Welcome to our Corporate Partner Spotlight. Each month, corporate leaders share why they serve as advocates and ambassadors for Children’s National Hospital within their company and across the community. This month, we spoke with John Wood of Telos Corporation.
John Wood is Chairman and CEO of Telos, a leading provider of continuous security solutions and services for the world’s most security-conscious agencies and organizations. He joined Telos in 1992 and is a leading voice on bringing together the private and public sectors to address cybersecurity issues. John and his wife, Jessica, are grateful parents and Co-Chairs of the Virtual Race for Every Child: 150th Birthday Edition, which will be held on Saturday, Oct. 16.
Why did you choose to support Children’s National as Co-Chair of the Race for Every Child: 150th Birthday Edition?
I’m really excited to be part of the Children’s National community and lead the Virtual Race for Every Child — especially because this year’s Race celebrates the hospital’s 150th birthday. My wife, Jessica, and I decided to be Co-Chairs for the Race because Children’s National had a really transformative effect on our lives.
Our daughter was born with a rare heart defect called transposition of the great arteries. The amazing doctors at Children’s National performed open heart surgery on her only six days after she was born. And just under eight years later, they had to perform open heart surgery again. We have this wonderful, beautiful, outgoing, incredible child named Jocelyn, and she’s living a very happy life thanks in large part to the people at Children’s National.
What’s been the most rewarding part of serving as Race Chair?
For my wife and me, the most rewarding part is that we’re able to see our community rally together to raise money that helps other children like Jocelyn who really need it. It’s been an honor.
We really have the benefit of a national treasure right here in Washington, DC, and it’s called Children’s National Hospital. More than anything else, we hope that we’re able to inspire others to participate in different ways — running or walking in the Race on Oct. 16, becoming a sponsor, or committing financially on an ongoing basis — to make sure that Children’s National can fulfill its mission of helping kids grow up stronger.
The Race will be 100% virtual this year. How do you and your family plan to participate?
Just like last year, my family plans to participate with families from our neighborhood. My wife is a big runner and looking forward to it. I’m not a big runner, but I’ll be there walking it. Jocelyn is going to do the Kids Dash down our street again this year — it’s so great to see her be able to do that after everything she’s been through.
What I love about the Race being virtual is that it can extend globally. Anybody around the world can participate in the Race. You can walk or run it virtually with friends and family all over the country or on the other side of the world. It’s a great way to safely connect with people around a really important cause: the health and well-being of children.
What role can corporate leaders play in helping Children’s National care for our community’s kids?
It really comes down to strategic partnerships. As corporate leaders, we can be connectors and grow partnerships with companies and their employees that make a huge difference for the hospital. The funds these organizations provide is crucial, but it’s also about fielding teams that participate in the Race and teams that can come together to help children… teams that can be reminded over the course of the year of the good work they’re doing.
Another important thing that corporate leaders can do is provide multi-year commitments. We want the incredible people at Children’s National to be able to focus on the kids and not worry about if, how, or when the money will come in to buy a new MRI machine, kickstart a new program or fund important research. Corporate leaders can use multi-year commitments to allow the hospital to plan for the future.
Children’s National is celebrating 150 years of caring for kids – what is your 150th Birthday wish for Children’s National?
If I had one wish, it would be that Children’s National is able to perform and provide transformative care without worrying about the financial burden of providing that care. Together, as corporate leaders and as a community, I think we can make that wish a reality.
Corporate partners are key to helping us ensure every child can grow up stronger. If you or your company are interested in supporting Children’s National, please contact Foundation Vice President Julie Butler at firstname.lastname@example.org.