Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Welcomes New National Trustees

Seven Join Leadership to Cure IBD and Improve Patient Quality of Life

New York, New York– The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation (the Foundation) is pleased to announce seven new members of its National Board of Trustees, which oversees the management of the organization’s policies, practices, principles, affairs, funds, and property. The Foundation is the largest, voluntary, non-profit health organization dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), while working in a variety of innovative ways to improve the lives of pediatric and adult patients.

“We are proud and fortunate to welcome this extraordinary group of men and women to the Foundation’s leadership,” said Vance Gibbs, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s National Board Chair and Partner at Kean Miller in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. “By contributing their diverse experience and expertise, they will enhance our mission capabilities and help us to advance the goals laid out in our ambitious new three-year strategic plan.” Mr. Gibbs was elected Board Chair for the third consecutive year.

These individuals will serve as National Trustees through 2020:

  • Amber Backhaus has over 20 years working as a government relations professional, advocating for clients before the Minnesota Legislature and state agencies. She’s participated numerous times in the Foundation’s Team Challenge fundraisers in memory of her brother, Phil, and served as president of the Foundation’s Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter from 2014 to 2016.
  • Noël Brown is a Managing Director in the Healthcare Investment Banking Group at Cantor Fitzgerald, where he advises biopharmaceutical companies on equity and debt capital markets, initial public offerings, and mergers and acquisitions. He has advised on more than $15 billion of transactions over more than 20 years in the securities industry.
  • Retired former Congressman from Florida, the Honorable Ander Crenshaw has led a distinguished lifetime of public service and executive leadership. While in Washington, D.C., he gained a reputation as a strong advocate for job creation and economic prosperity, and sponsored the Achieving a Better Life Experience (ABLE) Act, which enabled pre-tax, health savings accounts for people with disabilities. He joined the law firm of King and Spaulding in March 2017 as Senior Counsel.
  • Alessandro (Sandro) DiNello is president, CEO and a director of Flagstar Bank and Flagstar Bancorp. He has held a number of leadership roles at the bank including head of Retail Banking, Commercial Banking, Technology, and Operations. As CEO, he has played a critical role in strengthening the bank's risk management, compliance, and quality control. He is an avid supporter and volunteer with the Foundation.
  • A Managing Director with Bank of America, Alex Funderburg has wide-ranging business expertise, including lending, leasing, syndications, financial modeling, portfolio analysis and corporate reorganizations. For the past five years, he served as president of the Foundation’s Carolinas Chapter, where active membership and fundraising tripled during his tenure.
  • Michele Kissous-Hunt is a physician assistant with over 20 years experience treating patients with a wide range of gastrointestinal diseases. She is an active member of the Foundation’s National Nurses and Advanced Practice Committee, and is on the expert panel of the Foundation’s IBD Circle with the American College of Gastroenterology.
  • Dr. Joel R. Rosh is Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Vice Chairman of Clinical Development and Research Affairs at Goryeb Children's Hospital/Atlantic Health, and Professor of Pediatrics at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City. He has served as National Chair of the Foundation’s Pediatric Education Committee, and has been honored as the New Jersey Chapter’s Physician of the Year.

Trustees of the Foundation’s National Board are elected for three-year terms and may serve no more than two consecutive terms.

“Each of our new National Trustees has proven his or her commitment to the Foundation, and brings vital passion and unique skills to further strengthen the organization,” explains Michael Osso, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “As we celebrate the Foundation’s 50th Anniversary this year, they will play a critical role leading us to better care for patients and accelerating cures for IBD.”



Crohn's & Colitis Foundation

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is the leading nonprofit organization focused on both research and patient support for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), with the mission of curing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and improving the quality of life for the millions of Americans living with IBD. The Foundation’s work is dramatically accelerating the research process, while also providing extensive educational and support resources for patients and their families, medical professionals, and the public.