Newly Named Board of Directors to Continue Elanco Foundation Progress and Passion

Out of the gate, the Elanco Foundation demonstrated its commitment to improving food security and caring for Elanco communities by supporting foodbanks around the world to help address the challenges caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.Our ability to respond to this urgent need is an example of the Foundation’s vision to build on the power of animals to pursue the promise of health and the potential for change. And today, I’m excited to introduce newly appointed members of our Board of Directors who will help lead the Foundation forward. Recently announced board members are as follows:

  • Kristin Bloink, Board Chair, Vice President, Global Research and External Innovation
  • Julie Lawless, Treasurer, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Administration
  • Margie Craft, Secretary, Advancement Committee Chair, Senior Advisor, Corporate Affairs Operations
  • Jeff Simmons, President & CEO
  • Larbi Van Lier, Innovation Grant Committee Chair, Vice President, Asia
  • Mike Finney, Strong Communities Grant Committee Chair, Vice President, Vaccine Manufacturing Network

I’m also thrilled to announce and welcome Jared Skok to the team who will serve as the Executive Director of the Elanco Foundation. "I am both honored and excited for the opportunity to help amplify Elanco’s impact through strategic philanthropy and partnerships," said Skok. "I look forward to building upon the excellent work the Board of Directors began to help envision a world in which people live healthier lives through the power of animals."

The range of experience and connections among our board members, combined with a shared passion for leaving a positive impact on society, positions the Foundation to engage employees and partners in a meaningful way. Larbi Van Lier shared, "what I look forward to the most is making this a joint effort. It will be shaped by employees and will benefit the Elanco communities that they are a part of. Together, we will build a legacy of togetherness and philanthropic spirit." In the coming months, we’ll be adding three external parties to our Foundation Board and creating committees that employees will have an opportunity to be involved in.

As we look forward to the future great work with the board, I’m also eager to share what we’re hearing from the food bank organizations who received Elanco’s support throughout the pandemic:

  • Harvesters Community Food Network Harvesters Community Food Network in Kansas City, MO, shared their gratitude for the funds to serve their local community. "The people Harvesters serves are the hardest hit by the COVID-19 pandemic, and it is more important than ever to reach our community members in need… Support from organizations like Elanco helps to ensure that we have the resources we need to feed hungry people today and work to end hunger tomorrow."
  • The European Food Banks Federation also expressed their appreciation to help increase food access for families within their network. "We are grateful to Elanco for this first and most appreciated token of solidarity. We are very appreciative that the funds may be used to supply high quality animal-based food with an essential nutritional value."
    • Learn more on the challenge facing food banks in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic by listening to interviews with both organizations in a recent episode of Elanco’s Rediscovering the Power of Healthy Animals podcast titled, "Protein During a Pandemic: Addressing Food Security Concerns During COVID-19."

      As a purpose-driven company, Elanco employees have a unique opportunity to join this important effort in supporting organizations focused on food security and pet welfare. Our Foundation offers matching gifts to eligible non-profits of up to $250 per employee, per year, leveraging each gift to make an even greater impact, together! As Jeff Simmons puts it, "let’s show what’s inside the hearts of the people at Elanco. This is our opportunity to make an impact."

      Kristin Bloink, Foundation Board Chair, shared how employees are supporting Elanco’s mission, especially during an unprecedented time. "Over 80% of our employees believe that food security and/or the human-animal bond resonates with the heart of our company. This year, employees have already given over $20,000 globally to their communities."

      What a testament to each and every one of you. Without our employees, progress and commitment to our communities wouldn’t be possible!

      Looking ahead, we plan to start the process for innovation and community grants that will fund sustainable solutions and enrich communities where Elanco employees work and live. Just recently, our Foundation donated $25,000 to Pet Partners through an initiative called We Are All Ears. The program promotes literacy by having children around the world read with their pets, as research shows reading aloud to therapy animals increases a child’s oral reading fluency scores (Levinson et al. 2017). Our own Julie Lawless sits on the board of Pet Partners and is a key member driving this partnership forward through Elanco’s commitment to pet welfare.

      The Elanco Foundation builds on a collective legacy of generosity and philanthropic spirit. Together, we can ensure people and their pets have the essential support they need to recover and rebuild from this global pandemic and to help communities thrive.

About Marjorie Craft

Marjorie (Margie) Craft currently serves as Sr. Advisor- Corporate Affairs Operations & Liaison, Elanco Board of Directors. She led the creation and launch of the Elanco Foundation as Executive Director and is excited to transition to her newly appointed position as Elanco Foundation Board Member.

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About Marjorie Craft

Marjorie (Margie) Craft currently serves as Sr. Advisor- Corporate Affairs Operations & Liaison, Elanco Board of Directors. She led the creation and launch of the Elanco Foundation as Executive Director and is excited to transition to her newly appointed position as Elanco Foundation Board Member.

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