Firm Focus: Building a name in business
THE highly prized Ipswich Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Awards had a strong number of contenders for 2016, and among them was Kaitlyn Moore.
A mum of three and successful businesswomen, she was honoured with the TAFE Queensland South West Young Person of the Year Award.
Owner of O'Connell Agencies in Mary St, Blackstone, Ms Moore is passionate about her work and elated with her recent win.
"I became aware that a nomination had been put in and it is great feeling to be recognised, great to be valued by someone and to be valued in the community," she said.
If nomination was significant, then it is little wonder that she was "lost for words" when the announcement was made at the awards dinner of her win.
"I was shocked and very happy. I had family and my children all attending to share this time with me. I just spoke from the heart," Ms Moore said.
O'Connell Agencies is doing amazing things in construction work.
The business is a form work supplier, the forms act as a mould to pour concrete on site. "We transform architects' ideas and bring them into reality. We manufacture form work columns, this includes anything over two-storey buildings, bridges and other large constructions."
They have been involved in the 46-storey Queensland Government building and the 300-metre Homebush Bay Bridge in Sydney to name just two of the significant number of constructions across Australia.
"O'Connell Agencies was a going concern, it was a mum and dad company and I kept it that way and at that time we were importing directly from China but I wanted to move into manufacturing and to have control over distribution," she said.
Over the past few years, Ms Moore has invested into machines, people and key skills to build a very strong business.
With 18 staff and a 24-hour operation, the business is growing and building a strong reputation.
"I am working with different shapes and moving away from structures that are only square or circular. Now it is about geometrical designs.
"We can go from 300 diameter up to 1800 diameter, and will soon be able to work with up to 3600 diameter form work."
Ms Moore's father was a form worker and is very proud of what she has achieved.
"I guess construction is in my blood; it just made sense that I would go into this work," she said.
While it is unusual for a woman to own such a business, she said that it took time for her to prove herself and to build trust and gain respect.
"A lot of people do not realise that construction is very important to our economy; it is eight percent of GDP and second to mining."
This year is about getting 'hands off' to the day-to-day work and engaging key staff to do that work while Ms Moore takes on a stronger leadership role to grow the business.
"It has been very hard to learn to release and let others take control. This year I am aligning with national distribution to get us Australia-wide. I have a lot of interest in what I am doing and where we as a business are going," she said.