THE millennial work ethic isn't always cast in a positive light when compared to older generations, but these young professionals are proving otherwise.
From multimillion-dollar transactions to civic advancement, five ambitious men and women are driving success for their employers and ultimately the Gold Coast.
As finalists in the Young Professional of the Year category at the 2016 Gold Coast Young Entrepreneur Awards, they have demonstrated an ambition to prove themselves in their chosen profession.
Sponsored by Young Professionals Gold Coast, an organisation dedicated to growing the city's corporate culture, top honours went to Meghann Ruscoe (pictured).
Meghann Ruscoe, 33
Magic Millions Sales
MEGHANN Ruscoe comes with an impressive pedigree to help deliver some of the biggest events on the social calendar.
The commercial manager at Magic Millions Sales oversees contracts, marketing, sponsorship, public relations, event management and business development.
Drawing from her previous experience from the AFL relocating North Melbourne Football Club and building the Gold Coast Suns, Ruscoe has helped grow Magic Millions Sales into the leading bloodstock company in the southern hemisphere.
"I'm always open to new opportunities and believe the right match of personal skills and attributes can add value in any industry," Ruscoe says.
"Magic Millions is renowned for innovation and delivering world-class events. Our team takes this incredibly seriously and we seek to find ways to develop our brand year-on-year to ensure ongoing customer engagement - whether that be through selling horses or our major events."
Ruscoe works closely with Magic Millions co-owners Gerry Harvey and Katie Page and managing director Vin Cox and counts them as invaluable mentors. This has ignited her own entrepreneurial aspirations, with plans to become a CEO or launch her own business one day.
"The Gold Coast offers an incredible environment to do business," Ruscoe says.
"Our clients at Magic Millions travel from all over the world to enjoy such a mix of business and leisure. We have so many options here, from the stunning beaches to the hinterland.
"There's something for everyone to enjoy and more importantly, it makes business fun."
Ruscoe is constantly on the lookout for professional development opportunities from studying online to attending major events.
Simon Costello, 32
SIMON Costello has become part of the furniture at onPlatinum ICT, being the second staff member hired at the information technology solutions provider.
The technical services manager now oversees a team of five, establishing services for more than 300 clients and troubleshooting any issues.
"The biggest change I have experienced since starting my career would be the push for hosted solutions, be it environment or applications-based," Costello says.
"Having lived on the Gold Coast for my entire adult life, I have been able to watch the city grow and now I'm being afforded the opportunity to contribute to that continued growth in a very material way."
Costello has designed several systems to keep onPlatinum ICT ahead of the curve, and is studying to take on a more senior management role at the company.
Christopher Morgan, 29
Helensvale Camera House
CHRISTOPHER Morgan was given an opportunity to buy a Camera House business three years ago.
With his focus sharpened after eight years as a store manager in the same company, Christopher was able to make a start with his own franchise.
He has taken pride in a number of recent career progression achievements, in addition to his management track record in a number of fields including staff retention.
"I'm on the Camera House board of directors with other store owners, nominated by other members which was something I was particularly proud of," says Morgan.
Jay Newcomb, 36
Jay Newcomb had no hesitation joining former client Shannon Overs as an employee in his new business onPlatinum ICT.
The sales director has been instrumental to the firm's growth, bringing on board a number of his own clients that trusted his honesty and integrity.
"Starting from zero means nobody knows the name, they only know the people, so it's a very big leap of faith for anyone wanting to move their business over to you," Newcomb says.
"They recognise the transparency with which we deal with them is second to none and this means we can continue to take over the services they have with other providers as they come off contract.
"I think south-east Queensland in general is a good place to do business, but the Gold Coast has that entrepreneurial flair about it."
With the company's suite of products constantly evolving, Newcomb is responsible for managing partner relationships and ensuring clients get the best experience.
Amanda Williams, 32
Queensland Parliamentary Service
FATIGUED with a career in federal politics, Amanda Williams decided to take up a role as electorate officer for Sid Cramp MP, Member for Gaven.
The change of pace has allowed Amanda to focus on personal development, including an MBA through the Australian Institute of Business with a view to opening her own consultancy one day.
She was a driving force in the concept and branding behind Nerang2020, a taskforce to revitalise the suburb.
"Working with Sid, the Nerang2020 revitalisation process is now getting real legs. It started as a vision, and now it's all coming to fruition," says Williams.
"It's very exciting when I think about the future, being able to go past the site and realising that I was a big part of that."
Williams has also recently launched her blog Words by Williams to gain exposure in her field of communications and stakeholder management.
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