Richard joined Make-A-Wish in January 2019. During his term as president and CEO, he positioned the organization through business transformation strategies and brand building efforts with the goal of driving revenue and granting more wishes. He also led the organization through the many challenges posed by the pandemic.
“We are incredibly grateful to Richard for his vision, his leadership, and his uncompromising dedication to the mission of Make-A-Wish,” said George Barrios, chairman of the Make-A-Wish America Board of Directors. “Moreover, the work that Richard and Leslie have accomplished together over the past several years effectively guided the enterprise through the ever-changing landscape during the pandemic, ensuring our financial health and ability to grant safe wishes for our families.
“We are delighted to promote Leslie into this new role. She is an impact-driven leader who is fiscally-minded, goal-oriented and believes that people are our most valuable asset. Leslie and Richard will work closely together in the coming months as she transitions into this role.”
Leslie has been a senior member of the Make-A-Wish America leadership team since joining as chief human resources officer in 2013. In 2015 she was promoted to the position of chief operating officer. Prior to joining Make-A-Wish, Leslie held executive roles with American Express, Vanguard, and Prudential. Leslie is deeply committed to the mission of Make-A-Wish and has demonstrated this by consistently delivering for children and families during her tenure with the organization.
“I am extremely grateful and excited to take on the president and CEO position,” Leslie said. “Richard has been an extraordinary leader and Make-A-Wish is positioned to further enhance our capabilities and to continue expanding on our mission of granting wishes for children.”
Richard Davis added, “Among the greatest pleasures and honors of my professional life has been serving as the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish America. I remain steadfastly committed to this organization, and I could not be more pleased that the board has selected Leslie to lead Make-A-Wish into the future.”
Richard and Leslie will work closely during the transition until he retires later this year. Make-A-Wish extends its deepest appreciation to Richard and its congratulations to Leslie.
Make-A-Wish creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Headquartered in Phoenix, Arizona, Make-A-Wish is the world’s leading children’s wish-granting organization, operating in every community in the United States and in nearly 50 countries worldwide. Together with generous donors, supporters, staff and more than 24,000 volunteers across the U.S., Make-A-Wish delivers hope and joy to children and their families when they need it most. Make-A-Wish aims to bring the power of wishing to every child with a critical illness because wish experiences can help improve emotional and physical health. Since 1980, Make-A-Wish has granted more than 520,000 wishes worldwide; more than 350,000 wishes in the U.S. and its territories alone.