Splitsville, Ohio

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One of the nation’s most respected child advocates, Mark Real, is jumping ship – or is he changing horses in midstream? Real has run the Children’s Defense Fund-Ohio office since it opened for business in Cleveland in 1981. He’s leaving to run a new group, KIDSOHIO.org, set up by Leslie Wexner and Wexner’s attorney/wife, Abigail, who will chair the new board.

Wexner is founder and chairman of The Limited, a clothing conglomerate that includes Victoria’s Secret. Wexner serves on the 24-member board of the D.C.-based Children’s Defense Fund, directed by Marian Wright Edelman.

CDF-Ohio is one of six state-based CDF affiliates. Real was about to be hired away from Ohio by a major foundation until the Wexners intervened with a better offer.

In 2000 Real earned $123,523 in salary and benefits from the CDF. The new KIDSOHIO.org will focus extensively on education issues. Contact: Mark Real (614) 228-6400, kidsohio.org.