December 12, 2019

March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of moms and babies, today announced the appointment of five new members to its National Board of Trustees. The trustees, who are leaders within the healthcare, finance, communications, marketing and technology sectors, will share their unique skills and knowledge to address the country’s urgent maternal and infant health crisis.

“Our nation is at a critical junction, and too many measures of health for pregnant women, new mothers and infants are going in the wrong direction, which is unacceptable,” said Monica Luechtefeld, March of Dimes Board of Trustees Chair. “Time is of the essence and it’s crucial that we convene the right partners, researchers, advocates, volunteers and individuals to tackle the collective factors that are contributing to this public health crisis. I’m confident that the incoming trustees, together with our existing board members, will help us do just that.”

Luechtefeld assumed the role of Board Chair from Gary Dixon, a longtime March of Dimes supporter who has served on the board since 2009. Luechtefeld praised Dixon for his outstanding services to March of Dimes, and looks forward to advancing the important work he led.

Stacey D. Stewart, March of Dimes President and CEO, said the new trustees will also help foster the continued growth and transformation of the organization which began in 2017 under her leadership.

“We recognize that in order to solve big problems, we need to take bold actions,” Stewart explained. “We’re working to increase greater awareness and engagement in our work and that requires ensuring our board and staff possess the skills and experience needed to create the positive change we seek.”


March of Dimes welcomes five new members to its Board of Trustees. The new members (L to R) flanked by President and CEO Stacey D. Stewart (L) and Board of Trustees Chair Monica Luechtefeld (R) are Sharon Mills Higgins, LaVerne H. Council, Muhammad Shahzad, Lorna Street and Tonya Lewis Lee.

The five trustees serving three-year terms are:

LaVerne H. Council is a founder and the Chief Executive Officer of Emerald One Consulting. She has more than 30 years of experience in both the public and private sectors, implementing global technology solutions and strategies that drive growth and innovation. She previously served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Information & Technology and Chief Information Officer for Veterans Affairs; Corporate Vice President and first Global CIO for Johnson & Johnson; Global Vice President for information technology, global business solutions, and development services at Dell Inc., among others. Council has been a March of Dimes volunteer since the age of five and served as Chair of the National Board of Trustees from 2011 to 2015.

Sharon Mills Higgins an independent marketing and philanthropy consultant, spent 20 years at Xerox Corporation in a variety of management positions. She has also been a volunteer for March of Dimes Pennsylvania for 15 years. There she has served in various capacities, including Secretary, Vice Chair, acting Board Chair, and currently as Advocacy Chair. In 2017, she joined the March of Dimes National Volunteer Leadership Council.

Tonya Lewis Lee is a producer, author and advocate for women and infant health, with a particular focus on improving the health and wellness of underserved communities. In 2009, Lee produced the documentary, Crisis in The Crib, exploring the issues of infant mortality in the U.S. Her work as a women’s health advocate, led Lee to establish her own wellness brand, Movita. She is also an accomplished writer of children’s books and scripts. She formerly served as a spokesperson for A Healthy Baby Begins With You campaign from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Muhammad Shahzad is Chief Financial Officer at The Honest Company. Previously, he was a Vice President in the Investment Banking Division at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he covered a broad array of clients in the technology and media sectors. Shahzad has previously founded his own company, and also has worked at Accenture and Deutsche Bank. He also currently serves as Chairperson of the Board of Directors at Developments in Literacy, an education nonprofit organization, and is involved in other nonprofit endeavors.

Lorna Street, MBA, CPA, brings over 20 years of financial leadership experience to March of Dimes and was most recently Chief Financial Officer of Kids2, a global leader in the infant product industry. During her career she held global leadership roles at Nestle, Morgan Stanley and Harland Clarke that include leading large finance, IT and legal teams. Street’s financial and accounting knowledge, impart significant expertise to the board, including strategy, risk management, audit, financial reporting and corporate governance.