Partner Spotlight: Kilmarnock Enterprises' Michael Toothill

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This week's Spotlight is on Michael Toothill from Kilmarnock Enterprises

We caught up with Michael and asked some questions to find out more about him as an individual.

Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background.

My passion is for a world that truly values diversity. Specifically for me that’s about being an enabler for people to reach their full potential. We all have different abilities and together we can make our world a more inclusive place.

After spending 18 years working in various management roles across both commercial and not-for-profit sectors in the UK, my wife and I returned to our hometown of Ōtautahi Christchurch in 2010. One of the roles that impacted me the most during my time abroad was working at Cancer Research UK. It was there that I discovered that my business skills and passion for inclusivity could make a tangible difference. Upon my return to Aotearoa, my search for ‘business for good’ opportunities led me to the education sector, where I took on operational roles at Lincoln University and Ara Institute of Canterbury. Soon after, I was introduced to Kilmarnock Enterprises, a disability enterprise.

Impressed by the culture and capability of the team, my initial introduction to Kilmarnock left a lasting impression, and I was determined to get involved.

I leapt at the opportunity to join the Board as a Trustee, and eventually took on a fundraising role before becoming CEO in 2019. I am thriving in the challenge of furthering Kilmarnock's mission of helping people with disabilities reach their potential and lead purposeful lives.

I share my life with Diane, and Mr Socks our cat, and love mountain bike riding.

How did you get into the area of work you’re in?

A mix of leadership and business skills as well as my passion for being in a role that has purpose and makes a difference.

What motivates you to do what you do?

I get joy from seeing others succeed and reach their potential.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever received?

Work smart, not hard and seek a balanced life. Take care of yourself!

Knowing what you know now, what is one thing you would do differently if you were to start again?

Travel and work overseas early in life. It opens your eyes, exposing you to different cultures, people and experiences that will challenge you, change you and shape the rest of your life.

Nischal Chakravarthy
19 March 2024
min read

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