Chair since: 2015
Group: TEC 58

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TEC Mentor Trent Bartlett

“I truly hold the view that the growth and development of people is the highest calling of leadership. I enjoy having a positive influence on leaders and knowing I made a difference – TEC allows me to develop but also lead leaders and having that effect on them and ultimately who they lead is the most rewarding endeavour I have undertaken.”

Commencing in 1974 in the retail industry in Adelaide, Trent worked for Target Australia and other Coles Myer divisions for 15 years all around Australia with the last 7 years at General Manager level running divisional turnovers in excess of $250m.

After relocating to Perth with Coles Myer, Trent was headhunted by Aherns Department Stores and worked for the iconic family owned chain for 10 years and was the General Manager for Buying and Marketing at the time of the takeover by David Jones in 1999.

In 2001, Trent took on the coveted role of CEO for the Capricorn Society, one of Australia’s most successful co-operatives whose members are in the automotive industry. In the 10 years as CEO, Trent grew the co-operative model from $250m to a $1b turnover across 3 countries with 14000 members, as well as establishing a start-up mutual owned by the members to insure their businesses, achieving 25% membership penetration within 4 years.

During that time, Trent became a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, receiving the Company Directors Course Award as well as the Advanced Diploma. From 2003, Trent joined the first TEC Group in WA (TEC 40) and also took on various Non Executive Director Roles in listed public, NFP companies, industry associations and social business leading bodies to hone his craft as a professional Company Director.

In 2012, Trent joined Peter Stannard, (fellow TEC 40 founding member) at the Stannard Group and worked for 2 years on the further development of people and business systems before leaving to commence a broader portfolio career than offered as a full time CEO.

Outside the TEC Community, Trent sits on the Board of Co-operative Bulk Handling, Australia’s biggest co-operative (Sales of $2.7b p.a), is Chair of Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association, one of Australia’s largest local tourism organisations, and is Deputy Chair of the Not For Profit Uniting Church Agency – Good Samaritan Industries, who offer a wide choice of employment and training opportunities to people with disabilities in Western Australia

Career milestones:

  • Being given the opportunity to be a CEO of one of the largest co-operatives in Australia gave me some wonderful learning and growth opportunities at an international level.
  • Each Board appointment as a Non Executive Director has been a highlight and I am proud to say that I continue to have 3 Board roles in larger iconic businesses in WA.
  • Joining TEC as a WA Founding Member of TEC 40 was very special to me, and I thrilled to now be a TEC Chair as well as being involved in the facilitation of courses for AICD.

Group dynamics:

TEC 58 has a great blend of people with a strong nucleus that has been there since forming in 2010. The businesses represented range across ASX listed, Large Private Companies, Successful SME’s, large and small SME’s and some of whom  were almost start ups when joining. They are a very friendly, supportive group and challenge with confrontation.

Best piece of business advice received:

Be firm, fair and consistent. That way, your people will come to know what you will and will not accept.

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