Former news anchor Joe Daues was named CEO of Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks to succeed 11-year Executive Director Crystal Webster. He officially starts July 15.
In the hiring process, which began in March, the board decided to change the job title to more accurately reflect the work Webster handled.
Daues was offered the job May 21 after a formal interview with the BCFO Board of Directors a week prior.
“Crystal has developed a well-oiled machine,” he said. “The staff is extremely competent and they know their role.”
As CEO, Daues is charged with leading a staff of five, as well as the day-to-day operations to provide funding for breast cancer services in southwest Missouri and portions of Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. BCFO offers some $70,000 monthly for direct patient services and $5,000 monthly for indirect services, including a mentoring program, support group and community education, according to past Springfield Business Journal reporting.
Webster, the nonprofit’s longest tenured director, said she informed the board in March that 2019 would be her last year with the nonprofit.
Daues’ arrival comes at a time of transition for the organization. Mary Beth O’Reilly last year signaled plans to step away from the nonprofit she founded in 1999.
Webster said O’Reilly is still on track to step back in 2020. Daues said he’s spoken with O’Reilly on several occasions about his opportunity.
“I’m actually very honored that she’s remaining engaged and I can work with her,” he said, noting she remains very involved in BCFO as a board member.
Reaching a couple of goals helped spur Webster’s decision.
The first goal involved BCFO hitting $20 million for its Legacy of Hope Society endowment, which provides financial assistance to local women and families affected by breast cancer.
A second undertaking was increasing the fee structures at state license offices managed by BCFO through a contract with the Missouri Department of Revenue. Webster said fees have remained the same for motor vehicles and trailer registration for years, but legislators this year approved increases, pending the governor’s signature.
The fees are income streams for BCFO, and Webster said the license offices contribute 30%-40% of the nonprofit’s total annual revenue. In its most recent 990 tax form with the IRS in 2016, BCFO reported total revenue of $3.75 million, up from $3.29 million in 2015.
Webster plans to work through October helping transition Daues into the CEO position at BCFO. After that, she’s considering several options.
“I’m ready to get back into the private sector,” she said.
Webster, who has a graduate degree in health care administration from Missouri State University, was formerly marketing director for Access Home Health & Hospice before coming to BCFO in 2008.
“The most efficient way to help the new director get up to speed is a lengthy transition period,” Webster said. “I don’t see any need for him to plow ground that we’ve already been over as an organization. I want BCFO to go through this transition with no hiccups.”
Daues is a former television journalist but most recently a sales manager for company Sleepsana, which sells a liquid, all-natural sleep aid. He said he’s approaching the grooming period inquisitively.
In addition to the latest reported revenue growth under Webster, BCFO’s net assets in 2016 was reported at $11.7 million, up $1.5 million from the year prior, according to IRS filings.
The forms also report Webster’s 2016 compensation was $120,873. The board declined to disclose the latest compensation package offered.
Daues worked as Sleepsana’s national sales manager the past two years. He continues to own an undisclosed stake in the company. He previously worked at KY3 Inc., first as an evening news anchor for KSPR and then as an advertising account executive, for nearly 10 years.
He said Webster was responsible for piquing his interest in the BCFO position. She invited him for a conversation over coffee in mid-April about her leaving the organization and how he could be a good fit.
Approximately 160 applications were received for the job, Webster said. BCFO Board President Debi Murray Bennett noted the list was eventually narrowed down to around eight candidates and the board’s executive committee conducted interviews. She declined to name the other finalists. The committee members are Murray, John Russell, Dan Cobb, Ryan O’Reilly, Brian McCracken, Gary Schafer and BCFO founder O’Reilly.
“What we do is help people,” Bennett said of BCFO. “We needed someone who had compassion for people and had a good take on our community, which I think (Daues) does.”
While breast cancer is a health issue still largely focused on women, Daues noted it impacts men, too.
“It’s no longer just a women’s issue,” Daues said. “When we have an issue that affects the health of so many women, it’s also affecting children and brothers, husbands and fathers of all those women.”
According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, less than 1% of all breast cancer develops in males, and 1 in 1,000 will ever be diagnosed with the disease. For females, the frequency jumps to 1 in 8, according to the American Cancer Society.
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