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CEO of the Year joins Collingwood Board

February 2, 2016 6:58 AM

Introducing our new board member Leading international businesswoman Christine Holgate has been appointed Collingwood Football Club's second female Board member, replacing retiring Vice-President and club pioneer Dr Jack Kennedy. Get to know Ms. Holgate as she speaks with Collingwood Media in the video above.
Leading international businesswoman Christine Holgate has been appointed as Collingwood Football Club’s second female Board member.

Leading international businesswoman Christine Holgate has been appointed as Collingwood Football Club’s second female Board member.

Leading international businesswoman Christine Holgate has been appointed Collingwood Football Club’s second female Board member, replacing retiring Vice-President and club pioneer Dr Jack Kennedy.

Ms Holgate is the Chief Executive Officer of leading Australian vitamin company Blackmores and boasts over 20 years public board experience, including her appointment as Chair of the Board of the Australian-ASEAN Council by the Government in September last year.

Arriving at Blackmores in 2008 with proven success leading teams through change, Ms Holgate has already achieved remarkable growth that resulted in the company launching 172 new products and achieving 82 per cent profit growth in 2015.

This success led to Ms Holgate being awarded 2015 CEO of the Year by both The CEO Magazine and The CEO Institute, the first female to win the latter award.

“I first met Collingwood in 2003 just a couple of months after coming to Australia. Collingwood just gave me a huge sense of community and family,” the English-born Ms Holgate said.

“I hope I bring to the Board a different perspective, my background and skills are quite different. I run a big people company, so I hope to be able to bring some of those skills as well as being someone who is passionate about the club and someone really committed to the development of women.”

“Not only is Christine one of the highest credentialed CEOs in the country, she is a dye-in-the-wool Collingwood supporter,” President Eddie McGuire said.

“Christine’s outstanding business and marketing acumen further enhances the skillset of the Collingwood Board of Directors. She joins Alisa Camplin and the many women in our membership, coteries and staff, further enhancing our social and gender diversity at Collingwood Football Club.”

Ms Holgate steps on to Collingwood’s Board at a time when the club enjoys world-class facilities in the heart of Melbourne’s sporting precinct, in part the result of Dr Kennedy’s work during his outstanding 22 years of service on the Board.

Dr Kennedy first served on the Board in 1980 and 1981 under the leadership of John Hickey and was then re-elected in 1994. He has since served under Allan McAllister, Kevin Rose and Eddie McGuire and was elected one of the club’s joint Vice-Presidents in 2006.

His contribution to Collingwood has been enormous.

In 1999, Dr Kennedy was instrumental in the club’s move from its traditional home at Victoria Park to the MCG where it remains the leading tenant club.

Dr Kennedy also served on the committee that oversaw the club’s move to set up its training, administration and member facilities at the Holden Centre, Olympic Park in 2004. Further to this, he acted as a key advisor in the club’s $25 million redevelopment project at Olympic Park – The Glasshouse.

A distinguished surgeon by trade, Dr Kennedy was invaluable in his role as club ear, nose, throat, head and neck surgeon. He was also instrumental in setting up and working with the club’s medical department and was responsible for the development of the club’s drug and alcohol policy.

Awarded Collingwood Life Membership in 2002, Dr Kennedy’s contribution to the club extends well beyond his time as a Director. Over the last 43 years he has served in a wide range of roles at the club, including medical consultant, recruiting officer, Chairman of many committees, Board member and Vice-President.

A truly wonderful Collingwood character, Dr Kennedy will be bestowed with the prominent role of club Patron for his four decades of outstanding service to Collingwood Football Club.

The club will pay tribute to Jack’s tenure on the Board at the club’s Annual General Meeting this month.

Collingwood FC Board
Eddie McGuire (President)
Alex Waislitz (Vice-President)
Alisa Camplin
Christine Holgate
Mark Korda
Paul Leeds
Ian McMullin
Gary Pert (CEO)