Usher Group named Gold Coast Business of Year

Written on the 27 November 2019

Gaven-based painter, plasterer, signage and electrical services company Usher Group has been named as the Gold Coast's Business of the Year.

The win, announced at the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards gala dinner attended by more than 700 people at The Star on Saturday the 23rd November, marks the culmination of a rags to riches story for Usher Group managing director Theodore Vairaktaris.

Mr Vairaktaris, a former housing commission kid, started the business with only $5000 in the bank. Usher Group has more than 500 employees, including 10 members of the Vairaktaris family and has four main facilities down the east coast of Australia.

The business specialises in new construction and maintenance projects and works with companies such as Multiplex, Hutchinson Builders, Mirvac Group, Sunland Group, Lend Lease and the Westfield Group.

The Usher Group, which is 100 per cent owned by the Vairaktaris family, is now the largest painting contractor in Queensland.

However, Mr Vairaktaris didn't begin his working life as a painter. Instead he first studied architecture at Ashmore TAFE and then began a Bachelor of Business at Griffith University.

After 6 months, in 2001, he deferred his studies to start his first business venture, UHK Painting & Decorating.

In 2003 another Gold Coast business, Usher & Son asked Theo to purchase their business. The Usher family are still prominent in business, working in well-known paint stores on the Gold Coast.

This purchase catapulted the once small-time operator into a period of rapid growth.

Mr Vairaktaris combined the two businesses, keeping the Usher and Son name and began penetrating new markets and geographical areas, focusing primarily on painting services. Since the merger, the company has recorded significant growth, doubling revenue year on year. The strong financial results meant the business could reinvest and thrive.

Mr Vairaktaris's first employee was of course was his mother; and as with most family businesses she played a fundamental role taking on responsibility for many different aspects of the business.

Mr Vairaktaris said he was honoured that the business he built had been named Gold Coast Business of the Year.

Usher Group also took the annual trophy in the Construction and Trades category of the Gold Coast Business Excellence Awards.

The winners in the other categories were:

  • Emerging Business: Macro Mike
  • Family Business: SEE Group
  • Retail, Wholesale & Distribution: Patriot Campers
  • Manufacturing: Simtech
  • Professions & Business Services: Orbitz Elevators
  • Health & Wellbeing: Amtan Medical
  • IT & Digital Business: Opmantek
  • Tourism, Hospitality & Events: Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary
  • Mayor's Innovation GC: PT Automation Solutions
  • Encouragement: Skyline Landscape Services
  • Student Employability Award: Gold Coast Health

The awards, now in their 24th year, aim to foster pride in the city's business community and highlight its important as a business hub. Some of the city's best-known companies can claim to have been winners.

The awards' major sponsors include Ramsden Lawyers, Study Gold Coast, City of Gold Coast, Regional Development Australia Gold Coast, Choice Homes, Westpac, Harvey Norman Commercial Queensland, Optus Business Centre Gold Coast, Griffith University, Gold Coast Airport, Dreamweavers and WeVideoPromos. The awards' media sponsors include the Gold Coast Bulletin, Nine NBN Television, 92.5 Gold FM and 90.9 Sea FM.

The GCBEA's major supporters are KPMG, Document Solutions Australia, Bloomtools, Consulting Hall, The Graphic Design Company, The Star Gold Coast, Regina King Photography and Bond University.

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