New Members Elected to March of Dimes National Board of Trustees

White Plains, New York | Friday, June 21, 2013

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Three leaders in their fields of medicine and business were elected to the March of Dimes National Board of Trustees, it was announced today. March of Dimes trustees, who serve as volunteers, represent the public in governing the organization and advancing its mission for mom and baby health. They serve five-year terms.

The new trustees are:

  • F. Sessions Cole, M.D., assistant vice chancellor for Children’s Health, vice chairman of the Department of Pediatrics, and director of the Division of Newborn Medicine for Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, and chief medical officer at St. Louis Children’s Hospital;
  • Monica Luechtefeld, consultant for Office Depot, International and former executive vice president of E-Commerce and Direct Marketing for Office Depot of Boca Raton, FL.
  • John D. Rainey, chief financial officer and executive vice president of United Airlines, Chicago, IL.

The new trustees join a distinguished group of more than 30 trustees as the organization celebrates its 75th anniversary this year.

“Thanks to the support of our elected trustees members, we’re improving the health of mothers and babies around the nation by offering educational programs to help women have healthy pregnancies and by supporting research to find answers to the problems that threaten babies’ health,” said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. “We’re so pleased these dedicated volunteers are willing to take on this new role and work with us to give more babies a healthy start in life.”

Dr. Cole is recognized by colleagues as the driving force behind the success of St. Louis Children’s Hospital and its Newborn Intensive Care Unit (NICU) as its chief medical officer and director of the Division of Newborn Medicine. He is a leading national advocate of the consequences of premature birth, and advises colleagues and would-be parents on the risks and repercussions of in vitro fertilization and delayed childbirth. In 1997, Dr. Cole was awarded the FDR Leadership Award from the March of Dimes. He is a member of March of Dimes Scientific Advisory Committee on Prematurity. He has worked with the March of Dimes Missouri chapter for many years. Dr. Cole received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College, Massachusetts, in 1969 and a medical degree from Yale Medical School, Connecticut, in 1973. Dr. Cole lives in Clayton, Missouri, with his wife of 41 years, Dr. Patricia Cole. They have two daughters, Elisabeth and Emily.

Ms. Luechtefeld has been profiled in Business Week’s “e-biz 25 list” of the most influential leaders in the internet, and Fast Company’s “Who’s Fast” as a digital pioneer. She has served as executive vice president of E-Commerce and Direct Marketing at Office Depot in Boca Raton, FL. In these roles, Ms. Luechtefeld oversaw the global E-Commerce strategies and was responsible for delivering more than $4.1 billion in online revenue for Office Depot through 50 websites, in 20 countries and 16 languages. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Mount St. Mary’s College in Los Angeles, which also awarded her an honorary doctorate degree. She received her MBA from the University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana. She lives in Boca Raton, FL and is the mother of one adult son, Christopher.

Mr. Rainey is responsible for the overall financial operations of the United Continental Holdings and its operating subsidiaries. United serves as a national sponsor of March for Babies and as the official sponsor of the March of Dimes National Ambassador Program. Mr. Rainey holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a master’s in Business Administration from Baylor University, Texas, and is a certified public accountant. He lives in suburban Chicago with his wife Kelly and their two children.

In 2013, the March of Dimes celebrates its 75th Anniversary and its ongoing work to help babies get a healthy start in life. Early research led to the Salk and Sabin polio vaccines that all babies still receive. Other breakthroughs include new treatments for premature infants and children with birth defects. About 4 million babies are born each year in the United States, and all have benefitted from March of Dimes lifesaving research and education.

About March of Dimes

March of Dimes leads the fight for the health of all moms and babies. We support research, lead programs and provide education and advocacy so that every baby can have the best possible start. Building on a successful 80-year legacy of impact and innovation, we empower every mom and every family.

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