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When it comes to business, local business owner Mark Derrick prides himself on putting people first.

“I have absolutely always been this way. I was born as the man I am, putting people first and myself second,” says Mark. “I have always been a people person, I am very much not a money-oriented person.” Mark delivers his 'people first' approach within his two successful Sunshine Coast businesses — Superior Screens and Wide Span Sheds. In 2007, following a move from Townsville, Mark and his wife Judy purchased the Sunshine Coast and Sydney Superior Screens’ stores. Founded in 1981, Superior Screens has grown to become one of Australia’s largest and most reputable suppliers of Colorbond steel and Aluminium shade, fencing, gates and privacy screens for residential and commercial properties. In the beginning, the company started with only six distributors and now runs a network of more than 25 national and international distributors and franchisees. In 2008, not long after they took over Superior Screens, the global financial crisis struck. As most readers would remember, this caused a major impact on the local economy and many business owners like Mark. “Almost immediately, the bottom of the market fell out of the screen industry,” Mark says. With a family to support, he had to think outside the box and adapt to the changing market. Mark took the opportunity to sign as an agent for Wide Span Sheds — now Australia’s largest national suppliers of premium BlueScope Steel sheds, carports, patios, industrial buildings and kit homes.

He says the downturn in the economy hit many people hard. “There were a lot of people who wanted to reside on the Sunshine Coast but at that time, couldn’t afford the land and home package. Traditional housing became unaffordable and people were buying sheds to live in instead.” Although it was a difficult time, Mark hasn’t looked back and his personal approach to business is what sets him apart. A qualified builder by trade, he has also worked in the professional sports and soft and hard flooring industries. Because of his building experience and background, Mark has an appreciation for using quality Australian-made materials. He recognises the value and longevity of products such as aluminium, as opposed to timber, in the fickle southeast Queensland climate. Over the past ten years, Mark has been no stranger to witnessing changes in the industry, particularly during the last two years, where there has been a significant increase in imported low-quality products. “These products are already starting to show their unsuitability for our very harsh Sunshine Coast environment,” says Mark. “Low quality stainless steel and substandard paint systems age early. “The global financial crisis to a large degree sorted the wheat from the chaff, and the arrival of the next generation of clientele has forced the suppliers of Aluminium and Colorbond products to lift their game to meet new expectations.” Superior Screens offer high quality, Australian-made durable products that are made to withstand our harsh climate.


Matters Magazine Autumn Issue  

We include some great articles on Sunshine Coast Changemakers, and give you some ideas for embracing change and being the change within your...

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