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Board of Directors

Board of Directors

 

Beth Mazur (Board Chair)
Beth is a technologist with extensive experience working to grow startup companies and non-profit organizations. She is interested in how to best use technology to empower people with ME and achieve health equality. She worked as a developer and technical product manager for a wide range of organizations including HealClick, Grameen Foundation, and Jaspersoft. She was a member of the Voting Systems Task Force for the city of San Francisco which advised the city in the selection and development of a secure, transparent voting system. Beth co-founded #MEAction and earned her Bachelor’s in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from MIT. @rndNumGen 

 

Michelle Pinedo (Treasurer)
Michelle Pinedo is chief financial officer with AFS-USA, an organization that delivers meaningful intercultural experiences that empowers people to become globally engaged citizens. In this capacity, she is responsible for ensuring that all the support functions – Finance, IT, Human Resources, Logistics, and Operations – are performing at peak level.

Michelle has over 20 years of senior-level experience in leading non-profit organizations to new degrees of efficiency and impact. Before joining AFS-USA Michelle worked at Episcopal Relief & Development, a global relief organization that works with Anglican and ecumenical partners around the world to find solutions to hunger, poverty, disaster and disease in collaboration with local communities as their vice president, administration & finance. During her tenure, she led a web transformation project, implemented a performance management strategy that furthered professional development amongst staff, and optimized organizational cash flow and forecasting.

Prior to her work with Episcopal Relief & Development Michelle held the most senior finance position with Amref Health Africa, a Nairobi, Kenya based organization that provides health services and health worker training to over 30 African countries. As director of finance and administration, Michelle managed the financial and operational aspects of the organization.

A proud graduate of the City University of New York, she holds a BA in business from the CUNY School of Professional Studies and an AAS in accounting from Borough of Manhattan Community College, where she was named a BMCC Scholar. She resides in Harlem and has 3 sons.

 

Ryan Prior (Secretary)
Ryan is a multimedia journalist and social entrepreneur. He fell ill with ME/CFS in 2007, at age 17. After graduating from college, he founded the Blue Ribbon Foundation to raise awareness about ME/CFS and built a team, setting off on a journey across the US as co-director, producer, and writer of the feature-length documentary film “Forgotten Plague.” During the film’s production, he was recognized as ProHealth’s 2014 ME/CFS Advocate of the Year. The film was released in 2015, and is available on Amazon Prime, iTunes, and Google Play . Since 2015, he has been working as a writer and producer for CNN, covering hundreds of stories ranging from the 2016 election to cutting-edge medical innovation. In 2019, he reported and wrote the CNN story with the highest overall reader engagement across the entire outlet. He has also written for USA Today and the Daily Beast, and is a five-time Stanford Medicine X ePatient Scholar. He is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the University of Georgia, and was named to the school’s 40 Under 40 list in 2018. @r_prior

 

Jennifer Brea
Jen is a filmmaker, academic and community organizer. She earned her bachelor’s in political science from Princeton University, where she graduated magna cum laude, and was a Ph.D candidate at Harvard in political science and statistics before becoming ill with ME. She co-founded #MEAction, directed Unrest, the Sundance award-winning documentary about ME, and is a TED Fellow.
@jenbrea

 

JD Davids
JD Davids is a writer and advocate with more than 25 years of experience in health activism, social movements, policy and journalism who is living with ME/CFS and a handful of other troublesome diagnosesAs a member of ACT UP Philadelphia and co-founder of Health GAP, Davids was a core organizer in the movement that slashed the cost of HIV treatment and opened up treatment access for millions worldwide, and later founded a national advocacy network devoted to HIV/AIDS and social, racial and economic justice. He’s been an expert advisor to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) and other acronyms. After a stretch as managing director and director of strategic communications for The Body, he now runs JD Strategies in Brooklyn NY, supercharging strategic communications and organizational development for health and research policy, gender advocacy, and hell-raising activist groups. He’s also writing The Cranky Queer Guide to Chronic Illness. @TheCrankyQueer.

 

Judy Gayer
Judy is Vice President and Deputy General Counsel – General Corporate at Freddie Mac, where she leads a team that handles commercial transactions, intellectual property, privacy, data security, real estate and other general corporate matters. Judy holds a B.A. in Economics from the University of Michigan and a J.D. degree from the Harvard Law School. She is a past President of Fairfax Court Appointed Special Advocates (Fairfax CASA), a nonprofit that serves the best interests of abused and neglected children in Fairfax County, Virginia.  She also provides pro bono legal assistance and otherwise volunteers with various nonprofit organizations in her area.

 

Jill Hinson
Jill is an international business leader with twenty years combined experience in organization change, leadership development, and marketing. She is a founding member of ChangeFusion and supports a diverse range of clients to accelerate change, develop leaders, and build organizational effectiveness.

Jill holds master’s degree in Organization Development from American University/NTL and an undergraduate bachelor of business/marketing degree from James Madison University. Jill is the co-author of the article, “Leading in Complex Times” in the Practicing Social Change Journal and the book chapter, “Tapping the Power of Emergent Change” in The NTL Handbook of Organization Development and Change. She serves on the Board of Directors for #MEAction and NTL.

 

Robert M. Sklans
Rob Sklans is a senior Human Resources executive with an extensive track record of transforming and building HR functions globally.  A trusted adviser and coach to executive teams and boards of global companies, he has also served as an HR leader for multiple internal start-ups. 

Currently a Principal Consultant with Enspira LLC, Rob provides consulting services for start-up through mid-sized companies in the biotech, consumer products, pharmaceuticals and technology industries.

Before, as Chief HR Officer at Innophos, Rob created and launched a 4-year global HR strategy to help it grow into a $1.25Bn company by 2022.  Previously, as CHRO at Elementis, he led the global HR function and served as a Supervisory Board Member for Elementis Specialties, Netherlands BV.  Before joining Elementis, Rob served in a variety of leadership roles for Royal DSM North America, Evonik Industries and Johnson & Johnson. 

He earned an MA in Organizational Psychology from Columbia University and a BA in Psychology from Connecticut College. Rob has two family members who have been impacted by the disease and he serves as a strong ally and advocate for proper recognition and medical care for patients globally.

 


 

Advisors to the Board

Katie Bach
Katie Bach is the Managing Director of the Good Jobs Institute (GJI), a non-profit that helps companies improve job quality while better enabling employees to provide a great customer experience. Prior to joining GJI, Katie was a Director of Global Strategy at Starbucks, where she led the company’s annual strategic planning process. Before Starbucks, Katie spent 5 years in management consulting, first with McKinsey & Company, and then with a start-up firm in Kenya. Katie has an undergraduate degree in Politics, Philosophy, and Economics from the University of Oxford. She was valedictorian of her Master’s program at the London School of Economics, and received her MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. At MIT Sloan, she won a Siebel Scholarship, McKinsey Award, and Forte Fellowship, all for outstanding academic and leadership contributions.