Our Executive Leadership Team
We have an extraordinary array of talented team members working for LJ Hooker.
Our Executive Leadership Team boasts a diverse background having been part of a range of blue chip companies both external to the real estate industry and within, such as Colliers International, McGrath and Elders. Together, this experienced and focused group of individuals make a dynamic and unique team without parallel.
Graeme Hyde - Network Chief
Graeme is responsible for the overall growth and development of LJ Hooker’s residential sales business across its office network.
Graeme leads the LJ Hooker Institute team that designs and facilitates residential training courses to ensure continuous improvement of LJ Hooker salespeople, business owners, property managers and office administrators. LJ Hooker Institute curricula includes management and leadership courses, auction training, auctioneer schools, the staging of The LJ Hooker Auction Idol and Icon competitions and arranging for accreditation of auction marketers and auctioneers to ensure the very best standards of service to our customers.
Graeme joined the real estate industry in 1995 after 15 years in television and radio. He joined the LJ Hooker network in 2001 when he took over the LJ Hooker office in Port Macquarie. He was inducted into the Captains Club in his second year with the network and Multimillion Dollar Chapter in his third year. Within two years, he and his team grew the Port Macquarie office to one of the top 10 offices in the world and four years later opened a second office in Lake Cathie.
Graeme has been ranked within the top 5 salespeople in the world in the LJ Hooker network and been awarded bronze and gold medals for sales performance which has positioned him in the top 1% of all salespeople. In 2005, he was invited to join the LJ Hooker Admirals and later that year won the acclaimed Franchise Owner of the Year. He has also won LJ Hooker’s International Community Relationship Award and the International Award for Best Community Marketing. He is past Director on the Board of the Real Estate Institute of NSW.
Graeme’s passion is to grow people’s leadership skills so they can achieve success, and to continue to build the LJ Hooker brand.
Simon Heathcote - Chief Financial Chief
Simon joined the executive team as Group Finance Director in March 2019 and became the CFO in May 2019. He is responsible for the finance and compliance functions of the corporate, residential and commercial real estate lines of the group.
Prior to joining LJ Hooker, Simon was the CFO of a private commercial lender. He was Group financial Controller with Guardian Early Learning Group (childcare), and Financial Controller with Archer Capital, a private equity firm. Prior to this, Simon was an audit Senior Manager with Ernst & Young.
Simon brings a wealth of experience to LJ Hooker in all facets of financial management practice and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand and the Governance Institute of Australia.
Ruth Trewhella - Chief Operating Manager
Ruth joined the executive team in January 2018 as Business Improvement Director and became COO in January 2019. She is responsible for the overarching operations of the core Franchise business including marketing, customer support, training and events and awards and recognition.
Prior to joining LJ Hooker, Ruth was Head of Customer Success at e-commerce brand RedBalloon. She was Group Manager of True Local (part of the Telstra group) and a number of other digital businesses within the Sensis group of companies.
Ruth is an innovative leader who brings a wealth of experience in transforming customer experience and business performance. She has extensive experience leading and developing high performing multi discipline teams, strategy execution, operational excellence, digital innovation and delivering complex programs of work.
Sarah Dickson - Head of Communications & PR
Sarah is our Head of Communications & PR, driving internal and external engagement for our iconic LJ Hooker brand.
Sarah holds more than 10 years of professional media and communications experience, most of which at the helm of PR strategy for Australia's largest public and private property groups.
As a result she holds strong, trusted relationships with property and business editors and journalists across national, state and local media. These relationships, combined with her intricate understanding of property trends and market dynamics, position LJ Hooker as the media’s preferred go-to for industry thought leadership and property profiling.
Sarah is also responsible for our internal communications to engage and inform our network of 8,000 real estate specialists.
Mathew Tiller - Head of Commercial | Head of Research
Mathew began his real estate career as a sales and leasing agent in Dubai. After his time in the UAE he moved back to Sydney where he joined the research team at a major commercial real estate firm.
In 2014, Mathew joined LJ Hooker to establish and build the LJ Hooker Research brand. In his role as Head of Research Mathew produces regular residential, office, industrial and retail property market reports. He also undertakes specific research consultancy assignments and present at client engagement events and company functions.
Mathew was then appointed to the role of Head of Commercial in 2017. In this role Mathew looks after the direction and strategy of LJ Hooker Commercial. The LJ Hooker Commercial network consists of 30 dedicated commercial real estate offices with more than 300 agents and property managers.
Ben Mitchell - Head of Network Development
Ben Mitchell Joined LJ Hooker Corporate in 2014, starting at the age of 19 and with a career spanning over 21 years Ben has an enviable track record as an Elite Sales person, Multi office Business owner, Corporate Auctioneer and Franchise development.
As an Auctioneer, Ben has conducted in excess of 6,500 auctions with a total value just shy of $4Billon his highest Sale being $30 million for a cotton farm and he calls approx. 800 auctions per year.
As a business owner, Ben grew his own office network to 6 offices and a turnover of in excess of
$10million per year GCI, employing 43 staff whilst holding the master franchise for The Ray White group in the Illawarra comprising of 18 offices with an annual turnover of over $1billion in property value.
In 2003 Ben won the Chairman’s cup award for the Ray White Group, the Highest award in the NSW Network. As a Salesperson he was directly responsible for over 750 property sales before the age of 26 and won the prestigious Real Estate Institute Sales agent of the year award (Illawarra Division)
Ben has held the position of State Manager for the LJ Hooker NSW & ACT being directly responsible for the growth and performance of the network. He now heads up Network Development for LJ Hooker across Australia.
Josephine Kinsella - Managing Director, New Zealand
“Your people are your magic. Learn to understand them in any business, and you will discover success.”
Authentic Leadership is an area of focus in everyday life of Josephine Kinsella.
Josephine is responsible for the Growth, Operations and Performance of the New Zealand operations across the two brands LJ Hooker and Harveys. With 74 locations covering Residential, Commercial, Lifestyle, Rural and Property Management. A culture focused leader with experience in Financial, Operations Management, Marketing and Governance. A Strong governance professional Josephine drives teams to deliver with quality. Her career has seen her develop from frontline sales, corporate management career in some of New Zealand’s familiar brands before entering the property industry to later business ownership and corporate leadership.
An experienced Licensed Real Estate Agent, Josephine entered the real estate industry in her twenties becoming one of the younger Principals/Licensees.
In 2011 She managed award-winning offices under the Harcourts brand before becoming their Northern Regional Manager in their corporate team. August 2013 Mike Pero Real Estate appointed General Manager/Chief Operations holding this position for over four years and where she took an active role as an Industry leader working on various sector group panels including NZQA, AML amongst the many. And in early 2017 completed her Master of Business Administration (M.B.A.).
Josephine briefly left the industry completing a role in the tertiary education industry as General Manager International as part of the senior leadership team for UNITEC to support the organisation through new technology development and transformation.
Returning to the industry, she is so passionate about, with a fresh focus to lead the New Zealand brands in a new direction in the marketplace.
With her record of taking on, and succeeding in, challenging roles and a strong ability to move at a pace that keeps up with change. A culture focused leader Josephine focuses on results having helped businesses build resilience, adaptability and sustainability in the competitive landscape.