Kathleen’s Desk

Chuck Chamness Elected Chairman of the Board

by Kathleen Ruddy, CEO, St. Baldrick's Foundation
September 6, 2013
Chuck Chamness

Chuck with his son Joey, the first St. Baldrick’s Ambassador

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, and over the next four weeks, it will be my privilege to share news of exciting new developments at the St. Baldrick’s Foundation. To share the first, let me take you on a short walk down “Memory Lane.”

In 2006, thousands of posters and brochures were printed and sent to events throughout the country bearing the smiling faces of Chuck Chamness and his son, Joey. At the time, Joey was in treatment for osteosarcoma, a malignant tumor of the bone, which had occurred in Joey’s leg.

We easily persuaded our rookie volunteer event organizer, Chuck to shave again – just as his hair had returned from his last St. Baldrick’s shave! This generosity allowed us to capture the poignant pictures of father and son which introduced Joey to the world as the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s first official Ambassador.

Since then, each member of the Chamness family has been active St. Baldrick’s participants in their hometown of Indianapolis, Indiana. Joey’s mom, Briget, and his siblings, Charlie, Sally and Robbie, have joined Chuck and Joey as shavees, and I’m thrilled to report that after multiple surgeries, months of treatment, and dozens of follow-up tests and procedures, Joey is a very active and very healthy 16-year-old.

I’m also honored to say that Chuck accepted the role of chairman of the St. Baldrick’s Foundation’s board of directors and took the helm this summer, marking the first time a cancer parent has led the organization.

Chuck’s personal experience and perspective as a parent of a childhood cancer survivor will help solidify the Foundation as the leader in the childhood cancer research community. St. Baldrick’s commitment to families like Chuck’s, and our track record of supporting only the best research, makes us all confident of reaching our long-term goals.

The Chamness Family

The Chamness Family

“St. Baldrick’s is about the kids, their families, the research we support and all the volunteers who make it possible,” Chuck said recently. “We are committed to helping kids with cancer survive and lead the healthy lives we wish for them.”

In his professional life, Chuck is the president and chief executive officer of the National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies in Indianapolis — an industry whose support of St. Baldrick’s is renowned. Prior to joining NAMIC in 1995, Chuck worked for 10 years in Washington, D.C., serving in the first Bush administration as deputy assistant secretary of public affairs under HUD Secretary Jack Kemp as well as a press secretary on Capitol Hill and in other public- and private-sector positions.

Chuck also serves as chairman of the board of NAMIC, a $50 million asset “A” rated professional liability insurance company owned by the association and its members. He has served as a member of the board of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety since 2004 and is a member of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Association Committee of 100.

Since 2005, the St. Baldrick’s Foundation has awarded more than 651 grants totaling more than $125 million to support the most promising research that will find cures and give survivors long and healthy lives — made possible by the commitment, hard work and creative fundraising of each St. Baldrick’s volunteer.

Under Chuck’s leadership and commitment to excellence, we anticipate an era of great progress in helping each child with cancer survive and thrive.

Learn more about St. Baldrick’s leadership.

Meet the Board