Phil was born on St Patrick’s day, 17th March 1962, in Port Pirie, South Australia.
He married Catie in 1984 and they have two daughters, now both married, and two grandchildren.
As Phil and Catie’s media business grew they decided to move from South Australia to Wollongong, NSW in 1993. They’re extremely pleased that all of their family members still live within the same postcode, Wollongong 2500.
Phil won an academic scholarship to attend Westminster School in Adelaide, SA.
From 1975 to 1976 he attended Bloomington North High School in Bloomington, Indiana, when his whole family moved to the USA whilst his father completed a PhD at Indiana University. This experience and the travel that surrounded it, gave a huge broadening to Phil’s education.
He studied Economics at the University of Adelaide.
He also completed a cabinet making certificate and trained in public speaking for six years through Toastmasters.
Phil played every sport that was on offer throughout school and in some cases beyond including football, cricket, basketball, sailing, swimming, table tennis, cross country and track running. He was consistently mediocre, at best, in every single one.
Despite no family history or any other logical connection, Phil was infatuated with cycling from his youngest childhood and began racing at the age of 10. Over time he eventually won four individual State Championships, finished second in one Australian Championship, raced in the USA and Europe including a season for the French team, U.S. Creteil, based in Paris.
He last raced in his 40’s but remains a recreational and commuter cyclist and will probably have bicycle wheels fitted to his coffin.
In 1987 at age 25, Phil and Catie purchased their first business, ‘The Old Hotel’ general store at Wangary, SA, a tiny town on the coastal Highway One, 45 kilometres west of Port Lincoln and 700 kilometres west of Adelaide.
Being the only store in town, this seven day per week business included petrol, post office, video hire, catering, groceries, newsagency, fishing bait and tackle, bottled gas agency, video hire and more.
After growing the business significantly and selling for almost double the purchase price, in 1989 they ploughed all of the proceeds and more into founding Lake Wangary Publishing Co, a national magazine publishing business, trading as Bicycling Australia.
As corny as it may sound, Phil literally started business with a shovel in his hands, digging the foundations for the shed that would become the first office. Over the next 25 years the business grew to become the largest specialist cycling media company in Australia, employing up to 15 staff, with multiple magazines and websites for trade and consumers.
It also ran the Bicycling Australia Show, Australia’s largest bicycle expo which alternated between Melbourne and Sydney, plus a mail order business, book publishing business and other activities. Through its lifetime the business outgrew four premises, finishing up occupying adjacent buildings in Port Kembla, NSW.
During this time Phil and Catie also created Where to Bike LLC, a USA based company with published cycling guidebooks for major cities across the USA. He also wrote and published ‘How to Ride’, renamed ‘Phil’s Bicycle Book’ in its second edition.
They progressively sold the business from 2014 starting with the magazine and web titles, which were sold to Yaffa Media, later followed by the mail order and book businesses.
In 2000 Phil and Catie bought their first investment property which began a second business stream that continues to this day, buying, renovating and renting out properties.
Phil contracted to ActionCOACH Wollongong from February 2019 until October 2020 before creating Latz Business Coaching.
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Community and Charity Journey
Phil and Catie have had a long involvement with a wide range of charity and community organisations which would take too long to fully detail, so the following are edited highlights.
In 2000 they founded the Bicycle Australia Challenge, an annual long distance charity ride which some years later they later handed over to the benefitting charity, One80TC. Now called the Ride For Hope, this event continues each year and has raised millions of dollars for drug and alcohol rehabilitation of young people.
From 2009 to 2016 they co-founded and coordinated the annual Ride Around the Lake around Lake Illawarra. This was a mass participation charity bike ride to raise money for additional youth housing through Lighthouse Youth Initiative.
In 2015 Phil founded World Bicycle Relief Australia and became its first director. This is the Australian branch of the global charity, World Bicycle Relief that has designed, built and delivered over half a million utility bicycles into developing nations.
Phil has also served on the board of directors for Bicycle Industries Australia, the peak industry body for Australia’s bicycle industry, the Fatherhood Foundation and the boards of several other not for profit organisations.
He has been a member of the Port Kembla Chamber of Commerce, a cycling advisor for seven years on the City of Wollongong’s Active Transport Reference Group, founded the annual Bicycling Trade Awards, has run for state parliament in the seat of Wollongong in three elections and spoken extensively at cycling related conferences and in the media, both within Australia and the USA.
In 1999 Phil and Catie, along with other industry leaders, were co-founders of the Cycling Promotion Fund (CPF), Australia’s peak cycling advocacy body. In 2017 they were founding benefactors of We Ride Australia when the CPF was restructured. Phil served for two years as its Development Director during which time he helped to grow the corporate membership by over 400%.
In his spare time Phil enjoys spending time with family, gardening, cycling, current affairs and reading books, mainly about business and biographies.
Linda was born and raised in Wollongong, NSW and has travelled Australia, settling in Sydney for a few years after her university education. A sea-change took her and her husband Adrian to live for six years on the Gold Coast before returning to Wollongong to raise their children closer to their extended family.
Fast forward to today, as a wife; mother of four children, two cats and a dog; and an employee and business owner, Linda understands the need for flexibility and efficiency when balancing work and family life and has adapted her working style to accommodate both.
After completing her Certificate of Accounts Clerical as part of her HSC, Linda graduated as Dux of her high school, then went on to complete a Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Wollongong with a double major in Accounting and Legal Studies. Linda finally qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 2000, however left the Institute in 2011 after 3 children meant she needed to take a break from her professional career.
Linda launched her career in Accounting with a graduate position in the Assurance Division at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Sydney. Linda was promoted quickly to Senior Accountant level and was responsible for a large audit portfolio, which included the Illawarra Area Health Service, Douglass Hanly Moir Pathology, Patrick Stevedores, Elgas as well as many local government councils, hospitals and charity organisations.
Her sea-change in 2003 lead her to starting her own online client relocation services business on the Gold Coast, selling this in 2006 to return home. Since moving back to Wollongong, she has since worked for small business and churches in the Illawarra and is now employed by Bicycle Lane as Office Manager taking care of all things administrative and financial. She also currently manages a bookkeeping and BAS portfolio made up of local small business clients, for a professional accounting firm in Narellan.