SHORT HILLS, NJ. August 4, 2020

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation today announced two new elected members to its Board of Directors: Michael Fordyce, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Craig Hospital; and R. H. (Vandy) Van Wagener, Jr., former Procter & Gamble executive and CEO of several successful startup companies. Fordyce and Van Wagener will dedicate their deep expertise in healthcare and marketing, respectively, to help carry out the Reeve Foundation's mission of curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

“Mike Fordyce and Vandy Van Wagener bring to the Reeve Foundation unique connections to the spinal cord injury community and a depth of knowledge that will further our mission exponentially,” said Peter Wilderotter, President & CEO of the Reeve Foundation. “Their contribution to our work advancing potentially curative treatments will be profound.”

The Reeve Foundation has invested over $140 million in research labs as the driving force behind some of the significant discoveries in the field. Through its Paralysis Resource Center the Foundation has provided over $30 million to local organizations with Quality of Life grants that provide access, achievement and care within their community and has provided direct counseling and assistance to over 100,000 individuals and families impacted by paralysis.

Michael Fordyce Brings Decades of Service to the Paralysis Community to Reeve

Fordyce served on the Craig Hospital Board of Directors from 1998 to 2005 and as its CEO for 10 years. Part of the Reeve Foundation’s NeuroRecovery Network, Craig Hospital serves as a beacon of hope for individuals living with paralysis, developing and providing cutting-edge therapies that rapidly improve health, independence, and quality of life.

“It is an honor to continue to serve this community as part of the Reeve Foundation. My work at Craig Hospital has long included working hand-in-hand with the Foundation, and I believe that the field of spinal cord research is approaching a tipping point,” said Fordyce. “I look forward to this work that I know will push cures forward faster.”

Fordyce has built a lifelong career in healthcare. Prior to his time at Craig Hospital, he spent 21 years at Catholic Health Initiatives (CHI), a national health care system that owns and operates 72 hospitals and 42 long-term care facilities across the country.

He received his academic training at the University of Cincinnati and has served on numerous hospital and community boards including the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors; National Sports Center for the Disabled; the University of Cincinnati School of Business; the Denver Metro Chamber Leadership Foundation, Colorado Neurological Institute, Centura Health, and the Colorado Hospital Association. He currently serves on the board of the Denver Police Foundation, the board of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System, and he is a member of the Colorado Forum.

Vandy Van Wagener Provides Personal Experience as Father and Caregiver, and Marketing/Innovation Expertise

Van Wagener, whose son was paralyzed in a skiing accident in 2002, brings more than forty years of experience in marketing, innovation and management across a wide range of consumer industries and geographies. As part of a storied career at Procter & Gamble, he led such revered brands as Olay and Downy. He also served as the General Manager of the company’s Singapore/Malaysia office, and in Japan as Vice President where he ran the Asia-Pacific skin care and cosmetics business. Following P&G, Van Wagener held CEO positions of several start-ups, including InfoBeat, which was the first major email marketing company. Most recently, he co-founded Evergreen Innovation Partners, which identifies promising innovations in the consumer space and invests in developing them to market-readiness for licensing to branded manufacturers.

“Following my son’s accident, we raised more than $1 million for spinal cord injury research and scholarships for students with disabilities. As part of this community, I intensely share the Reeve Foundation’s vision of cures for paralysis,” said Van Wagener. “Through my work on the Board, I am dedicated to employing both my professional and personal expertise in this realm to help advance the Reeve Foundation’s support of the most promising science in the field. Our goal is to identify the research that stands the best chance of success in moving from the bench to the bedside, and to do so at an unprecedented pace.”

Van Wagener graduated from Dartmouth College with an AB in mathematics and earned an MBA at Dartmouth’s Amos Tuck School. He serves on several Boards, including the Colorado chapter of the National Association of Corporate Directors and Far Niente Wine Estates. Previous Board appointments include Craig Hospital, Restorative Therapies, Cakebread Cellars and Trashco Inc., among others.

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About the Reeve Foundation
The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by advancing innovative research and improving quality of life for individuals and families impacted by paralysis. We meet all 20 of the Better Business Bureau’s standards for charity accountability and hold the BBB’s Charity Seal. For more information, please visit our website at www.ChristopherReeve.org .