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Edith Sanford convenes National Thought Leaders Council

(Sioux Falls, SD) – The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation is breaking new ground in the nonprofit space by looking to successful entrepreneurs and social innovators to help reach its philanthropic goals. Last week in Sioux Falls, S.D., the Foundation convened the first meeting of its National Thought Leaders Advisory Council, a think tank designed to help formulate fresh new strategies for building grassroots support.

"The Edith Sanford initiative was founded as a catalyst for transformational change in the way we think about and treat breast cancer," said Kimberly Simpson, president of the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. "Part of our success depends on going beyond the mainstream and leveraging the experience, connections and insights of creative, entrepreneurial thinkers from a wide variety of professional backgrounds." 

“Edith Sanford stands out because it embraces innovation in everything from its mission to the way it does business,” said council member Ron McCray, a private investor and corporate director who has also served as chief administrative officer of Nike, Inc. and as chief legal officer of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. “Every for-profit business knows that a culture of creativity and innovation is the key to success, but it’s unique for a charitable nonprofit to be so nimble and forward thinking.”

The distinguished council represents recognized leaders in areas including biotechnology, IT, health care, food, consumer goods, apparel, digital media, finance, and political consulting. Each member was carefully selected to ensure a diversity of experience and perspective that the Foundation will draw on to help identify and maximize engagement, grassroots fundraising and major gift philanthropy opportunities.

In addition to McCray, the council boasts names such as Jan Fields, former president of McDonald's USA, LLC, who has been named to the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women.”

"I am very excited about the bold new approach to breast cancer," said Fields. "I think Edith Sanford is the answer to finally ending this devastating disease."

Another leader on the council is Craig Arnold, president and CEO of Permara LLC. Arnold previously served as a director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led initiatives to bring access to computers and the internet to small towns and large cities in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and Chile.

"I believe in Edith Sanford's approach to ending breast cancer and raising the standard of care for women everywhere. I'm eager to contribute to the success of its mission," said Arnold. 

Council Members:

Ron McCray 
McCray is a private investor and corporate director. He previously served as the chief administrative officer of Nike, Inc., and chief legal officer of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. McCray is the minority owner of the Boston Celtics NBA franchise and serves on the boards of Cornell University and the Harvard Law School. By nomination of President Obama and Senate confirmation, he is also a member of the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Janice (Jan) Fields
Fields is the former president of McDonald's USA, LLC, and one of the most widely recognized women in business leadership.

She currently serves on the boards of St. Louis-based Monsanto, The Field Museum, The Global Board of Ronald McDonald House Charities, and chairs the Board of United Cerebral Palsy.  She is also a member of The Chicago Network, an organization of professional women in the upper echelons of business, the arts, government, and academia.

Fields has been named to the Forbes list of “The World’s 100 Most Powerful Women,” Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” list, The Wall Street Journal’s “50 Women to Watch” list, and Crain’s Chicago Business list of “25 Women to Watch.”

Craig Arnold
Arnold is the president and chief executive officer of the technology company Permara LLC and a former director of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led one of the foundation’s earliest initiatives to bring access to computers and the internet to small towns and large cities in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Chile.

Arnold has also served as chief executive officer at Plymouth Energy and has been a board member for NPower. 

Katie Behnke
Behnke is managing partner and cofounder of The Starboard Group. She is a successful political and fundraising campaign advisor who has worked with a veritable who’s who of Colorado politics, including U.S. Sen. Ben Nighthorse Campbell and Gov. Bill Owens. 

Ralph Kauten
Kauten is the chairman and chief executive officer of Quintessence Biosciences, Inc. located in Madison, Wisc.  Kauten has served as co-founder and leader of a number of biotechnology companies including Promega Corporation, PanVera Corporation, and Mirus Corporation. He has also been designated as an Entrepreneur of the Year by Ernst and Young.

Clare A. Martorana
Martorana is a digital media executive who has held senior leadership positions with WebMD Health, including the role of senior vice president of partnerships and editor-at-large at WebMD Health, and the senior vice president and general manager of the WebMD Network. Before joining WebMD, she served as chief operating officer at Oncology.com. 

Martorana's previous experience includes the positions of vice president and executive producer at CBS HealthWatch by Medscape, where she developed CBS HealthWatch radio and broadcast programming as well as special projects for CBS. Martorana has also worked as an independent film producer at SDR Films and Coleman Parker Productions in New York where she produced numerous feature films and documentaries.

Pierce H. McDowell III
McDowell is a co-founder and current president, co-chairman and co-chief executive officer of South Dakota Trust Company LLC and South Dakota Planning Company LLC. The former is a national trust boutique company for the wealthy based in Sioux Falls, S.D., and the latter a trust/estate planning consulting, marketing and sales firm based in New York City.

Matthew Meskell
Meskell works on operations, product and strategy at a privately-held company based in Silicon Valley whose software enables integrating, analyzing, and visualizing large-scale data.  He previously served as a managing director for a multi-billion dollar investment fund dedicated to macro trading strategies. Meskell has also served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and practiced law with a focus on intellectual property disputes. 

Catherine Rodewald
Rodewald has served as the president and chief executive officer with Prudential Asset Resources, Inc. and the managing director/chief information officer for Prudential Mortgage Capital Company. Rodewald has also held leadership positions with AMRESCO (international publicly traded diversified financial services corporation) and Ernst and Young (formerly Kenneth Leventhal & Company). She was also formerly president of the Komen affiliate in Dallas.

Dwayne SpradlinSpradlin is the chief executive officer of Health Data Consortium, a Washington, DC-based nonprofit public private partnership advocating and enabling improvements in health and health care through better use of health data.

He previously served as president and chief executive officer of InnoCentive, the pioneer in open innovation and crowdsourcing, president of Hoovers Online, president and chief operations officer of StarCite Inc., senior vice president at VerticalNet Inc., and director at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where he spent ten years delivering technology and strategy solutions to Fortune 500 clients.

Spradlin recently coauthored The Open Innovation Marketplace, published by FT Press; and his article “Are You Solving the Right Problem?” was published in the September 2012 issue of Harvard Business Review.

Jan Stadler
Stadler is a breast cancer advocate and survivor, community volunteer, and she is actively involved in supporting several nonprofits. Stadler is married to professional golfer Craig Stadler, and helps manage the business side of their busy life in golf.

Carolyn Valentine 
Valentine is the senior director for global strategic marketing at McNeil Nutritionals, a division of Johnson & Johnson. 

Prior to joining McNeil, Carolyn was area senior director of commercial and business development for Europe, Middle East, Africa and Pakistan (EMEA), within the International Nutrition Division of Abbott Laboratories.

Karen Williams
Williams leads strategic initiatives focused on increasing sales and profitability as executive director of strategic operations implementation for DineEquity, parent of Applebee’s Grill and Bar and IHOP.

Before joining DineEquity, Williams acted as an internal consultant to senior management at 7-Eleven, and contributed to more than a four-fold increase in profitability at Corner Bakery Cafe, its sale to a private equity-backed group and its transition to stand alone status. She has held progressive supply chain management positions with PepsiCo and its spin-offs, Yum! Brands and the Unified Foodservice Purchasing Co-op (UFPC), developing and executing supply strategy for Pizza Hut and new concepts such as WingStreet. 

Cynthia Hardy Young
Young is global head of agency at AIG.  She focuses on consumer and small commercial business written through intermediaries worldwide. She is also the former president of Encompass Insurance, a $2.5-billion division of Allstate Insurance that sells personal lines products countrywide through two brands.

About the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation

The Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation is pioneering a bold new comprehensive approach to breast cancer, with a mission to unlock each woman's genetic code, advance today's prevention and treatment, and end breast cancer for future generations. Edith Sanford Breast Cancer is pursuing cutting-edge translational genomic research to identify specific treatments that will work best for each person, prevent the disease on an individual basis, and ultimately eradicate breast cancer. To accelerate the research and advances in care, a cornerstone of this ground-breaking organization is our biobank – a shared collection of genetic information from people of all ages, medical histories and backgrounds – that provides researchers easy access to data.

The launch of this movement began with a gift from Denny Sanford, who tragically lost his mother, Edith, to breast cancer when he was just four years old. For more information about the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation, visit edithsanford.org or call 1.855.GO.EDITH (463.3484).

About Sanford Health

Sanford Health is an integrated health system headquartered in the Dakotas and is now the largest, rural, nonprofit health care system in the nation with locations in 126 communities in eight states. In addition, Sanford Health is in the process of developing international clinics in Ghana and Mexico.

Sanford Health includes 35 hospitals, 140 clinic locations and 1,360 physicians in 81 specialty areas of medicine. With more than 26,000 employees, Sanford Health is the largest employer in North and South Dakota.



Stacy Bauer Jones
Sanford Health Media Relations
24/7 Media Line: 605-366-2432 stacy.jones@sanfordhealth.org
Follow me on Twitter @SanfordStacy