FoodCycle’s Chief Executive Officer of 10 years, Mary McGrath MBE has today announced that she will step down as CEO in December.
Mary joined FoodCycle in 2013 and in her time has driven significant expansion. When she joined there were just 12 Projects and £150,000 in the bank. Now FoodCycle boasts 73 Projects with an annual income of more than £1.8 million.
Mary will officially step down from her role in December 2023 but will remain an important part of the charity, taking up her new position as Chair of Trustees from 1st January 2024.
FoodCycle’s current Head of Programmes, Sophie Tebbetts, will take over as FoodCycle CEO at the same time. Both senior leaders have been planning the transition since spring, in collaboration with FoodCycle’s Board of Trustees, mapping out a timescale that allows for a smooth handover.
Mary says; “It has been a privilege to be at the helm for the past decade. FoodCycle has come a long way in those years and our unique service really does make a significant improvement to people’s health and wellbeing. I am absolutely delighted that Sophie will be taking on the role of CEO. Since joining as Head of Programmes in 2016, she has been an extremely valued member of the team. Her passion, dedication and enthusiasm has not only helped us get through some of the most challenging times, but she has played a pivotal part in getting the charity to where it is today. I look forward to moving into the position of Chair of Trustees and supporting Sophie and the senior leadership team to reach 100 Project locations by 2025 and help people really understand the importance and value of community dining.”
Mary’s key successes include pivoting quickly during the COVID pandemic to continue providing free meals to communities throughout all three lockdowns, securing corporate partnerships with leading UK brands Just Eat, Quorn and Danone; and spearheading FoodCycle’s expansion into Wales in 2021. During her time at FoodCycle Mary was also awarded an MBE for her charitable services to the country.
FoodCycle’s Head of Programmes, Sophie Tebbetts says: “I feel very honoured to have been appointed as the next CEO of FoodCycle. When I first joined the organisation, I wanted to follow my passion for food and people; and it has been incredible to be a part of our growth over the past seven years. FoodCycle is powered by individuals who really care about the benefits of a healthy, cooked meal, connecting communities and rescuing surplus food and I’m looking forward to leading the team to continue to deliver our expansion plans.”
At 33, Sophie Tebbetts, will become FoodCycle’s youngest female CEO. Before joining FoodCycle as Head of Programmes, she specialised in programme delivery and operations with roles in the not-for-profit sector at the British Red Cross and the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Jordan. She also spent time as the Operations Manager at Salad Days, a successful start-up catering business that provided healthy and nutritious meals to major international companies such as Uber and Nike. In 2021, she was awarded ‘Supporting Leader of the Year’ at the Third Sector Awards.
In addition to the above, there have been some recent changes to the Board of Trustees. Stephen Catling will be stepping down as Chair at the end of this year, after six years of supporting FoodCycle and Mark Game has also announced that he will stand down as a Trustee at the same time. We’ve also recently welcomed some new members to the Board; Matt Bushby, Frances Le Grys, Nick Johnson and Dr Olivia Barata Cavalcanti, who join David West, Kalyani Gupta and Pippa Garland. You can find more information about the Board on the meet the team page.