Dave was promoted to director of regional development in 1989, the first year the organization held a national radiothon. Broadcast from the lobby of the hospital, the event was a failure. But Dave persisted. He arranged for St. Jude founder Danny Thomas to ask country music star Randy Owen to get involved and endorse the idea with country music stations and entertainers. That resulted in the development of Country Cares for St. Jude Kids, one of the most successful radio fundraising events in America. Since 1989, the program has raised more than $395 million in pledges.
Dave has a history of being ahead of the curve on emerging fundraising initiatives, such as the launch of a Hispanic marketing effort, Promesa y Esperanza, in 1997. The radiothon program is now in more than 40 markets and raises more than $25 million in pledges. He also was instrumental in revamping ALSAC's approach to gift planning, "helping us take it to the next level and become proactive in our fundraising," says Brenda Abshure, senior VP of gift planning.
Dave was promoted to senior VP of field operations in 1993 and became assistant national executive director in 1996. In 2000 he was promoted to chief operating officer, and in 2009 was promoted to senior executive vice president and COO.
Perhaps Dave's greatest contribution to ALSAC is his day-to-day leadership through three decades of change, including four CEOs.
"As CEOs have come and gone, he has been the lighthouse shining and keeping us pointed in the right direction," says Chris Boysen, VP of field operations. "He has always given his blessing on new projects if staff makes the case for them. He has given us the go-ahead and provided us with the resources to do it."
"Dave 'gets it,'" says Gloria Ballard, Dave's administrative assistant for 20 years. "He understands the mission and what we have to do to continue to be successful; he simply loves St. Jude."