Canary Foundation Announces Executive Director

Published: Feb 01, 2011

SAN JOSE, Calif., Feb. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Canary Foundation, a non-profit organization leading efforts in the early detection of cancer, announced today the appointment of its new Executive Director. Ms. Ronica Sanders Smucker was selected following an extensive and thorough executive search process.

"Canary has had six successful years in driving to deliver early detection cancer tests to market," says Don Listwin, Canary Foundation's Founder. "Now, it's time to take our organization to the next level. Ronica's skills will be valued assets in our ongoing fundraising and marketing efforts, all with the goal to solve the cancer problem earlier."

Ronica Smucker was previously the Senior Director of Principal Gifts at the Stanford University School of Medicine. In her role, she was responsible for cultivating and soliciting gifts of $5 million or more and for providing leadership and strategic direction for principal gifts prospects. Prior to joining Stanford, she was the Senior Director of Individual Giving Initiatives at Carnegie Mellon University.

"In one way or another, we all have or will be touched by cancereither having been diagnosed ourselves or knowing a family member, friend, or colleague with the disease," says Ms. Smucker. "I was drawn to Canary because the core of the work that is accomplished here is a pre-emptive strike against cancer. The discovery of state-of-the-art, predictive, and affordable diagnostic tools that help patients, family members, and their doctors fight this disease provides real hope for all of us," she attests.

Ms. Smucker began her development career at Georgetown University as the assistant director for Georgetown College and later served as the Senior Director of International Fundraising. As managing director at the University of Virginia's College and Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Ms. Smucker was responsible for leading a $500 million goal, the largest part of the University of Virginia's $3 billion comprehensive campaign.

"My goal in this new position is to increase the funding so that Canary can continue to bring together scientists, engineers, and clinicians to do early detection research," she adds. "There's an opportunity to bring aboard early investors and to leverage our current funding sources. We want them to be a part of the team of people who are pushing to translate these new discoveries into clinical practice."

In her 15 years in development, Ms. Smucker has been responsible for raising more than $100 million in philanthropic support and has participated in four $1 billion+ campaigns.

About Canary Foundation

Canary Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to the goal of identifying cancer early through a simple blood test and then isolating it with imaging. Since 2004, Canary has raised over $30 million to support early detection research. Its collaborative research programs span multiple disciplines and institutions. One hundred percent of donations go to early detection research activities. For more information, please visit

SOURCE Canary Foundation

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