Meet Jacquie Hart, Global CEO of Starlight Children’s Foundation
How did you first become involved in Starlight Foundation?
I was recruited by Korn Ferry International when Starlight was looking for a Global CEO to lead its next phase of growth to support more kids and families at pediatric facilities around the world. They were looking for someone with a strong background in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors and I fell deeply in love with the mission.
Why is it so important for children in hospitals to receive school supplies?
Hospitals in communities from coast to coast work incredibly hard at transforming the hospital experience for kids. When kids come into the hospital setting, they are scared and anxious and procedures can be painful and prolonged. Normalizing the setting is critically important not only to soothe, but to allow the child to engage in developmentally appropriate activities.
Can school supplies really help improve a child’s health and life?
School supplies are the tools necessary to be prepared for learning. All of the routines of a child’s daily life are instantly changed the moment they enter a hospital. In order to help kids and their families feel a sense of normalcy and assist the child in not falling behind in their academic plan, hospital schools have on-site teachers so that the child gets bedside instruction to help them stay on track. If they are up to it, they can learn with other kids in an on-site classroom where they can still be medically monitored while learning with their peers. Just like any other classroom, supplies are the gateway and Yoobi’s transformation of school supplies taking them from the ho-hum to the extraordinary puts a much needed smile on the face of these special children – right when they need it most.
What was your favorite school supply growing up?
I must say it was my pencil case. I loved putting everything I needed in that pouch so that I’m ready to tackle the day.
What was your favorite subject in school?
I loved English – mostly because I enjoy reading and writing. I especially enjoyed poetry.
What is your favorite Yoobi supply?
My favorite Yoobi supply is the purple fuzzy pencil case.
How can Yoobi fans help support Starlight?
Yoobi fans are born philanthropists. They are creative and joyous and think of the greater good. They have found a meaningful way to do that through Yoobi – one for you – one for me. So as they tackle the world with joy and optimism -equipped with their Yoobi supplies – they can smile a little brighter knowing that they have transformed the life of a child in a hospital with funky fresh supplies at a time when they most needed cheer.
Jacquie Hart joined Starlight as its Global CEO in 2010, and leads the charity with a charismatic blend of strategic leadership, business acumen, philanthropic experience and a deep and abiding love for children. She heads up a team of dedicated professionals who are transforming the more than 30-year-old charity into a worldwide innovator through state-of-the-art technologies and a vision for global expansion.
Under Jacquie’s transformational direction, Starlight has realigned its portfolio of programs and services to provide meaningful, point-of-care support to kids and families across a wide spectrum of health needs and all along the continuum of care, from hospital to home. Starlight today is a trusted partner for facilities committed to improving the life and health of kids and families all around the world.
Prior to Starlight, Jacquie spent 22 years in the financial sector in roles that included Division General Manager at Household International/HSBC in Chicago, Senior Vice President/Group Head at Wells Fargo in San Francisco and Senior Vice President at Neuberger Berman in New York. She led more than 1,000 FTE, $40 million in budgets and nearly $30 billion in assets under advisement.
Jacquie’s philanthropic work includes more than two decades of experience as a funder with corporate and community foundations and she has spent decades serving on non-profit boards and volunteering with organizations whose missions have a strong focus on health, education, women and children.
Jacquie holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science with an emphasis in international political economy from UC Berkeley. She later earned an executive MBA in global management and a doctorate in organizational leadership with an international cohort. Additionally, she holds a Certificate in Fund Raising Management from Indiana University’s School of Philanthropy and a Certificate in Positive Business and Society Change from Case Western Reserve University.
Born abroad, Jacquie and her family immigrated to the United States when she was still a young girl. Fortified by childhood memories of being on the playground bereft of English language skills, Jacquie developed a lifelong love of learning. Jacquie credits these experiences along with the indelible influences of many role models and mentors throughout her life as the guiding force for her passionate commitment to the non-profit sector.