NEW YORK, NY, N.Y., Sept. 2, 2014 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SeriousFun Children's Network has named Mary Beth Powers as its new Chief Executive Officer. She joins SeriousFun after an 18-year career at Save the Children, most recently serving as Associate Vice President and Campaign Chief for their Newborn and Child Survival Campaign. Mary Beth Powers will lead SeriousFun's efforts in working with the Network of camps to maintain standards of excellence, provide training and technical expertise, foster program innovation and develop a strong funding base for global programs. Currently, the Network provides positive, life-affirming experiences to more than 75,000 children and their families each year.
"The experiences provided by SeriousFun camps and programs are truly life-changing for children with serious illness and their families," said Powers. "I'm excited by the opportunity to help guide the organization as it works to expand its footprint, deepen its impact and serve even more children across the world."
Throughout her career, Powers has focused on improving the lives of children, especially those dealing with health issues. From leading international policy campaigns, developing new programs and working with teams of health professionals, she has been a passionate advocate for improving the welfare of children and their families.
"I've personally seen how illness, no matter the country, culture, or language, can stifle a child's full development, keeping them out of school and leaving them stigmatized," commented Powers. "But I just spent a week at camp. I saw children who might have otherwise been left on the sidelines or who were afraid to attempt challenging activities complete a high ropes course, sing and dance in the talent show, swim, boat and fish with new friends. It was clear that camp was a home for these youth. It transformed their lives and inspired all of us to see their big and small triumphs over adversity."
Prior to her role with Save the Children, Mary Beth was the Executive Director for the NGO Planning Committee for the International Conference on Population and Development planning and managing the gathering of 2200 civil society representatives in Cairo in 1994. She also previously served as Director of Primary Health Care for CARE.
"Mary Beth's leadership and experience with global health issues will be a tremendous asset to our Network of camps around the world," said Don Gogel, Chairman of the Board, SeriousFun Children's Network. "We are fortunate to have found such a passionate and committed talent to lead and expand our programs around the world"
Powers holds a Bachelor's degree in International Politics from Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and a Master's degree in Public Health from the University of Michigan. Additionally, she completed a graduate fellowship at University of the West Indies Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in Kingston, Jamaica.
Mary Beth resides in Croton-on-Hudson, NY with her husband John and four children. She will be working out of SeriousFun's Support Center located in Westport, CT and officially assumes the post on a full-time basis on September 1.
About SeriousFun Children's Network
SeriousFun Children's Network is a growing global community of 30 camps and programs serving children with serious illnesses and their families, always free of charge. Founded by Paul Newman in 1988, SeriousFun has served more than 518,000 children and families from more than 50 countries. Each member camp is an independent, not-for-profit organization dependent upon private funding to serve all children at no cost to their families. A Support Center raises funds and provides central standards and services for all SeriousFun camps and programs. To learn more about SeriousFun, visit www.seriousfunnetwork.org.
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