President & Chief Executive Officer

Req Number: YL683
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
Posted: 5/4/2020
Category: Government/Not-For-Profit : Education
Job Type: Permanent


Position -- President & Chief Executive Officer
Company -- Sarcoma Alliance for Research through Collaboration (SARC)
Location -- 24 Frank Lloyd Wright Dr. Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Reporting Relationship -- Board of Directors

Relevant Websites:

Who We Are
Coalition Members 
Active Trials
Sarcoma Alliance
SARC Centers
Public Interface*F 
About the Sarcoma Alliance for Research Through Collaboration

Is a private non-profit organization ($5.4M, 501(c)(3)) that receives and administers funds for the development and support of research for the prevention, treatment, and cure of sarcomas – a cancer of the bone and connective tissue of the body. Through the collaboration of its members, the organization provides a forum for working together to develop new strategies including the dissemination of up-to-date information about sarcoma research with the goal of improving treatment and outcome for sarcoma patients. The organization is funded through event income, corporate alliances, grants, educational resources and major gift/donors. 

SARC’s Mission

To provide a collaborative infrastructure to make progress in the prevention, diagnosis, and treatment of sarcoma to improve outcomes for patients with sarcoma.

SARC’s Vision

v  Build upon strengths of centers with dedication to sarcoma;

v  Leverage clinical and lab-based sarcoma expertise to design cutting-edge translational sarcoma research;

v  Enable rapid progress by continued efficient coordination between SARC and sarcoma centers; and

v  Improve options and outcomes for patients with sarcoma. 

SARC was founded by physicians and basic scientists specializing in sarcoma. Recognizing the value of pooling their intellectual and patient resources, a core group of medical and pediatric sarcoma experts at five major medical facilities formed SARC in 2003 to conduct innovative and rigorous sarcoma research to advance the care of their patients.

Sarcomas occur across all age groups, including newborns, children, young adults, adults and the elderly. The SARC founders therefore recognized a need to foster collaboration amongst medical and pediatric oncologists to improve the outcome for sarcoma patients of all ages. Given the importance of collaboration amongst the many specialists involved in managing sarcoma patients, SARC became closely aligned with the Connective Tissue Oncology Society (CTOS), the premiere professional organization of sarcoma laboratory and clinical researchers. While CTOS provides an international venue to share sarcoma research progress, whereas SARC was formed to strengthen the infrastructure for collaborative research endeavors. SARC’s goal is to develop new standards for diagnosis, treatment, education and prevention for patients with sarcoma. 

Today, the leadership of SARC includes expert patient advocates, caregivers, and scientists from across the country, working together to develop new strategies to improve the outcomes for sarcoma patients. The operations office is in Ann Arbor, Michigan. SARC collaborators meet twice annually to discuss the advances in sarcoma science and therapeutics, and to examine concepts for new clinical trials. The organization is an open and transparent group that welcomes ideas and encourages involvement from all its members.

Other important SARC initiatives include a Career Development Award to foster innovative research by new investigators and a research database to collect prospective data on these rare cancers. In 2012, SARC received a Specialized Programs of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant from the National Cancer Institute (NCI). This SARC Sarcoma SPORE grant provided $11.5 million over five years in support of laboratory and clinical scientists working collaboratively on sarcoma translational research. SARC is currently in the process of renewing its SPORE grant.

SARC’s resources include the SARC Biospecimen Bank, SARC Clinical Data Repository, SARC Imaging Resources, and additional resources including the sarcoma drug response portal. The organization serves as a catalyst for true translational research, ensuring that bench-to-bedside studies are translated to treatments or therapies for medical practice.

Because of the rarity of sarcoma, making progress in translational research requires the collaboration of many partners. SARC is unique in its ability to bring together the network of participants and components necessary to bring clinical trials to reality, through an ongoing process of discovery, development and delivery for delivering new and better options.

Position Summary

Denise Reinke is the current President & Chief Executive Officer of SARC and has been with the organization since its inception in 2002, assuming increasin g responsibilities over the years including her current position for the last six years. Denise has been uniquely positioned to lead SARC given her experience as an active sarcoma nurse practitioner, experience with clinical trials, pharmaceutical partnerships and overall business expertise. This year Denise announced her intent to step down and assist SARC’s leadership through a CEO succession planning process. Her intent is to work with the leadership team, in a reduced capacity, affording her time to enjoy her children and grandchildren while continuing to support SARC’s efforts.

SARC’s next President & Chief Executive Officer will work in collaboration with the Scientific Leadership Team, Board of Directors, and the members of the Operations Office in strategy development and the execution of key priorities that advance the organization’s vital mission. Key will be continuing to enhance collaboration throughout the sarcoma community nationally and internationally; working with basic scientists and clinical experts from a translational research perspective; helping to support the development of future experts in the field and philanthropic activities designed to improve options and outcomes for sarcoma patients.

Desired Organizational Leadership Activities

  • Leads a talented and high-performing team that is committed to the mission of the organization and supports its transformation in response to the changing needs of the sarcoma community;
  • Assures an efficient operational facilitation of multi-institutional and multi-national sarcoma clinical trials that accrue enough diverse subjects, in an orphan disease arena, to answer the research questions at hand;
  • Plans, implements, directs, and evaluates the strategic plan objectives to ensure that SARC becomes a highly influential force within the sarcoma research community; Commitment to board member identification so as to augment the current board with a blend of skills, expertise, community connections, diverse perspectives and spheres of influence that align with SARC’s strategies, goals, and needs into the future;
  • Assures a sustainable business model that is supported by a diverse range of revenue sources including innovative programs, grant funding, services, pharmaceutical support and fundraising;
  • Provides unique resources and forums for sarcoma basic science and clinical research, clinical trial development and the dissemination of knowledge;
  • Leads collaboratives domestically and internationally by helping to bring together the priorities for the advancement of research and treatment for individuals with sarcomas;
  • Assess and refine the strategic plan of SARC in collaboration with the Board, Scientific Steering Committee and key SARC constituents that is inclusive of:
    • Identifying and assessing new opportunities for the research community arising from rapidly evolving developments in sarcoma research while cultivating and coordinating the relationships among multi-disciplinary academic medical centers, smaller sarcoma programs, and community practices to facilitate the growth of multi-institutional/site trials;
    • Providing leadership and funding for the development of innovative research education, training, and career development strategies;
    • Increasing the advocacy impact of the Sarcoma Coalition for sarcoma patients and families through awareness, access to clinical trials, and targeted legislation;
    • Developing a fundraising plan that seeks and gathers voluntary financial contributions by engaging individuals, businesses, charitable foundations, and/or governmental agencies;
    • Developing a social media plan that aspires to serve as a community aggregator for SARC constituents; and provides a mechanism for voluntary giving.

Personal & Professional Attributes

  • A Master’s degree in a health-related field at a minimum;
  • Five or more years of experience in progressive leadership roles for a health-related organization or similarly sized trade association;
  • Intimate knowledge of how the various components and interests of the health care industry work together;
  • Evinces a palpable and credible passion for the cancer/sarcoma community and will use this to persuade and motivate others to support a mission driven agenda;
  • The ability to build coalitions, including those with diverse constituencies, and develop appropriate action plans on critical issues confronting the treatment of sarcomas;
  • Able to translate a forward-looking, innovative strategy and lead staff to successfully execute on a plan by developing goals and metrics, establishing a culture of accountability, and driving the organization toward defined success;
  • Experience and/or commitment to developing new fundraising strategies and growing the financial base of the organization with sustainable and recurring sources of revenues;
  • Has a track record of being able to recruit, motivate, and develop talented team members by fostering a culture of innovation, autonomy and transparency;
  • An individual who has personal presence and professional style, demonstrates humility, depth of character, wisdom, and can adjust quickly to changes;
  • Strong communication and negotiating skills with the ability and personal style to inspire confidence and work successfully with varied colleagues and groups, including industry sponsors, donors,  the medical community, patients and their families, and the management team;
  • Experience in proactively implementing changes, teaching and encouraging others to handle uncertainty, and creating an environment where employees are challenged and motivated to reach optimum performance and potential;
  • Strong communication skills for both interpersonal engagement and for communicating clinical and research trends to industry and non-industry audiences. Ability to ensure all voices are heard.



Korn/Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.