Former Waikato Rugby Union director Sharyn Cawood has been appointed marketing and fundraising manager for Hospice Waikato.
Hospice Waikato is a charitable trust which provides specialised care services for people who are dying, supporting them, their families and carers through illness, death and bereavement.
Cawood takes up the new role today.
''I've been searching for a way to make a contribution to the community and I've got a really natural curiosity which has lead me down many path.,'' she said.
''When I heard about this role I felt that I'd come home to my natural environment.
''It's really important to point your car in the direction of work in the morning and get out feeling good,'' she said.
Along with recently appointed chief executive Craig Tamblyn, Cawood is looking forward to ushering in a ''new era'' for the organisation. ''There has been a lot of fundraising and support. The Waikato people gave so generously to building the new Hospice Waikato and now it's all about the next phase which is to keep it going.''
In 2010, after a massive community fundraising effort, an $8 million new hospice was officially opened on Cobham Drive.
But fundraising is an ongoing necessity.
Hospice Waikato needs to raise nearly 2 million this year to continue providing its services; that equates to about $5205 each day.
Hospice Waikato has six shops and 500 volunteers on the books and so pulling on existing resources, Cawood is ready to take the organisations in a new direction.
''There has been a huge amount of work done, now is that new era to do something different, something new.''
It could be seen a hard sell marketing palliative care - death isn't a friendly concept - but Cawood said she doesn't see it as ''marketing death'' and the many generous people in the region are likely to make her job easier.
''I don't think of the death association, I just think of the wonderful people who work there.''
''Now the hospice has been going for five years and everybody you talk to has got somebody how they know, whether it has been a family member or someone close to them, that has been involved with the hospice.''
Cawood said she would be pulling on her networks and connections she has built over the last few years in public roles.
Previously, Cawood has been regional sales and marketing manager for TVNZ , director of the Waikato Rugby Union and trustee of Sport Waikato.
She currently holds the roles of friend of Waikato Breast Cancer Trust, board chair of The Gallagher Great Race, board member of Wintec Foundation and a member of the Institute of Directors.
First up on her agenda is meeting funders and volunteers so she can get a clearer idea of where the organisation is and where it needs to go next.
''I don't know how or what yet, I need to understand about how it all works. The first thing I think I'm going to be doing is learning and listening before I start dreaming up any ideas.''
- © Fairfax NZ News