CEO Corner: “We Must Continue to do More”

Meridith Rentz, MedShare CEO

Dear friends,

During my first month here at MedShare, I enjoyed spending quality time in each of our current distribution and volunteer centers (Atlanta, GA and San Francisco Bay Area) as well as those regions where we are evaluating expansion including the Mid-Atlantic (to include New York City, Baltimore, and Philadelphia) and South Florida (to include Miami, Ft. Lauderdale, and Boca Raton).

Everywhere I go, the message from our donors, partners, volunteers, staff, Board and council members is brilliantly consistent as they share with me stories of the amazing work MedShare has done for a country, hospital, clinic or project about which they care deeply. They all express great admiration and gratitude for the unique MedShare model that A.B. Short and Bob Freeman created 13 years ago….and they all convey with great urgency that we must continue to do more. The world needs “more” of what this MedShare team delivers.

The MedShare Board and staff have heard this plea for “more,” and we are working to respond in partnership with strong leadership groups in both the Mid-Atlantic and South Florida regions. Dan Goldberg is leading our efforts in South Florida and has joined the MedShare Board. Sandy Tytel, Chair of our New York Council, and Seth Zachary, Trustee, are leading up a great group of Council members in New York. While we have much work ahead of us, there are already great things happening. For example, over the past few weeks we have received several hundred quality hospital beds from North Shore Long Island Jewish Health System. From Ghana to Ecuador and beyond, many of our worthy recipients lack adequate hospital beds; this donation will help MedShare meet those needs. We look forward to continuing this strong partnership with North Shore LIJ and building additional new relationships with health care facilities and suppliers in both markets.

There are many ways you can help us as we develop our plan for these new regions. Whenever MedShare is invited into a new region, we must develop strong partnership with local hospitals, medical supply manufacturers and distributors, volunteers, donors, and other nonprofit organizations. If you have ideas or recommendations of people or organizations we should contact in any either South Florida or the Mid-Atlantic, please send them our way. You can reach me at mrentz@medshare.org or via Twitter @mrentz.

We also have several fun events coming up to “introduce” MedShare to the community in Boca Raton (October 26th at SPIN Ultra Lounge featuring The Beach Boys) and New York City (December 8th, The University Club, 6:15 cocktails, 7:30 dinner). We’d love for you to join us.

Thank you for your support and feedback as we work to provide expanded MedShare services in order to save more lives and support more communities.

In Service,

Meridith

This letter is an excerpt from our October e-newsletter. For more – including a first-hand account of a Trustee’s trip to NYC, our Clinton Global Initiative Commitment with icddr,b and Americares to strengthen health systems in Bangladesh, and how to get your family and friends involved – click here.

AJC article: MedShare names new CEO; co-founder steps aside in planned succession

Today, September 1, 2011, is a monumental day for MedShare. This is the day A.B. Short steps down from his post at CEO, and we welcome a new leader to our organization, Meridith Rentz.

Meridith Rentz, MedShare's CEO & President

As CEO for 13 years, A.B. was the motivational and entrepreneurial force that drove MedShare to ship $93 million worth of supplies and equipment in 700 forty-foot containers to 88 developing countries, outfit 2,100 medical teams and save over 2 million feet of cubic space from landfills in the U.S.

Meridith’s goal is to take MedShare’s innovative, global medical supply chain concept and expand its reach and social impact. She’ll do this by focusing on two interdependent priorities: 1) improve the model and 2) expand the model.

We’ll leave you with an article the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran on our CEO transition. If you wish to share your thoughts, bid farewell to A.B. or welcome Meridith, we invite you to do so on our Facebook wall or via Twitter, @MedShare or @mrentz.

MedShare names new CEO; co-founder steps aside in planning succession
by: Sheila Poole

A.B. Short, chief executive officer of Decatur-based MedShare, is stepping down from the helm of the nonprofit he co-founded.

Meridith Rentz, most recently chief operating officer of Points of Light Institute, will become the new chief executive. 

The move, which is part of a planned succession strategy, takes effect Sept. 1.

“I am not retiring, I’m not even thinking about that,” said Short, 66. “I’m moving over and inviting some youthful and creative leadership to come in and take MedShare to the next stage.”

Short, who co-founded the organization with Bob Freeman in 1998, said he will remain as Rentz’s senior adviser for an unspecified time.

 “Some of us who start things stay too long,” he said. “We get comfortable and organizations can suffer.” He said he asked the organization’s board to start the process of finding a successor about a year ago. 

MedShare collects surplus medical supplies and equipment from hospitals, companies and individuals and distributes them to health care facilities in developing nations. It also helps medical missions and safety net clinics in the United States and abroad. In doing so, the organization’s work helps reduce the amount of medical waste in landfills.

“I’m going to take off my hat here and put on my MedShare hat,” Rentz said. “MedShare is really on a fantastic trajectory.” She said her plans are to continue to provide the same “high-quality services and expand our footprint.”

MedShare currently has two warehouses — in Decatur and in San Leandro, Calif. Officials hope to expand into the Mid-Atlantic region, which would cover Boston, Philadelphia and New York; and in southern Florida.