Four New Directors Join Direct Relief’s Board

SANTA BARBARA, Calif., June 26, 2014– Direct Relief elected David Brown, Les Charles, Patrick Fitzgerald and Elizabeth Green to its Board of Directors. The new directors – who bring with them a wealth of philanthropic, corporate, entertainment, and medical experience – will serve up to two three-year terms.

David Brown is President and CEO of Somera Capital Management. Previously, he was Executive Vice President of Pacifica Real Estate Group, a private equity manager specializing in value-add investments. With a nearly three-decade career in the real estate investment business, David’s experience spans all aspects of the industry, from both a technical and investment perspective.

Les Charles is an American television writer and producer, most notably known for “Taxi” and “Cheers,” which was recently voted one of the 10 best-written TV shows of all time by the Writers Guild of America. With his brother Glen, Les’ career began as a writer for programs that include “M*A*S*H,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and “The Bob Newhart Show.” Glen and Les have received Emmys, Golden Globes and the Writers Guild Lifetime Achievement Award. Les lives in Santa Barbara, where he serves as a trustee for the Santa Barbara Museum of Art and the Cancer Foundation of Santa Barbara.

Patrick Fitzgerald is the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Communications for FedEx. Before joining FedEx, Fitzgerald held senior leadership positions in marketing and communications at several leading corporations, including Mylan, Inc., General Nutrition Centers (GNC) and Midway Games, Inc. He also served in senior leadership positions at two of the world’s largest public relations firms: Ketchum and Edelman. He currently lives in Memphis, Tenn.

Elizabeth Green has served as the Secretary of Direct Relief Women’s Leadership board for more than three years. Beth’s background is varied, and includes: nursing in critical care, cardiac surgery, and oncology fields; business; and fundraising for schools and Direct Relief. One highlight of her nursing career involved traveling with a small medical team to Papua New Guinea to work in a 100-bed rural mountain hospital, Sopas Adventist.

About Direct Relief
Founded in 1948, Direct Relief is a leading medical relief organization, active in all 50 states and in 70 countries and is the only U.S. nonprofit to obtain Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor (VAWD)© certification by the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy. The organization has been among the world’s largest medical suppliers in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, has top charity ratings, including four-star and “top-notch” rating from Charity Navigator, and a 100% fundraising efficiency rating from Forbes magazine. Among other distinctions, Direct Relief was the 2011 winner of the Peter F. Drucker Award for Nonprofit Innovation and received the 2013 President’s Award from ESRI. For more information, visit


Hannah Rael, (805) 879-4966

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