This year, the Cape Ann Businesswomen's Luncheon is proud to host Keynote speaker Nancy Frates. Nancy's son Pete Frates was diagnosed with ALS in 2012. Since then they have worked together to bring public awareness to this terrible disease with the very successful Ice Bucket Challenge, where they have raised over $220 million for ALS research. Nancy is a very inspiring speaker and we warmly welcome her to Cape Ann.
The Fall Luncheon is where we announce the winner of the Carolyn M. O'Connor Scholarship Award. This is a yearly scholarship awarded to a woman who is going back to school to further her education. Carolyn M. O'Connor was the first Chairwoman of the Businesswomen's Committee. This award honors her dedication to the Businesswomen of Cape Ann and the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce.
Nancy Frates TED Talk: Why my family started the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
On March 13, 2012, Nancy’s 27 year old son Peter was diagnosed with ALS. Her family’s world changed in a moment. They were told that there is no treatment or cure and the prognosis was 2-5 years. Since that day, Nancy has immersed herself in the ALS community as an advocate and thought leader. She has traveled and networked to the offices of CEO’s, Senators, Congressmen, top doctors and governmental authorities. She has testified in Washington DC on Capitol Hill, at the White House and to an FDA panel regarding important issues affecting the ALS community. Nancy has developed strong relationships with many ALS organizations involved in research, patient support, advocacy and fundraising as well as ALS priority pharmaceutical companies. She has helped build strong relationships between the ALS Association and new strategic business partners such as Major League Baseball.
August 2014, Nancy’s son Peter along with their family and supporters, better known as Team Frate Train, inspired the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge to go viral, raising $220 million for the ALS Association and its global partners. During that August and the months following, Nancy has done many domestic and international television, magazine and web interviews. Her speaking engagements have taken her around the country and the globe, inspiring others with her family's story and continuing the momentum created for their cause, ALS.
Nancy holds a business degree from Boston College and an honorary Doctorate in Humane Studies from Endicott College. Before devoting her life to her son's mission, she was an accomplished entrepreneur and business coach.
She presently serves on the Board of Trustees at Endicott College and is a National Trustee for the ALS Association. In August 2017, New York Times bestselling authors Casey Sherman and Dave Wedge published her family's story, The Ice Bucket Challenge. Her Ted Talk , on Ted.com, has been viewed over 1 million times.