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Dream Foundation Expands National Board of Directors

Dream Foundation, the only national dream-granting organization for terminally ill adults, announced the appointment of Carol Nygren and Virginia McFerran to its National Board of Directors

Carol Nygren Click to view larger
Carol Nygren

Nygren is vice president of Worldwide Live Entertainment for NBC Universal Brand Development. McFerran is president of Optum Analytics, a division of United Health Group.

“We are delighted to welcome Virginia and Carol to our Board of Directors,” said Dream Foundation CEO Kisa Heyer. “Both women are dynamic leaders in their industries and wonderful advocates for our mission. We are fortunate to have their insight, expertise and passion.”

Virginia McFerran Click to view larger
Virginia McFerran

In her role at NBC Universal, Nygren is responsible for leading the strategy and development for cross category world-class live events and entertainment.

Before joining NBC Universal, Nygren held senior positions at Fathom Events, Live Events Management, and spent 16 years at the Walt Disney Company, where she was instrumental in developing Disney on Ice and Disney Live into globally recognized brands.

“It is a pleasure and an honor to join Dream Foundation’s Board of Directors,” she said. “To be able to serve alongside others in making those last days of life easier or a little more joyful is quite meaningful to me and to be able to contribute to those in need of these services is humbling.

“It is important for them to know that others care about them and their Dreams and needs,” Nygren said.

As president of Optum Analytics, McFerran advises executives in health systems, insurance companies, biotech firms, and state governments on developing strategies and analytic competencies to achieve transformational goals and thrive in the highly regulated healthcare industry.

Prior to joining Optum Analytics, McFerran served as chief information officer at UCLA Health and Cornell Medical Center, and held leadership positions at the Salk Institute and Microsoft.

“It is a privilege to have any role in making someone's life better and both a mystery and a blessing to discover that the dying are most often concerned with the wellbeing of the survivors,” said McFerran.

“The selflessness and love in this special organization is reflected in the requests and stories of thousands of Dreamers realizing their dream,” she said.
“Virginia and Carol’s accomplished and diverse backgrounds will greatly enhance the board of our growing organization,” said Board Chair Kenneth P. Slaught.

“The innovative efforts they have made in their respective fields will transcend and provide a refreshing new outlook for our board, our staff and ultimately our Dreamers.”
To donate to the Dream Foundation, visit

— Dani Cordaro for the Dream Foundation.


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