After only three and a half years in San Antonio, HeartGift is growing its professional staff and its board leadership—hiring a new executive director, developing a director of advancement position, and adding involvement from amongst our community’s volunteer leadership.
Leslie Davis Met joins HeartGift San Antonio as its new Executive Director. Leslie brings over 13 years of progress management experience in the non-profit sector. She has served as Director of the Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio and as Director of Education for the Center for Non-Profit Support at the San Antonio Area Foundation. Leslie grew up in San Antonio and received degrees from both Syracuse University and Brandeis University. “I am looking forward to joining the team, and working with our board to develop strategies for our organization’s future in San Antonio”, Leslie said at her first meeting of the HeartGift Board of Directors.
HeartGift is adding three community volunteers to their board, Emily Willeford, Scott Becker and Dr. Willie Cantu. Emily Willeford is the Director of Political Affairs for USAA and a recent appointee to the State Board of Dental Examiners. Scott Becker is the General Manager of Bohanan’s Prime Steaks & Seafood, a partner to HeartGift in its most recent San Antonio Cocktail Conference. Dr. Willie Cantu is a dentist in San Antonio and has been a community volunteer on boards relating to children and family service causes. He and his family served as hosts to a 15 month old HeartGift patient from China last fall.
HeartGift San Antonio’s board is chaired by Dr. Tom Mayes, Physician in Chief at CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital. Dr. Mayes is also a member of the HeartGift Foundation Board of Directors in Austin, Texas. Dr. Mayes has held a number of leadership roles in the medical school and community including Interim Dean of the Medical School, and has also served on the Board of Directors of nonprofit organizations including the Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas and the Central Texas Institute for Medical Education, Research, and Biotechnology and is an active Board member of the San Antonio Medical Foundation and the University Health System Foundation. Chair Elect is Charlie Deacon, partner at Fulbright Jaworski, The rest of the executive committee includes Dr. Clint Baisden (UTHSCSA), Ethel Runion, Danny Nino (SWBC), and Chuck Brown (Primera Partners).
Cathy Siegel, HeartGift’s former Executive Director will move to the position of Director of Advancement, enabling the organization to continue to foster relationships with donors and community partners and grow the capacity of service.
HeartGift provides lifesaving heart surgery to children from developing countries where the care they need is unavailable or inaccessible. Since its inception in Austin, Texas in 2000, HeartGift has served 150 children from 24 countries on five continents. Medical care is provided through its chapters in San Antonio, New Orleans, Houston and Austin.
With the addition of staff, and a growing commitment from medical partners, community volunteers, and generous donors, HeartGift has grown the number of children it can care for each year. In 2012, HeartGift San Antonio and CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital expect to provide lifesaving heart surgery to 8 children from all over the world.