Up Front

Photo of Douglas G. Franklin
Douglas G. Franklin

By Douglas G. Franklin
MSAA President and CEO

It has certainly been an exciting summer for MSAA! At the beginning of the summer, MSAA announced that US Olympic swimmer Missy Franklin had become our new Swim for MS Ambassador. During the London 2012 Olympic Games, my niece Missy not only made MSAA proud, but the entire country! Winning five Olympic medals, including four gold medals, plus setting new Olympic and World records, her performance was inspiring to all. In the coming months, you will hear more about her involvement with MSAA and our exciting Swim for MS program.

Photo of Missy Franklin
Missy Franklin, winner of four Olympic gold medals and MSAA’s Swim for MS Ambassador.

In other Swim for MS news, MSAA’s Swim for MS Pool Party allowed
MSAA volunteer Jeannie Leombruno the opportunity to not only celebrate her birthday, but also to give back to the MS community. Jeannie held her Pool Party on July 27 with great success, raising close to $1,500 for MSAA! Please visit SwimForMS.org to start your own Swim for MS event.

In programming news, MSAA is continuing to expand several program initiatives that focus on helping individuals to manage their MS.

  • My MS Manager™, MSAA’s popular mobile phone app (provided free of charge for individuals with MS or their care partners to use on their iPhone), is expanding to all Android platforms in October.
  • My MS Resource Locator is MSAA’s newest program, designed to make your search for MS-related information and resources as easy as possible. After its introduction in late spring, My MS Resource Locator continues to grow and provide a much-needed resource right at the click of a mouse.
  • MSAA has launched a blog called MS Conversations to provide a forum for the MS community to share tips, stories, or their MS experiences. Please visit mymsaa.org/msconversations to share your thoughts!

I am also very pleased to announce that MSAA received an APEX Award for Publication Excellence for our S.E.A.R.C.H.™ webinar.
Please visit mymsaa.org/videos to view this and other MSAA webinars.

On a sad note, MSAA experienced a great loss just prior to printing this issue. Vice President of Finance & Administration Gary Wallace, CPA, passed away after 14 years of devoted service to our organization. The entire staff and many colleagues outside of MSAA are deeply saddened. He was a very kind and generous person; our thoughts and prayers go out to his family. We will publish a tribute to Gary in the following issue of our magazine.

In closing, I would like to thank all of you for your dedication to MSAA throughout the year. It is through your generous support that we can continue to serve so many individuals.

Doug Franklin joined MSAA as President & CEO in 1999. He has a distinguished career in nonprofit leadership and is a former national trainer in strategic planning for the Peter Drucker Foundation. A published international expert in social marketing and corporate social investment, he is a graduate of four universities. He currently serves on the National Board of the Key Philanthropic Organizations Committee of the American Society of Association Executives; on the Executive Committee of Health First – America’s Charities Board in Washington, DC; and as President of the Multiple Sclerosis Coalition.