Initiative’s Shane Goninon Announces Departure To Focus On Family Winery

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Initiative Melbourne’s investment partnership director, Shane Goninon, has announced he is stepping away from his 36-year career in media strategy and investment to concentrate on developing his family winery business.

Richard McGowan
Posted by Richard McGowan

Goninon, who started his career in Melbourne in 1981 at MP&M (which later became Mitchell & Partners), will leave full-time duties with Initiative at the end of August.

Across his career, Goninon has worked on major clients such as Ansett, Coles, Dunlop and Pacific Brands. For the past 16 years, he has led the media portfolio for major Initiative client Bunnings, and has also been a senior member of Initiative Melbourne’s leadership team.

As Goninon prepares to depart Initiative, Heath Wooster has been named general manager for Initiative’s Bunnings business. He will work closely with Ivo Kavelj, who is general manager of partnerships for Bunnings at IPG Mediabrands’ investment and intelligence division, Magna Global.

IPG Mediabrands Melbourne chairman Mark Pejic said: “36 is a big number in any career, and we congratulate Shane on this achievement.

“Add to this his leadership of the Bunnings business for the past 16 years and we have a picture of a media executive who has transcended a total revolution in media’s role and effectiveness in the work we do for clients.”

Initiative Australia CEO Melissa Fein said Goninon’s career was a shining example of professionalism in the industry.

“I have clearly seen the respect that is shown to Shane by his clients and agency team members,” she said.

“After 36 years, to say you’re moving to focus on the family winery sounds like a dream, and we wish Shane and his family every success.”

About three years ago Goninon bought Mountainside Wines in The Grampians in Victoria, and has been working on the business since with his wife Jane and daughter Kate.

Commenting on his departure, Goninon said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed the successes and challenges of my media career, and in particular, my long spell with Initiative.

“Running the winery is a very different type of work, and I am looking forward to seeing what we can do with the business.”