Foundation Fighting Blindness Promotes Jason Menzo to President and Chief Operating Officer
Noteworthy Foundation executive increases role within organization.
Vice President, Marketing & Communications
COLUMBIA, Maryland – January 19, 2022 – The Foundation Fighting Blindness, the world’s leading organization committed to finding treatments and cures for blinding retinal diseases, announced today the promotion of Jason Menzo to president and chief operating officer, effective immediately.
Since joining the Foundation in 2018, Mr. Menzo has had a profound positive impact on redefining the non-profit’s operations, including fiscal, fundraising, communications, and managerial operations. He is recognized by colleagues and constituents for his passionate leadership style and ability to create innovative partnerships. In addition, he was involved in the formation of the RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund), the venture arm of Foundation Fighting Blindness, which was created to further serve its mission. As well, Mr. Menzo is one of the founders of Opus Genetics, the first spin-off company internally conceived and launched by the RD Fund to further the Foundation’s mission.
“We are excited to have Jason as president, along with continuing his current operational responsibilities,” said David Brint, chair of the Foundation Fighting Blindness board of directors. “He has shown tremendous dedication to the mission and causes of the organization during his tenure.”
Jason’s impact on the Foundation has been undeniable. His ability to engage and influence the culture of internal staff alongside our constituents, while also guiding operational and fundraising efforts, has benefitted the Foundation and our mission immensely.
Foundation chief executive officer, Benjamin Yerxa, PhD said, “Jason’s impact on the Foundation has been undeniable. His ability to engage and influence the culture of internal staff alongside our constituents, while also guiding operational and fundraising efforts, has benefitted the Foundation and our mission immensely.”
Prior to joining the Foundation, Mr. Menzo was a seasoned healthcare executive, having led the successful development and launch of several notable ophthalmic companies and brands. He has been previously recognized as one of the “50 Outstanding Innovators in Pharma (marketing)" and as "Ophthalmic Marketer of the Year" by Product Manager 360, a leading trade publication. In 2019, he was recognized at the Visionary Honor Awards, an annual charity event hosted by Insightful Visionaries that acknowledges leaders for their outstanding service to the blind and visually impaired community.
“I am proud of the advances we have made to date and remain focused on new ways we can accelerate future milestones,” said Jason Menzo, president and chief operating officer. “I am excited to focus on the future in an effort to continually expand the Foundation’s advancement, faster and further than ever before. Our constituents are at the heart of everything we do, and it is an honor to continue my service to them through the efforts of the Foundation.”
About the Foundation Fighting Blindness
Established in 1971, the Foundation Fighting Blindness is the world’s leading private funding source for retinal degenerative disease research. The Foundation has raised more than $816 million toward its mission of accelerating research for preventing, treating, and curing blindness caused by the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases including: retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. Visit FightingBlindness.org for more information.
About the RD Fund
The RD Fund (Retinal Degeneration Fund) is the venture arm of the Foundation Fighting Blindness, and a leading investor in the inherited retinal disease space. It was established in 2018 to serve the Foundation’s mission to rapidly drive research toward preventions, treatments and cures for the entire spectrum of blinding retinal diseases—including retinitis pigmentosa, macular degeneration, and Usher syndrome. RD Fund focuses on mission-related investments in companies with projects nearing clinical testing. Visit RDFund.org for more information.
About Opus Genetics
Opus Genetics is a groundbreaking gene therapy company for inherited retinal diseases with a unique model and purpose. Backed by Foundation Fighting Blindness’s venture arm, the RD Fund, Opus combines unparalleled insight and commitment to patient need with wholly owned programs in numerous orphan retinal diseases. Its AAV-based gene therapy portfolio tackles some of the most neglected forms of inherited blindness while creating novel orphan manufacturing scale and efficiencies. Based in Raleigh, N.C., the company leverages knowledge of the best science and the expertise of pioneers in ocular gene therapy to transparently drive transformative treatments to patients. For more information, visit OpusGenetics.com.