Michelle Quintyn

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Visionary, innovative and an agent of change, Michelle Quintyn is a leader in building and growing enterprises, developing corporate culture, ESG and effective governance, and re-envisioning business practices and supply chains for greater efficiency, employee and customer satisfaction, sustainability and circularity. Michelle’s unique ability to see possibility, develop strategy, build a brand, identify and mitigate risk, and to communicate and develop partnerships and investors… has propelled several signature non-profits and organizations. 

As CEO for 18 years until retiring in late 2023, Michelle steered Goodwill Industries, serving across Ontario, from $6 million to a $63 million enterprise with 1,300 employees, overseeing operations of several multifaceted work platforms including thrift/recycling, food and hospitality, light manufacturing, power industrial sewing, and commercial industrial contracts. She helped create and launch social businesses in sustainability and circularity including re-manufacturing of post consumer goods heading to waste, and further recycling of waste to make new raw materials and products for consumers and industry.   Employing and training people who face barriers such as mental illness, poverty and marginalization, Goodwill has propelled tens of thousands of individuals to work and prosperity.

Prior to Goodwill Michelle led the redevelopment of London’s large-scale initiative to rebuild a 300,000 sf Public Market, featuring a children’s theatre, arts incubator, public gathering spaces, farmers market, and 55 local food and produce businesses.

As founding Executive Director, Michelle initiated one of the first full-scale hospital development programs in Canada, University Hospital Foundation, leading to community investment of more than $100 million. As Hospital Vice-President, she played a critical role in strengthening the health and scientific fabric one of Ontario’s largest health science centres, co-leading the development of the Centre for the Advancement of Medical Device Technology, and later the evolution of the Robarts Research Institute.

Since 2019 Michelle has helped steer a collaborative initiative, Inclusive Economy London and Region, promoting economic development practices that build a more resilient, local, and sustainable economy while addressing systemic issues of social and economic exclusion. Strategies include harnessing the economic power of anchor institutions such as hospitals, social procurement and community benefit agreements, building local wealth through community ownership, and living wage initiatives to ensure access to decent work. The end game is a more local, vibrant, and sustainable economy for the benefit of all.

Michelle recently completed ICD Certification; Board Oversight of Climate Change and is consulting in the realm of ESG, building inclusive and community-based economies, sustainability, people and culture and governance.

Michelle has served on the Boards of Goodwill Industries International and served as Chair of Goodwill’s International Sustainability Committee, University Hospital Foundation and University Hospital (ex-officio), Orchestra London (Chair in 2002), Pillar Non-profit Network, Multiple Sclerosis Society, Fanshawe College, and The Canadian Centre for Product Validation. As a volunteer she co-founded the Parkinson’s Society of Southwestern Ontario and has served on the Boards of Parkinson Society of Canada. Currently she serves on the Institute of Corporate Directors and Museum London.

Michelle is the recipient of the YMCA Woman of Excellence Award, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, Goodwill International Sustainability Champion, London and Region Business Hall of Fame Laureate, Chamber of Commerce Business Achievement Award for Environmental Leadership and numerous other design and community acknowledgments. She achieved a Bachelor of Science, Occupational Therapy from the University of Toronto, and Registered Nursing designation from Toronto Metropolitan University. A primary focus of Michelle’s work is systems reform to improve early intervention and funded access to social programs including alternate pathways to education and training, mental health and addiction care; and to enhance dignity and outcomes for people idling in the welfare, health, or incarcerations systems, through community-based work programs which integrate health care and intensive skills training. A Work First model (like Housing First) has been funded, piloted, and demonstrated… and is advancing toward scaling and further study.