After 22 years working for adidas, Coolabah Turf’s Sales Manager Drew Elliott has always been up for a challenge. Despite cutting his teeth in the high intensity, cutthroat world of global sporting brands, administration and marketing Drew is surprisingly relaxed and easy going and embracing the tree change to our riverside community from suburban Melbourne.
Drew moved to the home town of Coolabah's HQ, Echuca at the beginning of 2021 with his wife (formerly from Rochester) and two daughters to work and school from home and has been keen to immerse himself and his family into the community post the Covid lockdowns. Starting his role with Coolabah in August, 2021 Drew has relished the opportunity of a new role, in a completely new landscape and is loving the tree change they had longed for after a year of lockdowns in the city.
Despite embarking on a steep learning curve in the land of instant turf, Drew’s passion for delivering stellar customer service and focusing on the growth and development of people has put him in good stead since arriving at the Coolabah farm gate.
“We had always talked about moving to northern Victoria and after working from home all of last year after Covid hit again we sold up and resettled here in Echuca with the kids so they could start the school year... and I was lucky an opportunity in sales came up here at Coolabah,” Drew says.
Drew and his family are embracing the wide open and green spaces of Echuca Moama - both at work and at home - with the girls loving their schooling at Moama Grammar and immersing themselves in local sport including netball and basketball, and of course Drew now spending his daily grind on the turf farm.
Drew says he was drawn to the ethos of the incredible Coolabah culture and the similar values he shared from both a personal and professional perspective to utilise an ability to change lives on a daily basis, particularly through sport and the supply of instant lawn landscapes in backyards and public parks and gardens to promote active lifestyles and build healthy communities.
“Green space and sustainable lawn landscape solutions are, just like my work with Adidas, all about inspiring and enabling people to live and maintain active and healthy lifestyles - the products are different but the premise is the same,” Drew says.
''The good we get to do everyday through our work at Coolabah and the global benchmarks this family owned and operated business set and expect is extraordinary and is certainly a rewarding and fulfilling way to spend my working hours of my day.'' Drew said.
“I’ve always loved sport and we have always encouraged the kids to be involved. Living in Melbourne and travelling 1.5 hours each way to work each day, I felt I was missing out on important family time,” he says.
The decision to shift to a regional location and take on the challenge as Sales Manager was an easy one for Drew who says his ‘yes’ had a lot to do with lifestyle and being with the kids before they grow up (too soon).
“We wanted a better lifestyle for them and better work/life balance for us… as well as being close to my wife’s family and aging parents,” he says.
Coolabah Turf Sales Team: L to R Drew Elliott, Sharon Parker, Jeanne Horman, Belle Patterson, Jane Boal, Stuart Addicott.
Drew’s main priorities in his role at Coolabah will be leading the team through the many day to day scenarios that are constantly changing in any retail space.
“I will be the ‘change manager’ and I am keen to ensure that our team learns that change can be okay and embraced for growth and improvement,” Drew says.
His focus will also be on growing and developing the team, which is made up of both experience and those new to the Coolabah family.
“It’s mostly a very new team with a mix of experience and maturity, and my focus will be on working with each individual to keep them motivated and engaged,” he says.
Drew acknowledges that there is no shortage of turf knowledge and a wealth of experience already present in the team and his focus will be more on managing people on a day to day basis and to help them thrive in their roles in their workplace.
“Relationships and people are important to me and the Coolabah Turf business approach is less ‘cut throat’ and more ‘people driven’ than what I have been used to, which is a good thing,” he says.
Drew admits his challenge will be adapting to this change and looking for areas of improvement and growth while maintaining the high level of customer service and quality that Coolabah is known for.
“My challenge will be to hold onto what makes Coolabah successful and unique while making small tweaks around the edges to improve efficiency and processes for our valued clients,” Drew says.
Drew has set his goals firm on retaining and fostering growth with the sales team through support and training and says that seeing growth in people is one of the greatest rewards of working with a motivated and inspiring team on a daily basis.
“My goal is to grow the team and the business for greater efficiency and customer service and to maintain the Coolabah Way... and I am well and truly up for the challenge.”
Coolabah's Sales Manager Drew Elliott
0429 277 331