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A message from Heather Shanahan

Dear Friends,

I could not be more excited to be joining the staff of the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill, and transitioning my commitment to the House from my current Board role to Executive Director.  We all thank Liz Snyder for her tireless work in implementing structure and policies for the House, opening the doors for new development opportunities, and dealing with some facilities and weather challenges none of us could have predicted.  I know she will continue to light the world on fire in her new role.

Since graduating from UNC where I studied Psychology, I have consistently sought out volunteer and Board opportunities that have allowed me to champion children in crisis.  The chance to interact with the children and families in the House, and to ensure that their experience at the House provides respite and love during such challenging times is really a gift to us. I was at the front desk this morning as a young guest shared happily that today is her “last scan.”  There is nothing like hearing the stories here to give a daily dose of perspective.  I am simply delighted that this is now my full-time calling.

I have been in leadership roles in the financial services industry for the past 17 years.  My knowledge of financial planning, operations, marketing, people, and development strategies will help to guide our path forward here at the House.  As a North Carolina native, I am counting on many of the relationships I have in the Triangle and beyond as we continue to spread the news of our amazing “home-away-from-home.”

On a personal note, I moved to Raleigh 8 years ago with my family, having spent most of my life in Charlotte.  Together, my husband Dan and I have four children:  Griffin, 21, Abbey and Julia, 16 and Joe 15.  We enjoy supporting their activities and sports, as well as entertaining our four-year old yellow Lab, Murphy.  We love trying all of the great food choices available to us in the Triangle, and try to take in live music when we can.  I have always tried to come up with any excuse possible to get to Chapel Hill, especially for sporting events, so my new commute past Finley Golf Course makes me smile!

We are blessed with so many volunteers who give generously of their time, a rock star staff with years of commitment to the mission of the House, the support of McDonald’s and owner-operators, and a highly engaged, talented Board that will continue to provide great direction and support.  I am so excited about the future of the House, and our ability to grow our resources and brand in North Carolina. I look forward to expanding our ability to provide new ways to serve our families, and am truly honored by this opportunity to serve.  I look forward to meeting and getting to know all of the army of supporters that make this House so special!

Sincerely,

Heather Shanahan

Comments 4

  1. Al Jones

    Heather,
    You have the practical sense plus the emotional maturity to further the success of the Ronald McDonald House. There could never be a more appropriate choice for the leader of that organization.

  2. Joe Smolenski

    Hi Heather,

    Glad to hear this news and path. Good for you and Dan. Wishing you guys the best. You have great gifts and the Ronald McDonald House will benefit.

    Sincerely,

    Joe Smolenski
    Renaissance Funeral Home

  3. Walter Niemasz

    Heather, What a wonderful organization and Congratulations on the increased responsibilities. You are doing a great thing!

  4. Lisa McCall

    It was so nice meeting you tonight Heather! Eli and I love the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill! It is an amazing place! Thank you for including Eli in the picture with the UNC group tonight. What an amazing organization and group of college students! Hope to see you again soon!
    Lisa McCall and Eli the Therapy Dog

    PS. I left one of my cards for you at the front desk.

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