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Heath Nankervis has become the new managing director at Southern Impact, with long-time incumbent Rod Dawson deciding the time is right to exit the business after 29 years, the last 23 as managing director.

New managing director at Southern Impact: Heath Nankervis
New managing director at Southern Impact: Heath Nankervis

Nankervis now takes charge one of the country’s biggest independent print businesses, which has some 130 staff. “It is an exciting time to be leading the company. Rod has done a tremendous job, I am looking forward to the next stage for Southern.” Nankervis said.

As managing director of Impact Digital since 2013, Nankervis became a non-exec director of Southern Colour a decade ago, and non-exec director of OnPack six years ago, and when Southern Colour, Impact Digital and Intelligent Media merged into Southern Impact in 2020, he was digital director, then became sales director two years ago.

Investment: Rod Dawson, managing director, Southern Impact
Exiting: Rod Dawson, former managing director, Southern Impact

Rod Dawson will leave the company and the industry at Christmas, saying goodbye to a business that has grown consistently over a period when many others have floundered. Just a year ago Southern installed the first HP Indigo 15K in the country, and in March this year put in a new 10-colour Heidelberg XL-106 five-over-five long perfector, to join its six-colour B1 press, as the company ramped up its investment in new technology.

Following the change at the top, former Ovato exec Andrew Gasper is now heading sales at the group, he has become general manager sales and customer satisfaction.

Southern’s majority shareholding is with Garry, Greg and Ray Nankervis. Digital label and packaging business OnPack is part of the group, and is headed up by Michael Nankervis.

Southern Impact has sheetfed offset printing and bindery production, high end colour management, offers direct mail house services, kitting and fulfilment, digital print – both small and large format – as well as POS, label printing, web2print services and software development, warehousing and inventory management, and campaign management.

Dawson’s time has been characterised by a razor-sharp customer focus, investment in new technology to keep ahead of the curve, and optimising opportunities – including acquiring Peak Digital to enter the wide format market, acquiring digital innovator Intelligent Media, buying many of the assets of failed Rooster IMC, and consolidating all four Southern businesses into a 7000sqm site in Mount Waverly four years ago.

Dawson said, “Making the decision to leave Southern Impact has been extremely difficult, however the business has brilliant staff and a loyal customer base, so it is extremely well positioned to flourish under Heath’s leadership.”

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