Project Healthy Minds® Taps Powerhouse Trio of Marketing and Business Chiefs for Board of Directors

New Directors Include Jacqui Canney, Newly Appointed Chief People Officer of ServiceNow; Michael Kassan, Chairman and CEO of MediaLink; and Lisa Licht, Marketing Advisor and Former CMO of Live Nation

New York, July 26, 2021 — Project Healthy Minds, a new millennial / Gen Z-driven mental health non-profit startup, today announced the appointment of three prominent business and marketing leaders to its Board of Directors. They include Jacqui Canney, newly appointed Chief People Officer of ServiceNow, the leading digital workflow company; Michael Kassan, Chairman and CEO of MediaLink, a highly influential strategic advisory and business development firm for media, advertising and technology companies; and Lisa Licht, the former CMO of Live Nation and one of Hollywood’s leading marketing advisors. The new Directors bring decades of industry leadership shaping public attitudes about brands and social issues, and guiding companies about how to respond to the new expectations that today’s top talent has for employers.

“Stigma is the front-door issue in the mental health fight – which is why we need to borrow the tools and talent of the marketing and media industry and apply them to re-branding mental health. It’s also why we need Corporate America to join the fight. After decades of declining trust in traditional institutions, people increasingly expect business leaders to step up and address our most pressing social issues,” said Phillip Schermer, Founder & CEO of Project Healthy Minds. “I can’t think of three better business and marketing titans than Jacqui Canney, Michael Kassan, and Lisa Licht to deliver on that mission – bringing their pioneering expertise to this urgent fight.”

The growing mental health crisis, which was already at epidemic levels pre-pandemic, is now a center-stage issue. Fifty-one percent (51%) of respondents to a recent Project Healthy Minds survey said the pandemic made it harder to get mental health services and support; depression symptoms in US adults have increased threefold during the pandemic (JAMA); one in four young people have seriously contemplated suicide during the pandemic (CDC); and experts are projecting a 50% increase in total mental health cases post-pandemic (McKinsey).

Project Healthy Minds’ work focuses on three key pillars:

  • Building a free, consumer-friendly, one-stop digital mental health marketplace to make it easier and faster to find mental health services;
  • Designing a multi-platform anti-stigma campaign featuring culture-makers and influencers; and
  • Engaging the business community to expand mental health support for employees.  

The new Board members also will work with Project Healthy Minds to establish the first substantive national standards for how businesses should support employee mental health.

“The mental health crisis is a complex challenge that requires an interdisciplinary approach, a modern toolkit, and an ethos of collaboration that brings together an unprecedented coalition of leaders across industries working together to solve this urgent issue,” said Brian Offutt, Board Chairman of Project Healthy Minds.

Full bios of the new additions to the Project Healthy Minds Board of Directors are below:

Jacqui Canney

Jacqui Canney is the newly appointed Chief People Officer for ServiceNow, the leading digital workflow company that makes work, work better for people.

In this role, she leads all aspects of talent strategy, including employee experience, rewards, attraction, retention, development, and diversity, inclusion, and belonging for ServiceNow’s rapidly growing global workforce of more than 14,000 employees.

Previously, Jacqui served as the Global Chief People Officer for WPP where she was responsible for the company’s global talent organization, making WPP the destination for the industry’s top talent and for leading all aspects of people strategy, rewards, talent management, recruiting, and leadership development and learning.

Prior to joining WPP, she was Walmart's Chief People Officer, where she was responsible for attracting, retaining, and developing talent for one of the world’s largest private employers.

As the primary designer of Walmart’s people strategy, Jacqui used her expertise in driving large-scale and complex change to help shape the future of retail. She led the seamless workforce integration of Walmart’s acquisitions of many partners, including, Flipkart, DoorDash, Lord & Taylor, ModCloth, Moosejaw, and Bonobos, among others.

She served as the co-chair of the World Economic Forum “Future of Work” Task Force and a member of the Rework America Business Network, and Jacqui participated in the Council on Foreign Relations 2018 Future of Work Task Force.

Michael Kassan

Michael Kassan is the founder, Chairman and CEO of MediaLink, a leading strategic advisory firm. Described as the “ultimate power broker,” he is a trusted advisor on speed dial with every major executive in the media, marketing, entertainment, and technology C-Suite. They seek his insights and instruction for solving their most complex business challenges. Kassan and his global team of more than 125 specialists provide counsel for navigating the age of digital disruption in areas including: marketplace development, talent and organization, brand transformations, data and technology, agency optimization, and investor strategies. In 2019, Kassan was inducted into the American Advertising Federation’s Hall of Fame, which is considered the highest honor in advertising. He has also been instrumental in redefining major tentpole events like CES, Cannes Lions, and Mobile World Congress for the greater marketing landscape.

Prior to founding MediaLink in 2003, Kassan was President/COO and Vice-Chairman of Initiative Media Worldwide, growing billings from $1.5 billion to over $10 billion. Before that, he was President and COO of International Video Entertainment (Artisan Entertainment). He has been named one of the top media executives in America by Ad Age and in 2018 was honored on Adweek’s “Power 100” list and on Variety’s index of the 500 most influential business leaders shaping the global entertainment industry. Michael has also been named to The Hollywood Reporter’s “Silicon Beach 25” list of the most powerful digital players in L.A.

In addition, Kassan has served on the Board of the Hollywood Radio and Television Society, the Commission on California State Government Organization and Economy, and the Cultural Affairs Commission – City of Los Angeles and has been Chairman of the State Senate Select Committee on the Entertainment Industry. Kassan is also a strong supporter of community and not-for-profit programs; he currently serves as Chair of the UJA-New York Marketing Communications Committee and is a Board member of the American Advertising Federation, the Ad Council, and the Paley Center for Media.

Lisa Licht

With a reputation built on transforming businesses, creative innovation, and driving people culture, Lisa’s storied career has taken her from banking to Barbie, movies to music, Transformers to tech. While getting her Master’s Degree in International Finance at Thunderbird, Lisa took a marketing class and became passionate about what drives consumers, switching her focus and leading her to become, at that time, the youngest marketing manager at Mattel, overseeing the Barbie brand internationally.

Parlaying her global marketing expertise, Lisa moved first to 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment, launching Titanic’s release to #1, then to 20th Century Fox Film as EVP of the global partnerships team, where her accolades included leading The Simpsons Movie's acclaimed marketing campaign, which won Ad Age's Creativity Award and Promotion of the Decade for its transformation of 7-Eleven locations around the country into Simpsons-branded Kwik-E-Marts. She then went to Hasbro to bring its stable of intellectual properties to film and television with the launch of Hasbro Studios. Lisa joined Yahoo to learn all things digital as the SVP of Platforms and Partnerships. Live Nation called and Lisa became the CMO Live Nation Concerts. Licht has spent the past 2+ years advising for such companies as Microsoft, Illumination Animation, Exploding Kittens, and Cameo.

About Project Healthy Minds

Project Healthy Minds is a millennial-driven non-profit startup focused on tackling one of the defining issues of our generation: the growing mental health crisis. Project Healthy Minds builds anti-stigma campaigns that change attitudes, technology that makes it easier and faster to discover help, and programs and partnerships that expand access to care.

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