WHITE PLAINS, N.Y -- LaVerne Council, a longtime March of Dimes volunteer leader and Board member, was elected as the first black chair of the organization's national Board of Trustees. Council is only the second woman to head the 73-year-old national organization.
"Whether it was collecting dimes as a young girl, serving on our Board for the past six years or co-chairing of the 2011 March for Babies, LaVerne Council has spent her life sharing her time, talents and resources with the March of Dimes," said Dr. Jennifer L. Howse, president of the March of Dimes. "She is a successful business leader, a dedicated volunteer and mentor, and a devoted mother to her son, Troy, who was born preterm. For all these reasons and more, we are honored to have her lead our Board of Trustees."
As corporate vice president and chief information officer for Johnson & Johnson, Ms. Council is responsible for the management of information technology and related systems for 250 operating companies worldwide.
She first was elected to the March of Dimes National Board in 2005. She has served as the organization's vice chair, as chair of the Public Affairs Committee and as a member of the Nominating and Executive Compensation Committees.
She currently is the 2011 national co-chair of March for Babies, the March of Dimes' largest fundraiser.
"As a mission mom myself, I am thrilled to be able to help lead an organization committed to ensuring that every mother knows the joy of a healthy birth," said Ms. Council. "While we have made great strides in recent years, a half million babies are born too soon every year. All of us at the March of Dimes will continue to work tirelessly until premature births and birth defects are a thing of the past."