Georgia Lazzari has been part of the tourism industry in the Hunter for 20 years, working in various organisations in positions spanning from operations through to strategic.
She now heads up the Newcastle Convention Bureau and works collaboratively with her colleagues in Port Stephens and Hunter Valley under the umbrella of Altogether Perfect to position the region as Australia’s number 1 regional destination for business events.
Georgia believes that to be successful, a leader needs to be proactive rather than reactive, as well as possess emotional intelligence, meaning they are self-aware, motivated and empathic.
- Tell us a bit about your career path and what led you to the tourism industry?
I originally harboured career plans in the education sector. When I moved to Newcastle to study and worked in the tourism industry to support myself I developed a passion for the industry and, as the saying goes, the rest is history.
I am still astounded by the change that has taken place in Newcastle over the last 20 years and feel blessed to be intricately involved in an industry that is passionate about the ongoing growth of Newcastle as a place to live, work and play.
- How do you define the difference between a manager and a leader?
Anyone can be a manager as long as they possess the necessary skill set and expertise that is appropriate to the position.
A successful leader, however, must have this and more. A successful leader needs to be proactive rather than reactive, they need to lead by example and they need to possess emotional intelligence, meaning they are self aware, they are motivated, they have empathy, they listen and they have the ability to provide, accept and action feedback from their team, peers and management.
- What tricks do you have to manage your prioritise and your time?
I think everyone struggles with managing priorities in the workplace of today. The trick lies in thorough planning; developing a project plan is a great start to effective time management. A good project plan will assist in keeping you focused and on task. It is also a great tool to foresee any pinch points in your workload, allowing you to put a plan in place before they arise.
I am also a devoted advocate of always having a Plan B – you never know when a Plan B will be required and it often is!
- What do you believe makes business in the Hunter unique?
The Hunter is a fantastic destination to do business. Its uniqueness is in the breadth of expertise across a broad spectrum of industry.
The Hunter is seeing the continual and rapid growth in the creative industries and innovation is being demonstrated across all employment sectors. This is taking place in a relative small geographical area and when accompanied by an intrinsic willingness from Hunter people to share ideas and collaborate, the Hunter is a dynamic and exciting place to conduct business.
- What local businessperson do you find inspiring?
Shivani Gupta is definitely at the top of my list. A consummate professional who has worked in senior management roles, Shivani is an inspirational leader. Her passion sees her working with numerous organisations – showing them how to identify what makes their team members tick and in the process inspiring passion, love and amazing outcomes in the workplace.
Altogether Perfect is a collaborative marketing project promoting Newcastle, Port Stephens and the Hunter Valley as venues for conferences and other business events.
Backed by the Newcastle Convention Bureau, Hunter Valley Wine & Tourism Association and Destination Port Stephens and supported by industry operators, the joint marketing group attends trade fairs and sales missions and host visits to the region by key conference organisers and media to build the appeal of the Hunter region as a premier business tourism destination.
The Altogether Perfect campaign received funding through the Regional Visitor Economy Fund (RVEF) which is managed and administered by the NSW Government's tourism and major events agency, Destination NSW.