By Ron Hollander
When I came to this organization nearly six years ago, I knew very little about carcinoid cancer and not much more about research. But I found a Board of Directors, a scientific advisory board, and a staff absolutely committed to a mission to find a cure for neuroendocrine cancer. At that time, I said to the Board chair, together we can build something special to pursue this mission and serve this community.
The Neuroendocrine Tumor Research Foundation (NETRF) has gone from being a small, niche player in NET research to become a leader of the global NET research effort. While our research has increased by an order of magnitude by every measure, we have also served as the major point of connection between active researchers by sharing data and accelerating progress.
At NETRF, I have also had the opportunity to build bridges with so many special NET organizations both here in the U.S. and abroad. Together, we are not only advancing the research for better treatments and cures, we are also working together to improve the lives of patients and families living with NETs all over the world.
Personally, I have had the extreme privilege of being welcomed into the lives of so many patients and families “on their journey.” These are relationships that I cherish and hope to continue.
When I took the position as NETRF’s Executive Director, my goal was to create something special. Something that was dramatically transformed in its ability to pursue its mission and something that was connected to and supported by the broad NET community it sought to serve. I also wanted to ensure that the organization had the financial resources, committed Board, staff leadership, and scientific advisors all in place to sustain that momentum and continue to accelerate progress towards the ultimate goal: a cure for all forms of NETs.
It is incredibly gratifying to say that I believe we have achieved these goals. We are in a very special place and we have all the ingredients to build on that foundation. The opportunities before us are enormous and I have every confidence that NETRF is well positioned for continued success.
It is in this context that I have decided that the time is right for me to “step down and step back”. I have informed the Board that I want to step down from the position of Executive Director of NETRF.
There will be a special place in my heart—and in my life—for those of you I have come to consider family and I very much intend to stay connected and committed to the NET Community I have come to love. I joined your journey almost six years ago and I will continue with you on it until we have a cure for neuroendocrine cancers.