by Adam Rombel

Date: 5/17/2017 at 18:41:35

 UTICA, N.Y. — The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory (MMRL) on Wednesday announced it has hired Alex Simon as its new director of development as the nonprofit medical-research center seeks to boost its fundraising outreach to a broader audience.

Simon comes to MMRL after a nearly 10-year career in which he has worked in fundraising and advancement positions at several different colleges and universities across upstate New York.

“Hiring Alex marks the beginning of an exciting new era for MMRL,” John S. Zielinski, CFO of MMRL, contended in a news release. “We have been very successful over the years at sharing the message of our cutting edge research with our Masonic brethren, and they have been the bedrock on which MMRL has been able to flourish. The one area where we have been less successful is reaching out to the larger philanthropic community. I am extremely confident that Alex’s experience as a seasoned fundraiser will allow us to build on our existing network of support and grow in new and previously untapped streams of funding.”

Simon has been a key part of fundraising teams at Cazenovia College, Union College, and SUNY Polytechnic Institute that achieved “record-breaking” support, the release stated. In these positions, Simon has worked with corporate partners to fund student research programs, campaigned for unrestricted capital, and established scholarships for “deserving” students. At MMRL, Simon will continue working to raise money for research institutions.

“The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory is a world-class center for research in cardiovascular disease, and I am excited to take the reins of their fundraising operation,” Simon said in the release. “The Laboratory has been incredibly successful due in no small part to the support of Freemasonry including the Grand Lodge of New York as well as supporters in other states. We are going to build on that success by cultivating new advocates and implementing fresh revenue streams, all the while continuing to foster our personal relationships.”

Simon will be succeeding Ronald P. Kamp, former director of communication and development who retired from MMRL in January 2017 after 32 years of service.

The Masonic Medical Research Laboratory, headquartered at 2150 Bleecker St. in Utica, is a not-for-profit institute founded by the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons in New York state in 1958. The organization says it is known for its scientific achievements in experimental cardiology and is a “leading” center for genetic screening of cardiac disease.

MMRL generated nearly $3.3 million in total revenue in 2015, of which more than $1.1 million came from contributions, gifts, and grants, according to its Form 990 filing with the IRS. In the prior year, the institute generated $6.3 million in total revenue, with nearly $2.5 million coming from contributions, gifts, and grants.

 Contact Rombel at arombel@cnybj.com

 Photo credit: MMRL