54. Simon Owen on Engaging With Your Community, Encouraging Staff Feedback and Maintaining A Legacy

When a company takes on a new project, there are so many factors to consider. Ingenia Communities have taken on the hospitality world with a level of ingenuity and dignity that should be presented as a model for other similar businesses to follow.

Each Monday, join Adrian Easdown as he has enlightening chats with successful folks in the hospitality industry around Australia. If you’re involved in any way with caravanning, running a restaurant or working with any other sort of hospitality-based business, this podcast is perfect for you.

This week’s guest is Simon Owen, who is a certified public accountant by trade, but unexpectedly became an integral component at Ingenia Communities when he joined back in 2009 as CEO. Ingenia focuses on making downsizing an easy and affordable choice for those in their later years. They have an impressive, ever developing portfolio of properties for retirees and more recently, holiday accommodation across coastal and inland New South Wales and Queensland.

Simon’s unplanned path has also led him to a member’s seat on the Board of Directors of Big 4 Holiday Parks – Australia’s leading Holiday Park Group. His forward thinking approach to developing Ingenia’s brand has seen the corporation grow from $30 million to over $750 million in just 9 short years.

In this episode Simon and I discuss how he managed to veer from a successful accounting background to a place within the hospitality industry. We also explore the importance of engaging with the community as a whole – including staff, and following our dreams whilst remaining true to ourselves.  

Also featured in this episode:

  • Ingenia and its background
  • The importance of looking after the aging generation
  • Ingenia and how they have approached the holiday industry
  • Respecting the boundaries of residents
  • How to navigate the expectations and differences between demographics
  • Why we should strive to create lifetime memories
  • The Big 4 Holiday Parks
  • Simon’s views on the industry’s biggest changes
  • Simon’s empathetic approach to respecting an owner’s legacy and avoiding the hard sell
  • Building advocates for your brand
  • How Simon went from accountant to holiday industry CEO
  • Motivating and engaging staff
  • Getting the real feedback you need
  • Being true to yourself and dreaming big



Ingenia – Website
Simon Owen – LinkedIn
Simon Owen – Twitter