Best Buddies Names Boston Business and Philanthropic Leader John Hailer Chair of 2014 Hyannis Port Challenge

  Best Buddies Names Boston Business and Philanthropic Leader John Hailer   Chair of 2014 Hyannis Port Challenge  Hailer Joins Tom Brady, Anthony K. Shriver to Support Those with Intellectual                         and Developmental Disabilities  Business Wire  BOSTON -- April 30, 2014  Best Buddies International,  a nonprofit dedicated to creating opportunities for friendship, employment and leadership training for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), has named John Hailer, chief executive officer of Natixis Global Asset Management – The Americas and Asia, to serve as chairman of the upcoming 2014 Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port.  More than 1,500 people are expected to participate in the 15th annual Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, a series of events that stretch from Boston to Cape Cod. The Challenge – which includes a 100-mile bicycle ride and a 5K run/walk on May 31 – is expected to raise $4 million. During the weekend’s festivities, Joanne Jaxtimer, managing director, corporate affairs and regional executive at BNY Mellon, will be honored with the organization’s esteemed Spirit of Friendship Award. Past award recipients include Muhammad Ali, Carlos Slim and Maria Shriver. Proceeds from the Challenge will benefit Best Buddies’ mission of friendship, jobs and inclusion of those with IDD.  “Through John’s leadership and commitment, we will bring more attention to Best Buddies’ mission of friendship and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” said New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, an honorary co-chair of the Challenge.  “John is a longtime champion of programs that inspire people to want to make a difference in the lives of others by becoming personally and actively engaged in volunteerism,” said Anthony Kennedy Shriver, founder and chairman of Best Buddies International. “We’re confident that, with his vision, energy and leadership, this year’s event will be one of our best.”  “Most of us have a friend, a neighbor or a relative with an intellectual or developmental disability. We have seen how, with a hand up, they can rise to meet challenges and live satisfying lives,” Hailer said. “I’m proud to join Tom, Anthony and the numerous men and women who work selflessly in support of the Best Buddies mission.”  The Best Buddies Challenge kicks off Friday, May 30, with the Tom Brady Football Challenge at Harvard Stadium in Boston. Participants can play alongside Brady, his Patriots teammates and other celebrities. After the football game, top supporters will take part in the Guy Fieri Celebrity Chef Tailgate Party, featuring one of the nation’s best-known chefs and Best Buddies Jobs participants as sous chefs.  The events continue on Saturday, May 31, when hundreds of cyclists will take the starting line at Boston’s John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum for the picturesque 100-mile ride portion of the Best Buddies Challenge: Hyannis Port, from Boston to Hyannis Port. The Challenge is open to participants of all ages and abilities and is designed to showcase the Best Buddies mission in action. It also features alternative 50 and 20-mile cycling routes, as well as the Carl Lewis Challenge, a 5K run or walk led by the Olympic gold-medalist himself. The rides and walk-run end in Hyannis Port on Cape Cod, where post-race events will include a celebratory clambake and musical concert by the Dropkick Murphys.  Hailer is active in charitable activities throughout New England. He is chairman of the New England Council, co-chair of the Boston Financial Services Leadership Council and a board member of the Boston Medical Center and The Boston Public Library. In 2014, Hailer was named Boston’s most admired CEO by The Boston Business Journal. He has served as a trustee of Beloit College in Wisconsin, where he received his bachelor’s degree.  About Best Buddies International  Best Buddies[®] is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to  establishing a global volunteer movement that creates opportunities for one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1989 by Anthony K. Shriver, Best Buddies is a vibrant organization that has grown from one original chapter to more than 1,700 middle school, high school, and college chapters worldwide. Today, Best Buddies’ eight formal programs — Middle Schools, High Schools, Colleges, Citizens, e-Buddies® , Jobs, Ambassadors, and Promoters — engage participants in each of the 50 states and in over 50 countries, positively impacting the lives of more than 800,000 people with and without disabilities around the world. In many cases, as a result of their involvement with Best Buddies, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities secure rewarding jobs, live on their own, become inspirational leaders, and make lifelong friendships. For more information, please visit, or  Contact:  Best Buddies International: Nicole Maddox, 305-374-2233, ext. 343  
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