The Waikato Chamber of Commerce's chief operating officer Paula Sutton will take up a new role at the University of Waikato in November.
Sutton, who has been at the chamber for almost six years and worked with three chief executives, has been appointed engagement manager for the Waikato Management School – a newly created position.
The role will see Sutton identify mutually beneficial opportunities for the school and Waikato businesses to connect, collaborate and grow.
Dr Heather Connolly, Director of Engagement and Executive Education at the Waikato Management School, says the university is excited to welcome Paula.
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"Paula has some amazing relationships with Waikato business leaders through her role in the chamber over the past few years. Her appointment provides the university with an opportunity to strengthen our relationships with local business, and maintain a strong pipeline of opportunities for students to engage with the wider business community," Connolly said.
"The growth we're seeing in the Waikato economy has been huge. We know, as a School, that there is a vast opportunity to support and contribute to that growth from an education and research perspective, and by better connecting with Waikato organisations.
"That could be in the form of partnerships, research projects, internships for students, bringing in guest lecturers from industry… the possibilities are endless. We are thrilled to have Paula joining us to help forge those connections and realise those opportunities."
Waikato Chamber of Commerce chief executive Don Good said Paula has been an outstanding chamber team member and had played an integral part in helping the chamber grow from strength to strength.
"Paula will be greatly missed by the team and members alike, but I'm incredibly pleased that the Waikato Chamber and the wider Waikato business community will continue to be well served by Paula in her new role," Good said.
Sutton said it had been a great experience to have been part of the chamber rebuild over the past six years.
"I'd like to thank our members for their continued support. I am excited to join the team at the university and look forward to building new opportunities for students and business," she said.