Richmond, Va. (WTVR) -
The woman who founded Susan G. Komen, a leading advocacy group in the fight against breast cancer, is stepping down from her post as CEO.
Nancy Brinker is moving to a new job within the organization, but some question if she’s leaving her post because of the controversy Komen caused earlier this year involving Planned Parenthood.
Many people in the Central Virginia know about the Susan G. Komen foundation through the Central Virginia Race for the Cure, a big fundraising event that raises money locally to go towards breast cancer research. People across the country heard the name Komen a lot earlier this year when the foundation decided to cut off funding to some Planned Parenthood organizations.
The Komen Foundation later changed that decision, but by then the toothpaste was out of the tube, and there was a backlash from pro-choice groups that’s still affecting Komen today.
According to Linda Tiller, president for the Richmond affiliate of Komen, participation and fundraising for Richmond`s Race for the Cure in May was down 15%.
Brinker will leave her position as CEO and take on a new role within Susan G. Komen when they find a replacement, and Elizabeth Thompson will leave her role as the organization`s president in September.
We talked with Dave Saunders from the public relations firm Madison & Main. He says Brinker stepping down is a good first move to protect the Komen Foundation’s brand and image, but they need to remember this for the future.
“I think they were woefully unprepared for the digital age when information travels at the speed of light”, said Saunders. “And a lot of organizations, really good brands, are really unprepared for those bumps in the road because they’re not responding quickly enough when the attention is not positive.”
Cianti Stewart-Reid with Planned Parenthood Advocates of Virginia says they look forward to working with Komen in the future.
“Komen has made great contributions to women’s health and increased importance of breast cancer prevention and detection nationwide”, said Stewart-Reid. “We’re happy to help serve women in under-served communities to help them get vital screenings and are happy to work with Komen.”