Dear Fellow ZERO Family Members,
This past summer marked ZERO’s 26th anniversary (including 12 years as National Prostate Cancer Coalition – the precursor to ZERO) and I’ve decided to transition my role as President & CEO to the next generation of leadership.
I have been thinking about this decision with my family for some time; and while it’s extraordinarily difficult for me to imagine leaving the organization that I helped recreate, name, shape, and grow for what will be 21 years, I will graduate from this incredible adventure on June 30, 2023. That is about eight months from now.
Since joining the organization in 2002 and becoming its CEO in 2013, I have loved ZERO with all my heart. I have done my very best to create a loving culture of strong values that drives success in meeting the needs of patients and building a close-knit nationwide ZERO family filled with champions and cause heroes. I am especially proud to be part of this wonderful community with you.
It has been an honor of a lifetime to lead our shared effort and I am truly humbled to be a part of a team that has grown ZERO 10-fold, provided millions in patient support, and successfully advocated for millions more in research. It’s surreal to try to sum up all of what we’ve done together in one sentence as there are so many stories and people who have inspired me that I hold close to my heart.
Next June, I’ll be ready to pursue some of my other life passions including helping other nonprofits build what ZERO has accomplished. ZERO will soon begin a search for the next CEO as the leadership team at the organization remains together; moving forward to accomplish the goals in our forthcoming strategic plan. I could not ask for a better team and I will continue to work closely with them in the coming months and will support them and you in the years ahead.
As I reflect on our organization’s history and the impact it has had on the prostate cancer community, I am inspired, profoundly proud, and honestly – a bit overwhelmed. ZERO’s success has helped countless patients along their journeys to live healthy lives with their families. Working together, we have helped reduce prostate cancer deaths by 40 percent, assisted in bringing a vast array of treatments to patients, and provided financial support and screenings to literally hundreds of thousands. We pioneered free mobile testing for prostate cancer, forged partnerships that launched us forward with places like NASCAR, NHL, and Gillette, built the largest men’s health event series in the country, and launched and built a vibrant and diverse nationwide chapter program to reach patients and families where they live, and further united the prostate cancer community by merging and aligning with other outstanding groups. We have created a remarkable culture that led to our being named one of the NonProfit Times’ “50 Best Places to Work For” a record-setting eight times and we have a four star rating from Charity Navigator with a 97.4 score out of a 100.
I never intended to be part of this cause for a large part of my life when I took the job as press secretary two decades ago but it all quickly became everything to me – a passionate calling and a promise to the champions we’ve lost along the way to help bring a brighter future for patients. Wherever they are in this vast universe, I hope they are proud of where we are today.
Words cannot begin to express how deeply grateful I am to share this wonderful journey with you and how I love ZERO and all of you. No matter where I am in my life, I will remain connected to the organization and do everything I can to help the patient community.
I love you all very much and be well.