CEO Announcement

The Board of Heart Kids New Zealand Inc. has received, with regret, the resignation of CEO Mark Longbottom, effective 20 August 2021. Mark joined the organisation in June 2020, during the challenging demands of COVID-19 and repeated lockdowns. Mark was instrumental in initiating the consultation process for the 2022-2026 Strategic Plan. This began with the members survey, the staff workshop, and the current national strategic planning hui. Mark leaves an extremely talented team in place and the organisation in an excellent position to move forward.  

Mark has resigned to spend more time with his family. We thank him for his dedication and passion for our heart kids and their whānau.

While we are saddened to farewell Mark, on behalf of the Heart Kids NZ Board, I am pleased to announce Dr Ruth Gorinski has accepted the position of Acting CEO to allow the Board time to undertake a recruitment process to fill the position. Ruth will assume the new role as from Monday 2 August and will work closely with Mark to make sure there is a seamless handover.

Ruth brings her experience as a heart mum, as the Family Support Worker in Manawatu and, more recently, as Head of Family Support. She is fully embedded in Heart Kids and has a deep understanding of the needs of our families. She’s previously held numerous senior leadership roles in Aotearoa/NZ and international organisations, through which she’s developed strengths in strategic planning, building productive partnerships with a wide range of stakeholder groups and leading organisational change. She also has financial/commercial expertise as a director of several successful companies. Her knowledge of Heart Kids and her wide range of skills makes her ideal to see us through this time, while we go through the recruitment process. A search committee will be appointed by the Board and further details on this will be shared with you in due course.

2021 continues to present exciting opportunities for us all. As always, we rely on the support of our members, volunteers, sponsors and the public for continued provision of lifelong support to heart children and their whānau. The Board appreciates the involvement, dedication, and commitment of each of you. Thank you for your continued loyalty and participation in our community as we move into this new leadership phase.

If you have any questions or concerns during this transition process, please do not hesitate to reach out to Acting CEO Dr Ruth Gorinski at [email protected]

Created on: 29 July 2021