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The remaining 2017 meeting dates are listed below. Board meeting dates are subject to change; please email us or check back on this site periodically for the most up-to-date information on meeting dates.
Board of Directors Meeting Dates
March 8, 2017
June 20, 2017
September 11, 2017
December 11, 2017
We are very proud of the members of the Board for The Progeria Research Foundation. They include people with years of experience in the medical and business fields, and each of them brings a unique perspective to the table. Brief biographical sketches appear below.
Scott D. Berns, MD, MPH, FAAP, PRF Co-founder and Chairman of the Board
After serving for 14 years at the March of Dimes National Office, where he was the Senior Vice President of Chapter Programs and Deputy Medical Office, in October 2015 Dr. Berns became President and CEO of the NICHQ (National Institute for Children’s Health Quality), an independent, nonprofit organization working to improve children’s health.
Scott is a board certified pediatrician and pediatric emergency physician. He is a Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Clinical Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice at the Brown School of Public Health in Providence, RI. He earned a masters of public health from the Harvard School of Public Health with a concentration in health, policy and management, and completed a one-year White House Fellowship where he served as a Special Assistant to the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.
Scott has received the Willis Wingert Award for excellence in research in pediatric emergency medicine from the American Academy of Pediatrics, a national award from the National Perinatal Association, a public health service award from the U.S. Department of Transportation, and the 2015 Impact Award from the White House Fellows Foundation & Association.
Karen N. Ballack, Esq.
Ms. Ballack is a partner in the Silicon Valley office of Weil, Gotshal & Manges, LLP. She has extensive experience as an intellectual property transactional attorney, with emphasis on representing technology companies, particularly in the computer, internet, semiconductor, biotechnology, pharmaceutical and medical device industries. Karen represents clients in connection with technology and intellectual property alliances and transactions, including research and development collaborations, licensing matters, corporate partnering transactions, and commercialization arrangements regarding products and services. Karen is often engaged as a guest speaker on these topics. She also serves on the firm's Pro Bono Committee, Diversity Committee and Women@Weil Leadership Committee and is a member of the Silicon Valley office's Hiring Committee.
Sandra Bresnick, Esq.
Ms. Bresnick is Co-Chair of the Global Life Sciences Practice for Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan and is resident in the New York Office. She specializes in patent litigation, particularly in the areas of pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and biotechnology. Ms. Bresnick also counsels clients on intellectual property management. She teaches Pharmaceutical Patent Litigation at Rutgers University School of Law, and is a frequent invited speaker on topics pertinent to the life sciences industries. She is registered to practice before the U.S. Patent & Trademark office.
John is the President/CEO of Bell-Mark Sales Company, which designs, manufactures and services high-performance coding, marking and printing equipment for the food, medical device and industrial marketplace worldwide. Founded in 1959 by his father, Alfred, Bell-Mark is now a third generation family business headquartered in Pine Brook, New Jersey, with manufacturing facilities in Dover, PA, and sales offices around the globe.
John is a member of the Board of Preakness Hills Country Club and chairs the Tournament Committee there. But most importantly, he is the grandfather of Zoey Penny, diagnosed with Progeria in March 2010 at age 5 months. He and his family have formed Team Zoey, and the New Jersey chapter of PRF, raising funds and awareness in their community and beyond.
Larry Mills was born in San Antonio in 1949. Soon after his birth, his family moved to Corpus Christi where Larry grew up. He is a 1977 graduate of Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi with a BBA in Marketing.
While in Corpus, Larry began working for the Holt Companies and has spent 43 years in various positions with the companies in the areas of parts operations, marketing, sales and human resources. In 1987, he and his family moved to San Antonio.
Currently, Larry is the Executive Vice President of the Holt Companies. These companies are comprised of HOLT CAT, one of the world’s largest Caterpillar dealers and the four time NBA Champion San Antonio Spurs. His areas of focus include Strategic planning, marketing, leadership development, and organizational development. Additionally, Larry brings practical business sense to the training and development arena and is the founder of Holt Development Services, Inc. He has worked with Dr. Ken Blanchard to help develop a Values Based Leadership approach to business.
Larry serves on the board of directors of the San Antonio Spurs, Clarity Child Guidance Center and Children’s Hospital of San Antonio Foundation. He is a member of the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM), American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and Ethics Officers Association.
Larry and his wife, Linda, have been married for 37 years and have two children, David and Jeffrey. His hobbies include collecting and refurbishing classic cars and golf.
Liza Morris is a 20-year veteran of health and science communications. As a strategy and communications consultant, she has worked with organizations to build strategic partnerships; raise awareness in global markets about important science, education and human development issues; create programs to drive fundraising, change perceptions and influence behavior; implement strategies to drive digital conversations; successfully navigate through crisis situations; and establish new programs to measure results. Liza has been working with PRF since 2003.
Tom O'Brien is an economist with interests in urban economics and public finance. He is Professor Emeritus of the Isenberg School of Management at the University of Massachusetts/Amherst where he was Dean for 19 years. Prior to that he worked at Harvard University, serving as Vice President of Finance from 1977 until 1987. He has been on the boards of three public corporations, several not for profit organizations, and has worked in federal, state, and local government in appointed positions.
Tom is a member of the board of Idea For Africa, a foundation encouraging the development of entrepreneurs in Africa, and serves as advisor to several small companies and on the investment committee of the Harold Grinspoon Foundation. He was a White House Fellow and is a past President of that organization and Trustee Emeritus of Tufts University
Roger Berkowitz is President & CEO of the restaurant group Legal Sea Foods. He is also a member of the Board of Directors for the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Regional Selection Panel for the President’s Commission on White House Fellowships. In addition, he leads the Sonar Project Ltd., and was appointed to the Special Commission Relative to Seafood Marketing by the Governor of Massachusetts. He is a member of the Massachusetts Workforce Training Fund Advisory Committee and a member and past President of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association.
In addition to The Progeria Research Foundation, Roger serves on many non-profit Boards including: Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Children’s Hospital Boston (Advisory Board), UNICEF, the Boston Children’s Museum, the Environmental League of Massachusetts and the Blue Frontier Campaign. He is a member of the Board of Overseers, Brandeis International Business School, is a Trustee of both Suffolk University and Salem State University and serves on the leadership council at the Harvard School of Public Health.
Roger graduated from the Newhouse School at Syracuse University and attended executive education programs at Harvard Business School, University of London School of Business and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He holds an honorary master’s degree from the Culinary Institute of America and honorary doctorates from Johnson & Wales University, Newbury College and Salem State University.
Monica Kleinman, MD
Dr. Kleinman is a specialist in pediatric critical care and neonatology. She is presently the Clinical Director of the Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Unit, Medical Director of the Transport Program, and Senior Associate in Critical Care Medicine at Children's Hospital Boston. She is an Assistant Professor in Anesthesia (Pediatrics) at Harvard Medical School. She serves on the Board of Directors of Boston MedFlight and is chair of the Pediatric Subcommittee of the American Heart Association's National Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee. She lectures extensively on a variety of pediatric care issues.
Rabbi Harold Kushner
Harold Kushner is Rabbi Laureate of Temple Israel in Natick, Massachusetts. He is a native of Brooklyn, New York and a graduate of Columbia University. He is the author of several best-selling books, including "When Bad Things Happen to Good People", published in 1981 and translated into 12 languages. Rabbi Kushner is internationally recognized for his writings and the comfort and guidance which they provide. He holds six honorary degrees and has received numerous distinguishing awards, including the Christopher Medal and The Yitzhak Rabin Award. In 1995, he was honored as one of 50 people who have made the world a better place in the past 50 years. He also serves on the Board of Directors for The Giving Back Fund, a non-profit organization devoted to encouraging and facilitating philanthropic efforts of professional athletes and entertainers.
Suzette Kushner was born in Omaha, Nebraska and received her Masters in Health Education from Columbia University. She and Harold raised two children, including Aaron, who died of Progeria in 1977 at the age of fourteen. Among other things, she brings to the Board her knowledge of and experience with Progeria-related issues from a parent’s perspective.
George M. Martin, MD
Dr. Martin is a Professor Emeritus (Active) in the Department of Pathology at the University of Washington and Director Emeritus of the University of Washington's Alzheimer's Disease Research Center. His research has involved genetic approaches to elucidate the pathobiology of aging and age-related diseases. This has included basic research leading to the discovery of the genetic defect causing the Werner syndrome ("Progeria of the Adult") and certain familial forms of Alzheimer's disease. His laboratory was also the first to demonstrate the rising frequencies, with age, of somatic mutations in human epithelial cells. At a more clinical level, Dr. Martin has systematized our knowledge of human genetic disorders from the point of view of their rich potential to elucidate specific.shtmlects of the senescent phenotype and used this analysis to make inferences concerning the polygenic basis of aging.
More recent research has utilized genetic engineering in mice to elucidate mechanisms of aging and Alzheimer's disease. His honors have included election to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences and a Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Alzheimer Congress. He currently serves as the Scientific Director of the American Federation of Aging Research, President of the Gerontological Society of America and Editor-in-Chief of the Science of Aging Knowledge Environment (SAGE KE) web site of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.
Robert K. Morrison
Bob Morrison graduated from Williams College in 1953. He is the Co-Founder and Co-Chairman of Harvey Industries, Inc., one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of specialty building products in the northeast. He is also Director and Member of the Executive Committee of Lumber Mutual Insurance Companies. He is formerly Director and Executive Committee Member of Bank Boston and Venture Economics Publishing Company, and a former Trustee of Newton-Wellesley Hospital and Noble & Greenough School.
Elizabeth G. Nabel, MD
Betsy Nabel has served as President of Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) since 2010. A cardiologist and distinguished biomedical researcher, Dr. Nabel is Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, and former Director of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Her honors include the Amgen-Scientific Achievement Award; two Distinguished Achievement Awards and the Eugene Braunwald Academic Mentorship Award from the American Heart Association; the Lewis Katz Research Prize in Cardiovascular Research from Columbia University; and six honorary doctorates. Her colleagues have elected her to the American Academy of the Arts and Sciences, the Institute of Medicine, the Association of American Physicians, and the American Society of Clinical Investigation. She is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, is on the editorial board for the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine, and is editor of Scientific American Medicine.
Dr. Nabel has been a champion for global health. At the NHLBI, she established Centers of Excellence in developing countries to combat cardiovascular and lung diseases. At BWH she helped create a national teaching hospital in Haiti and is advancing training for clinicians in under-resourced countries. An accomplished physician-scientist, her work on the molecular genetics of cardiovascular diseases has produced17 patents and more than 250 scientific publications.
A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, Dr. Nabel attended Weill Cornell Medical College and completed her internal medicine and cardiology training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She and her husband Gary, who is the Chief Scientific Officer for Sanofi, have three children, all of whom are pursuing careers in medicine.
Robert Schwartzberg, CFRE
Bob Schwartzberg retired in June, 2009 from The University of Washington where he had served as Director of Development for the UW's Friday Harbor Laboratories on San Juan Island, in Washington State. He continues his involvement in fund raising as Principal of SbergDev, a fundraising consulting firm that specializes in working with small and grass roots non-profit organizations and serves as an adjunct instructor at Indiana University's Center on Philanthropy where he is a Senior Associate.
Bob has more than 30 years of leadership and professional experience in fundraising and has been directly involved in raising more than $50 million dollars for non-profit organizations. Bob is also an accomplished trainer and motivational speaker with demonstrated strengths in membership, marketing, sales development, program implementation and involvement of corporate and community leaders. He has conducted popular sales training and fund raising seminars for numerous groups including Fortune 500 corporations, national and international businesses, business schools, the Association of Fundraising Professionals and major marketing and professional organizations.
Bob has a Graduate Certificate in Public Relations from American University and a Bachelors Degree from the City University of New York at Queens College. In 1992 he received his CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) accreditation from the Association of Fund Raising Professionals (AFP).