Formerly the president of Church's Chicken, Hala Moddelmog, the newly installed president and CEO of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation - and 51-year-old mother of two - seems to have quickly made the transition from top executive at an international fast-food chain to head cheerleader for one of the world's most respected nonprofits. We spoke with Moddelmog, herself a breast cancer survivor, a few months into her position and on the eve of the foundation's 25th anniversary.By Jill Becker
What are the differences between being at the helm of a major corporation, where it's all about the bottom line, and spearheading a charitable organization?
It's incredible to wake up in the morning and know that you're working on something that can ultimately save lives. Plus, the level of passion and dedication of the people involved is tremendous. It's the most team-spirited work I've ever been involved with. But, at the end of the day, there are a lot of similarities. You still have to reach your strategic and financial targets.
Decline in the breast cancer rate in 2003, the most recent year recorded
Less than 1
Percentage of breast cancer cases that were diagnosed in men in 2005
Change in the annual death rate between 1975 and 1990
of women with breast cancer
Change in the annual death rate between 1990 and 2002 of women with breast cancer
At a not-for-profit, who are your stockholders - in other words, the people you ultimately report to?
We're accountable to cancer patients, survivors, advocates, researchers, health-care workers, and leaders in government policy. I call them our stakeholders.
The foundation is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year. What do you consider its most significant achievement to date?
There are two, really. The first is that we've helped change the culture surrounding breast cancer. People didn't talk about breast cancer 25 years ago; they didn't share their stories. Women carried the "shame" of breast cancer to their graves. The second is the clinical piece of the pie. By the end of our 25th year, we will have invested close to $1 billion toward breast cancer research.
What's next for Komen?
This month, we're announcing that we're changing our name. We will now be called Susan G. Komen for the Cure. We're also updating our logo.
What was the impetus behind the changes?
We saw our anniversary as not only a chance to celebrate our accomplishments but a time to look ahead. And as we move forward, we want to put more emphasis on branding. Because if we do a good job at branding, then awareness is enhanced. And the new name gets to what we're really about: It's definitive. It's a call to action. It takes you back to Nancy Brinker's promise when she started the foundation that she wouldn't rest until there was a cure.