Published on June 4th, 2018 | by Brandon H


Larry Simonetta of SimFresh

Larry Simonetta has recently been making a splash as the Operations Manager of the Australian citrus packaging giant, SimFresh. Simonetta is the latest member of his family to lead this family-owned business and has been working to extend the reach of the hand-packaging expert brand into the global market. Larry has accepted the responsibility for leading the brand as he feels the responsibility for making sure his family members have their interest in the business protected.

SimFresh was established in 1991 by three brothers who had originally arrived in Australia from their native Italy in the 1950s. Like many entrepreneurial ideas, the original plan for a single machine citrus packaging company was a side project which quickly became a success. In the 21st-century, SimFresh has become a respected hand-packaging supplier with the Simon Etta Group now one of the largest Australian citrus packaging giants. Larry Simonetta has become one of the top experts in the citrus packaging industry and also completes a range of unique projects for the company which is occasionally accepted.

What are your favorite books?

I love to read and do so to extend my skills in business and to relax. Regarding becoming a more rounded businessperson, I have recently been looking at how to improve my leadership skills. A book I would heartily recommend to any entrepreneur is Sir Alex Ferguson’s “Leading: Learning from Life and My Years at Manchester United.” I am a major sports fan and seeing how a legendary coach led his team to success is very inspiring and educational.

To relax I have recently become a fan of historical fiction which I think was inspired by my time spent traveling in the U.K. As an Australian, I felt a close affinity to England and enjoyed learning about the royals from Hilary Mantel’s “Wolf Hall.”

What’s your favorite type of food?

My family moved from Italy in 1956 and settled in Australia, so we have always cooked authentic Italian food which I love. Recently, I took a trip to India and found myself trying a whole host of new foods which I adore. There is more to Indian food than simply curried dishes, and I have enjoyed exploring this form of cuisine.

Describe your typical day.

I’m not sure there is such a thing as a typical day for myself and the members of the operations department. My day starts each day early in the morning when I refuse to check my phone for messages until I have had my first glass of water and cup of coffee. After checking my phone for important messages, I set out to run for a few miles to get my heart pumping and think about the day ahead. Each day is different when I get to the office, and I will address the most important issues early in the day. By lunchtime, I am returning calls and messages to clients and contractors. I rarely eat lunch, but I do like to eat with members of my family after work to see how our business is progressing. I am usually in bed by around ten after watching a show on TV or reading a book for a couple of hours.

What is one thing you’ve learned since starting your career?

When I first arrived in the Operations department, I did try to reinvent the wheel with a range of ideas and new projects. After a short time, I realized I was working with a family company which had already achieved success on a significant scale. I guess I’m trying to say I have learned to trust those who came before I have had some good ideas. Experience in an industry counts but I can make some changes and tweaks to existing operations to make them better.

What motivates you every day?

I’ve been working with members of my family throughout my career, and this is a real motivation to do my best each day. Don’t get me wrong, we can butt heads, but we need to help each other in the end. In my opinion, being a part of a family business brings motivation as my entire family is relying on me to do my best every day.

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