If you look at Nathan Lovett’s business card, it says he’s the CEO of the National Indigenous Culinary Institute.

But Nathan, the 131st person I’ve met on my quest to have lunch with 500 strangers, sees himself not so much as an executive but a people person.

Nathan has been building relationships and developing talent throughout his career, which has included stints as a fitness trainer, teacher, employment consultant and, now, the CEO of a not-for-profit training organisation.

As Nathan explained, food occupies an important role in Aboriginal culture – yet Aboriginal people are underrepresented in Australia’s fine dining establishments. The National Indigenous Culinary Institute trains aspiring Indigenous chefs, so they can then find work in these restaurants. Part of Nathan’s role is to build relationships with restaurant owners and managers, and then place his graduates in their kitchens.

Nathan is warm, down to earth and a great conversationalist. It’s clear he enjoys mixing with people, which is why he was so open to having lunch with a stranger.