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Sharon Byers Joins American Cancer Society as Chief Development Officer

ATLANTA – (November 30, 2015) – Sharon Byers has been named chief development officer of the American Cancer Society. In her new role, Byers will provide leadership to grow the fundraising portfolio of the nation’s largest voluntary health organization, while simultaneously guiding efforts to ensure brand relevance to new and existing supporters as part of the Society’s work to focus on the most effective strategies to fight cancer on a national and global scale.

Byers will be responsible for overseeing all income properties including Relay For Life and Making Strides Against Breast Cancer, as well as major gifts, distinguished partners, and other revenue-generating functions such as sports and corporate partnerships.

“We are tremendously excited to have Sharon join the American Cancer Society in this key role,” said Gary Reedy, American Cancer Society CEO. “Her experience, expertise and passion will drive relationship and revenue growth while her leadership will accelerate the American Cancer Society’s ability to meet the expectations of our current partners and volunteers in a challenging landscape. Sharon is a bold thinker and will be a valuable asset to our senior leadership team.”

“I’m thrilled to be part of the American Cancer Society, an organization that is evolving and embracing change in response to the fundraising challenges and opportunities within our communities,” Byers said. “In my view, no other public health organization has greater potential to partner with others to save the most lives from cancer. With a commitment to focus on strategies to build growth and revenue, the Society is laying the groundwork to expand and optimize partnerships to become the charity of choice.”

Byers most recently served as senior vice president of Sports, Entertainment, and Community Marketing Partnerships for North America at The Coca-Cola Company. In this role, her team managed more than 500 strategic partnerships including premier properties such as the Olympics, NCAA, NBA, NASCAR, LeBron James, Jennifer Aniston, Taylor Swift, and American Idol. Her achievements at Coca-Cola included developing integrated marketing and business approaches that resulted in increased revenue and brand share, the management of consumer analytics, opportunity evaluation, deal negotiations, and sales and marketing execution. During her 28-year career with Coke, Byers held roles in integrated marketing, strategic planning, and corporate deal negotiation.

Byers has been recognized as one of the 50 Most Important People in Sports; number one of the Most Influential Women in Sports by Sports Illustrated; Marketer of the Year by Cynopsis Sports Media in both 2014 and 2015; Woman of the Year by the Women in Sports and Events Organization; and as one of the 50 Most Powerful People in Sports and Sports Industry Game Changers by Sports Business Journal. She serves on the boards of Special Olympics of Atlanta, College Football Hall of Fame and Auburn University Business School.

Byers is a graduate of Auburn University with a BS in finance and a certified public accountant.

About the American Cancer Society

The American Cancer Society is a global grassroots force of 2.5 million volunteers saving lives and fighting for every birthday threatened by every cancer in every community. As the largest voluntary health organization, the Society's efforts have contributed to a 22 percent decline in cancer death rates in the U.S. since 1991, and a 50 percent drop in smoking rates. Thanks in part to our progress nearly 14 million Americans who have had cancer and countless more who have avoided it will celebrate more birthdays this year. We're determined to finish the fight against cancer. We're finding cures as the nation’s  largest private, not-for-profit investor in cancer research, ensuring people facing cancer have the help they need and continuing the fight for access to quality health care, lifesaving screenings, clean air, and more. For more information, to get help, or to join the fight, call us anytime, day or night, at 1-800-227-2345 or visit cancer.org.

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