I’m Mark Curtin from The Felix Project and this is #MYCHARITY

This week on the #MYCHARITY series, we speak to Mark Curtin, CEO at The Felix Project, a charity that prevents food waste and works to eradicate food poverty and hunger.

Mark Curtin – The Felix Project CEO

Location: London

Current job: CEO at The Felix Project.

One word that best describes how you work: Teamwork

Your biggest success: Personally – My children.

Your biggest success: Professionally – leading my team during COVID19 crisis.

Your greatest fear: Forgetting to recognise everyone’s efforts.

Your biggest dream: My children achieve everything they want to.

Your favourite movie: Star Wars IV, A new hope.

First of all, tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today.

I come from a fairly working-class family from North London and later Milton Keynes. Then, I started in professional sport, playing football, then coaching, which took me overseas to the U.S. for a while. Later, I worked in Further Education and then Sport for Development for over 10 years, before several senior management roles in various Education and Children’s charities. In July 2019 I became CEO at The Felix Project, a charity that prevents food waste and works to eradicate food poverty and hunger in London.

Take us through a recent workday.

Since the outbreak of COVID19, I am working very closely with all teams, ensuring we are responding and adapting to the fast-paced environment that we operate within. I deal with the media and a huge range of very grateful donors and supporters who are working to help us. My main priority to work closely with my teams, many of who are now working remotely to discuss work, assess situations, analyse the impact on our work and make decisions with the team to have maximum impact. I also prioritise saying well done and thank you and making sure everyone is safe and healthy. I tweet, post and communicate via social channels a great deal and generally find every day is quite different at the moment.

How do you discover new ways to innovate in your working day? 

I ask the very talented and clever people I am surrounded by, I listen, I observe and I learn… then I apply what I think works best for what we are trying to achieve.

What is the next big thing in the charity sector?

Embracing the learning and requirements to adapt and change during the COVID19 crisis, the best charities will thrive if they can innovate, adapt to whatever becomes the new world we operate within and remove any out of date practices and approaches

How do you choose business partners to support the charity?

One simple question – Will they enable us to achieve our mission?

Tell us about your favourite case history of the most successful partnership.  

Not sure we have a favourite one as many businesses work very well for us in different ways. But those partners who engage with us in multiple ways, helping us to tell our story, developing and improving our organisation, bringing their people to work with us through volunteering or other opportunities and helping us to achieve our mission and reach our goals are always the best!

How do you recharge? What do you do when you want to forget about work?

Spend time with my wife and children. I also like to run or get out on my bike. I am known to frequent the Emirates stadium very regularly too to watch my beloved Arsenal

What are you currently reading, or what’s something you’d recommend?

I haven’t had the time to read a book recently, but my all-time favourites are Black Box thinking by Mathew Syed, Creativity Inc by Ed Catmull or for a bit of light relief and something from my childhood William Golding’s brilliant Lord of the Flies. I would also say watch any Sir Ken Robinson TedTalk!

Fill in the blank: I’d love to see _____ answer these same questions.

Neil Purcell, CEO at Talent Works International or Mike de Giorgio Founder of Greenhouse Sports.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Make sure you are never the smartest person in the room, surround yourself with the best talent and always listen more than you speak when in a leadership role.

 

You can follow The Felix Project on Instagram @thefelixprojext

 

The WeGiveIt #MYCHARITY series asks heroes, experts, and leaders to share their ambitions, routines and more and it’s published on WeGiveI Blog.