MS Society

NZ Staff helps Multiple Sclerosis Auckland with its most senior executive appointment


Multiple Sclerosis Auckland (MS) is a not-for-profit organisation supporting people with MS in the greater Auckland region.

MS Auckland offers information and education about multiple sclerosis and has a wide range of support services designed to encourage and assist people with multiple sclerosis and their families to enjoy positive, active and healthy lives.

In 2012 MS Auckland needed a new leader to oversee the entire organisation and manage the day to day operations of the general staff who are committed to ensuring that work in the community reaches its full potential.

The purpose of the General Manager role, was to provide leadership and operational management in order to position MS Auckland as a high profile and respected organisation.

The successful person needed to demonstrate successful leadership in a senior role within a major services organisation, as well as being an excellent communicator with an established network.


Representatives of MS Auckland Board appointed NZ Staff (after a competitive pitch) to handle this senior appointment. The Board members were impressed with NZ Staff’s straight forward and personal approach and the honestly of the Account Manager.

The NZ Staff Account Manager researched MS Auckland to gain a thorough understanding of what the Society stood for, what it hoped to achieve through this appointment, and the required  job brief.  This process involved close consultation with the Client, where the Account Manager made valuable input into what NZ Staff and offered other suggestions as to what was required for the role.

The advertised role managed by NZ Staff on MS Auckland’s behalf succinctly communicated these values and needs and attracted more than 60 suitable applicants.  The process of approving the ad copy provided an opportunity for NZ Staff to demonstrate that it understood the client’s culture and requirements.

NZ Staff’s Account Manager screened the applicants online and conducted phone interviews, and in several cases face to face interviews with those applicants that were personally and professionally best aligned with the Society’s needs.

NZ Staff then developed a brief on two candidates that it believed the Board needed to see. Therese Russel who was already working for MS Auckland as the Fundraising and Marketing Manager applied through the formal open process and got through to this final round as one of the two candidates put forward to the Board.


The newly appointed General Manager, Therese Russel is now in the role and is reporting to the Board. Therese is leading, motivating and developing a team of dedicated staff and volunteers with her signature warmth and passionate character. She is successfully driving the vision and mission of the society, managing key relationships with stakeholders and the organisation’s financials, whilst ensuring all administrative aspects are completed within expected timeframes.  

The Board found the recruitment process straightforward and felt confident that the best possible person from the current market was appointed. They were satisfied that the right thing was done by the Society and a fair and diligent process was followed.

“I was really impressed with NZ Staff from the very beginning.  I applied for the role and after sending in my CV, I didn’t have to wait long for a response.  The agency rang me immediately and we had a very long discussion over the phone, which was great as it prevented wasting anyone’s time. This phone call established that the next stage would be beneficial for both parties.  I then attended an interview on ‘common grounds’ which took the edge off going into a corporate office and made the interview slightly less informal but more on a personal level. NZ Staff got to know me and not what a piece of paper had to say about me or an exam result.  The result was amazing and I got the job – thanks NZ Staff,” Therese Russel, General Manager, MS Auckland.