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New CEO Takes Helm at Mercy Ships

Mercy Ships announced today the unanimous confirmation of Sam Smith as the new Chief Executive Officer of the international global charity, following a decision made by the Executive Committee of the International Board of Directors on Tuesday.

Tyler, Texas (PRWEB) December 4, 2008 -- Mercy Ships announced today the unanimous confirmation of Sam Smith as the new Chief Executive Officer of the international global charity, following a decision made by the Executive Committee of the International Board of Directors on Tuesday.

Chairman, Myron "Mike" Ullman III, stated, "Sam exemplifies both professionalism and the sense of calling that will serve the organization well."

Mercy Ships Founder/President Don Stephens remarked, "Sam has served admirably as Interim CEO since January 2008, and this appointment is a natural step toward the future of Mercy Ships. Sam brings a wealth of experience in the business and marketing world, along with a heart for both the crew and the forgotten poor we serve." The appointment is effective immediately, said Stephens.

The global faith-based charity has 15 offices worldwide and operates the world largest non-governmental hospital ship, Africa Mercy, currently based in Liberia, West Africa. The International Operations Center and Executive Offices for the charity are located in Garden Valley, Texas.

Sam remarked, "When I first became aware of Mercy Ships, it was my desire to see if I could lend a hand and help such a worthy cause. What I did not expect was that my entire life experiences, both good and bad, had prepared me for the challenges of helping to lead Mercy Ships into the future. I am humbled and honored to work with our Founder and our International Board of Directors ... a Board that is comprised of some of the most successful leaders from around the world, who have all found a very powerful way to share their blessings."

Commenting on Mercy Ships future, he stated, "It is my hope that God will continue to have a firm grasp on the helm of Mercy Ships, and that we will always follow the example of Jesus bringing hope and healing to the forgotten poor of the world."

With nearly 20 years of experience in the area of Brand and Marketing Development, Smith previously worked with some of the largest manufacturing and retail organizations in North America, such as Macy's, Lord & Taylor, Marshall Fields, Dillard's, Hartmarx, and Jack Nicklaus. He also served as President of his own consulting firm, SheriJen, focused on developing Brand, Marketing, and Training Strategies for the retail community.

Sam holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Stephen F. Austin State University. He and his wife, Jill, have two children, Sheridan and Jensen. The family currently resides in Bullard, Texas, where Sam also serves as an elected Trustee of the Bullard Independent School District.

About Mercy Ships: Over the past 30 years, Mercy Ships has worked in more than 70 countries providing services valued at more than $670 million, directly impacting more than 1.9 million people. More than 850 crew worldwide, representing more than 30 nations, are joined each year by thousands of short-term volunteers. Professionals including surgeons, dentists, nurses, community developers, teachers, cooks, seamen, engineers, and agriculturalists donate their time and skills to the effort.

For further information contact:

Pauline Rick
U.S. Media Relations
(903) 939-7649
Email: rickp @

Diane Rickard, Director Media Relations
Mercy Ships International
UK Tel: 44 1438 727 800
rickardd @

Hi-res photos and general Mercy Ships footage are available for download with registration at or upon request.

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