Wednesday, September 14, 2011

New Executive Director talks in buzz words, cliches

Metro's biggest charity has a new leader. Alice Snidely, a long-time fundraiser, becomes Metro Hospital Foundation's latest Executive Director next month. She only speaks in buzz words and cliches.

"I'm so very pleased to have this great honour of representing this wonderful organization and helping all the people of Metro be the best that they can be so that we can make this world a better place and give our children a better chance than we had growing up, and stuff," said Snidely, who employs a full-time PR writer to write all of her verbal utterances.

Snidely has worked for 20 years in fundraising at other hospitals and universities charming and then squeezing thousands of major donors out of more than $12 million. Her first job at the Metro Hospital Foundation will be launching the new capital campaign expected to start next year.

"We need synergies. We need to be simpatico with each other and our community. We need a deep brand to help deliver the main message that Metro Hospital is top-of-mind by using word of mouth strategies with key stakeholders. I know that we can do this, whatever this means," Snidely said.

Foundation Chair and Hospital CEO Eileen Burns said they hired Snidely because of her vast experience and her ability to say things that sound very important.

"I honestly can't understand her sometimes, but that's OK. I'm sure that whatever it is she is saying, it will be really good for Metro Hospital," said Burns. "Meetings are a lot longer now, but I feel more optimistic than ever."

Metro Hospital has struggled with cutbacks and poor donor retention over the year. The Foundation had to lay off a number of people. The 2007 "We Can Make It!" capital campaign failed to make its target. Snidely says the new fundraising campaign, "We Can Make It Again!" will be different.

"There comes a time when the jewels cease to sparkle, when the gold loses its luster, when the hospital room becomes a prison, and all that is left is a community's love for its children. This is that time. We are those people. Now, let's go out and kill the bad guys," said Snidely, using a quote from the 1982 movie "Conan The Barbarian".

Snidely's new staff are already at work on the new campaign, which is to be unveiled next Spring. Those staff left after the layoffs and recent firings say they feel better motivated than ever to help Metro Hospital make the campaign a success.

"Oh, she's great," said fundraiser Chett Jones. "After listening to her I feel like I've seen every buddy film or action movie where the good guys don't have a chance against the bad guys. She's quite a motivator."

"My message to the people of Metro is that together we will able to make our hospital the best hospital that Metro could ever hope to have under these economic conditions and considering that people don't give enough. I know if they all reach down inside themselves they will be able to find a piece of them that they will able to share with the community. Hopefully, it will be a pledge of $100.00 or more," said Snidely.