The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) has announced the appointment of Vance A. Gibbs as the new chairman of the organization’s Board of Trustees, as well as Christopher Collette, Jennifer O’Neill, and Andrew Stern as newly elected Board members. CCFA is currently the largest voluntary non-profit health organization focused on inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), and the nominations are expected to help support the organization’s mission of finding cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
“Vance Gibbs has been a valued and trusted presence on the Board, and a key contributor to the CCFA’s recent record of growth and success,” stated the president and CEO of CCFA, Richard J. Geswell, in a press release. “His appointment will help to ensure that our Board has the skills and vision to guide our organization into a future where we can realize the promise of improving the lives of patients and families living with IBD.”
The new chairman was appointed to the position after many years of serving as general counsel for the CCFA. Gibbs is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller, where he gained more than 25 years of experience in commercial litigation and the healthcare industry. Not only has Gibbs been a member of the CCFA Board for several years, but he also works as a volunteer, with an emphasis on rebuilding the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter after Hurricane Katrina.
“There has never been a more exciting time at CCFA than now,” said Mr. Gibbs after being appointed to the new position as chairman of CCFA’s Board of Trustees. “We are on the cusp of huge breakthroughs and I am privileged to be in this leadership role. I look forward to working with all of our incredible staff and volunteers to achieving a future free from Crohn’s and colitis.”
The organization has also appointed three new Trustees for its Board, who have been actively working at both the local and national level. Christopher L. Collette is the senior vice president of Corporate Services for UnitedHealth Group in Minnetonka, MN, while Jennifer O’Neill is the director of Operations and Chief of Staff for Deloitte’s U.S. Financial Services practice in New York, and Andrew Stern is a partner and co-chair of the Securities and Shareholder Litigation practice at Sidley Austin in New York.
“These three professionals bring unique skills, energy, and vision to CCFA, and preparing us to meet our goals and vision for the future,” added Mr. Geswell. “They are representative of the amazing commitment and dedication that have allowed the CCFA to achieve so much, and will help us sustain momentum as we strive toward our goal of curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.”
CCFA has remained committed to supporting promising research projects towards cures for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis for over a decade, as well as improving the quality of life for patients who suffer from IBD along with their families. Most recently, the association celebrated Father’s Day by honoring the importance of fathers, either as patients or caregivers, in families affected by the burden of IBD.
The organization is sharing the stories of four men, Russ, Kevin, Raymond and Bishop Thomas, who represent thousands of fathers who struggle with IBD in their families, and who are joining CCFA to participate in Take Steps, a nationwide event featuring a series of fundraising walks. The fundraising program, the largest one organized by the foundation, includes over 140 walks throughout the country and aims to increase both funding and awareness to help IBD patients.