19 May 2017

The Otago Medical Research Foundation (OMRF) has appointed Susan Sims to the role of Director of Development. Sims replaces Steve Davie, who has stepped down after seven and a half years in the role.

Sims brings a wealth of experience and connections from within the Government, Tertiary and business communities.

“We felt Susan’s experience as the Marketing Manager for the University of Otago’s Research and Enterprise Division in particular had excellent correlation to the role. Susan’s experience in interpreting and marketing science to a non-scientific audience will be put to excellent use in further communicating the ground-breaking grass roots research being produced by OMRF Grant and Scholarship recipients,” explains OMRF Chairman Ken Dempster.

In his time at the helm of OMRF Davie has been instrumental in establishing the Club Otago lunch series and key events such as A Night to Remember and the Annual Golf Tournament. These events have grown the profile and fundraising income of the OMRF significantly – directly contributing to the growth and continuation of the Summer Research Scholarships programme and the Annual Grant round for established researchers. Under Davie’s watch, almost $4.5 million has been raised providing a significant contribution towards research in the Otago Region.

Sims and the OMRF recognise how essential these events are.

“To ensure a seamless experience for our members and supporters, and in acknowledgement of Steve’s exceptional organisation and Master of Ceremonies skills, we are delighted to announce that he has accepted a transitional Event Manager role through to at least the end of February 2018,” says Dempster.

Sims officially starts on 19 June 2017, when asked what she would be getting stuck straight into Sims replied, “Steve has laid an excellent foundation through the events and communications he’s established. I look forward to leveraging his work to further extend our reach and bring the research into the spotlight more.”

“The better people and enterprises understand the importance and implications of the research OMRF is supporting, the easier it is to communicate our proposition to the community. Connecting businesses with researchers for positive outcomes was a core focus of my earlier role.”

Local Dunedin firm Oyster Executive Recruitment was contracted to manage the recruitment process. Oyster is one of Club Otago’s Patrons, the major sponsor of A Night to Remember and has had a long-standing relationship with the Foundation.