Steve O’Connor – New Director of RRM

Steve O’Connor giving a talk at the River & Rowing Museum. Among the audience (far left) are HTBS writers Tim Koch and on his right, Tom Weil.

17 February 2023

By Göran R Buckhorn

Henley-based Steve O’Connor, CEO of Fulham Reach Boat Club (FRBC), is appointed as new director of the River & Rowing Museum and set to steer the museum into an exciting new era.

Good news comes from the River & Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames which announced yesterday that Steve O’Connor has been appointed new director of the museum. The successful business leader O’Connor, 41, who lives in Henley, will take on 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. 

In a press release, the museum writes,

O’Connor 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, O’Connor 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. 

“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,” Steve O’Connor said. “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.” 

“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,” David Worthington, Chair of the Museum Trustees said. “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.”

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

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