CREATING
INDUSTRY'S
FUTURE LEADERS

My name is Nicolas Femia and I am the Co-Director of SA Mushrooms.

SA Mushrooms is a primary grower and supplier of a variety of mushrooms including White Button, Flat White, Swiss Brown, Portobello and exotics. SA Mushrooms supplies local greengrocers, produce markets, Foodland’s and IGA’s as well as other gourmet retail outlets Australia wide. We operate in a climate-controlled facility in the Northern Adelaide Plains in South Australia, employing over 100 staff and producing over 55 tonnes of fresh mushrooms. SA Mushrooms is fully integrated from producing our own compost at Lower Light, growing the mushrooms at Waterloo Corner, to selling from our own market stand in the South Australian Produce Markets further encapsulating our philosophy of ‘paddock to plate’.

The farm was founded in 1998 by myself, my brother Nat Femia and my father Sam Femia. It is safe to say the opportunity to study again did not cross my mind; especially in such a highly renowned school such as Harvard. But with the constant support from the ILF, I became a student once again after 33 years.

The Harvard Business School OPM Program in Boston was a mind-opening experience. Having only completed session 1 of 3, my hunger for learning had ignited indefinitely. I have acquired the value and knowledge of improving business culture, Human Resource management, company branding, innovation and strategy.

The OPM training program has taught me to see the bigger picture on a global scale while also learning not to forget the basics of operating a business. One HBS fellow alumni explained something to me that I will never forget.

“It is ok to have your head in the clouds but be sure to keep your feet on the ground”.

Upon returning from my first session at Harvard Business School, I experienced a massive appreciation and acknowledgement from my staff, customers and suppliers. My fellow colleagues have expressed enthusiasm and pride when dealing with a company that has a vision and the courage to participate in exclusive training such as what is offered at Harvard Business School.

In addition, being part of the Harvard Business School Alumni has brought about many valued lifelong friendships and the opportunity to interact with other business leaders from around the world on both a professional and social level.

After Harvard, my belief system goes something like this: we never stop learning throughout life. Learning is an integral part of our human experience, and to get the most out of this experience, we need to keep seeking knowledge and bettering ourselves in the process. The Harvard Business School experience is truly life changing and I would recommend it to all business owners.