The Social Traders team bring a range of skills, experience and values that underpin our vision to support the social enterprise sector to grow.
Chief Executive Officer
Mike is a CEO with an impressive career, equally matched by his passion for making an impact in the ‘for purpose’ sector. Mike’s experience spans over 30 years, working for corporate business and social enterprise across three continents.
Mike’s diverse experience includes a range of CEO roles in the automotive industry in Australia and the USA, before landing his feet back in Australia where he has held senior executive positions at Alcoa, Amcor Packaging and Hills Holdings.
Having achieved so much in his commercial career, Mike made the decision to apply his leadership skills in a meaningful way by joining the for-purpose sector and hasn’t looked back.
Prior to Social Traders, Mike was the CEO of a national not for profit organisation. In this role Mike led a successful merger as well as acquiring two other significant organisations, -resulting in the creation of a national “for purpose” organisation. He believes that all Australians deserve a chance, seeing the solution to many social issues and forms of disadvantage being linked to unemployment and a lack of skills and training opportunities. Mike see’s the role of Social Traders and social enterprise as bridging that gap and is excited in leading the social procurement revolution.
Executive Director, Market Operations
Mark works to connect business and government buyers to social enterprises through advocacy and engagement.
Mark has extensive experience developing new relationships with business and government buyers of social enterprise and as a result has been instrumental in bringing social enterprise into the mainstream Australian economy. Through public speaking and the provision of advisory and consulting advice to business and government, Mark is recognised as a leading figure in social enterprise in Australia.
Mark has worked as Social Enterprise Manager for the Brotherhood of St Laurence, managing a number of social enterprises aimed at assisting people into mainstream employment. Mark has also developed policy and community development activities for public housing estates in inner city Melbourne. Mark is a sought after as a keynote speaker on a range of social enterprise topics.
Mark has Bachelor of Arts from Monash University, a Graduate Diploma in Education and a Graduate Diploma in Urban Policy and Planning from RMIT.
Executive Director, Market Development
Lisa joined Social Traders in 2011. She is responsible for the Market Development business unit at Social Traders which includes Social Enterprise Certification, Growth Services (for social enterprises and buyers) and exploration and identification of new social procurement markets. Through her time with Social Traders, Lisa has overseen social enterprise supplier services and prior to that led the social enterprise incubator program, The Crunch.
Lisa has extensive experience in management consulting across commercial, community and social enterprise sectors, having worked in the Strategy Group at Accenture, as well as directly consulting to non-profit organisations and social enterprises. Lisa has worked with numerous boards and management teams on the development of strategic plans.
Lisa has held board positions with Good Company and Ormond College, and is currently a Director of Veritas Health Innovation. She holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Melbourne and a Masters of Business Administration from the Melbourne Business School. She is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD).
Head of Insights and Impact
Katherine joined Social Traders in February 2012. Katherine leads the business development and strategic planning work for Social Traders. She also provides support and advice to social enterprises and government stakeholders. Key projects include social enterprise consulting to the New South Wales Department of Family and Community Services around social enterprise funding and support models.
Katherine has over 20 years experience in senior management, with specialist expertise in business planning, business analysis, business strategy, small business management, facilitation and consulting across a number of industries including tertiary education (University of Melbourne), agriculture (The Woolmark Company), retail (Coles Myer), intellectual property commercialisation (Australian Institute of Commercialisation), telecommunications (Telstra), information technology (Digital Equipment Corporation) and medical (Northern Ultrasound for Women).
Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Applied Mathematics from Limerick University, Ireland and a Masters of Management Technology from Melbourne Business School and is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Katherine has also been a business planning coach and examiner for Masters students at the University of Melbourne.
Katherine was a non-executive director of a non-profit organisation for seven years focusing on the prevention of child sexual abuse. She is currently a non-executive director of a Bendigo Community Bank in Melbourne.
Head of Finance & Operations
Mark joined Social Traders in January 2018 as Head of Finance & Operations and Company Secretary with responsibility managing finance, governance, risk and corporate services.
He brings a wealth of commercial experience, having worked with major businesses, to support Social Traders strategy and objective of developing social enterprises with a goal of assisting those facing disadvantage.
Mark holds a Master of Applied Finance from The University of Melbourne, a Graduate Diploma in Corporate Governance and a Bachelor of Business. He is a CPA, and AGIA member of Governance Institute of Australia.
Head of Marketing and Communications
Tara leads on marketing, brand, communications at Social Traders.
Tara specialises in strategy, business development, marketing and multi-partner collaboration in the impact sector. Her experience spans small and large charities and social enterprises in Australia, the UK and Europe. She is particularly interested in the intersection between business and social change through social enterprise models. She is passionate about catalysing large-scale collaborations that focus on creating systems change.
Tara has worked as the Director of Strategy, Business Development and Engagement at England’s membership network for 750 local social enterprises and Board Member at a European leadership organisation encouraging career transitions from the corporate to the social sector. She was the Head of Marketing at the UK’s largest early years social enterprise, and was the Director of Marketing and Fundraising for a large charity in Australia. Alongside these roles Tara is the Co-Founder and Director of a social enterprise consultancy, The Dragonfly Collective, and has lectured on social enterprise and collective impact at universities in London and Mexico.
Tara has an MBA from Cass Business School in the UK, a Masters in Social Innovation from Danube University in Austria, and a degree in Media and Communications from Melbourne University in Australia.
Admin Manager/Executive Assistant
Fran works to ensure Social Traders’ is an efficient and effective organisation.
By supporting all areas of Social Traders business including finance, IT, CRM, operations, special projects and executive and team support, Fran provides the much-needed administrative support for the organisation to achieve its objectives.
Fran has run a project with The Big Issue Women’s Subscription Enterprise to assist raising awareness of homelessness, and has worked in various office management, health, property development, volunteer and finance roles.
Principal, Buyer Services
Sam facilitates social procurement deals between buyers and social enterprise suppliers, by providing strategic advice on linking social enterprises into existing business and government supply chains.
Working with business and government buyers Sam increases awareness of social enterprise and practical social procurement knowledge and expertise in buyer organisations through communications, training and engagement. Sam is instrumental in working with buyers to translate their social enterprise procurement spend into a social impact report that informs how procurement spend has affected a beneficiary group.
Sam has worked in environmental & parks planning with Parks Victoria, started a coffee wholesale and retail business, and worked as the CEO of the Victorian Farmers’ Markets association. Sam has an honours degree in Planning and Design from the University of Melbourne.
National Sales Manager
Joining Social Traders in January 2021, Ralph leads the development of new business and government members for Social Traders.
Ralph is a passionate and results focused leader with experience across a number of countries, industries, sectors, categories and functions with specialist expertise in manufacturing, sales, facilitation, coaching, mentoring and consulting.
Ralph is an individual with a drive to build communities and, in particular, protect young people’s futures and provide opportunities for them to develop, working professionally with businesses, governments and social enterprises and volunteering in the Not For Profit sector as a Chairman, Non-Executive Director, Committee Chair/Member, Mentor and Volunteer.
Ralph holds a Bachelor of Science from the University of Aberdeen and a Diploma of Coaching.
Social Procurement Lead, QLD
Alex is building the social procurement marketplace across Queensland, based in the Brisbane office. Working across both sides of the market, Alex is directly engaged with social enterprises from the certification process to growth and procurement opportunities as well as delivering value to corporate and government members through a range of services including; strategy workshops, opportunity identification, staff training and communications, systems design.
He understands some of the challenges on both sides having consulted to government and worked in large institutions as well as being a social enterprise and small business founder. Alex also has experience as a business coach, manager, consultant and workshop facilitator, using this diverse knowledge to promote the social enterprise ecosystem in QLD and beyond.
Alex holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne and a Master of Business Administration (Executive) from Sydney Business School.
Social Procurement Lead
Molly has been worked in sustainability design, education, engagement and reporting for the over 15 years, working with customers to create positive environmental and social outcomes.
Molly has a Bachelor of Science from the Australian National University and a Graduate Diploma in Environmental Planning from the University of Tasmania.
Social Procurement Lead, SA
Amy works to support the growth and development of social enterprises in South Australia through certification support and engagement.
She is passionate about social enterprise and holds an unwavering belief in the power of enterprise as a force for social change. Through her own experience in founding an award-winning social enterprise, Amy understands the challenges and opportunities that exist for social enterprises, and is committed to working with, and connecting, social entrepreneurs, business and government to build a robust social impact ecosystem in South Australia that also links in with the growing national network across Australia.
Amy holds an Honours degree in Behavioural Science (Psychology) and a Master of Business Administration from Flinders University.
Growth Services Manager
Olivia supports social enterprises to accelerate their business growth and impact through social procurement.
Olivia joined Social Traders in 2016 and since then has worked asan advisor, educator, facilitator, strategy consultant, and manager of Crunch, ST’s startup accelerator program.
Drawing on extensive experience working as the General Manager of Red Cross’ largest social enterprise – the national network of 165 retail stores; and in a number of retail buying and product development roles, Olivia’s operational experience brings valuable insight to her work with social enterprises.
Olivia holds a Masters of Business Administration from Melbourne Business School, where she specialised in strategy and social impact.
Advisory and Referrals Manager
Paul seeks to strengthen Australia’s social procurement market by supporting the requirements of social enterprises as they pursue business and government procurement opportunities.
Paul is able to draw upon extensive experience in strategic consultancy, having helped organisations of all sizes address their key strategic issues and identify opportunities for long-term growth. He specialises in strategy development, market research and analysis, customer experience management, and product innovation.
Paul holds bachelor degrees in Commerce and Information Systems from the University of Melbourne.
Rebecca brings energy and a deep understanding of engagement across public and private sectors, working with diverse organisations to deliver lasting positive impact in community.
By assisting Social Traders business and government members to understand and undertake social procurement, Rebecca works with their staff to help progress social procurement engagement and initiatives through the organisation.
Working across diverse stakeholder groups Rebecca is adept at developing and implementing workable solutions that drive behaviour change and systems change, resulting in increased social procurement spend.
Rebecca has worked at the intersection of business, not-for-profit, local and First Nations community, and has a BA, International Relations & History, from University of Queensland.
Social Enterprise Engagement Manager
Emma brings enthusiasm and expertise to the supplier team. Coming from a start-up social enterprise, Emma understands the business structure of social enterprises and has a passion for facilitating social impact.
Working in certification at Social Traders, Emma finds social enterprises in the Australian community, visits enterprises to understand their structure and social impact, and identifies growth potential for social enterprises.
Emma holds a Bachelor of Arts (Global) from Monash University, where she specialised in international development and human rights.
Social Enterprise Certification Manager
Nina manages Social Traders national certification of social enterprises. Her focus is on maintaining a robust framework for certification, while also ensuring its inclusivity across the diversity of Australian social enterprises. She manages the evolution of the standards in a changing marketplace for social enterprise, that offers new opportunities for their growth and impact.
She brings a wealth of social enterprise experience to her role having worked in several niches in the Australian and Canadian eco-systems over the last 10 years. She has worked to support social enterprises through business advisory & education, impact investing, research, and SROI evaluation. Through this, Nina has developed a deep understanding of ‘what makes a social enterprise’ and their contribution to social change.
Nina has a Bachelor of Business (Honours) and a Graduate Certificate in International Development.
Georgina Cohen is a senior leader and project consultant with extensive experience in successfully driving and implementing business and technology transformation and organisational change to improve customer and staff engagement.
Key strengths include business case development, strategic problem solving, stakeholder management and collaboration. Demonstrated and long-standing commitment to having a positive impact in the community.
Social Enterprise Certification Analyst
Jessica is passionate about social enterprise as a method of addressing the key social and environmental challenges of our time.
Previously working with youth social enterprises to support their development and growth, Jessica has a solid understanding of the social enterprise landscape and the many different business models and structures they take.
Working in certification at Social Traders, Jessica supports social enterprises through the certification process and works to identify and articulate their social impact.
Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science from Monash University where she majored in mathematics and undertook the specialised Global Challenges course including studies into change management. enterprise and political advocacy.
Digital Marketing, Communications & Events Manager
Bella oversees our marketing strategy, covering communications and media, events, brand, content curation – and all things digital.
Bella brings her marketing and communications game from working across the for-purpose sector in disability services and community health. With a previous background in marketing and client relations in the building and property development industry, Bella’s brings a commitment to social impact along with the commercial skills and business acumen to deliver results.
Bella has a Masters of Communication majoring in communication for social change, as well as a Post Graduate Certificate of Public Relations and a Bachelor of Professional Writing. Bella is committed to developing effective communications to drive positive social outcomes and believes in the power of storytelling to make an impact.