Winarch Capital and its newly-formed Cedar Mill Group has promoted COO Kyle McKendry to the role of Chief Executive Officer as it welcomes five new hires across the group’s growing portfolio spanning events, tourism and entertainment.
McKendry continues to lead the recently acquired Humm Events, along with the planned multi-million-dollar Cedar Mill Hunter Valley and Cedar Mill Lake Macquarie tourism precincts.
McKendry joined Cedar Mill Group in 2019, after almost two decades at Roche Group, to lead the company’s foray into the live events, tourism and entertainment industries, and will oversee Winarch Capital after the property group last month secured more than $120 million in industrial land sales in 21 days on Sydney’s Central Coast.
Winarch Capital’s Chairman, Paul Lambess, said McKendry has been a crucial figure in the company’s expansion into new categories and markets through recent acquisitions – including Humm Events – making him the obvious choice to spearhead both businesses as CEO.
“Kyle’s input strategically has been invaluable in shaping our path into the tourism and events sector. Coupled with his experience in property development, it was an obvious choice to offer him the CEO role of both Winarch Capital and Cedar Mill Group,” Lambess said.
Cedar Mill Group further bolsters its leadership team this week with a number of new hires as it prepares for further expansion and the return of live events as restrictions continue to ease.
The first is Ewen Craig who joins the business as Director of Commercial Operations after more than 12 years with Live Nation Australasia where he was Head of Tour Accounting. Ewen is an entertainment industry professional with over three decades of experience.
The seasoned executive has previously worked for V Festival, The Coca-Cola Company, Modular Music, and the Paul Dainty Corporation, and is “thrilled” about the future.
“I am thrilled to be joining such a great team of industry specialists and getting in on the ground floor of two truly amazing projects, Lake Macquarie 30,000 seat amphitheatre and the Hunter Valley’s 22,000 seat amphitheatre,” Craig said.
“Paul and Kyle have given me an amazing opportunity to be at the forefront of these two projects and what will become a network of quality outdoor venues,” he added.
Another seasoned executive, Paul Corcoran, OAM, joins Cedar Mill Group as Director of Risk Management for the newly formed Cedar Mill Risk Management. Corcoran is the founder of Global Compliance Consultancy, a WHS consultancy for major events. Most recently he held the role of Risk Advisor for the Live Entertainment Industry Forum where he helped to create the COVIDSafe guidelines in an industry-wide collaborative effort.
Furthermore, Andrew McKinnon joins as National Operations Manager across both Cedar Mill Group and Humm Events. McKinnon has worked for leading Australian event-based companies for over 30 years. Based in Melbourne, he sits on the board of not-for-profit CrewCare.
Mark ‘Trogg’ Svendsen joins Humm Events as Event Director. Trogg began working on theatre stage productions in the ‘70s before progressing to live music production. He has been responsible for site managing some of the biggest and logistically challenging shows to come to Australia and sits on the CrewCare board alongside McKinnon.
David Fortescue, a Melbourne-based event and venue industry professional with over 14 years of experience, joins Humm Events as a Project Manager. He has previously worked for concert promoters and venue operators TEG Live, TEG Dainty and Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney.
McKendry welcomed the new recruits and said Cedar Mill Group is accumulating some of Australia’s most seasoned, skilled and professional industry operators onto its team.
“Cedar Mill Group is gearing up for exponential growth over the next five years, and we are incredibly lucky to have secured some seasoned and experienced players in the events industry to help us facilitate that growth, to ensure we deliver world-class facilities and experiences for the public as our venues open and events kick-off in 2022 and beyond,” McKendry said.
“When someone with the calibre and pedigree of Ewen announces he’s looking for the next challenge, you need to move fast. It was a no brainer for our business. With over 30 years in the industry, he’s worked for all the major promoters and brings a wealth of knowledge to the business. We were equally thrilled to secure Paul, Andrew, Mark, and David,” he added.
Cedar Mill Group recently announced that it had acquired one of the Hunter Valley wine region’s most premium development sites for its second purpose-built outdoor amphitheatre and tourism project Cedar Mill Hunter Valley, expected to open in 2023 at a cost of $107 million.
It follows the previously announced $235 million redevelopment of Morisset Golf Course, to be known as Cedar Mill Lake Macquarie, with plans for a 30,000 person concert venue, cafes and restaurants, accommodation and Australia’s largest aquatic play park.
The new additions to the team further cement Cedar Mill Group’s plans to play a major role in the return of live events and tourism after a challenging period following international and state border closures, and unpredictable lockdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
McKendry is also searching for future Cedar Mill sites in both Australia and New Zealand.