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AMA’s X Children’s National Hospital Foundation

This week, AMA had the opportunity to meet Leslie Schrader, the Chief Marketing Officer for Children’s National Hospital Foundation, responsible for the marketing and communications in support of $100M fundraising annually. She serves as a member of the executive leadership team. Leslie has more than 25 years of experience in agency environments working with Fortune 500 companies and nonprofits. During her career, she built a reputation for delivering business results, establishing operational excellence, identifying, evaluating, and mitigating risks, and developing and mentoring high-performance teams. She began her career working with top 10 communications firms. Her first significant leadership role was Partner with Ketchum in 2011. During her tenure Leslie established the largest award-winning agency, Brand Practice, in Washington, D.C. She built a diverse roster of Fortune 500 clients. She led integration of multi-agency marketing teams on behalf of her clients. She increased practice income year after year through innovative growth initiatives that leveraged market trends. Leslie managed the agency’s longest-standing client relationships with a commitment to client service. She oversaw the largest P&L in the Washington office with 40 percent of total office revenue. Leslie also maintained the agency’s highest employee retention rate for four consecutive years. Since 2019, Leslie has served as Chief Marketing Officer at Children’s National Hospital Foundation reporting to the President. She discussed with our AMA group her primary responsibilities. She explained overseeing the organization's communications strategy, developing, integrating and executing a singular brand identity in partnership with the hospital’s marketing department. She also established a reputation with key stakeholders including corporate partners, donors, and employees. Leslie shared information about the nonprofit world and touched on a challenge that is not typical to agencies or profitable companies. Non-profit company donations are very transparent, as you are unable to communicate back to the donors how much their donation impacted someone. In addition, it's difficult to maintain engagement, especially since most donors have never stepped foot inside of Children's National Hospital. However, Leslie discussed a successful promotion that was very memorable called the “Light up Dr. Bear” which was their first interactive promotion campaign to celebrate the 150th birthday of the Hospital. This promotion connected donations directly to the hospital, as every time someone donated the bears would light up. This brought lots of joy to the children in the hospital knowing that someone out there opened their generous heart to help. If you are interested, you can what the full advertisement here: Leslie also discussed the highs and lows of working for a hospital. Every promotional story has a family behind it and sometimes it becomes personal. Sometimes there is an intrinsic reward when they follow up with the family and hear how well they are doing, but it's hard to pick yourself up after a bad story. To help maintain a strong mental health through the lows, Leslie makes sure to set boundaries and she makes sure to walk every morning before work to prepare for the day, this especially important with the pandemic regulations. If you are interested in learning more about Leslie Schrader, please visit her LinkedIn: After meeting with Leslie, AMA created personal cards to send to the children at the hospital. Here are some of our creations! (TBD)


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