V Foundation For Cancer Research names Susan Braun new CEO

Susan Braun, the new CEO of The V Foundation. (Photo courtesy of The V Foundation)

The V Foundation for Cancer Research, one of the nation’s leading cancer research foundations, recently announced Susan Braun as its new CEO, effective Sept. 17, 2012.

Braun, who will succeed current CEO Nick Valvano, was selected after a national search. She most recently served as the executive director at Commonweal in California.

Nick Valvano, the brother of Jim Valvano, will remain on The V Foundation’s Board of Directors after leading The V Foundation for the past 13 years.

Front Row sat down to talk with ESPN’s Rosa Gatti, Senior Vice President, Communications Counsel and Corporate Outreach and a member of the Board of Directors for The V Foundation for Cancer Research, to talk about the recent announcement.

Tell us about the selection of Susan Braun as the new CEO for The V Foundation.
I had the honor of serving on the search committee to interview candidates and select someone as did George Bodenheimer, our chairman. Susan Braun was the first candidate and she had instant credibility with us given her experience in cancer research and in the answers to our questions. She came across with candor and humor; she’s very impressive. When you look at her credentials in research, in business, in pharmaceuticals, she has a wealth of knowledge and experience.

What makes The V Foundation such a successful organization?

It’s a tribute to Nick’s leadership and the team in Cary, N.C. Two things: The Foundation is a very efficient operation and even though this organization has become bigger in its fundraising, it maintains the passion and sense of family from the early years.

The second thing that makes The V Foundation very successful, and Nick Valvano and the chairman Bob Lloyd always say this, is the engagement of the ESPN employees across departments — all of their ideas, promotion and marketing directly and through ESPN media.

Discuss ESPN’s involvement with The V Foundation and why it’s important to the ESPN Family.
It’s important because we helped found and grow The V Foundation. And unfortunately, we’ve lost too many employees to cancer, and many employees’ families or close friends have been touched by cancer. As we look back, it all evolved because of Jim Valvano’s charisma, his passion and his challenge to us all. Our employees have this continuing passion because so many have been touched by cancer.

Upcoming V Foundation events include:
Jimmy V Classic Dinner on Oct. 10, 2012
Jimmy V Women’s Basketball Classic on Dec. 3, 2012
Jimmy V Men’s Basketball Classic on Dec. 4, 2012

For more information visit The V Foundation’s event page.

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