Membership of The EA Circle is by invitation only, and is limited to Executive and Personal Assistants to business leaders of large sized enterprises covering:

  • Corporate businesses which includes subsidiaries of multinational or large business units of Top 500 companies (public and private)
  • Large family owned and operated businesses
  • Professional firms
  • Government agencies and major non-government organisations.
John Karagounis
John KaragounisManaging Director, CEO
John Karagounis is a passionate thought leader, celebrated author and keynote speaker. As the CEO and managing director of The CEO Circle, he engages with some of the world’s brightest minds in hundreds of exclusive, confidential forums around the country. He truly knows what is top-of-mind in the business world and what it takes to be a successful leader in today’s global marketplace.

John started his career in the financial services industry, winning numerous state and national awards. He found his niche in private wealth management and held senior executive roles in two of Australia’s leading financial institutions and a global wealth management business. During his twenty-year career in financial services, he held several board positions and was a true advocate for the industry.

His ability to connect with people and his commitment to helping make a difference led John to The CEO Circle, Australia’s leading exclusive peer group for business leaders. He purchased The CEO Circle in February 2008 and has never looked back. As a high achieving visionary, continuously striving for personal and professional excellence, he has already left his mark on this esteemed organisation.

In addition to his career achievements, John has been on the judging panel of The CEO Magazine’s prestigious Executive of the Year awards since they commenced in 2012. A dedicated supporter of numerous charities and causes throughout Australia and overseas, he proudly continues to support those most in need.

Dimitra Zographos
Dimitra ZographosExecutive Manager, The EA Circle
Dimitra Zographos is an award winning Executive Assistant with exceptional insights, skills and experience having worked for Australian and multinational corporations.

She has been an Executive Assistant for over 20 years and truly understands what it takes to be an exceptional EA.

Dimitra is passionate and a true advocate for the EA profession, appreciating the difference, value and influence it can bring to an executive, executive team and an entire organisation.

In recognition of her passion and commitment she has received numerous national EA awards and is often asked to speak and facilitate EA conferences and events across Australia.

Dimitra uses her extensive experience to challenge, assist, guide and inspire EAs to take their career to the next level and to reach their full potential.

Having benefited from her participation as a member of The EA Circle for the last seven years, as well as her active involvement with extensive EA networks within Australia and overseas, Dimitra recognises how important it is for EAs to develop and grow and focus on their professional development to ensure their continued success.

Given Dimitra’s passion and commitment to make a difference, inspiring EA’s to progress, she has joined The EA Circle as Executive Manager to grow, expand and specifically focus on providing a truly exclusive forum for Executive Assistants to exceed their perceived potential. The bonds formed as members of The EA Circle last for years opening unimaginable doors to incredible rewarding opportunities.

EA Circle Group Chairs

All groups are facilitated by Chairs hand-picked for their impressive abilities to lead, inspire and mentor. Each chair is a senior business figure with an intimate knowledge and understanding of the issues confronting EAs and is sympathetic to the daily conflicts and challenges of the most demanding of roles.

Alan Crookes
Alan CrookesEA Circle Group Chair
Alan has 40 years’ experience in the banking & financial services industry. Regarded as a visionary, innovative and authentic business leader, Alan has a strong focus on people and empowering leadership. Alan recently retired as CEO of BMW Group Financial Services Australia where he played a significant role in the Management Committee at global headquarters in Munich, contributing to the overall success of BMW Group Financial Services worldwide. Alan currently provides consulting services to the financial industry and continues to passionately mentor developing leaders in Australia and Internationally.
Bruce McDonald
Bruce McDonaldEA Circle Group Chair
Bruce McDonald has extensive experience as a business executive, primarily in the automotive industry in Australia and overseas, as well as senior leadership responsibility in the training and education, and building sectors. Over the past five years, he has applied his experience as a successful entrepreneur, presenter, mentor and valued Non-Executive Director.
Ros Cardinal
Ros CardinalEA Circle Group Chair
Rosalind Cardinal is the Managing Director of Shaping Change, a consultancy specialising in improving business outcomes by developing individuals, teams and organisations.
Ros is a solutions and results oriented facilitator and leadership coach, with a career in the Human Resources and Organisational Development field spanning more than 20 years.
Ros has numerous certifications in Human, Leadership behavior, and Political Intelligence including Change Management.
In 2016 Ros released her bestselling and award nominated book “The Resilient Employee: The essential guide to coping with change and thriving in today’s workplace”.
Barbara Hingston
Barbara HingstonEA Circle Group Chair
Barbara is a highly experienced professional non – executive Director, manager and social work professional. Her Directorships reflect her commitment to improving health and social outcomes in Australia particularly for vulnerable communities and individuals.
As Member and Chair of Boards and committees, Barbara has shaped strategy, delivery and practice in youth mental health, disability, family and sexual violence prevention and response services.
Barbara consults to government and community in strategy and change management, corporate governance, stakeholder consultation, workforce capability building and service evaluation.
Anna-Lucia Mackay
Anna-Lucia MackayEA Circle Group Chair
Anna-Lucia Mackay is the Managing Director of HCM Global, a multi award winning Training, Coaching & Human Capital Management Company. Anna-Lucia is also an active board member of various organisations, is a writer in the field of education – and speaks nationally and internationally on best practice Management and Leadership practices, Adult Learning and Emotional Intelligence. Anna-Lucia holds post graduate qualifications in Business Management and Adult Education and accreditations in the fields of Neuroscience and Emotional Intelligence.
Sandra Sully
Sandra SullyEA Circle Group Chair
Sandra Sully is an Australian journalist and broadcaster. Since 2011 Sandra has been the news presenter and editor for Sydney’s Ten Eyewitness News and is often called on to host major network news events.
Sandra’s engaging warmth, style and versatility have enabled her to cover numerous global events such as Commonwealth and Olympic Games, and the iconic Melbourne Cup/Spring Carnival.
Sandra tries to understand the world around her; what makes people tick and how News impacts us all in different ways. She pursues interests that are authentic and yet still challenge her, and is fascinated by people, and hearing and sharing great stories.
Michael Bargholz
Michael BargholzEA Circle Group Chair
After nearly fifteen years in technical investment Michael followed his passion to work with people rather than portfolios and switched to business leadership in 1997. In the last twenty years Michael has held four leadership roles, each with unique challenges: MD of AXA New Zealand Investment Management; CEO of AllianceBernstein Investment Management Australia; MD of Fidelity Investments in Australia and most recently CEO of BT Investment Management Australia.