A reader of my blog who wishes to remain anonymous has shared with me this update on the Macular Degeneration Association, about which I’ve written previously, and asked me to share it on his behalf. Below is what he sent me, in full and without modification.
In response to your blog, I wanted to offer the most recent updates on the Macular Degeneration Association. Please know that I do not work for the Macular Degeneration Association, Parkinsons Research Foundation, Larry Hoffheimer or any other organizaiton he might be personally or professionally invovled with. I have no personal motive for providing this information. My knowledge of the Macular Degeneration Association and Larry Hoffheimer comes mostly from external sources. I am offering this update in good faith to those following the Macular Degeneration Association.
Let’s start by reiterating the leadership of the Macular Degeneration Association
Readers should know the Macular Degeneration Association is controlled independently by Larry Hoffheimer. To date, Mr. Hoffheimer refuses to create a Board of Directors. This has already been mentioned in your blog. Next, the financial management of the Macular Degeneratoin Association is completely outsourced. This means that no single employee has access to view, manage or manipulate the financial portfolio of the Macular Degeneration Association. This lock and key strategy is aligned perfectly with Larry Hoffheimer’s refusal to establish a control board. Larry wants absolute control over all financial, operational, administrative, marketing and management directives within the organization. It is important for the viewing community to know that underlying employees are mostly powerless to make any decision regarding these matters.
Although there have been some questions raised about the integrity of certain employees within the organization, let it be known that most of the employees working for the Macular Degeneration Association are actually kind hearted people who truly believed in bringing a positive cause to the community. It’s unfortunate they were blinded into working for a less than honorable Chairman. Viewers should avoid using job titles to index the legitimacy of this organization because they are absolutely meaningless. Larry Hoffheimer delegates the most impressive job titles to every single role within the organization because doing so is part of his big name big image publicity package.
Now here’s a relationship hardship the organization has recently absorbed
Regeneron is a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company and seems to be the largest sponsor of the Macular Degeneration Association. Regeneron administers a grant program that considers requests from qualifying organizations. As with most grant programs, applications can be submitted annually during the application period. Qualifying organizations can submit and resubmit for consideration during each period.
It appears at some point within the last three to five years, Larry Hoffheimer established a positive working relationship with Regeneron. For reasons unknown, Regeneron became favorable to sponsoring the Macular Degeneration Association. This sponsorship mostly allowed MDA to fund educational programs throughout the country.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . MDA requested more than $100,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] was likely to fund educational programs in different cities throughout the United States. Regeneron [AWARDED] the requested funding which totaled more than $100,000 in grant assistance.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . MDA requested more than $300,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] remained unchanged from the previous year but with many more programs planned. Regeneron [AWARDED] the requested funding which totaled more than $300,000 in grant assistance.
It appears earlier this year , Regeneron levied some kind of accountability audit against the MDA. While the actual results of this action remain unclear, sources suggest the audit raised questions and failed to completely satisfy Regeneron.
MDA submitted grant application[s] to Regeneron for the operating year . In a bold move, Larry Hoffheimer requested more than $900,000 in funding. The pretense of the application[s] and stated reasoning for such a large increase are not known. In a reverse decision, Regneron just recently [DENIED] all requested funding to the MDA .
It seems Hoffheimer was advised to reconsider the amount he requested before applying. He evidently dismissed that advice and ordered the application forward. Sources indicate that following Regeneron’s rejection, Larry panicked causing even more damage to his relationship with the company. In the most unprofessional manner, Hoffheimer expressed his disappointment by directing a fury of insulting and destructive remarks at Regeneron Executives. These antics probably sealed the fate of his relationship with Regeneron.
MDA is now in serious financial jeopardy and the future of the organization is bleak. The latest information indicates that Hoffheimer plans to convert the Macular Degeneration Association into a newsletter and website only effort. At present, MDA employees have been notified their jobs are being eliminated in the upcoming weeks. It is believed that PRF will continue to operate.
Earlier this year MDA changed its web presence from maculardegenerationassociation.org to macularhope.org
Although the actual reason behind the name change is not entirely known, it makes more sense to have a memorable web address. I guess they call that Modern Business 101.
[Hard Lesson Learned]
Greed is bad.