Giving Hearts, Personal Experiences Compel Board Chairs to Serve

T J Willings, Chair, Board of Directors
T J Willings, Chair, Board of Directors

T J Willings, Chair, Board of Directors

By the time T J Willings became Chair of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation Board of Directors, he already held a deep appreciation for the health system.

“Ascension St. Vincent’s has always been our family’s hospital,” said Willings. “We have depended on the doctors and staff for many decades, especially through my two diagnoses of cancer – prostate and melanoma – both of which were successfully treated. I cannot say enough good things about the hospital and the doctors who work there.”

So, facilitating the Board’s mission of supporting the health system is not just a Board duty for Willings; it’s a personal quest. And not only is he pleased to serve, but after four years of Board service that included sitting on the Finance & Administrative committee both as a member and as chair, he was well-prepared to lead.

“That experience,” said Willings, “allowed me to work with and learn from Ben Tamburello, the previous chair.”

Willings began his two-year term as chair by continuing to work with fellow Board members, community leaders, and the Foundation staff to fundraise and plan for Ascension St. Vincent’s 125th Anniversary Gala on January 12, 2024.

“We have an active Board with each member engaged in various projects and fundraising events,” he said.

Retired from Nextran Truck Centers, Willings has been married to wife Marlene for 40 years. They have three sons, three daughters-in-law, and six grandchildren with a seventh due in November.


Ginger Gray, Chair, Junior Board

Ginger Gray, Chair, Junior Board
Ginger Gray, Chair, Junior Board

Bradley attorney Ginger Gray, the Chair of the Ascension St. Vincent’s Foundation Junior Board, has been a member since 2019. She previously served as vice chair.

Gray’s passion to give back comes from a personal place.

“I have three kids, and all three were born at Ascension St. Vincent’s,” she said. “Both of my boys, my oldest and my youngest, were in the NICU. The first one was there only for 10 days, but with him being our first child, it was a difficult experience. Our third child was in the NICU for 60 days. He’s now a healthy three-year-old.

“My husband, Jack, and I are very appreciative of what the NICU doctors and staff who took care of our boys did for our family and can never thank them enough.”

Gray’s biggest goal as Junior Board chair is to encourage members to help raise awareness of what the Foundation does and how it supports Ascension St. Vincent’s. “I want us to fundraise for the Foundation because I truly believe in the Foundation’s mission and can see firsthand what a difference it makes in people’s lives,” she said.

“We’ve helped fund new equipment for the NICU and recently helped purchase some new bassinets for the Women and Children’s Center,” she said. “Because of the age of many of our members, the women and children’s initiatives are something that’s important to us.”

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