Maryellen Gleason, MBA

President & CEO, Solve ME/CFS Initiative

Versatile C-suite leader with a unique combination of Fortune 500 P&L and nonprofit CEO social sector leadership.  Expertise in working with complex global organizations and nonprofit boards to create next level impact and enterprise growth via business development, technology, governance and transformational philanthropy.

Currently serving as Interim President & CEO for Solve ME/CFS a healthcare advocacy and medical research organization, Maryellen is an experienced business operator who has led commercial and nonprofit organizations including a $260M P&L for US WEST Communications, Inc. where she scaled the 116 employee branch in two offices to over $300M within the highly competitive telecommunications marketplace.  Products were cloud-based and hosting solutions for voice, video and data with customers including Motorola, PetSmart, Maricopa County, Intermountain Healthcare, State of Arizona and the LDS Church.

Early career achievements include taking on P&L of an unprofitable unregulated subsidiary of USWEST and improving equipment margins supporting over $500M in profitable regulated monthly recurring network service feature revenue supporting launch of Caller ID for consumers and businesses in the 14 state US WEST territory.

Recruited to bring business leadership approaches to nonprofit organizations, Maryellen has taken on fragile performing arts and professional sports enterprises as Executive Director/President, scaling one from start-up launch to profitability in the third year of operation and, in the process, has acquired expert level knowledge of funding models, fundraising strategies and business development in the social sector.  Expertise in capitalization, partnerships, capital campaigns and transformational philanthropy.

Maryellen was recruited to lead two major symphony orchestras as President &CEO that required infrastructure and balance sheet overhaul where she negotiated $2M in debt forgiveness from a bank, secured a $25M gift to recapitalize operations, introduced digital strategies to improve efficiency and negotiated a difficult and painfully public concessionary union labor agreement to reduce overhead costs.

In terms of education, initially pursuing a career in music, Maryellen left Boston University School of Music and completed her undergraduate degree at Harvard University studying History and Literature and graduating cum laude. As a midcareer executive, Maryellen commuted from Phoenix, AZ to Evanston, IL for two years to earn an MBA from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.

Speaker Sessions

38 – Diversity + Data for Improved Care (Panel) (Strategy; Course Level-Beginning)

“We allow ignorance to prevail upon us and make us think we can survive alone, alone in patches, alone in groups, alone in races, even alone in genders.” ~ Maya Angelou

When people are at their most vulnerable and seeking solutions, support, and healing from our healthcare system, can the limitations of bias negatively affect their experiences and outcomes? Learn from our panel of diverse speakers who are taking a proactive role in combining diversity with data to improve health care outcomes for all.

The panelists will discuss the following topics:

  • How bias unfavorably affects disease manifestation, diagnosis, prognosis, and healthcare outcomes.
  • Strategies for data plus diversity of thought to reduce disparities.
  • How eliminating bias improves access and outcomes.
  • Keys for improvement—understanding the data, sharing best practices, and change management.