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Social Traders appoints Mike McKinstry as new Chief Executive Officer

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Chief Executive Officer Social Traders

Social Traders is pleased to announce the appointment of Mike McKinstry as its new Chief Executive Officer.

Mike is an experienced CEO with a career of more than 30 years spanning the corporate and social enterprise sectors across three continents.

Mike was most recently the CEO at genU, a national disability and employment service provider and certified social enterprise member of Social Traders. In his five years at genU, Mike led the merger of Karingal and St Laurence and the acquisition of two large national organisations to transform GenU into a national ‘profit for purpose’ organisation.

Under Mike’s leadership genU created employment for many thousands of marginalised and long term unemployed Australians. Mike was awarded ‘Business Leader of the Year’ at the 2018 Geelong Business Excellence Awards program.

Mike’s impressive career started in the UK at Rover/LandRover. He went onto successful CEO roles in the automotive industry in Australia and USA before settling in Australia where he held senior executive positions at Alcoa, Amcor Packaging, and Hills Holdings. Having achieved so much in his commercial career, Mike made the decision to pursue a role that would enable him to apply his leadership skills in a meaningful way to the social issues associated with disadvantage, unemployment and lack of pathways to skills and training.

Mike joins Social Traders following a period of considerable growth in market-based social procurement activity. In less than three years since the introduction of Social Traders Certification, certified social enterprises have created more than 1600 jobs through $220 million worth of trade with Social Traders buyer members, in an preview of the important role social procurement must play in the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Social Traders Chair, Patricia Edwards said: “Following an extensive search, we are delighted to have Mike join the Social Traders team. It is an exciting time to position social enterprise as a unique solution to the economic challenges that our nation will confront as we recover from COVID-19.

“Our Board was inspired by Mike’s energy, commitment to social enterprise and the strong alignment with our organisation’s values and aspirations. Mike is an outstanding leader, thinker, and innovator with the ideal experience to help our dedicated team to grow the Australian social enterprise sector. Mike will build on the success of Social Traders under David Brookes who leaves a great legacy for social enterprise across Australia,” she said.

Commenting on his appointment Mike said: “I’m honoured and excited by the opportunity to accelerate Social Traders’ ambitious strategy that has the potential to transform Australia’s social enterprise sector. I have followed Social Traders for many years, and I am proud to follow on from the great work of David Brookes and the team. I look forward to working with the Board and all the government, business and philanthropic supporters of Social Traders.”

David will leave Social Traders in October after 12 years of service. Together with a loyal and dedicated team, David has helped establish the social enterprise sector and more recently the social procurement marketplace that is delivering social impact through jobs, skills and training along with profound levels of community impact.

Patricia said: “Our board farewells David and extends our sincere thanks to him for all that he has contributed to the organisation. David leaves a strong foundation for Mike to advance our mission to grow and develop the Australian social enterprise sector.”


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