Richard Skarzynski is the Chief Executive Officer of Coraggio. He’s been in the role for just on two years, after initially serving as a Chair. He was formerly Managing Director of a global audio-visual contracting company with 7 offices in the Asia Pacific, 180 staff and a turnover of $100 million;

Initially I was drawn to the values of Coraggio, it was established in 2010 by the (then) 12 shareholders who came together to work on a particular business that wasn’t functioning financially very well at the time. This, of course, was not long after the GFC.

The shareholders spent a considerable amount time rebuilding that business. Afterwards they felt Australia missed a service like this that brought businesses together when they truly needed it.

Eight years later we have Advisory Boards in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane and I’m privileged to be part of the organisation today.

People often ask why I’m so passionate about Coraggio and there are many reasons. I think the main one is that being the CEO provides me the privilege of meeting both future and current members across the three states and you hear about their journeys.

It’s interesting to learn that, as they’ve gone through life, not everything has been a success. There have been things that didn’t necessarily go their way and they come to our organisation to share these experiences and to learn from one another.

What excites me the most with Coraggio are the values set down by the original shareholders back in 2010 and those values continue today.
The shareholders have always been very heavily involved in being innovative and taking the business forward but to them, it’s not so much a business as it is a legacy that they’ll leave for future business owners for many years to come. Our investment decisions are made for both this generation and the one to follow and I know this excites them very much.

The type of person that Coraggio attracts is often someone who has come from a private business background and may have built something from nothing. All have worked very hard to achieve their success and have usually faced all kinds of challenges.

The market is looking for this kind of product.

We’ve created a safe haven for business owners who are entrepreneurs but, perhaps, haven’t been able to share the highs and lows (or ideas) with partners or peers.

We provide an environment where members can share openly and honestly about their business and personal lives. Maybe that last 5% they can’t share with anyone else. Our Advisory Boards certainly do that.

As the CEO, I’m delighted to be able to see the change and growth in our members from the time they start to a year down the road. They are usually a bit happier, both in a business and personal sense.

They’re things that money can’t buy, and it makes me very proud.

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