SPUD Garbarcz is a happy man.
His son Ryza is the same way. But these two men share much more than a paternal relationship and funny nicknames.
They are both driven to ensure the survival of their 40-year-old Noosa family business, Noosa Engineering and Crane Hire.
Thirty-three-year-old civil engineer Ryan, better known as
Ryza, Garbarcz, is a former Noosa High student, who graduated from Brisbane QUT 10 years ago. At the beginning of this year he left his successful construction career to take on the job of revitalising a very sick business.
"It was a big decision," Ryza said,
"I enjoyed working on the big construction jobs, but I also wanted to get into business management."
Ryza had just completed a multi-million-dollar project in Newcastle and was ready to take up a major job in South East Asia, when a visit home changed his mind and career direction.
His father, Spud Garbarcz - so named by his brothers after picking potatoes on a Hunter Valley farm when he was five years old - set up Noosa Engineering and Crane Hire in the 1970s.
Obviously the company's longevity is testament to his business skills.
"I've been fortunate," Spud said
"We've had 30 years of boom times."
But the good times stopped with the GFC. Now, with his son taking over, he feels fortunate again.
"I left school at 15," he said.
"But I told Ryan to study and get 10 years experience out in the world, before he came back," he said.
His advice included always showing respect for the experience of his elders.
After instigating financial investigations, creating strategic plans and doing the hard yards of staff reduction, Ryza followed his father's advice and sought the company of experienced people.
He joined the Noosa Chamber of Commerce and said it had been of great help.
In particular he credits retired accountant Val Smart with sharing valuable advice.
Now he has taken a step further and joined the Chamber's Mentor Program.
Last week, Ryza met up with semi-retired international electrical engineer Mark Waite.
"I'm a civil engineer and he's electrical so it felt like a meeting of like-minded people," he said.
Mark has run software businesses throughout Europe and after reading about the program he joined up. For Ryza after an intense year, there may be reason enough for a small celebration.
"I drew my first paycheck in September," he said.
About Noosa Chamber of Commerce
What: Annual General Meeting
Where: Boathouse Restaurant Gympie Rd
When: Tuesday, November 13 at 6.30pm. (Come earlier for drinks.)
Members and guests welcome. If you wish to stand for office contact the chamber on email@example.com or call 5471 1062 for a nomination form. Nominations close October 30.
For more information about Noosa Chamber of Commerce mentoring program, contact vice president Anna Day on 0419 630 206.