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Leading the Way Podcast: Rick Shadyac, CEO, ALSAC/St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital

St. Jude is leading the way the world understands, treats, and defeats childhood cancer and other life-threatening diseases. Rick Shadyac, CEO, ALSAC, the fundraising arm of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, shares with us how he is carrying the incredible legacy of the most innovative children’s research hospital, created by Danny Thomas back in 1962, well into the future.  

In this week’s episode of Leading the Way, Rick shares with us his perspective of transparency, their strategy to raise over $1 billion this year and why St. Jude is such a great place to work. We discuss the caring and compassionate culture, how it began and what makes it stronger today than ever before. Rick shares with us their collaboration with major technology companies to expand their brand awareness and donor experience.  

You’ll learn the history of St. Jude, whose mission is to make sure no child is denied treatment and no family ever receives a bill for care, and the heartwarming message from Rick Shadyac inspires us all on the importance of benevolence.  

Key Soundbites 

  • On innovation – “People think innovation is hard. I don’t think it’s hard. I think it starts with being curious. And so what I try to say to all of my employees is keep asking the Why question. Question everything, be curious about everything.”  
  • On culture – “The culture of St. Jude emanated from Danny Thomas. He would talk to everybody. He would talk to the patients and the families, but he would talk to the people that clean the hospital rooms, the cafeteria workers, the doctors and the scientists, and he treated everybody the exact same. He wanted everyone to know that every person’s job was just as important as the next person.”  
  • On employee experience - “I think every day that people have an opportunity to see the importance and the value of their work. It’s those kinds of moments that keep us motivated and keep our eye on the ball and inspire us to do the best work, and it’s why our employees want to come to work every day. We try to create that environment that gives them the opportunity to thrive.”  
  • On transparency– “Transparency is all about trust. It’s the right strategy for all brands to use. If you want people to engage with your brand, if you want people to make a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, you’ve got to be transparent about what their donation is going to do. You’ve got to demonstrate impact. Transparency equals trust, and trust is what allows your brand ultimately to be successful.”  

About Leading the Way

Leading the Way is a weekly radio show and podcast series that highlights influential business leaders and leading people practices from i4cp. Co-hosted by Emmy award-winning television anchor and radio host, Scott Murray, and i4cp’s Angel Carlton, the show features interviews with respected business leaders from the world of business, sports, entertainment, healthcare and philanthropy.  

The show airs live every Sunday at 4 pm CT on KLIF 570 in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area, the global audience is invited to listen live on   and the weekly podcast debuts on iTunes  or Google Play and the i4cp website the following week.