Encinitas executive to lead second phase of Scripps Hospital fundraising


Over the past few years, Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas has been undergoing a major expansion, adding a much-needed parking structure in 2011 and completing the Leichtag Foundation Critical Care Pavilion last summer.

The hospital is in the midst of the second phase of this campaign, aiming to raise $10 million to build two state-of-the-art operating rooms, redesign and upgrade its four operating suites, expand the pre-operative care unit and post-anesthesia unit, and relocate and double the size of the endoscopy department.

To lead these fundraising efforts, Encinitas resident Marc Graham was recently named chairman of the community advisory board of Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.

A leader in the automotive retail industry, Graham is a seasoned executive with more than 35 years of senior management experience. He is the CEO of Take 5, a rapidly growing oil-change business based in New Orleans, and the former CEO of Jiffy Lube, EZ Lube and AAMCO Transmissions’ parent company, as well as a former executive vice president of Kragen Auto Parts.

“Marc is the ideal leader for this part of the campaign,” said John Ciullo, director of development of Scripps Health Foundation. “We needed someone with instant credibility to provide overall direction, but who was skilled and wise enough to step back and let his volunteers fly. He’s just that kind of guy. We’re fortunate to have him, and we feel confident we’ll finish this campaign over the next year.”

Scripps is already more than one-third of the way towards its goal, having raised $3.5 million.

“I am lucky to succeed a long line of community advisory chairs, many of whom still serve the board today,” said Graham. “This group has raised $40 million through philanthropic and educational events, and I’m looking forward to continuing those and helping people understand the need for their support in making Scripps Encinitas one of the most prepared and technically capable for our community.”

Graham, who will have a two-year term, is no stranger to the responsibilities he will be facing, having served on numerous boards during his career.

“I love helping people and companies understand their utmost capability and how to get there,” he said. “I also love mentoring management. Although Scripps needs no help on the management side, I think, as a community advisory board, we can work with them to understand the community’s needs and how to surpass them.”

At Scripps Encinitas, he will be leading a group of 40 volunteer community leaders committed to raising awareness and funds for the hospital.

“Scripps has done a phenomenal job in furthering itself as a top hospital,” said Graham. “It takes community, though, to assure it has the resources to reach its potential and exceed patients’ needs. I want to be part of that endeavor. And selfishly, it’s my hospital and my family’s, too.”

Graham’s wife, Mindy, and all four of their daughters were born at various Scripps hospitals in San Diego, and he has been a patient at Scripps Encinitas himself.

“One day my heart just began racing, so I went to the hospital and was thoroughly examined within minutes,” said Graham. “The patient care was amazing. I had an appendectomy there and was treated by top-notch doctors and nurses. Most important, to me, was that I got a smile whenever I needed. I can go on about my motorcycle accident and a few other incidents, but the theme is the same. It’s an excellent facility.”

According to Graham, the hospital’s already high standards may, ironically, be the biggest challenge in motivating people to donate.

“Scripps Encinitas is already one of the best hospitals in the country, from heart care to the ICU,” he explained, “so I think it’s hard to understand, when you’re there, how they could possibly need funding. If the community wants a great hospital, well, they have one. But, if they want an industry leader with the best technology, they need to help us get there.”

Graham hopes the community will rise to the challenge.

“I want people to sit back and think about the fact that they will need that hospital — if not now, someday,” he said. “Or a loved one will need care there. Every single donation, no matter what the amount, will help us continue to drive toward being the best.”

To donate or learn more, visit or call 760-633-7722.