Newswise — SEATTLE — June 25, 2020  — Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center announced the addition of two new members to its board of trustees along with a new chair and vice chair.

Kathy Surace-Smith will take over the board chair position from Matt McIlwain, who now becomes immediate past chair. Surace-Smith, who is the senior vice president, human resources and legal affairs, of NanoString Technologies (NASDAQ: NSTG) has served on the board since 2014 and as the vice chair since 2018.

“Technology, finance, advancement and innovation are critical to the life-saving work done at Fred Hutch,” said Surace-Smith. “We’re proud and honored to welcome Dr. Connie Kravas and Pete Shimer to the board and I am excited to take on the responsibility of chair. I’m confident that our collective expertise can help accelerate Fred Hutch’s efforts to find new treatments and cures for cancer and other diseases.”

Leigh Morgan steps in as the new vice chair. The chief strategy and operating officer at Nia Tero originally joined the board in 2017.

“It’s been an honor to serve on the board over the last three years and see the amazing progress being made not only in cancer research, but infectious diseases and now COVID-19 research,” said Morgan. I’m optimistic that Fred Hutch’s scientists will continue to make breakthroughs in these fields with the support of our trustees.”

Dr. Kravas, former senior vice president for University of Washington Advancement and the president emeritus of the UW Foundation and Shimer, chief operating officer for Deloitte officially began their board service in June.

Kravas worked in the fundraising and advancement field for over 30 years, spending the last 18 at the UW and UW Foundation where she played an integral role in building a collaborative model incorporating fundraising, alumni relations and marketing. Before her time at UW, she held various roles at the University of California, Riverside and Washington State University.

“I’ve followed Fred Hutch for years and continue to be impressed by the organization’s mission, collaborative work with others and commitment to scientific excellence,” said Kravas. “Joining the board was an easy decision, and there’s never been a greater time to believe in the lifesaving work of the Hutch.”  

As the COO for Deloitte, and through various other roles at the company for the past 24 years, Shimer has helped expand the company’s U.S. and global operations. He’s also played a critical role in global client relationships including Amazon, Nike, Starbucks and Nordstrom.

“I’ve been engaged with Fred Hutch through events like Obliteride and have always admired Fred Hutch’s work in our community. I feel blessed to contribute my finance and business experience to the amazing cause of curing cancer and other life-threatening diseases,” said Shimer.

With the additions of Kravas and Shimer, health tech advisor Peter Neupert is leaving the board after concluding three consecutive terms. He is credited for bringing valuable biotechnology and health technology expertise to the organization.

“Connie and Pete bring fundraising, business and financial acumen, along with a commitment to community service to the board,” said Dr. Thomas J. Lynch Jr., president and director of Fred Hutch. “With Kathy and Leigh taking on larger roles, and the collective belief in the power of Hutch science, I am confident in our board and the future of the center. We also want to thank both Matt and Peter for their service. Their expertise, passion and commitment accelerated Fred Hutch’s efforts to become a leader in the convergence area of biological sciences, technology and biotechnology,” Lynch said.



At Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, home to three Nobel laureates, interdisciplinary teams of world-renowned scientists seek new and innovative ways to prevent, diagnose and treat cancer, HIV/AIDS and other life-threatening diseases. Fred Hutch’s pioneering work in bone marrow transplantation led to the development of immunotherapy, which harnesses the power of the immune system to treat cancer. An independent, nonprofit research institute based in Seattle, Fred Hutch houses the nation’s first National Cancer Institute-funded cancer prevention research program, as well as the clinical coordinating center of the Women’s Health Initiative and the international headquarters of the HIV Vaccine Trials Network.

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