Women of Achievement 2013 Bio: Veronica McDonnell

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Veronica McDonnell

Veronica McDonnell

We are pleased to submit Veronica McDonnell to be honored through the 2013 Women of Achievement Award. In addition to her community volunteer activities with numerous non-profit organizations, the leadership and volunteer service Veronica has provided to the Art Museum has been exceptional. A current member of the Museum’s Board of Trustees, Veronica previously served for eight years on the Museum’s Friends Board. During her tenure on the Friends Board, she served as vice-chair for four years after two years as secretary. She also served on a special task force to reimagine and invigorate the role of the Friends Board and its service to the Museum. Veronica co-chaired the Museum’s 2010 Gala, which raised more than $600,000 for the Museum’s endowment. A dynamic leader, she expanded the host committee and the scope of their work, orchestrating a memorable event for all who attended. This had been only the second gala in the Museum’s history to be held offsite. Veronica has served on the Board’s Marketing and Audience Development and Development Committees. She has also played an integral part in supporting the Museum’s upper-level membership, the Beaux Arts Council (BAC), through active service on the BAC task force, through which she encourages members to increase their annual support and thank those who have made recent gifts. Currently the Beaux Arts Council Task Force Chair Person. Veronica has been a key advocate for the Museum over the years and has significantly improved our community through her active involvement in numerous worthwhile organizations. Her contribution to the Saint Louis Art Museum and the betterment of the St. Louis metropolitan region is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your consideration of this nomination.

Veronica McDonnell has given to this community through improving the health of patients and families of the Missouri Baptist Healthcare Foundation (MBHF). She is a member of the MBHF Board, including the Executive Committee, chair of the Allocations Committee and chair of the Board Development Committee in 2013. She has served on the in-patient and emergency services Patient and Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

Her most incredible gift to women in St. Louis and benefiting rural MO women is the success of the “Choose Your Shoes” events she has chaired for the needs in the Breast HealthCare Center. The 2009 event netted $175,000, and in addition with several major gifts, allowed MBHF to purchase a new digital mammography van that serves St. Louis women and through the MBHF Susan G. Komen for the Cure grant, over 900 under or uninsured women in rural Missouri. She created this event, recruited the committee, secured the sponsors and saw to every detail! To top that event, she did it again in 2012 and had over 400 women come to “Choose your Shoes 2″ to successfully net over $192,000 for a new breast biopsy table. She raised so many funds that we not only purchased the table, but have over $35,000 in hand to underwrite biopsies and screenings for ladies who are under and uninsured. Other organizations can join me in applauding a woman who not only gives of her time, but has the creativity, compassion and persistence to see her causes to success.

We enthusiastically support the nomination of Veronica McDonnell for a Woman of Achievement. This high energy woman gives simultaneously incredible leadership, spirit and energy to multiple groups focusing on education, the arts and health. It is rare to find people who are employed in demanding positions, who can still give really significant time to meet community needs. Time and time again, she readily accepts leadership positions. It is very hard these days to find leaders for projects. For instance, in CHARACTERplus, a metropolitan wide education project that addresses student character, responsibility and academic achievement Veronica saw a need to broaden the base of community support, understanding and financial commitments. In April of 2005 she started Friends of CHARACTERplus, a separate 501(c)3 that now has 120 members and has raised over $500,000. As the organization’s first president, Veronica developed the ideas for and chaired multiple special events to recruit and reward members, created and lead an active board to join with her to build a community of supporters for CHARACTERplus. She has played a leadership role for seven years. In addition, this year as a member of the Missouri History Museum’s Board of Trustees she has agreed to take an active role in the museum’s capital campaign drives and she has been a very involved member of the Friends Board of the St. Louis Art Museum. Varied groups have benefited from her leadership. For example, Veronica co-chaired the Opera Theater of St. Louis 2009 Gala, the St. Louis Art Museum Gala 2010, The Community Music School of Webster University New Music School Building Gala 2007, and was on the state organizing committee for the Missouri Dietetic Association and chaired their Arrival Conference in 2010 and 2012. She doesn’t just lend her name to other groups she works with. Veronica is an active proponent for the group seeing a need, creating an imaginative way to meet the need, raising interest with a broad base of people, very successfully raising monies, and reaching a wide group of supporters. Her commitment to dedicating time and leadership to volunteerism spans over 20 years. Her energy is boundless, her commitment is unending and her results have made a positive difference for so many. In our region she truly exemplifies a Woman of Achievement.

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