An accomplished strategist and expert in planning and organizational capacity building, Hywel W. Sims (he/him/his) has been a servant leader of people across a number of industries, causes, and countries for over 30 years. Throughout his prolific career, he has held numerous executive positions, assisting various organizations in times of financial challenge, contraction, and growth and in responding to community needs in the arts and social service sectors in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
Prior to joining ACG, Sims served as CEO of Musica Viva Australia, the country’s oldest professional not-for-profit performing arts company and largest employer of individual musicians, with a budget of approximately $12 million. In this role, Sims planned extensive national tours and artist development programs, led an artistic director search, guided a comprehensive national brand transformation, and steered the organization through the turbulence of the COVID-19 pandemic, sustaining stable and successful operations and ensuring support for artists and staff. A strong advocate for equity and inclusion, Sims utilized his expertise to ensure that Indigenous voices and perspectives of First Nations’ communities were fully represented in all aspects of strategic and program planning. He partnered with First Nations’ artists and colleagues to devise the organization’s first Reconciliation Plan and created formal protocols for working with First Nations’ peoples. He also designed and implemented a new music education program in which two First Nations’ ensembles travelled to schools nationally. Under Sims’ leadership, the growth in philanthropic funding achieved unprecedented levels.
“To succeed, passionate people and organizations need effective and sustainable structures. Sims is equally at home in the many disciplines required to create these structures, amongst them artistic planning, development, administration, diversity, equity, inclusion and recruitment - all elements that must be tailored to each organization in support of their vision and mission as they serve their community.”
Previously, Sims served as General Manager at Gondwana Choirs, the Australian national choral organization, dedicated to highlighting young voices, in particular Indigenous voices. While there, he oversaw strategic restructuring and secured $1 million in corporate support for the National Indigenous Children’s Choir, among other programs. Prior to moving to Australia, Sims fulfilled the role of Chief Executive for the Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles where he developed and launched several community engagement initiatives including the Alive Music Project, a unique music education program for high school students, designed to support LGBTQ+ youth throughout Los Angeles and beyond. Originally working in healthcare, Sims led numerous HIV/AIDS agencies, as Director for Chris Brownlie Hospice, CEO for Santa Monica AIDS Project, and Interim Executive Director for Common Ground – the Westside HIV Community Center. At the height of the AIDS epidemic, he developed programs, raised funds, and lobbied for rapid government responses to this public health emergency. Sims also served as Chief Executive for Adfam UK, a national charity organization that supports people whose lives have been negatively impacted by someone else’s drug and alcohol abuse.
Sims was previously a member of the Human Services Commission for the City of West Hollywood and a member of the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs for the U.K. Government. He currently serves on the Advisory Board for Vox Femina LA.
Sims' professional and client work includes:
Chris Brownlie Hospice
Common Ground, the Westside HIV Community Center
Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles
Liberty’s of London
Musica Viva Australia
Santa Monica AIDS Project