Marsha Shields, a lifelong resident of San Antonio, has been an active member of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors (BOV) since 2008. She currently serves as vice chair of the MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors and will begin her two-year term as chair in September 2018. At that time, she will be the BOV's second female chair and its first second-generation chair, following the tradition established by her father, BOV Life Member Red McCombs, 1995-1997 chair. Marsha wears many hats at McCombs Enterprises, which has interests in automobile dealerships, real estate, energy, multiple business entities and ranching.
She also is manager of McCombs Family Partners and president of the McCombs Foundation, which contributed $30 million to MD Anderson's Red and Charline McCombs Institute for the Early Detection and Treatment of Cancer in 2005. A melanoma survivor, Marsha co-chaired MD Anderson's 75th anniversary gala committee in 2016 along with her husband, Hon. John H. Shields, helping raise more than $13.5 million for patient care and research initiatives. They have two grown children and two grandchildren.
What three words best describe what is most important in life?
Faith, family, friends.
What does it take to be a good leader?
The responsibility of leadership requires being a good listener, being teachable, being flexible, preparing a plan and executing it to completion.
What are your goals as BOV chair-elect?
I hope to identify and use the talents, gifts and knowledge of each member to enhance MD Anderson's mission to end cancer.
In addition to your advocacy for MD Anderson, what do you do with your spare time?
I take delight in spending time with my family, especially our grandchildren. I enjoy reading, cooking and solving puzzles.
How did you become involved with the BOV?
I wanted to learn more about the impact of the investment my parents (Charline and Red McCombs of San Antonio) had made in MD Anderson years ago. I came on campus visits, liked what I saw and wanted to volunteer.
What has been most rewarding in almost a decade of volunteering on behalf of MD Anderson?
I'm inspired by watching professionals direct their expertise and passion to a common mission in a way that is changing lives every day. I"m proud of the genuine concern, courtesy and exceptional care extended by every single staff member to each and every person who walks through MD Anderson's doors.
Why are you committed to Making Cancer History®?
I don't want my children or grandchildren to experience the devastation and destruction caused by cancer.