Incoming NKF chief has exacting standards

Incoming NKF chief has exacting standards
Mr Edmund Kwok (centre) with National Kidney Foundation employees at a healthy lifestyle walk organised for the staff. Mr Kwok, who is the charity’s current chief operating officer, will succeed Mrs Eunice Tay as its chief executive on Nov 1.

Perched prominently beside the coffee maker in Mr Edmund Kwok's office is a quote that reads: "Lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part."

It is perhaps no surprise that the new National Kidney Foundation (NKF) chief is already in the process of ironing out a three- and five-year blueprint, though he would officially take over the post only next month.

Mr Kwok, who is now the chief operating officer, will succeed Mrs Eunice Tay, 64, who has been NKF chief executive since 2006.

Before joining NKF last year, he was the vice-president of oncology at Parkway Healthcare.

The fastidious streak in him was fleshed out when he was a planner at transport operator SBS Transit some 30 years ago, after he graduated with a diploma in management.

For 10 years, he kept himself busy drawing up bus routes and deciding where to site bus stops and interchanges, before moving into the health-care sector in 1990.

He later pursued a Master of Science in health-care management at the University of Wales.

Now helming one of the biggest charities in Singapore, he has big plans for the outfit, which serves more than 3,000 patients.

He takes over the organisation at a time when it is on surer footing and emerging from the shadow of its 2005 scandal, when lapses in its corporate governance were exposed.

For a start, it is going back to active fund-raising. Mr Kwok is not ruling out the possibility of a television fund-raising megashow comeback. In its heyday, NKF's glitzy TV shows could easily raise over $10 million.

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