Michelle Sharp


Kilmarnock Enterprises

When Michelle first joined Kilmarnock in 2010 she did so with great ambitions. To change attitudes towards people with disabilities and create a diverse, and inclusive community that respects the fundamental dignity of each and every one of us and celebrates our individual abilities. In early 2013, Michelle was appointed as CEO of Kilmarnock, a not-for-profit organisation, who provide a supportive, dynamic and connected environment where adults with intellectual disabilities can realise their individual value as a contributing member of their community. Michelle has spent much of her career in the corporate world, developing and refining the skills needed to run an efficient and effective business. Driven by business excellence and social change, Michelle embarked on the daunting challenge of transitioning Kilmarnock from a charity based model, to one of New Zealand’s leading social enterprises. Michelle has transformed Kilmarnock’s culture into one that is creative, aspirational, and enthusiastic. She turned the dire financial situation around by diversifying and stabilising contracts and introducing new, previously unimaginable, revenue streams. Transitioning to a Social Enterprise has enabled the organisation to leverage business excellence to greatly enhance its social value while providing a fun, connected environment where the team is inspired to take command of their future and show the community that we all have strengths, regardless of our disabilities. Prior to joining the disability sector, Michelle spent over one and a half decades working in the Telecommunications sector, gaining a wealth of business experience at both a national and global level. Commencing her career within the Corporate Sector, Michelle’s entrepreneurial hunger gave life to an extremely successful business venture in the early 2000s, which saw the rise of Timico Ltd, one of the fastest growing B2B Telecommunication providers in the UK. In 2009 Michelle and her family, made the decision to leave the UK, in order to pursue a better work life balance, and have been enjoying living in New Zealand ever since.