Board of Trustees

The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is able to fulfill its mission and continue its battle against Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis because of our dedicated board of trustees.

You can learn more about each of our current board members below:

OFFICERS

Vance Gibbs, Esq., Chairman of the Board

Mr. Gibbs is a partner in the Baton Rouge office of Kean Miller. He has practiced in commercial litigation and the health care industry for over 25 years and was named to the 2009 Best Lawyers in America in the field of medical malpractice defense. Mr. Gibbs is a dedicated volunteer and a parent of a child with Crohn's who worked with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation in rebuilding the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter after Hurricane Katrina. President of his local Chapter Board, he led the chapter to Chapter of the Year in 2008 and helped to double its revenue twice over the last four years.

 

Scott B. Snapper, MD, PhD, Chair of the National Scientific Advisory Committee

Dr. Snapper is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and is also on staff at Children’s Hospital Boston, where he is the Wolpow Family Chair and Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. Dr. Snapper’s clinical interests are focused on immunological disorders of the GI tract including inflammatory bowel diseases (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease) and gastrointestinal manifestations of human immunodeficiencies. Dr. Snapper’s research focuses on signaling pathways that control the innate and adaptive immune system (and interactions with the microbiome) in the setting of health and disease.

 

D. Brent Polk, MD, Chair-Elect of the National Scientific Advisory Committee

Brent Polk is Professor of Pediatrics and Biochemistry & Molecular Medicine and vice dean for child health at the Keck School of Medicine of University of Southern California (USC). He is the immediate past chair of the Department of Pediatrics for USC and past chief of pediatrics, physician-in-chief and vice president for academic affairs and director of the Saban Research Institute at Children's Hospital Los Angeles (CHLA).

He previously held the Dean's chair and served as chief of the D. Brent Polk Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, director of the Digestive Disease Research Center and a tenured professor of Pediatrics and Cell and Developmental Biology at Vanderbilt University where he received the Grant W. Liddle award for exemplary leadership in the promotion of scientific research careers of faculty and trainees including medical students.

A distinguished investigator, clinician and educator, Dr. Polk has more than 25 years of experience as a pediatric physician-scientist focused on the care of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the goal of asking questions through laboratory investigations-- informed by patient care challenges -- that may be translated back to identify risks of disease and targets for prevention or treatment. His laboratory is focused on the regulation of growth and development of the intestinal cell as it relates to development and disease, with a particular focus on signal transduction mechanisms in IBD.

Dr. Polk received bachelor degrees in biology and chemistry from Ouachita University and his medical degree from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS), pediatrics training at Arkansas Children's Hospital and UAMS and gastroenterology and nutrition training at Stanford University.

 

Andrew Stern, Esq., Secretary

Andrew Stern is a partner and co-chair of the Securities and Shareholder Litigation practice at Sidley Austin LLP in New York. He focuses on commercial litigation, including in particular cases involving the federal securities laws and corporate governance issues. Mr. Stern received his undergraduate degree from Lafayette College in 1987 and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1991. Mr. Stern and his family have been involved with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's New Jersey chapter for many years.

 

 

Donald Burke, Treasurer

Mr. Burke currently serves as an independent director for the Duff & Phelps mutual fund complex. Don also serves as a director of Avista Corp., an energy company headquartered in Spokane, Washington. He has been an active member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation for more than 15 years, since the time his son was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of seven. Prior to assuming his board positions, Mr. Burke was a Managing Director of BlackRock and served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the BlackRock US mutual funds. In addition, Mr. Burke held several positions at Merrill Lynch Investment Managers (MLIM), including Managing Director of the firm as well as Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer of the MLIM US mutual funds. He started his career with Deloitte and Touche (formerly Deloitte, Haskins and Sells). Mr. Burke is a certified public accountant and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Economics from the University of Delaware and a Masters of Business Administration in taxation from Pace University.

FOUNDERS

Shelby Modell, Co-Founder

Mrs. Modell serves as Vice President for Modell's Sporting Goods. As National Co-Founder, she has devoted her life to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. As the Greater New York Chapter's Annual Dinner Co-Chair for more than 40 years, she raised many millions of dollars for the Foundation's research program. She also founded the Foundation's Long Island Chapter and its Florida Chapter. Her distinguished career in philanthropy has benefited the fields of health, education, and the arts. Along with her husband Bill Modell (1921–2008), she is a founding member of the American Digestive Disease Society, the Jeffrey Modell Foundation for immunological research, the Gilda Radner Foundation, "Gilda's Club," and Hewlett House, a breast cancer resource center. She also is a former member of Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center's prestigious National Health Council and was responsible for raising $150 million to build its Psychiatric Institute. Her commitment to the arts is equally impressive. She is a founding patron of the Metropolitan Opera and served as chairman of the Five Towns Development Fund for Lincoln Center. In 1987 she was appointed by Governor Mario Cuomo to the New York State Council of the Arts. In 1977, President Jimmy Carter appointed Mrs. Modell to the negotiating committee of the U.S. Panama Canal Treaty. Two years later, Mayor Abraham Beame appointed her as a commissioner on the New York City Youth Board. Mrs. Modell received her BA from Brooklyn College and an MA from Columbia University's Teachers College. She continues to serve as a vital member of the Foundation's National Board of Trustees.

NATIONAL BOARD OF TRUSTEES

Amber Backhaus

Amber has over 20 years working as a government relations professional, representing clients before the Minnesota Legislature and state agencies.  Currently, she leads the advocacy efforts for the Minnesota Automobile Dealers Association (MADA), a trade group representing Minnesota’s franchised new car and truck dealers.

Prior to joining MADA, Amber worked in the government relations practice of Leonard, Street & Deinard, acting on behalf of high-profile clients such as the Minnesota Timberwolves, State Farm Insurance, Express Scripts, and Supervalu. She also served as the Director of Public Affairs for the Minnesota Trucking Association.  In 2012-2013, Amber was honored to be elected by her peers to serve two years as President of the Minnesota Government Relations Council and its 500+ members.

Amber began her work with the Foundation as a participant in the Team Challenge program in 2011, running her first half-marathon ever.  Since then, she has completed five more races with Team Challenge in memory of her brother Phil, and joined the board of the Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter, serving as its president from 2014-2016.

Amber is married to Christopher Backhaus and has a nine-year old son, Andrew.

Noël Brown

Mr. Brown is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Cantor Fitzgerald and is focused on the Biopharma sector.

Mr. Brown has over 20 years in the securities industry with extensive experience in life sciences transactions including mergers and acquisitions, and both equity and debt financings raising over $15bn in capital. Prior to joining Cantor, he was a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking group at RBC Capital Markets. Before that, he was at both Piper Jaffray and Lehman Brothers/Barclays Capital, also in those Healthcare groups.

Mr. Brown received his MBA with a concentration in Financial Management from the MIT Sloan School of Business as well as his LL.B. from the University of Ottawa Faculty of Law and his B.A. in Biology and Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.

Christopher Collette 

Christopher L. Collette is Senior Vice President Corporate Services for United Health Group. Chris is responsible for leading United Health Group’s Enterprise Sourcing and Procurement, Enterprise Real Estate, Enterprise Resiliency and Recovery Teams, and Aviation. He began his responsibilities September 1, 2014.

Chris came to United Health Group after a 24 year career at Delta Airlines where he served as Senior Vice President of Supply Chain Management since November 2008 where he was responsible for establishing and effectively managing the global supply chain for more than $6B in goods and services in partnership with each division of Delta and it’s Delta Connection partners. Prior to joining Delta in 2008, Chris served as Vice President – Airport Operations and Customer Service Planning for Northwest Airlines where his responsibilities included finance, airport staff planning, airport policy and procedures, baggage operations and recovery, front line employee education, airport technology and process improvement planning and implementation, and World Clubs.  Chris also held a series of positions with increasing responsibility in Northwest Airlines Technical Operations Division including Managing Director Technical Operations Finance and Planning, Director Commodity Management, Director Inventory Analysis, and Director Financial Projects. In addition, Chris served as Delta’s representative as a board member and leader of the Strategy and Finance Committee for Aeroxchange Ltd., the airlines e-commerce exchange provider. Chris was a key leader in the foundation and development of the exchange’s operating processes and products.

Chris has served on the the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Minnesota / Dakotas Chapter board for the last six years and participates as a member of its capital structure committee.

The Honorable Ander Crenshaw

Former Congressman Ander Crenshaw was elected to Congress in 2000 and represented Florida’s Fourth Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight terms. Over the years, he represented 12 counties including Baker, Nassau, and Duval counties. When he retired, he was a member of the House Appropriations Committee.

Prior to going to Washington, Crenshaw worked both in the private sector, as an investment banker, and served as an elected official in the State Legislature. His life in public service ultimately led to the Florida State Senate where he served as its first Republican President.

During his tenure in Congress, Crenshaw established himself as a respected voice on defense issues and a champion for our men and women in uniform. He fought for key priorities for Northeast Florida like making Naval Station Mayport the East Coast homeport for all Littoral Combat Ships and Naval Air Station Jacksonville the East Coast station for all P-8 aircraft. These moves not only brought missions and jobs to our Northeast Florida community but also secured the future of both bases from forthcoming BRACs. Crenshaw led the way to bring the Jacksonville National Cemetery to NE Florida. He fought to make Naval Station Mayport a nuclear aircraft carrier homeport and secured the funding for three of the five required projects to do so. Knowing that at the time, a carrier would not come to Jacksonville, Crenshaw insured that an Amphibious Ready Group, including the Iwo Jima, the New York, and the Fort McHenry were homeported at Mayport. In 2013, Navy Secretary Ray Mabus recognized Crenshaw’s dedication to the nation’s Sailors and Marines and awarded him the Navy’s highest civilian honor – The Navy Distinguished Public Service Award.

Other projects that are credited to Crenshaw are the USMC’s purchase of Blount Island to establish its pre-positioning command, the renovation of the Naval Hospital at NAS Jax, the building of both the navy’s largest helicopter hangar and largest hangar in the navy to house the P-8s at NAS and the navy’s premier fitness and aquatic center at Mayport. Additionally, he worked to build military housing, high-tech training centers for the LCS and the P-8s, and guided the establishment of the unmanned Patrol Squadron 19 headquarters at NAS. Additionally, he made sure the Florida National Guard, the Coast Guard and the Customs and Border Protection services received new facilities for their missions.

Originally a member of the House Armed Services, Budget, and Veterans Affairs committees, Crenshaw ended his service as a member of the Appropriations Committee where he chaired the Financial Services and General Government Appropriations Subcommittee, sat on the prestigious Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, and served on the State and Foreign Operations Appropriations Subcommittee. Additionally, he was a member of the Republican Leadership Whip Team serving as a Deputy Majority Whip.

Representative Crenshaw gained a reputation for being a strong advocate for strengthening and rebuilding our military, enacting responsible and permanent tax relief, and standing up for projects vital to Northeast Florida. Long an advocate of job creation and economic prosperity for Florida, Crenshaw worked to secure projects that benefit the Port of Jacksonville, local beaches, and other important economic drivers.

His major legislative accomplishment was to shepherd the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act through Congress. This legislation impacted millions of citizens who have disabilities as it allows pre-tax, private fund savings accounts to be established for the purpose of supporting the needs of those with special needs.

A third-generation resident of Northeast Florida, Congressman Crenshaw attended Robert E. Lee High School, the University of Georgia on a basketball scholarship, and later received his law degree from the University of Florida. Crenshaw and his wife, Kitty, continue to live in Jacksonville. They have two grown daughters and two granddaughters.

John Crosson

Mr. Crosson is an accomplished executive with a varied background. For the past five years, he has worked at Scientific Imaginetics, a start-up medical device company in which he was an angel investor, CEO, and President. Responsible for all facets of the company and product launch, Mr. Crosson has worked to acquire FDA clearance to market and manufacture medical technology; has developed substantive product improvement and evolution (co-inventor on five pending patent applications in support of these technological advancements); and has directed marketing and sales/distribution staff to successfully introduce devices to the medical community. Mr. Crosson also had a notable career in marketing and advertising. He was the President of Grey Advertising in Los Angeles from 1998 to 2005. At the time, Grey was the largest advertising agency in the United States and one of the six largest advertising agencies in the world. Prior to joining Grey, he spent 14 years developing his career at Dailey & Associates holding various positions including Executive Vice President at the time of his departure. As EVP, Mr. Crosson oversaw client relationships on accounts representing approximately half of the agency's revenue. He directly supervised several service departments, chaired the agency's operations committee, oversaw the agency's training and internship programs, and was responsible for leading all new business development activity

Alessandro DiNello

Alessandro (Sandro) DiNello has served as president, CEO, and a director of Flagstar Bank and Flagstar Bancorp since mid-2013. Prior to his current position, he was president and chief administrative officer of Flagstar Bank, and for a number of years, executive vice president of Retail Banking.

He began his banking career as a bank examiner and later joined Security Savings Bank in Jackson, Mich., where he ultimately served as president. In 1994, Security Savings was acquired by First Security Savings Bank, which later became Flagstar Bank. He continued with the combined organization as an executive officer responsible for growing the bank’s funding sources.

During his career at Flagstar, he has served as head of branch banking, retail product strategy, Marketing, Communications, internet banking, and branch expansion. He also led the bank’s government affairs and community relations initiatives. As CEO, he has played a critical role in strengthening the bank's risk management, compliance, and quality control.

His community and professional affiliations include membership on the board of directors of the Business Leaders of Michigan, the American Bankers Council of the American Bankers Association, the Detroit Regional Chamber Economic Development CEO Advisory Board, and the Fannie Mae Single Family Advisory Board.

Alex Funderburg

Alex Funderburg is currently a Managing Director with Bank of America, engaged in product development, strategy and management support activities in the company’s leasing and equipment finance division.  His professional experience includes lending, leasing, syndications, financial modeling, portfolio analysis and corporate reorganizations.  He has served as a board member for a Bank of America subsidiary which provides equipment finance to tax-exempt, healthcare and renewable energy clients.  He was also a principal in establishing Bank of America’s aircraft leasing subsidiary in Ireland, where he was responsible for addressing US and Irish tax, regulatory and accounting issues.

Alex’s non-profit activities include his past role as president of the Carolinas Chapter of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation over the last five years, where the chapter’s active membership and fundraising tripled during his tenure.

He is also a member of the national board of ImproveCareNow (“ICN”), a network of over 90 pediatric hospitals in the US and UK which serves over 26,000 children suffering from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.  ICN’s mission is to improve treatments and outcomes for these children through the implementation of healthcare quality improvement processes and disciplines.

Alex’s other current non-profit leadership activities include board member roles on the Novant Health Foundation (Executive Committee) and the Charlotte Ballet (Treasurer and Chair of the Finance Committee), and vice president of a private foundation which supports selected arts, cultural and medical research initiatives.  He and his wife are active donors and supporters of many Charlotte area educational, healthcare, human services and cultural causes.

Alex holds a BA degree in economics from Amherst College and an MBA degree from Northwestern University.  He currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina with his wife, Patty, and three children.

Paula J. Hilbert

Paula J. Hilbert is Executive Vice President of Human Resources at Synchronoss Technologies, a world leader in cloud solutions and software-based activation serving communication service providers across the globe. Prior to that position,  Hilbert served as Executive Vice President of Global Operations and Chief Service Officer for  Synchronoss. Prior to that position, Ms. Hilbert served as a Managing Director/Global Client Service and Offshoring at JP Morgan Chase Treasury and Securities Services and a number of senior positions at AT&T, including Vice President-Customer Relationship Management.  Hilbert holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Clarion University and is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School Advanced Management Program.

Michele Kissous-Hunt, PA-C

Michele Kissous-Hunt, PA-C, DFAAPA, received her Bachelor of Science degree from State University of New York at Albany. She graduated with a Physician Assistants degree from Weill Cornell Medical College, NY, NY, with an additional surgical focus.  She has been awarded Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.  Ms. Kissous-Hunt is a member of a number of professional organizations, including the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, American Gastroenterological Association, the American College of Gastroenterology, American Academy of Physician Assistants, and New York State Society of Physician Assistants.  She is a volunteer for the NYC Medical Reserve Corps, and is the President of Gastroenterology Physician Assistants.  She is an active member of the the Foundation's National Nurses and Advanced Practice Committee and is on the expert panel of the ACG and the Foundation's IBD Circle. In addition, as an adjunct faculty member of Touro College of Health Sciences in New York, she teaches the Gastroenterology Course for the Physician Assistant program for the didactic students, clinical rotations, as well as the GI board review.

Ms. Kissous-Hunt is a board certified Physician Assistant, and has been treating patients with a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases in the gastroenterology group of Drs. Kornbluth, George and Legnani (Fifth Ave GI) over 20 years.  This group is affiliated with Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC and has particular expertise in treating patients with complex Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.  In addition to disease management and patient education, she is a sub-investigator on multiple clinical trials in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). She is a coauthor of a number of research manuscripts and abstracts, and lectures on the topic of IBD nationally.

Don Kortz

Don Kortz serves as Vice Chairman of Cushman & Wakefield, a global Real Estate services company with offices in 60 countries employing 43,000 people. He has been with the organization and its predecessors for over 40 years. He is a graduate of Tulane University and the University Of Denver College Of Law. He is a Colorado Native. Kortz devotes much of his community service efforts to health related activities. The new Children’s Hospital Colorado opened during his term as Chairman of the board. He served as Chairman of the board of Rose Medical Center & Colorado Children’s Health Foundation. He currently serves on the Board of HealthOne (HCA in Colorado). Kortz was appointed by Colorado Governor Owens to the Task Force on Child Welfare, by Governor Ritter to the Blue Ribbon Commission for Heath Care and by Governor Romer to the Commission on Early Childhood Care. Mr. Kortz is a past chair of the Denver Metro Chamber of Commerce, past Commissioner of the Denver Board of Water Commissioners, Trustee Emeritus of the Denver Zoo, past Board member of Rose Community Foundation and past Board member of National Jewish Health. He has served on the Board of various bank and financial institutions both private and public. 

Mr. Kortz is also an active member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Rocky Mountain Chapter and in the fall of 2016, he and his wife Mary Lou will be honored at its Annual Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Distinction Awards dinner for their longtime dedication to the Foundation's mission.

Matt Leavitt, DO, FAOCD

Dr. Leavitt is a Board Certified dermatologist and the founder, CEO and Chief Medical Officer of ADCS, the nation's largest dermatology practice that currently has more than 53 locations and 71 medical providers. Additionally, he is Founder and Chairman of Ameriderm, a division that provides billing and collections services for 72 dermatology practices outside of ADCS. He founded Medical Hair Restoration, a surgical hair transplantation group that became the second largest hair restoration company in the USA which had more than 77 offices at the time of its merger. Dr. Leavitt now holds the office of Executive Medical advisor with Bosley, the largest hair restoration group in the world. Dr. Leavitt has served as President of the American Osteopathic College of Dermatology (AOCD) and on the Board of Governors of the International Society of Hair Restoration Surgery. He is a founding father of the American Board of Hair Restoration Surgeons , where he served as its first vice president. The group administers board examinations and establishes standards for hair transplant surgeons. He was also the founder of the World Hair Society and the Hair Foundation, of which he is currently President. He has received countless prestigious awards, ranging from the Golden Follicle from the ISHRS, to the Smart Award for the Orlando Business of the Year. An avid contributor to the sciences and research community, he has been awarded numerous grants and recognition for his various research endeavors. Dr. Leavitt is a Clinical Assistant Professor in dermatology for University of Central Florida, University of Florida and NOVA Southeastern University

David N. Levenson

Mr. Levenson is a principal with Edward Jones in St Louis with responsibility for retirement, insurance, banking and trust.  Prior to Edward Jones, Mr. Levenson was president of the Wealth Management division for The Hartford. Mr. Levenson has a BSE from The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania, an MBA from Columbia Business School and a DBA from the School of International Corporate Strategy from Hitotsubashi University in Tokyo.  Mr Levenson is a Fellow of the Society of Actuaries and a  Chartered Financial Analysis.

Mark Murray, Ph.D.

Mark Murray, Ph.D. was the President and CEO of Tekmira (and its predecessor company Protiva) a development stage biotechnology company which became Arbutus following a merger in March 2015. Dr. Murray now serves as Arbutus’ Chief Executive Officer and Director. He has over 20 years of experience in both the R&D and business development and management facets of the biotechnology industry. He has held senior management positions at ZymoGenetics and Xcyte Therapies prior to joining Protiva. Since entering the biotechnology industry, Dr. Murray has successfully completed numerous and varied partnering deals, directed successful product development programs, been responsible for strategic planning programs, raised over $30 million in venture capital and executed extensive business development initiatives in the U.S., Europe and Asia. During his R&D career, Dr. Murray worked extensively on three programs that resulted in FDA approved drugs, including the first growth factor protein approved for human use, a program he led for several years following his discovery. Dr. Murray obtained his Ph.D. in Biochemistry from the University of Oregon Health Sciences and was a Damon Runyon-Walter Winchell post-doctoral research fellow for three years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Dr. Murray has been a member of the Northwest Board since 2010. He and his wife Joan became involved with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation because of their son Peter who has Crohn’s disease. He has been active in working with the local volunteer leadership and staff to implement a Chapter strategic plan that aligns with the goals of the Foundation. He is focused on developing a more strategic Board in the Northwest with the goal of adding both members with and without direct and personal connections to IBD. He was involved during the beginning stages of IBD Plexus where he served as a member of its Oversight Committee and sought potential partners for its data management. Most recently, Dr. Murray has become a great asset with donor cultivation in the Northwest. 

Marcy Nanus

Marcy Nanus joined the Trout Group in 2003. She combines her background in finance, knowledge of the capital markets and deep understanding of a client’s business to develop financing strategies and investor relations programs. Marcy has experience working with IPO and reverse merger companies, and has provided communications support for product launches, M&A transactions and partnership agreements. Prior to joining Trout, Marcy worked in the consumer healthcare division of McCann Erickson.

Marcy received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance, and consulting & venture management from Emory University's Giozueta School of Business. She also holds Series 7, 79 and 63 securities licenses. She is the co-founder and program director of the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation's Camp Oasis and sits on the foundation's Greater New York Board of Directors.  She is heavily involved in events such as the Take Steps walk and was honored as a Rising Star with her sister Lauren Yarbrough at the 2004 Woman of Distinction Luncheon.  

Joe Nemmers

Joe Nemmers is an executive with more than 35 years of experience in the medical device and pharmaceutical industries. Since 2010 he has been an advisor to private equity firm Warburg Pincus. He is currently the chairman of Accriva Diagnostics, a Warburg portfolio company based in San Diego. He has also served on the boards of several public and privately held companies. He retired from Abbott Laboratories in 2007 following 27 years of service. He worked in Abbott's hospital, pharmaceutical, international, and diagnostic businesses. He was president of Abbott Diagnostics and senior vice president of Diagnostic Operations where he led the core laboratory franchise. His last role was executive vice president responsible for five of Abbott's medical products businesses with $3.5 billion in sales and 13,000 employees. 

Nemmers graduated from Arizona State University in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science degree in History and an Army ROTC commission. He served thirteen years in the US Army Reserve. He has been an active community volunteer for more than thirty years and has held many board member and board chairman roles in human services and parochial education in Chicago and Phoenix. He and Kathy have been married since 1978 and have four sons and one grandson and reside in Scottsdale, Arizona. 

Jennifer O’Neill 

Jennifer O’Neill is a managing director of Deloitte Partner Matters, which serves the leadership development, succession, performance management and wealth management needs of Deloitte’s 5,500 partners, principals, and managing directors (PPMDs) in the United States. Working closely with Deloitte’s C-suite executive team and its board of directors, Jennifer develops and executes strategies that support the mission of Partner Matters. Her efforts influence Deloitte’s award-winning PPMD leadership development practices, the implementation of strategic succession practices for PPMDs, and the continued growth and evolution of best-in-class performance management and wealth management programs, among others. Previously, Jennifer served as director of operations and chief of staff for Deloitte’s U.S. Financial Services practice, where she led client strategies and portfolio management, leadership development and succession, performance management, finance management, internal communications and quality assurance across each of Deloitte’s service offerings, including audit, tax, consulting, and advisory services. Prior to these roles, Jennifer was with Deloitte Consulting, where she served key clients in the financial services industry, specializing in corporate and IT strategic planning, process reengineering and technology implementation solutions. Jennifer has extensive experience in large scale project management and strategic relationship management, and has developed customized career development programs for her clients, helping newly appointed CXOs make efficient and effective transitions. Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Arts in Mathematics from Boston College. She serves on the National Board of Trustees of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, the Council for Women at Boston College, and the Board of Directors of CO/LAB (Creative Opportunities without Limits And Boundaries) Theater Group, a New York-based non-profit organization dedicated to offering individuals with developmental disabilities a creative and social outlet through theater arts. Jennifer is also active in her community locally and abroad, as a classical vocalist and recording artist. She lives in New York City with her husband Evan McCormack, and their adopted cat Wolfie.

Maria Oliva-Hemker, MD

Maria Oliva-Hemker, M.D., is director of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Children’s Center and  Stermer Family Professor of Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Her clinical practice focuses on inflammatory intestinal disorders such as IBD, autoimmune enteropathy and eosinophilic gastroenteritis although she diagnoses and manages the full spectrum of pediatric gastrointestinal conditions. Dr. Oliva-Hemker has been named among “America’s Top Doctors” by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. for more than 10 years and is among Marquis’ “Who’s Who in Medicine and Healthcare.” She has been named a Baltimore “Top Doc” and has received a U.S. News and World Report “Top Doctor” designation for being in the top 1 percent of pediatric gastroenterologists in the nation. Dr. Oliva-Hemker began the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center at Johns Hopkins in 1998, which provides medical care to hundreds of children and adolescents with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis from all over the world. She is the inaugural recipient of the Stermer Family Professorship in Pediatric IBD and is also a Professor of Pediatrics. She is an active clinical researcher who has co-authored numerous articles, and reviews and has served on multiple editorial and organizational boards including the Pediatric Gastroenterology Subboard of the American Board of Pediatrics. She is editor-in-chief of the book, Your Child with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Family Guide for Caregiving. She received her medical degree from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and completed her residency in pediatrics and did a fellowship in pediatric gastroenterology at Johns Hopkins before joining the faculty in 1993. 

Robert Pulley

Robert "Van" Pulley is a highly accomplished senior executive with a long and successful 28-year career with the World Bank in Washington. His senior leadership positions included service as Vice President of Corporate Finance and Risk, where he had oversight of the Bank’s capital, financial polices, credit risk, net income and the administrative expense budget of 2.5 bln p.a. Van also served 10 years as Sr. Director of General Services, a large department delivering shared corporate services globally including inter alia security, real estate, procurement, information security, travel, translation and corporate social responsibility. Van spent 15 years in a variety of operational posts in Washington and overseas, including in Turkey, Jamaica, and Eastern Europe and as Country Director in the Philippines. He is a 1981 graduate of the Georgetown School of Foreign Service and holds a Masters in Economics from the Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School. He retired from the World Bank last year and currently serves on boards including the World Bank/IMF Credit Union, the American Research Institute in Turkey and he chairs the World Bank’s Community Connections Fund that channels staff and corporate donations to a wide array of NGOs in the D.C. metro region and overseas. He is a Team Leader with Habitat for Humanity. Van lives with his wife in McLean, Virginia and has 3 sons, one of whom was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2011. 

Joel Rosh, MD, FAAP, FACG, AGAF

Joel R. Rosh received an Honors Degree from Brown University and his Medical Degree from the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. His postdoctoral training included an internship and residency at the Children’s Hospital of New York–Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center and a Fellowship in Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. He remained on faculty at Mount Sinai until 1994 when he moved to the Goryeb Children’s Hospital/Atlantic Health in Morristown, NJ where he founded the Division of Pediatric Gastroenterology and the Pediatric IBD Center.

Dr. Rosh is a long-standing member of many professional societies and has served as an advisor to the FDA as well as numerous foundations and advisory bodies.  He has served as National Chairman of the CCFA Pediatric Education Committee, a National Councilor for NASPGHAN and is on the editorial boards of the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition and the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology. Dr. Rosh has been honored as the CCFA Physician of the Year, New Jersey Chapter; the New Jersey Pediatric Society Physician Recognition Award; and Castle Connolly’s New York Metro Area Top Doctor (1998–2016). Dr. Rosh frequently serves at the regional and national level as an IBD speaker and educator. He is widely published in the field of pediatric IBD and his current research focus is the safety and efficacy of standard as well as emerging pharmacotherapy.

Eric M. Stone

Mr. Stone is the CEO of Velano Vascular, a medical technology company transforming care by reducing the stress and anxiety related to blood draws during hospitalization. Before starting his own medical device company, he served as Vice President of Sales and Marketing for MolecularHealth, an oncology personalized medicine firm, and prior with Abbott (NYSE: ABT), he launched a series of pioneering medical technologies while based in Brussels, Belgium and the Bay area.  Stone a founding member of Model Nʼs (NYSE: MODN) Life Sciences division, and began his career in Marketing with Austin, Texas-based Trilogy Software. Stone is active in the social sector, co-founding Harvardʼs Student-Alumni Mentoring Initiative and Wharton’s Health Care Board Fellows Program, and is former Committee Chair and Director of Harvard University’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.  He currently serves as a Director of Vigilant Biosciences and as an Advisor to 3NT Medical, Empower Interactive, and PENNʼs MyHeartMap Challenge.  Stone received an MBA in Health Care Management from The Wharton School, a Master’s degree from Harvard University, and a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.  He and his wife live in San Francisco, CA.

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas

Bishop Walter Scott Thomas has served as the pastor of the New Psalmist Baptist Church in Baltimore, Maryland since 1975. Under his leadership, the church body has grown from 200 to more than 7,000 active members. The church also has a national television broadcast, Empowering Disciples, which can be viewed on the Word Network and on WJZ TV in Baltimore. He is a highly regarded executive and personal coach with more than 30 years of experience in working with church leaders, pastors, church staffs in addition to being an accomplished author.  Bishop Thomas has served as the past president of the Hampton University Ministers. He has received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland in Economics. He earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Religion in Washington, D.C. and a Doctor of Ministry degree from Saint Mary's Seminary & University in Baltimore, Maryland. He is the recipient of an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Virginia Seminary and Bethune Cookman College.