Mendoza School of Business

Key executives, educators, and financial advisors join forces to help protect America’s children from crises

Published: July 13, 2007 / Author: Mendoza College

Three powerful new champions have joined one of the country’s leading charities to help free America’s children from the effects of abuse, neglect and the kinds of crises that can strike any youngster.

Air Products executive John Marsland, University of Notre Dame educator Dr. Constance Elise Porter, and noted financial advisor L. Richard Plunkett are the newest caring luminaries to join a group of 20 distinguished VIPs from 10 U.S. states serving on the board of directors for the national children’s charity KidsPeace. The 125-year-old organization, which helps children overcome traumas and the crises of growing up, was founded in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and now has 66 centers nationwide. Through direct care and global prevention efforts, KidsPeace reaches millions of kids and families each year with life-saving tools and services to cope with such problems as abuse, neglect, depression, autism, and the modern pressures of life.

Dr. Constance Elise Porter is an assistant professor in the marketing department at the prestigious Mendoza College of Business at the University of Notre Dame. She has a special interest in helping modern nonprofit organizations, and is a sought-after conference speaker and contributor to major marketing and business journals. Dr. Porter has worked for Xerox,
Georgia-Pacific, National Westminster Bank USA, and Northern Trust Company. In addition, she has been a management consultant for Gemini Consulting (now Cap Gemini Ernst & Young) and Cambridge Management Consulting. Dr. Porter earned a bachelor of science in economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania with dual concentrations in finance and
public policy management, an MBA from the University of Michigan with dual emphases in operations and corporate strategy, and a Ph.D. from Georgia State University with a major in marketing. Dr. Porter was born and raised in Chicago, and now lives in South Bend, Indiana, where KidsPeace has a Foster Care and Family Services center.

“Helping kids overcome crises, an essential element of the KidsPeace mission, is an important legacy left to me by my mother-a social worker who dedicated her professional life to helping children overcome behavioral challenges and family crises,” says Dr. Porter. “Leading by example, she instilled in me a belief in the power of encouragement in helping kids reach their full potential. It is this belief that calls me to serve children at KidsPeace.”

In addition to the 20 members of the board, KidsPeace is supported by its national spokesperson, television personality and founder of The Memory Foundation, Leeza Gibbons. Other well-known supporters who serve as Honorary Directors include Frances Hesselbein, Chairman of the Leader to Leader Institute and former CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA, and
philanthropists Mrs. Inez Donley and Ann Ardoline of Bethlehem, and Mr. Douglas Patt of Allentown.

“We help children who have been through the worst,” says C.T. O’Donnell II, president and CEO of KidsPeace. “Fortunately, for 125 years, our mission has attracted the best and brightest supporters to help these youngsters. We and our children are very grateful to have this level of
support from so many good-hearted, influential people here at home and all across the country. Thank you.”

KidsPeace is a 125-year-old national children’s crisis charity dedicated to giving hope, help, and healing to children facing crisis. Founded in Bethlehem, PA with 66 centers nationwide, KidsPeace directly helps thousands of children a day to overcome the crises of growing up and
millions more each year through prevention and awareness programs. KidsPeace was named “The Outstanding Organization” of its kind in the country by the American Association of Psychiatric Services for Children and was called “a prototype of what we need for all children everywhere” by the late, nationally renowned child and family expert, Dr. Lee Salk. For more information, go to



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