LOS ANGELES, March 3, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The St. Baldrick's Foundation, the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, announced Mike McCreesh, of Southport, Conn., as its new chairman-elect of the board of directors. As a longtime St. Baldrick's volunteer and father of a childhood cancer survivor, McCreesh will officially begin his tenure as chairman on July 1, 2016.
"Mike's personal experience as a parent of a childhood cancer survivor, combined with his business expertise, makes him an ideal leader for a dynamic, growing organization like St. Baldrick's that continues to evolve to meet the ongoing research needs of children with cancer," says St. Baldrick's CEO Kathleen Ruddy.
A father of three, McCreesh never thought that his son, Brent, would have to endure a battle with cancer that started with a neuroblastoma diagnosis at the young age of two. Today Brent is a healthy 13-year-old who is also very involved with St. Baldrick's. In 2005, to honor their son and other families affected by cancer, the family created TeamBrent, an unincorporated organization of extended family, friends and neighbors that supports the St. Baldrick's Foundation. Each year, Mike and his wife Dana organize the St. Baldrick's events in Westport/Fairfield Conn. area, where hundreds of people gather to shave their heads in solidarity with kids with cancer. The family also supports other local St. Baldrick's events and fundraisers in their area. To date, TeamBrent has raised more than $6 million to fight childhood cancers. Visit their 2016 event page here.
"I made myself a promise when Brent was diagnosed that I would do anything in my power to stop pediatric cancer so other families don't have to go through what we have," explains McCreesh. "Serving on the board since 2013, I believe it is the right time to put that promise into further action as the newly elected chairman."
McCreesh serves as a managing director within the Securities Division at Goldman Sachs. He joined Goldman Sachs in 1994 and worked in financial applications within the Controllers Division. McCreesh joined the Securities Division in 1999 and worked in the Futures business and Client Commission Management business before being named managing director in 2010. He also serves on the Institutional Brokerage Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA).
The announcement of McCreesh as chairman-elect received an enthusiastic response from current St. Baldrick's chairman of the board, Chuck Chamness. "It has been my honor to serve as St. Baldrick's board chairman since 2013 and I can't think of anyone more equipped to take over the reins than Mike," shares Chamness. "As a board member and St. Baldrick's volunteer, Mike has shown true passion and dedication to the cause that will undoubtedly help to solidify the Foundation as the leader in the childhood cancer research community. I look forward to the new opportunities for the Foundation that Mike's personal and professional experience will bring to helping us continue to fund research that will find cures and better treatment options for all childhood cancers."
Chamness, who serves as president and CEO of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies (NAMIC), became committed to the Foundation as a shavee and volunteer event organizer in 2005 when his son Joey was being treated for osteosarcoma. Chamness, his wife and four children have all answered the call to be St. Baldrick's shavees and have gone bald to raise money for research. The family's yearly St. Baldrick's event in Indianapolis receives tremendous support from the community, including his family and colleagues at NAMIC. All together the event has raised more than $1.5 million. Today, Chamness' son is a healthy and active 19-year-old.
Under Chamness' leadership the Foundation granted more grants in a single year than ever before, supported the development of a drug that received FDA approval (only the third drug approved in the last 20 years specifically for kids with cancer), spearheaded the creation of the STAR Act, and secured a partnership with Sport Clips Haircuts, the Foundation's first national partner. With Chamness' support the Foundation has set off to change the narrative for kids with cancer with the recent launch of the Kids Are Special, Let's Treat Them That Way initiative. The national campaign is focused on celebrating kids and giving them the happy childhoods they deserve, while also highlighting the need to find treatment methods specifically designed for childhood cancers.
About St. Baldrick's Foundation
As the largest private funder of childhood cancer research grants, the St. Baldrick's Foundation believes that kids are special and deserve to be treated that way. St. Baldrick's funds are granted to some of the most brilliant childhood cancer research experts who are working to find cures and better treatments for all childhood cancers. Kids need treatments as unique as they are – and that starts with funding research just for them. Join us at StBaldricks.org to help support the best cancer treatments for kids.
SOURCE St. Baldricks Foundation