April 16, 2015

SVSU Hires Linda Sims to Lead Communication, Marketing and External Affairs

Saginaw Valley State University has hired Linda Sims to lead communication, marketing and external affairs for the university.  She comes to SVSU from Consumers Energy, where she has served in a variety of public relations roles for more than 30 years, including the past 10 in the senior role of executive director of public affairs for the utility.

 “I am very pleased that Linda has agreed to serve SVSU in this critical role,” said SVSU President Donald Bachand. “We provide an exemplary education to our students. I see evidence of this on a daily basis, but at the same time, it is clear to me that too few people know enough about us.
 
“Linda has enjoyed a distinguished career and is highly respected in her field. When coupled with her deep understanding of the university, I am confident she is the right person to lead our efforts to advance our reputation.”
 
Sims previously served on SVSU’s Board of Control, including a term as chair; she presently serves on the Board of Directors of the SVSU Foundation. Along with her husband Larry, they endowed the Sims Public Speaking Contest, which annually provides students with an opportunity to compete for scholarships.
 
“My volunteer work with SVSU over the past 20 years has provided a strong foundation for this new assignment,” Sims said. “I know SVSU has a great story to tell and a fine team in place. With all that SVSU has to offer students, parents, alumni and Michigan residents, I am eager to get to work and do my part to help SVSU become more widely known.”
 
At Consumers Energy, Sims managed the public affairs team of 20 area managers across 68 Michigan counties.  In addition to communications, her responsibilities included government and community relations, roles she is expected to oversee at SVSU, as well.
 
Sims’ title will be senior executive assistant to the president/executive director for communications and external affairs; she will report to Bachand. Her arrival is part of an administrative restructuring, as Carlos Ramet, who had been serving SVSU in a similar capacity, has been appointed associate dean of the College of Arts and Behavioral Sciences, SVSU’s largest academic college.
 
Active in the community, Sims serves on the boards of the Saginaw County Chamber of Commerce, the Great Lakes Bay Regional Alliance and chairs the 2015 campaign of the Saginaw County United Way.
 
Sims has received several awards for her work in the field of public relations and in the Great Lakes Bay Region. Consumers Energy presented her with the Ethics in Action Award for ethical leadership in 2012, and she received a Woman of Distinction Award from the Girl Scouts of Mitten Bay in 1998.  A founding member of the White Pine chapter of the Public Relations Society of America, she is a past president of the chapter, and received its Outstanding Practitioner Award.
 
A graduate of Michigan State University, Sims will begin her duties at SVSU on June 1.