senior executive vice president and chief operating officer
ALSAC, the fundraising organization for St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Dave McKee's first day on the job with ALSAC/St. Jude Children's Research Hospital on Dec. 5, 1977, was trial by fire. No, really — the new regional director of the Southeast Region in Atlanta drove up to his office to find the building in flames, caused by a fire in the deli next door.
Dave was undeterred, and his unflappable persistence in turning challenges into successes has been the trademark of his 33-year career with ALSAC/St. Jude. He has been an integral force behind ALSAC's growth from a fledging fundraising organization raising $11.8 million in his first year to the nation's second largest health care charity, with record revenues of $691.9 million in FY10. ALSAC has experienced an average annual growth rate of more than 13 percent during Dave's tenure.
"Dave is the rock of ALSAC," ALSAC CEO Richard C. Shadyac Jr. says. "We have been through many changes in his 33 years here, and he is the one person who's always seen us through."
He also has been the driving force behind innovative and highly successful approaches to fundraising that have set the standard for the industry. An early example is ALSAC's Volunteer Service Center (VSC), which uses part-time employees to make calls asking volunteers to do fundraisers for the hospital. As associate director of development, Dave purposed the idea for consolidating regional efforts into one call center in late 1985.
Bike-a-Thon, Math-a-Thon and Trike-a-Thon were among the new VSC events in the first year, and all continue today, involving children as young as kindergarten age in philanthropy.
"Dave believes in the telemarketing effort, and it is one of the differences we have as an organization," says John McQuaig, VP of call centers. "The VSC brings volunteers to St. Jude at a young age to become a part of the St. Jude family. Math-a-Thon and Trike-a-Thon are the first steps in the life cycle of a donor, which is so critical to the organization."