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ALS Alert Newsletter

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Apr 14

Packard welcomes new assistant director of development

Meg Whiteford joins the Packard Center team with a wealth of experience and personal connection to ALS.

Meg Whiteford has jumped into her new role as Packard’s Director of Development. Her first full week of work was at the 20th Annual Packard Symposium, which provided a trial-by-fire introduction to ALS research.

“There was so much synergy, being in proximity to cutting-edge research and meeting the leaders in the field was invaluable,” Meg said.

Meg may be new to Packard, but she’s very familiar with ALS. Shortly after she graduated from college with a degree in hotel management, she moved away from her family’s home outside Philadelphia to work in Washington, DC. In the year prior, her father developed a dropped foot and had trouble with dexterity in one of his hands. Doctors could not make a definitive diagnosis. Desperate for answers, Meg and her family met for a neurology consult at Johns Hopkins University. The answer they got wasn’t the one they hoped for: Meg’s father had ALS.

Meg transferred to Baltimore to be closer to family, where she met her husband, got married, and had two children. She also went back to school to get a law degree and began work as a civil litigator in Maryland.

Meg’s father died in 1990. Years later, her mother was diagnosed with lung cancer. Meg left her job at the law firm to become her mother’s full-time healthcare advocate. Several times a week she made the trek between Baltimore and suburban Philadelphia.

After her mother died, to be able to spend more time with her family, Meg took a job with Friends School of Baltimore managing alumni giving to the annual fund. This was her first foray into 11 years of development work for non-profit organizations. Meg then worked remotely as a major gift officer for Hyde School in Maine. Recently, Meg ran into Suzie Connelly, Packard’s Communication Director. Their boys had played club lacrosse together years ago. Suzie made Meg aware of the opening at Packard. For Meg, it was the perfect opportunity.

“It’s a dream job for me,” she said. “I can put my whole heart into it.”

As soon as Emily Baxi, Packard’s Executive Director, met Whiteford, she knew it was the right match.

“Meg has a terrific background in development and brings to Packard a deep, personal understanding of ALS. We are thrilled to have her join the team and look forward to introducing her to the Packard community where I know her commitment and compassion will be evident.”

As she has begun to settle into her new position, Meg was immediately struck by how much the science had changed since her dad was ill 30 years ago.

“There’s been so much progress, and there’s so much left to do,” Meg said. “I’m thrilled to be at Hopkins doing such meaningful work.”