Tuesday, September 04, 2007
The board and staff of the Preeclampsia Foundation, the national patient advocacy organization serving those affected by preeclampsia and other hypertensive disorders of pregnancy, today welcomes J. Thomas Viall as the new Executive Director. Viall takes the helm today, heralding a landmark era for the organization that has been primarily volunteer-lead since its founding in 2000.
Leslie Weeks, chair of the Board of Directors, enthusiastically said, "We are very excited about welcoming Tom to the Foundation and very enthusiastic about how much more the Foundation will be able to accomplish with professional leadership. I don’t want to understate the importance or effectiveness of the Foundation’s volunteers; in fact, the depth of our volunteerism is one reason why a seasoned non-profit leader is critical for us. Our mission is so important – the demand for our contribution to the cause so great – that an executive director of Tom’s caliber is warranted and long overdue.”
Weeks added, “With a professional life committed to the non-profit sector, Tom has proven himself as a leader, a communicator, a fund raiser, and a doer.”
Viall said, "I was attracted to the Preeclampsia Foundation because this is a disorder that can take a terrible toll and notwithstanding the incredible advances in medical research over recent decades, we still don’t understand its root causes. There remains a pressing need to advocate for more research, disseminate more information, and empower families that suffer the often devastating effects of preeclampsia; I wanted to be part of that critically important effort.”
Viall has enjoyed a successful professional career in the non-profit sector. His recent experiences as Executive Director of The International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation highlights his commitment to health issues and the pivotal role patient advocacy can play. In his ten years with IDA, Mr. Viall helped to broaden IDA from a relatively small professional society to one that was focused on the comprehensive concerns and needs of individuals with dyslexia. During his tenure, membership in IDA grew by nearly 60%, its financial support doubled, and a new international structure welcomed “National Affiliates” into the Association, increased advocacy and legislative activity. Mr. Viall holds a B.A. and M.A. from Fairleigh Dickinson University (NJ) and has done doctoral work at Columbia University (NYC). He taught in public and private schools from elementary grade levels through university and has tutored emotionally disturbed and learning disabled youth.