By Brendan Rees
At Narre Warren man who became chief executive of a web hosting company at 21 has won a young achiever award.
Angelo Giuffrida, 28, runs three successful businesses in web hosting and online services, including VentraIP Australia, Zuver and Synergy Wholesale.
Mr Giuffrida took out the prestigious Budget Car and Truck Rentals Online Achievement Award at the 2020 7NEWS Young Achiever Awards during a virtual gala night on Friday 18 September.
He received $1000 cash and a $1000 Bartercard account from Wheelton Philanthropy and Budget Rent A Car, along with a magnificent a trophy.
Mr Giuffrida said he was humbled by the award, which he admits came as a surprise.
“It was an honour in itself to even be nominated and there were others nominated in my category that I personally voted for as their story and achievements are admirable,” he said.
Angelo helped build VentraIP in 2008 and became its CEO in 2013. The company has grown from four to 60 staff in ten years and in 2019, they won Employer of Choice in the Australian Business Awards.
He has been elected as a director on the .au Domain Administrator Ltd. board, giving him hands-on involvement with the policies and guidelines that govern the domain name industry while using his over 10 years of experience in the online services industry.
Mr Giuffrida said every day presented a new challenge but conceded: “I can say that I have never felt like I’ve worked a day in my life because I absolutely love what we do and love the people that I work with.”
From humble beginnings working a New Zealand Natural ice-cream store at Highpoint Shopping Centre at 14, Mr Giuffrida recalled himself being a “go-getter”, which helped build his confidence in the online solutions space.
With plans to initially pursue a career in commercial radio in which he completed his tertiary studies in arts, Mr Giuffrida said the “online solutions space and exposure to running a business is ultimately what won my heart”.
He said demand for his online services had increased during the Covid-19 but his heart goes out to those doing it tough. “I have lots of friends that I see that are struggling in the hospitality industry and it really pains me that businesses that families have built up over many generations are doing it tough.”
But through his role he said it “does fill me with hope as I feel a big part of the recovery out of this will be around how businesses have been able to adapt and pivot around”.
“It’s great to be an Australian based provider there to help the shift into the online space and we are helping people get themselves online in any way we can, such as our recent 10,000 .au domain name giveaway.”