Officers and Staff

Officers and Staff

 

 
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CORPORATE OFFICERS AND STAFF

President and Executive Director
Audrey Gordon, ESQ. 
Working closely with the Board of Directors, officers, staff and volunteers, Ms. Gordon is responsible for ensuring The Progeria Research Foundation's financial growth, program development, and day-to-day management.

Ms. Gordon is a graduate of Tufts University and Northeastern University School of Law, and is an attorney licensed to practice in Massachusetts since 1988 and Florida since 1990. She has extensive civil litigation experience in both states. Locally, she is a past Trustee of Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody, Massachusetts, a member of the Peabody Chamber of Commerce, and has served on the Peabody Board of Registrars since 2006. Nationally, Ms. Gordon serves on the Board of Advisors of Global Genes|RARE Project and the Rare Disease Report.  She is the 2004 winner of the North of Boston Business and Professional Women of the Year award for non-profit organizations, and the 2005 recipient of the Mary Upton Ferrin Award for leadership in her community. She was honored as a Community Hero by Jewish Family Services in April 2009.

Medical Director
Leslie B. Gordon, MD, PhD
 
Dr. Gordon is a co-founder of The Progeria Research Foundation and serves as the organization's volunteer Medical Director. Dr. Gordon is the Principal Investigator for ongoing PRF programs for Progeria, including the PRF International Progeria Registry, Medical and Research Database, Cell and Tissue Bank, and the Genetic Diagnostics Program. She has organized 7 National Institutes of Health-funded, international scientific meetings on Progeria. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics Research at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University in Providence, RI, and a staff scientist at Harvard University Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital.  She was co-author on the 2003 gene discovery for Progeria, lead author of the 2012 Progeria treatment discovery study, and is co-chair of three Progeria clinical drug trials at Boston Children’s Hospital. 

She has received the March of Dimes Basil O’Connor Award, the American Heart Association Scientist Development Award, The Gerontological Society of America Award for contributions to Progeria, a National Institutes of Health Bench to Bedside Grant, and the Mother of the Year award from Working Mother Magazine.

Dr. Gordon earned her bachelor's degree in Zoology from the University of New Hampshire in Durham, New Hampshire.  She went on to receive a master's degree and medical and doctorate degrees from Brown University and the Brown University School of Medicine respectively, where she achieved top honors in the medical program.

Clerk
Barbara F. Gordon, ESQ.

Barbara F. Gordon earned an Associate's Degree from Boston University School of Business in 1955. She married Burt in 1958 and they have four daughters and seven grandchildren. In 1979 she earned a bachelor's degree in psychology from Boston University and in 1981 a Master's Degree in Education from Salem State College. In 1995 she earned a Juris Doctor degree from Massachusetts School of Law, and currently has her own practice. She and her husband are long-standing members of Temple Beth Shalom in Peabody, Massachusetts.

Treasurer
Carl Alviti, CPA

Mr. Alviti is a partner at Matrix Financial LLP in Wellesley, Massachusetts. For ten years prior, from 1989 to October of 1999, he provided a variety of tax and accounting services at Kassler & Feuer, PC, a prestigious Boston law firm. From 1984 to 1989 he was the tax/audit supervisor at Lavanthol & Horwath in Boston. He is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Massachusetts Society of Certified Public Accountants.

Director of Volunteer Activities
Michelle Fino
Ms. Fino is responsible for all volunteer recruitment, training and supervision, as well as oversight of all volunteer-driven activities including Miracle Makers, Coins to Cure Progeria, workplace events and in-house special events (gala held every 2 years, and annual road race and poker tournament). Working with volunteers to match their skills and interests to activities that will raise awareness and funds for PRF is a top priority for Michelle.

Michelle is a graduate of Bridgewater State College and Simmons Graduate School of Management. As founder of the Newburyport Documentary Film Festival, a volunteer driven organization, along with her past experience as an Event and Communications Specialist at a local non-profit, Michelle has extensive knowledge and lots of enthusiasm for working with volunteers.

If you're interested in learning more about volunteering with PRF, please contact Michelle.

Executive Assistant to the Medical Director
Gina Ragonese
Before joining PRF in June 2012, Gina was the owner of a real estate development company in New Hampshire.  Prior to this, Gina worked as a Project Manager for a top company based in Boston.

Gina handles a variety of administrative duties at the busy PRF office, as well as assisting with special assignments.   Her Project Management Masters Certificate from Boston University will help her keep the office running smoothly. 

Executive Assistant/Project Manager
Debra MacGregor
Debbie is a graduate of Bowdoin College, and previously served as the Assistant to the Mayor of the City of Peabody and as Community Liaison/Director of Community Awareness and Prevention for the Essex District Attorney’s Office. She has been involved as a volunteer in local community programs for many years. She and her husband, Bruce, live in Peabody with their children, Michael and Molly.

Debbie provides administrative support to the Executive Director, and manages various administrative, fundraising and financial projects as needed.  Our newest addition to the staff, she is excited to have the opportunity to work for such a worthy cause and is looking forward to contributing to PRF's mission to find a treatment and cure for Progeria. 

Donor and Communications Specialist
Lynne MacKenzie

Lynne handles all donor information (data entry, thank you letters, change of address, etc.), as well as Facebook monitoring, Handbook distribution, and web store orders. As a lifelong Peabody resident, she loves working at The Progeria Research Foundation's headquarters in her home town.

Lynne is a 1988 graduate of Salem State College, where she majored in English/Art. After working many years as a Marketing Representative for A&M and Virgin Records, she shifted to administration as a Sales Assistant at Epic Records and Office Assistant at Universal Distribution. Raising two children introduced Lynne to all aspects of volunteering and fundraising!

Bookkeeper/Administrative assistant

Amina Custovic
Amina Custovic is PRF’s bookkeeper/administrative assistant. She received her accounting degree from Manchester Community College, and processes all financial transactions for PRF. She also answers the phone and assists other staff members with special projects. Amina joined PRF in September 2013 and is honored to be a part of the team.

Amina was born in Europe and moved to the United States with her parents and her twin sister when she was 13. She is fluent in Bosnian.

 

Trial Coordinator and Family Liaison

Kyra Johnson

As the Trial Coordinator and Family Liaison, Kyra works with trial site coordinators from participating Boston hospitals and handles all the travel logistics for children with Progeria and their families who come from all over the world to participate in clinical drug trials at Boston Children's Hospital. Kyra is also the first point of contact for families of newly diagnosed children, coordinates all translations of materials, and assists with PRF’s “Find the Other 150” awareness Campaign, which seeks to identify all children with Progeria throughout the world.

Kyra worked as the Trial Coordinator for the first Clinical Trial from 2007-2010 before leaving to pursue a double Masters in Elementary and Special Education from the Van Loan School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Endicott College. Most recently she worked as a Special Education Teacher for Reading Public Schools. Kyra is excited to be back home at PRF, working with families and being part of an amazing and dedicated staff.

Web Site Coordinator

Karen Gordon Betournay, CPDT-KA, AABP-CDT
Working closely with the Executive Director, Karen is responsible for maintaining and updating all aspects of PRF's website. Karen has been the volunteer web site specialist since PRF was founded in 1999. She also has the honor of being Sam's Aunt, and sister to Executive Director Audrey Gordon and Medical Director Leslie Gordon.

Karen is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and is certified in Grooming/Kennel Management from Essex Agricultural and Technical College. Karen is the owner of Animal Manners, providing training and behavior counseling for canines. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband David, twin girls Paige and Skyler, dogs Maya and Jazz, and cats Marcus and Freddie.

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