Board of Trustees
You can learn more about each of our current board members below:
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.
Maura Breen, Immediate Past Chair
Maura Breen is a highly accomplished executive known for her transformative and tenacious leadership at critical junctures in the telecommunications industry.As General Manager of Verizon New York, Verizon’s largest wireline P&L ($5B), Maura aggressively moved Verizon into Broadband and Video laying the groundwork for future revenue growth, launched competitive new bundling strategies, and won the largest cable franchise in the United States – New York City. She reduced a $1B expense budget by over $150M in just over two years, while simultaneously improving customer service and employee productivity. As President & CEO of Verizon Long Distance, Maura led the team of executives charged with developing what became one of the nation’s largest long distance companies. She achieved 40% market share and EBITDA positive results within 3 years of launching the business before being promoted to Chief Marketing Officer Retail Markets. In the CMO role, Maura continued to manage the Long Distance Business and built industry leading communication bundles incorporating Verizon’s entire product line. During her career, Maura has held a number of roles with increasing responsibility and size. Leading teams from the very small to well over 18,000, her career has spanned across more than eight key functions within Verizon, allowing her to play key leadership roles in marketing, sales and operations as well as running key business units like the New York Region. Maura currently serves on the Board of Directors and Chairs the Compensation Committee for Express Scripts, the second largest pharmacy benefits management company in the United States. She is a member of the Committee of 200, the New York Women’s Forum, Corporate Director’s Group and Women Corporate Directors. Maura is a David Rockefeller Fellow Alumnus and has been recognized for her achievements by the Academy of Women Achievers in New York, Telephony Magazine, Ad Age, St. Patrick’s Home for the Aging, Diversity Magazine, and Irish Today. She is a graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York and resides in North Falmouth, Ma. with her husband Jay and son Ryan.
Paul Salerno, Treasurer
Mr. Salerno is the managing partner of the Melville, Long Island Office of PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP, a global accounting and professional service organization. He is a hands-on financial professional who has provided services to both public and privately held companies in the manufacturing, distribution, and services industries. He has demonstrated board leadership in various organizations and his expertise in accounting, financial reporting, and oversight and controls will be of value to the Foundation. Mr. Salerno fosters a collaborative approach in dealing with his clients as well as with his fellow board members at various organizations. He is a Crohn's disease patient and was diagnosed with the disease in 1978.
Dr. Scott B. Snapper, MD, 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.
Jim Lewis, MD, MSCE, Past Chair, National Scientific Advisory Committee
Dr. Lewis is Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology, Senior Scholar at the Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Senior Fellow in the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics, and Associate Director of the Penn Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program. He has been actively involved in research related to inflammatory bowel diseases since 1996 and has published more than 170 scholarly articles. His research covers a broad range of topics, but primarily focuses on issues related to medication safety and optimizing medical therapies. Examples include a series of studies investigating whether patients treated with various medications for IBD are at increased risk for cancer, infections, neurologic diseases, and death, and whether such risks are warranted given the effectiveness of the therapy.
Dr. Lewis is one of a limited number of investigators to lead NIH funded clinical trials of novel therapeutic strategies for IBD. He has directed two clinical trials of rosiglitazone to treat ulcerative colitis and a trial of using biomarkers to adjust medical therapy for ulcerative colitis. He is currently on the steering committee of an NIH funded trial examining the efficacy of methotrexate for ulcerative colitis. In recent years, Dr. Lewis and his colleagues have begun to focus their research on how diet and the microorganisms that inhabit the human intestine may influence the course of IBD. Dr. Lewis hopes that this research may help to identify novel strategies for treating IBD that are not based on systemic immunosuppression.
Michael Osso, President and CEO, Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Michael Osso has spent his entire professional career in the non-profit sector. His background in staff and volunteer development; fundraising and marketing; strategy development and implementation; financial management and operations; and community-outreach and board development has benefited a variety of nonprofits over the last 25 years. Michael initially served as the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Chief Business Development Officer from 2013-2015, where he was instrumental in expanding its revenue portfolio and was an integral member of the senior leadership team. Prior to joining the Foundation, Michael spent seven years at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – first as the Executive Director of its New York City Chapter and then as SVP of Revenue at the national office. His responsibilities included oversight of LLS’s national fundraising campaigns including Team In Training and Light The Night Walk, as well as its major and planned giving efforts.
Before his work in the health arena, Michael was the Executive Director of Careers through Culinary Arts Program, and spent many years working for a variety of cultural organizations, among them the Mark Morris Dance Group, Jose Limon Dance Foundation, and City Center Theater.
Michael is a graduate of The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania.
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
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.
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.
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
Mr. Hasenauer is a founder and partner of Orion Advisors, LLC, an executive search and human resources consulting firm. The firm's focus is on senior level engagements on a global basis serving the investment management industry. Prior to founding Orion Advisors, Mr. Hasenauer spent 15 years in various positions of increasing responsibility in the financial services industry. He holds a BS degree from the University of Bridgeport and a MS in Financial Management from Fairfield University. Mr. Hasenauer has served on the board of advisors of various non profit and for profit organizations including Life Harbor Investments and the Fairfield Museum and History Center. His family's experience with Crohn's disease has led him to become actively involved with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. He and his wife Jacqueline reside in Connecticut with their two children.
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.
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.
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 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 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 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 directors (PPDs) 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 PPD leadership development practices, the implementation of strategic succession practices for PPDs, 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, 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. She also serves on the Council for Women at Boston College, and she’s an active member of the Women’s Bond Club. 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.
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.
Andrew Stern, Esq.
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.
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.