Roger Hendren is the President of the Board of Directors at Leukemia Texas. He plays an important role in the organization’s leadership. We sat down with him recently to discuss all things LTX. Get to know Roger in this Q&A with him below.
Hi Roger! Tell us about yourself, your family, and home life.
I have been married to my wife, Becky, for 47 years. We have a daughter, Lulu and a son, Grant. We have lived in McKinney for 20 years. I am a retired CPA. I was a partner in the RSM accounting firm for nearly 40 years. In retirement, we travel internationally, I read a lot, follow the stock market and the Dallas Cowboys. I also play in Texas Hold ‘em poker tournaments in Dallas, Oklahoma, Las Vegas, and Florida. We are also involved in various things at the Trinity Presbyterian church in McKinney.
How long have you been the Board of Directors President at LTX? When did you start at the organization?
I became a board member in 2004, and I was asked to be the Board President around 2008.
What brought you to LTX and/or how did you get involved with the organization?
I moved to Dallas in 2003 to become the managing partner of RSM’s Dallas office. RSM had acquired two small accounting firms to use as a platform to enter the Texas market. At that time RSM had very little community or civic involvement in Dallas. I began a search for a charitable organization that RSM could get involved in. I was looking for a charity that was primarily focused on the North Texas market and was small enough that RSM and myself could have an impact. In addition, I was looking for a charity that had a fun event to participate in. The RSM Marketing Director at the time introduced me to Leukemia Texas, it met all the criteria we were looking for, and we became involved on a long-time basis.
What role do you and the other board members play at LTX?
My main role is to work and collaborate with Jessica, our CEO, on strategy. Also, my role is to provide executive coaching for Jessica and Mandy. As with any board, our members are responsible for oversight and to provide new ideas for fund raising and to improve events, processes, etc.
Do you have a special connection to leukemia in your own life or a patient story that has touched you in a special way?
I don’t have a specific connection to leukemia, although every time I talk to a patient or the parents of a patient it touches me in a special way.
What’s your favorite LTX event?
The BeatLeukemia Ball! I’ve attended it every year since the 2nd annual ball. I enjoy the music, the great atmosphere, and we always have a lot of fun.
What’s something people may not know about LTX?
LTX is a very low overhead organization thus the money that is raised largely goes to patient aid and research grants. In addition, Jessica and Mandy are extremely passionate about the LTX mission. More so than any other charity I have ever been involved in.
What achievement are you most proud of at LTX?
We successfully survived Covid and introduced a new CEO (Jessica) into the organization at the same time.
What is the biggest challenge you face at LTX?
There are many opportunities to give money to worthwhile charities in North Texas. It is a challenge to execute our mission in a way a that stands out (and attracts donations) over other bigger and well-known charities. Jessica and Mandy do a great job of this, but it is not easy.
How did Covid and the pandemic affect your work at LTX?
It was very challenging. We had to cancel or postpone almost all our “in person” events. Our team did a great job of shifting our focus to online events (the virtual Beat Leukemia Ball etc.). In addition, the board had set aside a “rainy day” fund that helped us get through the pandemic.
What inspires you and/or keeps you motivated regarding LTX?
Every time I see how much our patient aid helps families, it gives me cold chills. I am constantly amazed by how much our patient aid helps families in need. Their stories are amazing.
Where do you see LTX in 5-10 years? What’s your vision for the future of the organization?
LTX has grown its fundraising considerably over the last 20 years. I am hopeful this growth will continue until we can help every person or family in Texas that needs help. Both financially and by giving them mental and emotional support. My vision for the future is to achieve a level of fundraising and personal support so that we can touch every person and family in Texas that is affected by Leukemia.