Big Names from Sports & Entertainment Join Mission for Victory Over Cancer®
Cary, N.C. [June 7, 2022] – The V Foundation, a top-rated cancer research charity, is pleased to announce Russell Wilson and Ciara, Rita Ferro, Buster Posey and Jeff Berry will be the newest members of the Foundation’s board of directors. The V Foundation is proud to have champions from the world of business, journalism, sports, entertainment and science to lead the organization as members of the board.
“We are thrilled to welcome this new slate of board members,” said Shane Jacobson, CEO of the V Foundation. “Each one brings a unique talent, a special perspective and a commitment to ending cancer. They will be instrumental as the V Foundation grows and soon eclipses our third decade of game-changing and lifesaving research.”
Russell Wilson is a Super Bowl-winning quarterback who joined the NFL’s Denver Broncos this off-season after spending his previous 10 seasons leading the Seattle Seahawks. Wilson has excelled in the league, earning Pro Bowl honors nine times and two trips to the Super Bowl. In 2021, Wilson was named the Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year for his dedication to his community. Russell’s leadership, passion and business acumen have resulted in assembling an impressive and diverse portfolio of business ventures. A graduate of NC State University with a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin, he has landed major endorsements and global ambassadorships with companies including Nike, Microsoft, Wilson, Bose, Amazon, Verizon and Fanatics, among others. Wilson also co-founded Limitless Minds, a business coaching consultancy dedicated to optimizing performance and enriching culture within some of the world’s top organizations and elite performers.
Ciara is a Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter, entrepreneur, and philanthropist. She is a multi-platinum selling superstar who has sold more than 23 million records worldwide. Ciara is not only known for her vocal talent and dance moves (her videos have been viewed over 2 billion times), she is the founder and CEO of her own label, Beauty Marks Entertainment (BME). In 2020, Ciara, along with husband Russell Wilson, launched The House of LR&C, a new concept in retail built upon the principles of Love, Respect, and Care, with a focus on doing good.
Wilson and Ciara are committed philanthropists. The Wilsons co-founded the Why Not You Foundation with a focus on pediatric cancer, fighting poverty and education. Since 2014, they have raised more than $10 million for pediatric cancer research. Recently they became New York Times Bestselling authors with the release of their first children’s book “Why Not You” (Random House) which was inspired by the work they do through their foundation. Through the foundation, the Wilsons also funded a charter school in Seattle, which opened in late 2021.
Rita Ferro is the president of advertising sales for Disney Media & Entertainment Distribution. Under her leadership, Disney transformed its advertising strategy and influenced the industry at large, resulting in a consultative and insights-led sales approach that allows clients to drive maximum growth in their businesses. Among her many industry honors, Ferro made history as the first Latinx woman, and third woman in 35 years, to receive the prestigious Frank Stanton Award for Excellence in Communication. In 2018, she was named to Variety’s Power of Women New York Impact list, honoring women across all aspects of the entertainment industry who are making an impact.
Buster Posey is a former Major League Baseball player who is a seven-time All-Star, three-time World Series champion, and 2012 National League MVP. He spent his entire 12-year career as the catcher for the San Francisco Giants. Prior to being drafted, Posey attended Florida State University. In 2016, Buster and his wife Kristen, launched the BP28 Foundation, which is focused on changing the outcomes for pediatric cancer patients by raising funds for pioneering research and treatment. To date, BP28 has raised more than $5.5 million; the Poseys have also spent hundreds of hours supporting patients and their families in their many hospital visits and hosting them at Giants games. The BP28 Foundation has partnered with the V Foundation to fund lifesaving research for young cancer patients.
Jeff Berry is an attorney, sports agent, and the longtime co-head of CAA Sports’ baseball division. A graduate of UNC Charlotte, Berry played one season in the minor leagues before attending Oklahoma City University School of Law where he received his Juris Doctor in 1998. Berry has been an agent for over two decades, and Forbes Magazine has repeatedly recognized him as one of The World’s Most Powerful Sports Agents. Known as a fierce player advocate, Berry has negotiated multiple record setting contracts and been an outspoken voice on labor issues and rule changes within the baseball industry.
“The V Foundation is adding five exceptional leaders to our board of directors,” said Evan Goldberg, chair of the V Foundation board. “There has been tremendous progress in cancer research, but there is more work to be done. Led by a strong board and fueled by Jim Valvano’s call to action, the V Foundation is committed to accelerating the research that will lead to cures for cancer.”
The V Foundation Board of Directors provides guidance to ensure the sustainability and long-term effectiveness of the organization while upholding its core principles. Its leadership has contributed to the V Foundation’s consistency, evidenced by the awarding of 11 consecutive 4-star (highest) ratings from Charity Navigator, America’s largest evaluator of charities. The V Foundation is among the top 2% of all charities evaluated. The V Foundation is also a GuideStar platinum-rated charity.