SEATTLE – June 21, 2013 – Former Washington Gov. Chris Gregoire has been appointed to Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center’s board of trustees – her first foray back into the public spotlight since completing her second gubernatorial term in January.
She is among four new Fred Hutch board members appointed today for fiscal year 2013-2014, which brings the total number of those serving in this volunteer capacity from 16 to 20. Their terms will begin July 1.
The other new board members are former telecommunications executive Theresa “Terry” Gillespie, information technology venture capitalist Matt McIlwain and Norman Metcalfe, a real estate financier and investor.
“Our newest board members are all uniquely accomplished people who are devoted to donating their time and energies to helping our community and are emblematic of the Hutchinson Center’s ability to attract some of the most prominent citizens in the western U.S. to serve on the board,” said Larry Corey, M.D., president and director of Fred Hutch.
About the four new board members:
Chris Gregoire – “As governor, Chris Gregoire was a visionary leader and advocate of biomedical research. Under her watch she proposed a major initiative in the life sciences,” said Corey, referring to her establishment of the state’s Life Sciences Discovery Fund in 2005 to support innovative research and development. “Gov. Gregoire will be instrumental in helping to shine a spotlight on the lifesaving work of the Hutchinson Center and how it contributes to the health and well-being of people throughout the state and the world.”
On a personal level, Gregoire understands firsthand the impact of cancer, having undergone surgery for breast cancer in 2003 while she was attorney general, shortly after announcing her decision to run for governor. Her husband, Mike, is also a colorectal cancer survivor. Her experience with the disease was her underlying motivation for joining the board, Gregoire said.
“Since my diagnosis there have been so many improvements in cancer detection, prevention and care. The only way we can continue to achieve success is if we have the absolute best research,” she said. “As a board member I hope I can be part of helping make sure we can continue to find those breakthrough cures and save lives.”
In addition to serving two terms as governor, Gregoire served three terms as attorney general. She received her undergraduate education at the University of Washington and her law degree from Gonzaga University.
Theresa “Terry” Gillespie – Theresa “Terry” Gillespie, managing director of Bellevue-based Trilogy Partnership, spent more than a decade at Western Wireless Corp., where she held positions ranging from chief financial officer to vice chairman and director. The skills she honed there will enable her to advise Fred Hutch on how to make the most of its financial resources.
“Every organization – profit or nonprofit – needs financial discipline, and I hope to help Fred Hutch stay strong in this area,” said Gillespie, who received her bachelor’s in business administration, with a concentration in accounting, from the University of Washington.
The invitation to join the board of trustees came at the right time, Gillespie said. After a career as a key contributor to some of the nation’s largest telecommunications companies, including McCaw Cellular, she is eager to bring her years of experience as a CFO to help benefit the Hutch’s bottom line in pursuit of its lifesaving research.
“My mother had cancer and my dad died of cancer, so joining Fred Hutch’s board seemed like a natural fit,” she said.
Matt McIlwain – Matt McIlwain is managing director of the Madrona Venture Group in Seattle, which invests in early stage information technology companies in the Pacific Northwest. His close ties to those firms, combined with his passion for innovation, give him a unique perspective on how Fred Hutch can create a stronger alliance with the local technology sector.
“There are a lot of information technology innovations that can accelerate cancer research,” he said. “I hope to help Fred Hutch find new ways to capitalize on those.”
For McIlwain, pursuing cancer breakthroughs is also a personal quest; his mother is a breast cancer survivor and his father has successfully beat prostate and kidney cancer. “They were very fortunate, but it brought home the reality that finding better cancer treatments is one of the great challenges of our time,” he said.
McIlwain is a graduate of Dartmouth College, holds a master’s in business administration from Harvard Business School and a master’s in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
Norman Metcalfe – Norman Metcalfe, of Newport Beach, Calif., has an extensive history and background in finance and investments. He is director of The Ryland Group, a nationwide homebuilder; and the Tejon Ranch Company, a diversified real estate development and agribusiness company in Southern California. Previously he was vice chairman and chief financial officer of the Irvine Company, one of the nation’s largest real estate and community development companies.
A Seattle native, Metcalfe has strong ties to Fred Hutch. In addition to being a longtime friend and benefactor to the organization, he is a chronic myeloid leukemia survivor who has benefited from the consultation and advice of Fred Appelbaum, M.D., senior vice president and director of the Center’s Clinical Research Division.
“After I was diagnosed I sought Fred out and he gave me a second opinion. He confirmed that the treatment I was receiving was the correct approach. In the field of chronic myeloid leukemia research he is among the best in the world, so it was comforting to hear him confirm that my treatment was correct,” Metcalfe said.
“In the realm of blood cancer research and treatment I’ve always viewed Fred Hutch as tops in the world,” he said. “There have been more than a million transplants performed worldwide, and they pretty much all use the ‘Hutch cookbook.’”
Metcalfe wants to help Fred Hutch make greater inroads with supporters outside the Puget Sound region, provide business acumen to help guide the Center’s management and help make others more aware of the Center’s lifesaving research.
Metcalfe, who served as president of the University of Washington Foundation, earned a bachelor of science in mathematics and a master’s in business administration from UW.
In addition to its new members, the board of trustees has appointed new leadership:
Paula Reynolds – Paula Reynolds, former vice chair of the board, has been appointed chair. Reynolds is former chair and CEO of Safeco and currently is president and CEO of PreferWest, a business advisory group. She succeeds Douglas Walker, former CEO and chairman of software company WRQ, as board chair.
“These new trustees, in addition to our existing board members, are tremendous professionals in their respective fields,” Reynolds said. “That the board has been able to attract such talent is emblematic of the importance and caliber of the Hutchinson Center’s research not just in the region, but throughout the world.”
Jim Sinegal – Jim Sinegal, co-founder and former CEO of Costco, an international retail chain, has been appointed vice chair. He is also a member of the board’s executive committee. The Hutch’s lifesaving mission inspires him to serve on the board.
“The Hutch is a world-class and world-renowned cancer research center whose work has resulted in saving the lives of thousands of people around the globe. The story of its success is inspiring and compelling to support,” he said. “In my role I hope to provide general business practice insight to Dr. Larry Corey and the Hutch staff, which can be useful in the commercial and fundraising activities of the institution.”
Former board chair Steve Davis, CEO of PATH, is also stepping down today after more than eight years of board service.
The Fred Hutch board of trustees, with appropriate delegation to its committees and the Hutchinson Center’s officers, oversees the Center’s affairs. The responsibilities of the board include establishment of broad policies for the Center including its mission, values and long-range strategies; implementation of these policies through Center management; and evaluation of the institutional effectiveness of the Center.
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At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer with minimal side effects. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first and largest cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network. Private contributions are essential for enabling Fred Hutch scientists to explore novel research opportunities that lead to important medical breakthroughs. For more information visit fredhutch.org or follow Fred Hutch on Facebook, Twitter or YouTube.