Meet Our Award Winners!
Executive vice president
Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy (Middletown, Ohio)
Organization’s mission: To improve the treatment, quality of life and long-term outlook for all individuals affected by Duchenne muscular dystrophy through research, advocacy, education and compassion.
Annual operating budget: $5 million
How much raised annually: $5 million
Role models: Pat Furlong, PPMD president.
Why did you choose fundraising as a career: I didn’t choose it; it chose me — truly by accident.
Greatest fundraising challenges: Working in rare disease, your primary donor base is already small. So fundraising within that community, but also being able to break out and into other markets is very difficult when you are raising funds for something no one has heard about.
Challenges facing fundraisers in general: I think keeping things fresh, keeping current with trends and not exhausting your donor base are a few of the biggest challenges we face.
Keys to success (in fundraising): For us, having a strategically developed plan, integrating it with all programs, and marketing and being honest with measurable outcomes are a few keys to a successful campaign.
Keys to success (in life): It’s all about balance. Balancing family, home, kids, work and play isn’t easy. But if you can manage to put your whole heart into each of those things and enjoy even small moments, it is wonderful.
Fundraising accomplishment of which you are most proud: Run For Our Sons — taking a whim of an idea (needing 20 runners to qualify as a team) and turning that into a program that has united our families and community. It has grown to five races per year and is now raising more than $1.2 million annually.
How would your co-workers describe you: Slightly crazy, always busy, but, hopefully, creative and committed.
Greatest lesson ever learned: The only thing you can expect is the unexpected. Sometimes when you think you have a great idea and the right people, you don’t. And sometimes those you least expect to step up will step up to the plate, and a small idea will become a real winner.
Personal philosophy: Just keep swimming. OK, so perhaps one shouldn’t have a personal philosophy that comes from Finding Nemo … But if we do “just keep swimming” and we happen to be swimming together, good things will come about. It is all about keeping moving and moving in the right direction. FS
- Jewish National Fund
- People Magazine