Tim is an energetic, positive and passionate leader with a proven ability to build strong relationships and lead teams

(Short Hills, NJ) -- July 18, 2013 -- Seasoned sports and media executive Tim Pernetti has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation, a national nonprofit dedicated to finding cures for spinal cord injury and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis.

From 2009 to 2013, Pernetti was the Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers University. It was during that time, in 2010, that Eric LeGrand, a Rutgers football player, was spinal cord injured during a nationally televised game. Eric's subsequent progress in the face of adversity has inspired countless people around the world. Pernetti has become a stalwart champion of Eric, the LeGrand family, as well as a founding member of Team LeGrand. Earlier this year, Eric and his mother Karen LeGrand formed Team LeGrand, a division of the Reeve Foundation, to help individuals living with spinal cord injuries and their families by supporting quality of life initiatives and scientific research.

"Tim is an energetic, positive and passionate leader with a proven ability to build strong relationships and lead teams. We are thrilled that he has agreed to further our cause with his time and talent," said Peter T. Wilderotter, president and CEO of the Reeve Foundation. He continued, "Tim has experienced first-hand just how inspiring someone living with a spinal cord injury can be, and we have been blown away by his devotion and commitment to Eric, the LeGrand family, and the other 1.275 million Americans living with spinal cord injury. We are extremely appreciative of his dedication and we look forward to working with him."

"Tim was with me the day of my accident and has never left my side," said Eric LeGrand. "He is a true champion for this cause and I know he will help get us into the end zone -- finding a cure for spinal cord injury."

Pernetti earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass media and a master's degree in communications from Rutgers University, where he also played tight end. He worked as a television and sports media executive for ABC Sports, CSTV, and CBS. In 2008, Tim was a recipient of the Sports Business Journal's "40 Under 40" award recognizing the most powerful and influential people in the sports business under the age of 40. At 38 years old, Pernetti took over as Director of Intercollegiate Athletics at Rutgers becoming the youngest in the nation at the Division I level. Pernetti led the charge to build the Rutgers brand and transformed the business of Athletics at Rutgers by creating numerous new revenue-generating businesses. During his tenure, Rutgers Athletics posted record fundraising results with approximately $70M in private giving between 2009 and 2013. Pernetti is credited with the historic and transformative deal to bring Rutgers to the Big Ten Conference in 2014.

"It is truly an honor and privilege to serve on the prestigious Reeve Foundation Board of Directors and I look forward to assisting its current members to serve the paralysis community in every way possible," Pernetti said. "We have hit the ground running to raise awareness and funds for the Reeve Foundation's critical mission and we won't stop until our goals are achieved."

About the Reeve Foundation

The Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation is dedicated to curing spinal cord injury by funding innovative research and improving the quality of life for people living with paralysis through grants, information and advocacy. 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 ChristopherReeve.org or call 800-225-0292.