CEO of BBDO New York to Head Communications Committee; Radio Programming Pioneer to Chair Development Committee

(SHORT HILLS, NJ) – January 7, 2010 – The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation today announced John Osborn, President and CEO of BBDO New York, has been appointed to the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors. Joining him is John M. McConnell, founder of McConnell Media, LLC.

As Chair of the Communications Committee, Osborn will manage the strategic direction of the Reeve Foundation's brand, including its messaging, marketing and communications efforts. McConnell will Chair the Development Committee and oversee fundraising efforts, which include: chapter development, individual donations, corporate sponsorship, foundations, special events, direct marketing, and Team Reeve, the Foundation's athletic fundraising program. Osborn and McConnell become members of the Executive Committee effective immediately.

“The Reeve Foundation has already greatly benefited from both John Osborn and John McConnell's vision, passion and generosity," said Peter T. Wilderotter, President and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. “We are extremely appreciative of their commitment and devotion to furthering the cause of the Reeve Foundation and improving the lives of the 1.275 million Americans living with spinal cord injury."

As President & CEO of BBDO New York since 2002, Osborn has become known as an energetic, positive and passionate leader with a proven ability to build strong relationships and lead multi-disciplinary teams in the creation of powerful communication programs. However, his passion extends far beyond business. For example, he was a member of the BBDO team that developed the New York Miracle campaign that helped lift the spirits of New Yorkers in the wake of the September 11 attacks. He serves on the Boards of the Police Athletic League, the American Advertising Federation, and he's involved with Alumni Affairs for Dartmouth College. He's been a pioneer for diversity in BBDO New York, which recently was acknowledged by the AAF for its efforts. In recognition of his contributions, Osborn was inducted into the AAF Hall of Achievement in 2003. And, he was selected to Crain's New York Business list of “40 Under 40" and named a “Young Global Leader" by the World Economic Forum.

Osborn has been involved with Reeve Foundation for the past three years, and BBDO New York serves as its pro-bono agency. Over the past two years, BBDO has developed and revitalized a new brand identity and a pro-bono national advertising campaign. The provocative print and online ads were designed to evoke emotion by conveying the message that paralysis can happen to anyone at anytime without warning – unlike many diseases, there are no screening or prevention methods for paralysis.

Said Osborn, “I've always believed that business should be a means to an end, not an end in itself. In this case, it's to recognize that to do well, you must also do good. It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a member of the Reeve Foundation Executive Board."

John M. McConnell, founder of McConnell Media LLC, a traditional and new media consultancy focused on content and talent development for publishing, radio, tv and the web, now chairs the Reeve Foundation's Development Committee.

McConnell was drawn to the Reeve Foundation's mission after breaking his neck during a bike ride. “John has a deep commitment and love for our work," Wilderotter remarked. “He will lead the Foundation's fundraising efforts with talent and grace and be an invaluable asset in pursuing our mission. We look forward to new opportunities and great progress under his tenure."

One year after his injury, McConnell completed the ING New York City marathon, his first, and has gone on to complete five marathons, raising more than $800,000 for the Reeve Foundation. In addition to serving as a Team Reeve mentor, McConnell was instrumental in the production and placement of a national PSA radio campaign for the Reeve Foundation Superman Tags.

"Because of my experience, I have seen first-hand how critically important the work of the Reeve Foundation is," McConnell said. “I'm lucky to be here and incredibly fortunate to be a part of this life-changing cause."

Prior to forming McConnell Media, McConnell was the SVP in charge of Programming for the ABC Radio Networks and managed programming for ABC Music Radio, ABC News Radio, ABC Talk Radio and the ESPN Radio Network, all of which is heard on 4400 ABC radio affiliates and web sites. He has received numerous broadcast and journalism awards and has been recognized four times by the industry publication Radio and Records as its "News/Talk Executive of the Year." He is a recipient of the 2006 Avis "We Try Harder" award, given to "two individuals each year, who through their courage, overcome extraordinary circumstances to participate in the marathon."