Baltimore, MD – Effective May 1, 2012, Kelly Neal Mariotti will assume the position of Chief Executive Officer of First Candle. In her new role, Mariotti will lead the nonprofit organization in its efforts to unite parents, researchers, government, business and community service groups in the fight against Stillbirth, Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) and other causes of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID). Mariotti will oversee all of First Candle’s operations and services, including its well-established bereavement support center. She also will be responsible for raising the visibility of First Candle and increasing donor support. The appointment comes as First Candle enters into its twenty-fifth year of operations.
“The Board of Directors is thrilled to have someone with Kelly’s breadth of professional experience and dedication to baby health and safety lead First Candle into its next quarter-century” said Owen Rankin, Chairman of the Board. “Kelly is an executive with a strong strategic focus and she will be an excellent spokesperson.”
Known for her visionary leadership, Mariotti, a lawyer, CPA, and entrepreneur, has spent the past sixteen years in the baby industry. She founded, and served for many years as Chairman and President of, Green Frog Art, a successful specialty baby products company. Most recently, Mariotti has been engaged in facilitating the unification of the Juvenile Products Manufacturers Association (JPMA) and All Baby & Child, Inc. (ABC), two prominent juvenile products industry nonprofit trade associations, and has been pursuing a Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management. Mariotti has served on many nonprofit boards throughout her career and has been a member of First Candle’s board since 2009.
“Business has been tough in the past five years and the nonprofit sector has been hit especially hard with some unique challenges,” said Mariotti. “Like many, First Candle has weathered some storms and it is a testament to the strength of its mission that it is on a solid foundation and poised to take advantage of all its potential.” She added, “I’m passionate about supporting families in their quest to have successful pregnancies and safe, healthy babies and I’m looking forward to working with the board, staff, and our many supporters and partners to take giant steps toward ensuring every baby reaches its first birthday!”
About First Candle:
First Candle is a leading national nonprofit dedicated to safe pregnancies and the survival of babies through the first years of life. With programs of research, education and advocacy, the organization is working to ensure that every baby is given the best possible chance to reach not only his or her first birthday, but many happy birthdays beyond. First Candle also provides compassionate grief support to all those affected by the death of a baby. For more information, to access grief support or to make a donation, please visit www.firstcandle.org or call 1.800.221.7437.