Leadership is bravely, selfishly, and confidently setting a goal that’s higher than anyone feels it should be and then fearlessly pursuing it with everything you’ve got. It must be in concert with the mission of inspiring others to run in pursuit along with you. This is what I think makes leadership exciting and terrifying, but worth it. It means running with grit, on fumes.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Kim MacNeill, President and co-founder of The Ross K. MacNeill Foundation (R33M™). She has led this successful charity for pediatric brain cancer research for 5 years, surpassing $1,000,000.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
This is my third “career” of sorts, the first 18 years I was with a healthcare corporation, the second 18 years in my dream job as a stay at home Mom for my children, and this, I describe, as the career I was pulled into. By that I mean, pulled by circumstance not by choice. Brain cancer barged into my 7-year-olds life in 2009. Upon his passing in 2013, my role in the foundation is my promise kept to Ross.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I’m sure you hear this a lot, but there are so many! Here is a favorite… In 2017 we began looking for office space in downtown Chicago. Our charity is national in scope, and we are funding research nationally so opening an office in the city was important to support our mission. We toured several amazing locations, but the last one of the day stunned us. It was at 333 N. Michigan Avenue (anything with “33” in it connects with us), had a Chicago Blackhawks store located on the second level, was the largest and least expensive space, and is owned by the Chicago Blackhawk’s owner Rocky Wirtz. When you look into our history, you’ll see that we have a very…