River & Rowing Museum Appoints New Director

The River & Rowing Museum will steer into its 25th anniversary year with a new Director at the helm following the appointment of successful business leader, Steve O’Connor.

Steve who lives in Henley will assume his new position in late spring, taking over from Interim Director Paul Owen, who will continue to support the museum and its board of Trustees.

He is an experienced leader in the charity sector as CEO of Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC), which he founded in 2013. His vision, to use the sport of rowing to help those from disadvantaged backgrounds in and around London, has positively impacted the lives of around 2,000 people a year. From scratch, he has developed a thriving charitable organisation, putting at the heart of his leadership an unwavering passion for people, sport, and community.

Concurrently, Steve also spent time as a business consultant for Scottish Rowing, where he constructed and executed the organisation’s commercial strategy. Further to that, he also brings enviable corporate experience and a personal passion for growing new business models.

A proud Henley resident, husband, and father of two, Steve has spent the last 25 years on the river in social, athletic, and professional capacities. His unique experiences, coupled with his professional nous, presented the River & Rowing Museum an ideal Director for its future growth.

The appointment comes at an exciting time for the River & Rowing Museum, which is set to re-open in the spring following its closure for roof repairs. Steve will be working with the Trustees and the museum’s staff to plan its future, including the upcoming 25th anniversary.

Steve said, I am delighted to be taking up the post of Director at the River and Rowing Museum, at what is a truly exciting time. As a resident of Henley-on-Thames, I know the museum well and I have missed visiting it with my family over the winter months. I am immensely proud that I can now play a part in developing its next phase of growth. I am confident that I can bring an important level of credibility across all stakeholders, and I am hugely excited at the prospect of helping the River & Rowing Museum into the future.”

David Worthington, Chair of Trustees said, We are thrilled to welcome Steve into the role of River & Rowing Museum Director. He inherits the unique opportunity to rearticulate the museum’s offering in its 25th year, and to help shape the overall organisation. He will pick up from the excellent work carried out by the team in Henley, and has the full support from a strong board, who are committed to the museum’s future. This was a process of careful due diligence over many months, distilling applicants down to the best candidates. Steve stood out for his proven leadership success, his passion for our subjects, and his people-first approach. He will be, undoubtedly, a strong asset to the museum and to the town.”




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