About Martin Haese
Martin Haese is an entrepreneur, educator and strong advocate for Adelaide’s standing as one of the world’s most liveable cities.
Martin is the Chief Executive Officer of Business SA (South Australia’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry), Chair of the Premier’s Climate Change Council (SA), member of the Rhodes Scholarship Selection Committee (SA) and a founding member of the Federal Government’s Australian Broadband Advisory Council.
Martin co-founded the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation in South Australia and from 2010 to 2013 headed the Rundle Mall Management Authority, where he enabled Rundle Mall’s upgrade and provided advocacy and program support for 700 retailers.
From 2010 to 2013, Martin was the Chair of one of the world’s largest historic motoring events, the Bay to Birdwood and his interest in historic motoring continues today as Chair of the Adelaide Motorsport Festival (AMF).
In 2014, Martin was elected as the 78th Lord Mayor of Adelaide, an office he held until late 2018. During this time, he initiated strong sustainability and technology agendas resulting in Carbon Neutral Adelaide 2025, Ten Gigabit Adelaide (one of the world’s fastest fibre optic data networks), the acquisition of the former Le Cornu site in North Adelaide and the development plan for the Adelaide Central Market Arcade.
Martin was a guest speaker at COP21 in Paris in 2015, the World Cities Summit in Singapore in 2018 and COP26 in Glasgow Scotland in 2021 and actively advocates that addressing climate change is both an environmental necessity and an economic opportunity for South Australia.
Martin opened his first business at the age of twenty-two and while it failed, he learned from the experience. In the mid-nineties, he then identified a gap in the retail sector and launched his next venture from a small premises in Regent Arcade in the City of Adelaide, South Australia. Youthworks was born.
What started as a small business quickly grew and Martin opened retail stores in Adelaide’s suburban shopping centres before successfully expanding into the eastern States. By the early naughties, Youthworks had grown to 16 stores employing 220 people.
Martin holds an MBA (with Distinction Honours) and has lectured MBA students for several years. He has also shared his experience and knowledge with Retail IQ, a retail consultancy business supporting clients as diverse as small to medium sized enterprises through to local governments and international REITS.
Martin is married to Genevieve who was born in Singapore and educated in the United States and United Kingdom. Genevieve worked for a global advertising agency in London before founding her own media and wellness businesses in Singapore and South-East Asia.
Martin is an accomplished public speaker having addressed several thousand local government, retail sector and entrepreneurship events in Australia, Asia and Europe, throughout his career.
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