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Nine new members bring business, marketing and media skills and experiences to support mission

National Commander William A. Roberts announced the installation of nine new members to The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board (NAB), a group of national civic, philanthropic and business leaders who assist the organization in matters ranging from strategic planning to public outreach. Each new member has been selected for their community involvement and engagement with The Salvation Army in their local communities and with other nonprofit and relief organizations across the United States and internationally.

“We are honored that each of these civic and community leaders have accepted the mantel of national voluntary leadership with The Salvation Army,” Roberts said. “Each is accomplished in business and community change and we are honored that they will apply their knowledgeable insight to help guide The Salvation Army.”

As of January 1, each member began serving a three-year term on the NAB. They join a group led by the National Board Chair, Charlotte Jones Anderson, executive vice president brand management and president of charities for the Dallas Cowboys.

“We are thrilled to be growing the size and scope of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board,” Anderson said. “The Board has now grown to 44 members and the combined wealth of experience, talent and dedication of these new leaders will bring a wonderful set of fresh ideas to our goal of helping others.”

New members include Mrs. Pamela Abdalla; Mr. Gary Brown; Mr. Bill Burke; Mr. Michael Ducker; Mr. Micheal Flaherty; Mr. Eric Holm; Ms. Marcia Larson; Mr. Joel Manby and Ambassador Gaddi H. Vasquez.

 The following provides a bit of information about each of the new NAB members:

Pamela Abdalla is currently chairman of The Salvation Army’s Middle East Advisory Board and has helped launch the first Salvation Army outpost in the United Arab Emirates. She moved to the UAE in 2008 when her husband’s work as a partner in the Reed Smith law firm took them to that region. Prior to her move, Abdalla worked as an attorney and most recently served 12 years as a hearing officer in Allegheny County’s family court system. She has also served as a member of The Salvation Army’s Greater Pittsburgh Regional Advisory Board since 2004, and was the recipient of the Catherine Booth Award in 2006. Abdalla also volunteers with The Salvation Army’s Family Crisis Center, launching the annual fundraiser, the Garbage Bag Gala.

Gary Brown is the Chief Executive Officer of Mount West Investments, a private equity and real estate investment organization. Previously, Brown was the President of Iron City Sash and Door Co. from 1991-2005. Brown serves as a member of the Greater Pittsburgh Advisory Board of The Salvation Army, and served as Vice Chairmen from 2006-2010. Brown is currently the Chairman of the Program Committee, which includes Emergency Disaster Services, Family Caring Center and Social Services. Brown was also the 2008 recipient of the William Booth Award and volunteered his services at Ground Zero following the 9-11 terrorist attacks. Brown’s father, Mr. J. Duncan Brown, was a charter member of the first National Advisory Board Council Conference in 1976, which became the National Advisory Board. He was Chairman of the NAB from 1986-1991. Gary Brown also serves on the Board of Trustees for Westminster College in New Wilmington, PA.

William (Bill) Burke is Senior Vice President of Nationwide Financial (NF) Marketing in Ohio. Burke is responsible for all of NF Marketing including Individual Investments, Individual Protection and Solutions, Retirement Plans, Investment Management – Advertising, Campaigns Management and Channel Marketing. Mr. Burke has extensive experience in marketing and business strategy, product development and innovation, advertising and communication, and relationship management.

Michael L. Ducker currently serves as Chief Operating Officer for FedEx Express and President of its International divisions. In this role, Ducker leads the customer-facing aspects of the company’s Express operations and sets the strategic direction for the company’s global pickup and delivery functions for both parcels and freight spanning more than 220 countries and territories across North America, Latin America & Caribbean, Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and India. He also oversees the company’s freight forwarding functions and once of the largest-volume customs clearance operations in North America. Based at the FedEx Express global headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, Ducker has lead the company’s unprecedented international expansion over the past decade. In addition, he serves as Chairman of the U.S. Coalition of Service Industries and the International Policy Committee of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.

Micheal Flaherty is the President of Walden Media, a company he co-founded in his apartment in 1999. Since that time, Walden has gone on to produce over 30 films including The Chronicles of Narnia, Charlotte’s Web, Holes, Bride to Teribithea, and Amazing Grace. Its publishing division has published a number of award-winning books, including the Newberry Award winner Savvy. As a writer, Flaherty has been published in a number of newspapers and magazines including the Wall Street Journal. A graduate of Tufts University, Flaherty lives in Lexington, Massachusetts where he helps his wife Kelly home school their three children.

Eric Holm is the owner of Metro Corral Partners, a 28-unit Golden Corral franchisee with operations in Florida and Georgia. As president, he actively manages the daily operation of Metro Corral, which is the largest Golden Corral franchisee in the country. Holm has been in the restaurant industry for over 30 years and has substantial experience in restaurant operations, marketing and development. In addition to his involvement with The Salvation Army in Orlando, Fla., Holm and his wife, Diane founded Helpings from the Heart Thanksgiving Feast in 1992. In 2011, on Thanksgiving Day, more than 24,000 free meals were served throughout Central Florida.

Marcia Larson is Manager of HR Content & Communities at Dow Jones / Wall Street Journal, a subsidiary of News Corporation in New York City. Larson’s current work for Dow Jones and News Corp. incorporates recruitment, blogging, tweeting and other uses of social media marketing as well as training others at News Corp. on how to leverage social media. In addition, Larson participates in international relief work annually, most recently in Tanzania with the Micah Global Foundation, an international outreach service organization.

Joel Manby is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Herschend Family Entertainment (HFE), the largest family owned theme park corporation in the U.S., that owns and operates 26 properties across ten states, including Stone Mountain Park, Dollywood and Silver Dollar City. Manby and his company were featured on the hit CBS show Undercover Boss and received worldwide acclaim for portraying a compassionate business culture. Prior to joining HFE, Manby was a part of the start-up team for Saturn Corporation and was instrumental in launching Saturn’s innovative marking and distribution strategy. After his successful tenure at Saturn, Manby was promoted to CEO of Saab Automobile USA.

Ambassador Gaddi H. Vasquez is currently the Senior Vice President of Public Affairs for the Southern California Edison Company, one of the nation’s largest investor owned utilities. Prior to this position, Vasquez served as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Organizations in Rome, Italy. Vasquez also served as Director of the United States Peace Corps and became the third longest serving Director in the Peace Corps’ 50-year history. During this tenure, the Peace Corps established the Peace Corps Global AIDS Program, which has resulted in the development of new country programs with a focus on the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief.



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