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Kris Kim leaving after 22 exceptional years with ACS

In an email to all staff and leadership volunteers, CEO Karen Knudsen announced that our COO Kris Kim will be leaving ACS. Her last day is July 12. 

Kris, who led the Northeast Region before assuming the role of chief operating officer in January 2020 (an interim position made permanent on May 18, 2020), guided us through the most challenging business climate in the American Cancer Society’s 107-year history. As Dr. Knudsen noted: "She brought to the position extensive experience in fundraising, mission delivery, marketing, communications, and operations. This broad experience, combined with the dedication and perseverance of so many volunteers and staff, helped shore up revenue and allowed us to continue to serve patients and their families as safely as possible amid the pandemic. On behalf of the entire executive team, staff, and volunteers, I would like to thank Kris for her impactful tenure in support of this great organization."

Earlier this month at the Allan Shedlin Memorial Golf Classic in Scarsdale, NY, organized by ACS Board Member Gary Shedlin, Kris was surprised to learn she had been named this year’s event honoree. This highly unusual honor was given in recognition of her strategic and thoughtful leadership throughout the pandemic. The photo of Kris, above, was taken at that event.

Over her career, Kris: 

  • Played an integral role securing major gifts for New York City’s first-ever $50 million capital campaign to build the former Division’s flagship Hope Lodge in Manhattan.
  • Expanded regional cancer patient care to meet rising demand in multiple languages and increased referrals of uninsured patients by expanding patient navigation in treatment centers serving underserved populations.
  • Promulgated best practices and set targets for exponential increases for countless community fundraising efforts, philanthropic gifts, and corporate partnerships, including cause marketing and payroll deduction campaigns. 
  • Served as one of nine enterprise leaders after the Society’s ‘transformation’ in 2012 to set the budget and priority strategies for the then-largest voluntary health care nonprofit in the country.
  • Launched, prioritized, and invested in ACS’ new digital-first orientation, which will undoubtedly drive greater revenue and mission impact.

In her announcement, Dr. Knudsen quoted ACS Board Chair John Alfonso: “I have great admiration and respect for Kris, and I know I speak for many volunteers in the Northeast and across the United States in saying she was a wonderful leader for our organization. We wish Kris all the best in her new endeavors and thank her for her years of service to the American Cancer Society.”

Our CEO said she will work closely with Mike Neal, senior executive vice president for Field Operations, to ensure continuity of fundraising leadership and further integration of the Regions toward our mission. 

We wish Kris all the best and thank her for her steady hand and empathetic guidance during a very trying time.

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