The Ronald McDonald House Houston (RMHH) Board of Directors announced the appointment of Cristina Vetrano as the new Chief Executive Officer of the organization, effective August 17, 2020. A highly respected leader with more than 25 years of nonprofit experience, Vetrano joins RMHH from CanCare where she served as President and CEO.

“Ronald McDonald House Houston is thrilled to welcome Cristina Vetrano as our new CEO,” said Maggie Stacy, president of the board of Ronald McDonald House Houston. “We were impressed by her thoughtful leadership at both CanCare and Kids’ Meals, as well as the invaluable experience she brings from her 13 years with the American Red Cross. Cristina is a highly-accomplished leader with a proven track record that will be critical in leading our organization forward in its mission.”

Vetrano is a leader in the Houston nonprofit community having most recently led CanCare in its efforts and prior to that, serving as Executive Director of Kids’ Meals. Her work with CanCare included strategic planning, fundraising, and project development. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Vetrano oversaw the creation of the CanCare Support Phone Line and Email System, which connects cancer patients and their caregivers to a volunteer for one-on-one support during this time of social distancing.

“I am honored to join Ronald McDonald House Houston as their next CEO,” said Vetrano. “I look forward to finding new and meaningful ways to apply what I have learned over my career to enhance our ability to welcome and support families with critically-ill children seeking treatment in our Texas Medical Center. I am impressed and inspired by what Ronald McDonald House Houston has accomplished and am eager to continue building on those successes.”

Vetrano also spent 13 years with the American Red Cross in Washington, D.C., where she held multiple positions and ultimately served as Director, Project Support. Her time with the American Red Cross involved working in the technology, disaster services, and health and safety departments. Notably, she led the implementation of the organization’s learning management system to its more than 600 nationwide chapters. With approximately 5,000 users and comprising over 5 million records, this launch marked the fastest nationwide technology deployment in the organization’s history.

For more than three decades, Ronald McDonald House Houston has provided a home away from home for families with seriously ill children undergoing treatment in the Texas Medical Center. In addition to housing, the nonprofit also offers meals, activities, transportation to and from hospitals, and opportunities for families facing similar crises to connect with one another.

Vetrano also served in the Peace Corps as a small business volunteer in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia where she designed a business curriculum and trained teachers at a local college. She is currently a Senior Fellow in the American Leadership Forum program. Vetrano earned her MBA from the University of Iowa and her Bachelor of Science in Finance from San Diego State University.

Vetrano succeeds Interim CEO Larry Hanrahan. Upon Vetrano’s start in her new role, Hanrahan will return to his position on the organization’s Board of Directors. Hanrahan was named Interim CEO following the recent retirement of prior CEO, Major General Rick Noriega. RMHH tapped Spencer Stuart, a leading global executive search and leadership consulting firm, for the search.