Smile Train Board Votes to Call off Merger

Mar 07, 2011, 12:02 ET from Smile Train

NEW YORK, March 7, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- The Board of Directors of Smile Train, one of the leading cleft lip and cleft palate charities in the world, today voted to call off the proposed merger with Operation Smile. The Board of Directors of Operation Smile has also voted to call off the proposed merger.

Charles B. Wang, chairman and co-founder of Smile Train said, "Smile Train was created for one reason: to cure children born with cleft lips and cleft palates.  Since we announced the proposed merger, Smile Train and Operation Smile have had to spend too much time and attention dealing with false innuendo, accusations and allegations.  This has taken time and focus away from what is most important, helping children with clefts. The resulting damage to both Smile Train's and Operation Smile's efforts led us to conclude that we could not, in good conscience, continue to pursue the merger."

All of Smile Train's programs and partnerships around the world have and will continue to operate with an average of 300 cleft surgeries every day.

To further this goal, the Smile Train Board of Directors announced the formation of an Executive Management Team consisting of: Priscilla Ma as Executive Director, Satish Kalra as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of South Asia, Dr. Shell Xue as Senior Vice President and Managing Director of Asia, Robert Toth as Chief Operating Officer, Jill Woodcome as Senior Vice President of Programs, and Brian Dearth as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer.  This team has a combined experience of over 25 years at Smile Train.  The Board also announced that a member of the Medical Advisory Board will be named an ex-officio Member of the Board.

For further information on Smile Train, please visit:

About Smile Train

Founded in 1998, Smile Train is a world leading cleft lip and cleft palate charity with thousands of partners and programs in many of the world's poorest countries. Smile Train provides free cleft lip and cleft palate surgery to children from poor families to give children not just a new smile, but also a new life. Smile Train gives financial support and training to on-ground institutions in 78 countries around the world.

Contact:  Andrew Frank for Smile Train, 212-515-1984

SOURCE Smile Train