New API staff appointments

This month the API welcomes Mike Zissler and Lariss Oana to their new positions, and bids farewell to Ken Nichols

Mike Zissler – Interim CEO



Mike Zissler is the API’s new interim CEO. He joined the National Office team earlier this month, replacing interim National Operations manager, Ken Nichols.

Mike has held key roles in government, health and the not-for-profit sector, most recently as CEO of Lifeline Canberra. Previous roles include Commander at Northern Territory Emergency Response Operations Centre and CEO at ACT Department of Territory & Municipal Services.

He is an active director on several boards and has an impressive track record in driving strategic projects and programs and leading cultural change. He also has a Bachelor of Health Administration from the University of New South Wales and an MBA from the University of Western Sydney.

Farewell to Ken Nichols

Mike Zissler replaces Ken Nichols, who was in the role for a relatively short period of time. However, API National President, Robert Hecek, said the Board quickly became aware of the leadership, commercial acumen, skills and private enterprise expertise Ken bought to the role in such a short period.

“Already we are seeing fundamental changes to the way API operates. For example, Ken identified substantive savings that can be made within our publications area and developed a clear framework for how our publications and their presentation can be improved for the benefit of the membership,” Robert said.

“Ken expressed to National Council his genuine desire to have remained with the API, however the offer he received in his new role was too good to refuse. This alone is testament to Ken’s expertise and skills and the high regard that he is held in the Canberra commercial market.

“National Council wishes Ken all the best for his new role and looks forward to commencing a new journey with Mike Zissler.”

Lariss Oana – National Professional Indemnity and Compliance manager



Lariss graduated from Monash University with a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws (Hons), and has qualifications in insolvency law and professional practice.

She spent almost 10 years in private practice and has acted for a professional indemnity insurer in numerous large and complex claims. She regularly engaged valuers to provide expert reports. Lariss will be based in Melbourne and joins the API this week.