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Employee Spotlight: Christina Del Villar – Make Your Next Steps Count

June 29, 2012

EmployeeSpotlight PIC

As Senior Director of Marketing at, I am using my decades of marketing experience to help move to the next step.

I knew I wanted to be in marketing ever since I was a little kid. At 8, I didn’t just have a lemonade stand; I set mine up next to the local tennis courts, had different flavors and added ice! By age 10 my paper route was an excellent opportunity to market my other skills as a pet sitter, baby sitter, and general task rabbit. By 12 I had honed my skills as a marketer and parlayed these to help with outreach and fundraising for local charities and causes.

Fast-forward a few years (okay, decades), and I am still doing marketing and still leveraging these skills for good causes. Eight years ago I co-founded an endurance training and fundraising program to support the Ronald House at Stanford, called Team Ronald McDonald House, (Team RMH for short).

Ronald McDonald House at Stanford creates a “home-away-from-home” and supportive community for the families of little ones with life-threatening illnesses, receiving or waiting for treatment at Packard Children’s Hospital. For these families every day can be a challenge. They are so focused on their child, that it is hard to think about the day-to-day tasks that you and I take for granted, such as grocery shopping, doing a load of laundry or making a sandwich for lunch. Ronald McDonald House at Stanford provides a bit of respite so they can focus on their number one priority: the health of their child.

Ronald McDonald House at Stanford opened its doors in 1979 with just 12 rooms. The House can now accommodate 47 families per night in private rooms and features a communal kitchen and dining room, Children’s Activity Room, Teen Recreation Center, Computer Center, family library, and fitness center, in addition to a selection of program offerings that promote a sense of normalcy for each member of the family. When severe illness strikes a family, it isn’t just the patient who is affected. Regardless of whether they are adult, patient, or sibling, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford nurtures the whole family.

Ninety-five percent of the budget for the House has to be raised each year from the community, grants and special programs, like Team RMH. This 3-month, comprehensive training program, prepares runners and walkers to participate in the Big Sur Half Marathon taking place on Sunday, November 18, 2012 in Monterey, CA. This year we will have our very own Team taking part, including employees, their families and friends (and maybe even a few customers – hint, hint). 

The picture you see is of Kalmia. At the time it was taken she was sixteen and staying at the House for an extensive period of time. She lives in Hawaii when she’s not at the Packard Children’s Hospital and Ronald McDonald House. She and her mother both trained with Team RMH and ran the event in 2010. We always have inspiring people on our Team. It’s hard to complain about your training when you know that as soon as she is done with her run, she has to go back into the hospital for more tests and treatments. 

Make your next steps count! Join us for an upcoming Information Meeting or check out the Team website to learn more, Or if you would like to make a donation to support Team, click here.


– Christina Del Villar, Senior Director of Marketing



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