An Open Letter to Members from Our New CEO
Andy Graham, our Chief Operating Officer, has been appointed to the position of Chief Executive Officer. The charity has been without a CEO for over a year, so this is a great opportunity for both Andy and the Centre moving forward.
Here he writes an open letter to our members on what he hopes to bring to the role
“I feel honoured to accept the position of CEO for the Chilterns MS Centre.
“Like every person and every business on the planet, the last year has been a period of turmoil and change, stressing people and processes equally. During that period, as your COO, I have endeavoured to navigate, lead, and occasionally inspire this amazing organisation. It is just over a year now since we initially closed the doors for face-to-face appointments to embraced the virtual world of working from home and zoom meetings. Some say that “with adversity comes strength” and as strange as it may seem, I do feel we have become more united in this last year despite unprecedented challenges. We are now looking forward to our “new normal” and I have to believe that the planet has more of a smile than it did six months ago.
“However, securing our future carries some significant challenges that are looming close and large. COVID-19 has made a significant dent in our income and our resources to deliver the very support for our members that make us what we are. Looking forward, the COVID legacy will take time to shake off and we face significant challenges with fundraising.
“My role as Chief Operations Officer was more focussed on directing the inner workings of the charity, and as COVID become our centre of attention, to ensure we were best placed to face the future. Our next phase, which is really about securing the long-term future of the charity now needs our leadership to be focused outwards.
“My aim is simple – to help build an organisation that has the most positive impact on those we care for – sustainably.
“Getting there may not be so simple, but if we can harness that strength from our unity, we will succeed. And I will be honest – I will need your help too!
“What can you expect from me? As COO, I set out a style of “honest, open and transparent”, and that is a culture I firmly believe in and will continue – for everyone involved with the Centre.
- I believe that making decisions and taking action without delay is better than procrastination. That progress includes accepting mistakes and changes in course – hopefully not too many – but learning in the process.
- I need to keep one eye on the here and now, but keep another on that longer-term “sustainable” prize – that is the big win.
- As I look more outward, I will need to understand and build more partnerships with our current stakeholders and more importantly with new stakeholders we have not yet identified.
- I certainly need to get to know you, our members, better to understand how we can make the best and most positive impact for you.
- Perhaps above all, I need to give you confidence that I will be a steady hand on the tiller.
The truth of course is that I cannot do this alone, but we have a truly committed team of staff and volunteers, and I want to extend that sense of team to all the members. After all, strength also comes from numbers.”
On his appointment, Chair of Trustees Catherine Golds added “Andy has done a fantastic job steering the charity through the challenges of the pandemic. So, we are delighted he is taking the role of CEO to lead us into the next chapter in our history.”