Myeloma UK announces new Board Chair and Trustee appointments

Myeloma UK news // 14th April 2021

Simon Linnett appointed as new Chair of Trustee Board

Myeloma UK is delighted to welcome Simon Linnett, the Vice-Chairman of Rothschild & Co in London and Chair of the Bedfordshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, as the new Chair of the Board of Directors. He replaces Marc Gordon, who retires from the Board in April after nine years of committed and valued service.

Simon has spent all his working life at Rothschild & Co as an adviser to corporates and Government on the delivery of public services at the interface between the public and private sectors, including in healthcare. This prompted a keen interest in healthcare delivery and governance which led Simon to support the Queens Nursing Institute as a Trustee and then, in 2014, become Chair of the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, now the Bedfordshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust following its merger with Bedford Hospital. In this ongoing role he, alongside a range of other interests and priorities, will continue to focus attention on the cancer pathway and performance for the local area.

Commenting on his appointment to Chair, Simon Linnett, said:

“Myeloma UK is a strong institution which has made major differences to the diagnosis and treatment of a complex and incurable blood cancer. I consider myself very fortunate to have been given this opportunity to contribute to the next phase of development, which will address the continuing unmet patient need in diagnosis, treatment and care.

I would like to pay tribute to the effort and drive invested in the organisation by retiring Chairman, Marc Gordon, and look forward to building on the strong track record delivered by the President, Judy Dewinter, Board of Trustees, CEO Laura Kerby, and the whole Myeloma UK team.”

President Judy Dewinter welcomed Simon’s appointment:

“Simon brings a wealth of insight and experience into the challenges of healthcare delivery and reform, which is particularly relevant as we begin to understand what a post-pandemic healthcare landscape looks like for myeloma patients.

Myeloma UK has always had a unique role to play in navigating diagnostic, treatment and care challenges in order to bring solutions to patients. Simon’s absolute commitment to put the patient at the heart of these conversations ensures we will continue to transform patients’ lives.”

On behalf of the Board of the Trustees, Vice-Chair Sir Frank Chapman, said:

“This is a significant time for Myeloma UK as we work to ensure patients have their needs met against the serious healthcare legacies of COVID-19. Simon’s strategic insight and experience of healthcare delivery and change will ensure patients’ voices are heard in the challenging times ahead.”

Retiring Chair, Marc Gordon, thanked for his service

The change in Board leadership comes as a result of Marc Gordon completing his nine year tenure as Chair and retiring from the role.

Sir Frank continued:

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank Marc Gordon, on behalf of both the Board of Trustees and the organisation, for his tireless work as Trustee, Treasurer and then Chair of Myeloma UK. The organisation will greatly miss his passion and commitment.”

Judy Dewinter, paid special tribute to Marc for his time and service as Chair:

“Marc has done an extraordinary amount for Myeloma UK in his time as Chair and thrown himself into the life and purpose of the charity. He has steered the latest chapter in our development journey with one immoveable intent – to work always for the benefit of patients and their families. Throughout his nine years of dedicated work, he has been a huge support to me and to his colleagues on the Board, but in particular to all the staff at Myeloma UK who will miss his enthusiasm and commitment greatly.”

Reflecting on his time as Chair of Myeloma UK, Marc Gordon said:

“Myeloma UK exists to change the lives of patients with myeloma and, over the last nine years, we have always sought to differentiate ourselves by making an impact where it counts: in access to treatment pathways and drugs, in engaging with healthcare professionals, in supporting patients, and in new discoveries.

Notwithstanding the many challenges that charities face in delivering on their objectives, during my time at Myeloma UK we have continued to display the tenacity, drive and determination to achieve these goals, and I retire with enormous admiration for everyone in the myeloma community, as well as all my colleagues, for their pursuit of excellence and positive impact.”

Two new trustees welcomed to expanded Board

The Myeloma UK Board also welcomes a further two new Trustees: Andrea Abrahams, Global Commercial Alliance Lead and Chief of Staff at ASTRAZENECA (AZ) PLC who joins to support the Board on policy: and Paul Brocklehurst, Chief Information Officer of the Financial Services Compensation Scheme, who will provide Board support on digital and IT transformation.

Retiring Trustee thanked for her commitment

Lee Appleton stands down as Trustee after eight years serving on the Board of Myeloma UK.

Lee commented:

“It has been quite a journey these past eight years. I’ve learnt so much and have routinely been in awe of the staff and their commitment to making life better for myeloma patients. I’m excited for the future of the organisation and look forward to seeing the great things I know the organisation, with Laura at the helm, will make happen.

It’s been an honour and a privilege to be part of such a driven, dynamic, innovative and vital organisation.”

Paying tribute to Lee’s service, Judy Dewinter said:

“Lee has been a hugely valued trustee and ambassador. Her passion and sincerity of purpose for the charity has shone through in all the work she has done for patients and supporters. Coming from a family of rock stars – we certainly consider Lee the ultimate rock star for what she has done for Myeloma UK and patients.”

Marc Gordon remarked:

‘Lee has demonstrated a fantastic commitment to Myeloma UK and worked tirelessly for us in fundraising, both in front of and behind the scenes. She has made a truly enormous contribution to Myeloma UK and we all thank her greatly for her work.”