automation and positioning tech

Our Team


Our Team

Our unique, multi-skilled teams have expertise across the disciplines of surveying, hydraulics, electronics, GIS and IT to give you the best advice and support for your project. As the exclusive national distributor for one of the world’s largest manufacturers of positioning and machine control systems, our sales and support teams are tapped into the very latest, state-of-the art developments. Aptella’ senior management has more than 200 years of combined industry expertise, with contributions to various associations and Australian Spatial Industry initiatives.

Our Board


Ian Petherbridge

Having started his career as a surveyor, and then co-founder of a national IT company, Ian has an excellent technical background and understanding of business.

Ian has more than 30 years of senior executive experience and is skilled in growing businesses from small beginnings into highly successful national and international operations. An experienced Chairman with a comprehensive understanding of business management and sound governance practices, Ian works as Chairman for the Aptella group.

Chief Executive Officer

Martin Nix

Martin Nix is the CEO and Managing Director of Aptella. He practiced as a surveyor until 1984 and then joined Leica Geosystems where he held a number of management roles in Australia, Switzerland and USA until 2009 where he held a number of management roles in Australia, Switzerland and USA until 2009.

The roles included President Americas Sales and Service, Business Area Manager Mining and Agriculture Systems and Corporate Officer while Leica Geosystems was listed on the Swiss Stock Exchange.Martin has a Masters of Surveying (GIS) (’90) from UNSW and is a Member of the Institute of Company Directors.

He has participated in Working Groups that formed Australia’s space policy and National Positioning Infrastructure, including as Co-chair of the Department of Home Affairs’ Space Community of Interest,  supporting risk management of space-based critical infrastructure.

Isako Yamamoto | Non-Executive Director Aptella

Non Executive Director

Isako Yamamoto

In her 30-year tenure with the company, Isako Yamamoto’s career has included roles in Russia, Tokyo and, most recently Singapore where she currently works as the Divisional Operating Officer for the Mobility Division in Asia Pacific Region.

A fluent Russian speaker, Yamamoto san has held senior positions across Mitsui & Co.’s legal, human resources and general affairs, corporate planning, automotive, and mobility divisions. In 2019 she was appointed Vice President and Director of Mitsui & Co. Global Strategic Studies Institute in Tokyo and in October 2020 became the Deputy General Manager of the Automotive Solution Business division.

Isako Yamamoto joined the Aptella board as a Non-Executive Director in August, 2022.

Non Executive Director

Hirohide Yoshida

Having joined Mitsui & Co., Ltd in 2005, Hirohide Yoshida initially led the Construction Machinery Distribution business for the company in Australia, United States and CIS countries.

After three years working in Australia on a logistics improvement project for Construction Machinery Distributors, Yoshida san accepted a role in Russia as the Vice President of Mitsui’s joint venture with Komatsu in Russia.

He continued to work in Moscow until 2017, responsible for the development of existing and new business across the construction machinery, automobile, heavy truck, railway and aviation sectors. Returning to Tokyo in 2017, Yoshida san has held senior positions across the company’s Integrated Transportation Systems and Corporate Planning & Strategy divisions, before his current appointment in July 2022 as General Manager of the Construction and Transportation Vehicle Business Division.

Yoshida san re-joined the Aptella board as a Non-Executive Director in August 2022, having previously served on the board in 2019 when Mitsui & Co., Ltd first invested in the business.

Non Executive Director

James Ient

James graduated with a Masters in Civil Engineering from Exeter University in 1999 and after a brief stint as a Structural Engineer, requalified as a Chartered Accountant with PricewaterhouseCoopers.

In 2004, James moved to Asia as CFO for Global Fund Manager and from 2007 has been CFO for the Interdealer Broker CFT. James is a director of a range of businesses across Singapore and all major Asian countries and specialises in financial control, implementation of business strategy and efficient corporate structures.

Executive Steering Team

Chief Operating Officer

Greg Macklin

Greg has built his career in both the construction materials and equipment rental industries and holds a degree in Business and Marketing.

He has held a number of senior sales management positions in Victoria and South Australia, specialising in strategy and business development. He brings to Aptella a passion for continuous improvement, team culture, customer growth and outstanding customer service.

Strategic Head of People and Culture

Bernadette Taoro Ashin

Bernadette is an experienced Human Resources professional with extensive experience across both private and public sectors.

In her previous role, Bernadette was an Executive team member and the Leader of Human Resources for St Vincent’s Private Hospital and Mater Hospital Sydney. Prior to this, Bernadette was the National Human Resource Manager for Asciano, an ASX-listed Australian freight logistics company. In her role as Strategic Head of People and Culture, Bernadette is responsible for a wide range of programs including talent management, learning and development and recruitment to position the company as an Employer of Choice in the industries we serve.

Strategic Business Development & Queensland Manager

Harry Katsanevas

Harry has been directly involved in the Laser and Machine Control business for 20 years commencing in the service area.

He has received extensive training in Denmark, Sweden USA and Australia. Harry is recognized world-wide as a professional in terms of the best utilization of Machine Automation Equipment in Construction.Harry commenced his employment within this industry in the workshop managing maintenance and repairs. Based in Queensland, he is the Executive Manager for Business Development including emerging technology for construction site solutions and Tokara telematics remote asset control technology.

Executive Marketing Manager

Gina Velde

Gina began her career as a journalist in the UK, working for an online newswire at a London-based publishing company.

In 2007 she moved to Australia, where she worked at Leica Geosystems’ Brisbane office and specialised in marketing communications for the Precision Agriculture business unit. Gina joined Aptella in 2010 as Marketing Communications Manager, successfully building and managing both company and supplier brands throughout Australia, South East Asia and New Zealand. With a passion for communication, Gina leads the strategic marketing direction across all business areas and product lines to ensure that Aptella is front of mind when customers are looking for intelligent positioning solutions.


Our founders with senior management roles include: Garry MacPhail (Western Australia), Craig Fleming (South Australia), Mike Forrest (South East Asia, recipient of the Topcon Spirit of Excellence Award), Harry Katsanevas (Queensland), and Bernard Cecchele (Western Australia).

Our retired founders include: Anne Forrest (Queensland), Garry Fleming (New South Wales), Janine Arnold and Robert Bent (Victoria) and David Gow (South Australia).



Brian McLoughlin

Brian was a founder of Aptella, who sadly passed away on 17th January 2016 after a battle with cancer.Brian commenced his sales career in 1975 with Banbury Engineering, then distributors for Kato excavators, and sold his first laser in 1976.

He moved to Laser Alignment in 1980 and was one of the early pioneers of the use of dual grade lasers and machine control.

Together with business partner Garry Fleming, he started Laserquip in Sydney in 1987, where they introduced the concept of 2D control for graders in 1990. Brian managed the NSW and ACT operation of Aptella. Click here to read more.