from the American Production & Inventory Control Society (APICS) as a first step toward expanding his career into operations and supply chain management. This led to his first management role with Dunlop Slazenger. As Brian's career progressed he took on roles with increasing responsibility across functions such as sales and operations planning, forecasting, demand planning, procurement, warehousing, distribution and logistics.

Project management has also been a theme throughout the last 20 years, including certification as a Project Management Professional (PMP) with the Project Management Institute (PMI). This has resulted in real-world technology delivery experience, including successful leadership of multiple IT systems implementations and business process overhauls.

Always open to opportunities to learn and grow professionally, Brian has recently graduated from the Defence Teaming Centre's Defence Industry Leadership Program and is actively enrolled in the Diploma of Digital Technologies program at Flinders University.

Outside of work, Brian is a volunteer mentor at the University of Adelaide's ThincLab where he works with start-up and scaling businesses.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Essential 8 compliance

  • Project management

  • Change management

  • Supply chain management

  • Interim management

  • Strategic planning

  • Process improvement and operational excellence

  • Business intelligence and analytics

  • Grant applications

  • Tender responses

 

Marcus Benny

MAIPM DipPM

Defence Estate & Infrastructure Consultant

Marcus Benny_square.jpg

Marcus has over 25 years’ experience in strategic planning and project delivery in the defence sector across Australia. He combines this expertise with 30 years working within the Australian construction industry, with both Tier 1 and lower tier consultants, contractors, and has held several successful business development roles.

Marcus has delivered major projects and managed Defence business as an executive leader in both Project Director and Sector Leader roles. Organisations in which Marcus has held such positions include BADGE Constructions, KBR and Australian Naval Infrastructure (ANI).

 

In his role as Defence Estate & Infrastructure Consultant, Marcus assists Australian SMEs to develop, communicate, and execute detailed strategies to win and deliver key Defence Estate & Infrastructure business successfully. His strong communication skills complement his extensive national Defence industry network. He engages effectively at all levels, from internal stakeholders such as site personnel and senior management to external stakeholders, including Ministers and other senior Government officials.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Strategic planning

  • Defence Estate & Infrastructure

  • Business development

  • Defence contracting

  • Bid advisory

  • Project mentoring

  • Indigenous business support (e.g. IPP)

 
 

Ken Fong

BAcct BEng MBA (Pending) MAICD

Senior Associate

Ken Fong_square.jpg

Ken is an accounting and engineering professional with 13 years of international experience. He has worked in Defence Electronics at BAE Systems Australia and at BDO Chartered Accountants, where he was part of both the Audit and Advisory teams. Ken's audit experience is diverse, including industries such as Construction, Manufacturing, Retail, Hospitality, Agriculture and Local Government.

 

During his time in Advisory, Ken advised clients using Data Analytics for evidence-based decision making, operational decision-making and analysis for potential fraud. He has extensive experience in Financial Modelling (producing Forecast and Option Analyses) and Risk Management; identifying key enterprise-wide and operational risks as well as developing and implementing risk management strategies, frameworks, policies and processes.

 

Ken assists both Chinese and Australian companies as a business consultant. In this role he assists clients with the Preparation of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) Financial Statements, 'westernising' company accounting policies to align them to International Accounting Standards, pre-audit preparation and project management support.

 

Fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese, Ken's language skills have enabled him to undertake audits on a number of Chinese entities in preparation to be listed on either the ASX or NSX. Ken is a Member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is currently completing his Masters of Business Administration (MBA) through the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT). He has a Bachelor of Accounting and a Bachelor of Electrical and Telecommunications Engineering.

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Grant applications

  • Management accounting

  • Financial modelling, forecasting and analysis

  • Virtual Chief Financial Officer (Virtual CFO) positions

  • Business / financial process and policy development

  • Business advisory

  • Internal auditing

  • Option analysis

  • Business case development

  • Risk management

  • Evidence-based decision making

  • International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS)

 

Les Shearn

BMgmt DipBus DipOH&S GAICD

Senior Associate

Les Shearn 2.jpeg

Les is an accomplished professional with over 25 years in strategic and operational roles within both large multi-nationals and Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs). His areas of specialisation include organisational design and development, change management, defence industry market-entry and business growth. Les has diverse sector experience including engineering, broadcasting, manufacturing, construction, production, heavy maintenance, warehousing and logistics.

 

Les has a business focused, practical and highly consultative approach which enables him to identify core issues, develop strategies and deliver solutions. Les is creative and outcome oriented with a passion for developing strategies and programs focused on employee engagement and business growth.

 

With an ability to combine commercial acumen with an understanding of the key drivers for organisational effectiveness, Les thrives on working alongside a business or individual to analyse a problem and develop a practical solution to transform a business or individual for the better. He has worked across a diverse range of industries within Australia and Internationally that has provided him with extensive business experience, expertise and understanding of solutions that impact positively on the bottom line of any business.

 

Les has a Bachelor of Management, a Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S), a Diploma of Business and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).

Professional expertise and interests:
 

  • Strategic planning

  • Business development

  • International engagement and market entry

  • Business growth advisory

  • Organisational design and development

  • HR management

  • Change management

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Interim management (e.g. BDM, Operations Manager, etc.)

  • Board / advisory board positions

 

David Kameniar

GradDipLegPrac LLB BBus (EcFinTrade) AssocDegLangCultStud

Associate

David Kameniar_square.jpg

David is a business professional with a background in law, as well as program and project management. He has worked across several industries including executive education, law, sports management and the music industry.

 

Prior to joining De Stefano & Co, David spent 5 years working in various roles within the Australian Centre for Business Growth at the University of South Australia, managing the Centre’s world class business growth programs focused on growing Australia’s SMEs. David most recently led the Centre’s Program Operations as well as sales and recruitment.

 

David has completed a double degree in Law and Business (Economics, Finance & Trade) as well as an Associate Diploma of Language and Cultural Studies, achieving written and speaking competency in French. David has also completed further legal training with a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice.

 

Whilst completing his university studies, David worked as a law clerk with commercial law firm Christie & Associates Solicitors. This role involved supporting the firm’s partners across property law, wills and estates, insolvency and debt recovery, as well as civil litigation and dispute resolution.

 

In his spare time, David is also a Co-Founder and Director of a music and events company, facilitating small to mid-scale music events as well as artist tour management.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Program and Project management

  • Stakeholder engagement and management

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Grant applications

  • Business improvement

  • Business planning

  • Event management

 

Louisa Canning

BA (CommMediaMgmt)

Associate

Louisa Canning_square.jpg

Louisa is an Associate at De Stefano & Co, supporting the team and our clients with grant applications, Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) memberships and more.

 

With a background in marketing and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication and Media Management from the University of South Australia, Louisa also coordinates a range of marketing initiatives for the business, including website management, graphic design, social media administration, writing, editing and proofreading. 

 

Louisa is experienced in preparing successful grant applications for SMEs, including the Export Market Development Grant (EMDG) program and the Skilling Australia's Defence Industry (SADI) Grant. By utilising her high-level communication skills, Louisa ensures that each application is well-written, accurate and best represents the applicant in order to achieve a positive outcome.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Strategic marketing and communications

  • Grant applications

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Business development

  • Project management

  • Brand management

Tracy Pierce

AMAMI CPM DipMgt DipPM MBA (pending)

Associate

Tracy Pierce_square.jpg

Tracy is a marketing and communications professional with 15 years of defence experience. Starting her defence career with Tenix Defence - Electronic Systems Division (ESD), Tracy was part of the Business Development team managing the bid process, from developing tender documentation to coordinating bid teams, and managing the division's marketing activities. Following on from her time with Tenix Defence, Tracy worked for BAE Systems Australia as part of the Corporate Affairs team, managing and coordinating internal and external communications for the Joint Business Unit.

Before joining De Stefano & Co, Tracy managed events and communications for the Naval Shipbuilding College (NSC) and prior to this, spent 9 years with defence industry association, the Defence Teaming Centre (DTC). Tracy served as Director Member Services and Marketing and Editor of Defence Business magazine during her time at the DTC, overseeing the member engagement program, marketing and communications, and representing member capabilities to prime defence contractors, government and SMEs in Australia and overseas.

A graduate of the 2013 South Australian Defence Industry Leadership Program (SADILP), Tracy is also a Certified Practising Marketer with the Australian Marketing Institute and holds Diplomas in Project Management and Management.

Professional expertise and interests:

  • Strategic marketing and communications

  • Tender response development and review

  • Grant applications

  • Defence Industry Security Program (DISP) membership and accreditation

  • Brand development

  • Project management

  • Business improvement

 
Emilio De Stefano_square
Brian McAvoy_square
David Kameniar_square
Louisa Canning_square
Ken Fong_square
Tracy Pierce_square