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Elizabeth McIntyre, CEO of Think Brick, the Concrete Masonry Association of Australia and the Roof Tile Association of Australia, was interviewed for The Deal magazine in The Australian. She appeared in the April issue, speaking on her journey to becoming CEO and the challenges she faces in her role.
Below is a summary of what Elizabeth spoke about in the interview.
Prior to joining Think Brick, Elizabeth held Marketing roles with major international corporations Disney and Ford. When asked about taking on her current role, Elizabeth admitted to loving bricks.
“I think bricks represent stability. I was brought up with parents who said you must invest in bricks and mortar.”
Elizabeth took the job at Think Brick at a defining moment in the industry’s history- new building materials were rising in popularity, while brick was falling behind.
“I think at the time, bricks were not even part of a building’s design; there were no architects who would touch bricks 12 years ago.
“I could see the challenges the industry was facing and I could see an opportunity. I looked at what I had gone through with Ford and then with Disney, and that was really to re-engage an audience.”
Elizabeth and the industry took this as an opportunity to be creative- Brick makers had to reinvent themselves to suit architectural trends and make their product sexy.
This was not the last challenge to face the brick industry- in more recent times, there has been a shortage of bricklayers, especially following the mining boom.
“I don’t want people to think that just because we are short on bricklayers that there’s a hold-up in construction,” Elizabeth said. “We are actually coping with it very, very well.”
The biggest hurdle facing the brick industry in Australia is the rising price of gas, though Think Brick is working with the major brick companies and government to negotiate a solution.
“You need gas to fire the kilns,” Elizabeth said. “That’s a huge issue for us. The price of gas has almost tripled.
“We want regulation around gas prices and some other alternative resources made available, be that gas or coal seam gas.
“It’s vital we have gas there… The security of supply and price is critical.”
Q&A interview published in The Deal, April 2017