Corporate Officers and Staff
Audrey Gordon, ESQ.
President and Executive Director
Working closely with the Board of Directors, committees, 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 member of the Peabody Chamber of Commerce, on the Board of the Peabody Rotary Club, 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. Under her leadership as PRF’s founding President and Executive Director, PRF was first awarded a 4-star Charity Navigator rating (which has endured for the past 5 years), and PRF received Research!America’s 2014 Paul G. Rogers Distinguished Organization Advocacy Award for bringing progeria from obscurity to the forefront of successful translational research.
Leslie Gordon, MD, PhD
Leslie 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 9 National Institutes of Health-funded, international scientific meetings on Progeria. She is Professor of Pediatrics Research at Hasbro Children’s Hospital and the Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Research Scientist at Women & Infants Hospital in Providence, RI; Research Associate in Anesthesia at Harvard 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 four 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.
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.
Paula L. Kelly, CPA
Paula is an Assistant Professor of Accounting at Dean College, teaching Financial and Managerial Accounting for the past five years. Prior to that she worked for Citrin Cooperman (formerly Kirkland Albrecht & Fredrickson, P.C.) providing accounting and tax services to individuals and small businesses. She also worked as the Director of Corporate Accounting for Dunkin’ Donuts managing financial reporting and the budgeting process. She earned an M.B.A from Providence College and is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.
Director of Operations
Gina works closely with the Executive Director and staff to ensure all financial, human resources, and other operational policies and procedures are followed. All so The Progeria Research Foundation runs as efficiently and effectively as possible. She has held different positions at The Progeria Research Foundation and is enthusiastic about her new role, which began in April 2019! Gina is a graduate of Salem State University.
Donor Relations Director and Social Media Coordinator
Lynne oversees Donor Development (donation tracking, solicitation, data entry, donor recognition) and created and maintains PRF’s social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, CrowdRise, FirstGiving, and more!).
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 part time administration as National Sales Assistant at Epic Records and Office Assistant at Universal Distribution.
Event Director and Development Officer
Michelle manages all PRF in-house events including our signature Night of Wonder Gala, Cure Cup Classic Golf Tournament and International Race for Research 5K road race. She manages a portfolio of enthusiastic donors and works closely with our PRF Chapters. Media contact, Life According to Sam curriculum lead and many other special projects make life exciting at PRF! Michelle is a graduate of Bridgewater State University and has an MBA from Simmons University.
Senior Development Officer
Lytta works with the Development team to implement fundraising initiatives, create key messages and materials, and build relationships with long-term donors.
Previously, Lytta was Director of Development at James L. McKeown Boys & Girls Club in Woburn, MA; prior to that she spent eight years in Advancement at the Museum of Science, Boston. Lytta graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, where she began her fundraising career as a student caller for the university’s Annual Fund.
Office Manager/Executive Assistant
Kristine is PRF’s Office Manager and Executive Assistant supporting the daily functions of the President and Executive Director. Her work experience includes ten plus years working in the Treasury and Private Banking divisions of a major bank as well as several years of Real Estate sales experience. Kristine is excited for the opportunity to work in an environment that is making a difference for those who are most vulnerable. Kristine is a Salem State graduate with a BS in Business.
Part-time Executive Administrative Assistant
Christina is the part-time Executive Administrative Assistant to the Medical Director and Co-Founder of Progeria Research Foundation, Dr. Leslie Gordon.
In this position, Christina provides support and manages an extremely active calendar for Dr. Gordon and serves as the primary contact with hospitals, researchers, clinicians, and families throughout the world for scheduling meetings, communications and conference calls.
Christina has earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Northeastern University. She has a varied background as an Executive Administrative Assistant, Marketing Manager, and Product Manager. Her attention to detail and motivation to helping others has made it possible to be successful in previous positions.
Karen Gordon Betournay, CPDT-KA, AABP-CDT
Web Site Coordinator
Working closely with the PRF Staff, 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, Inc, providing training and behavior counseling for canines. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband David, twin girls Paige and Skyler, dogs Jazz and Logan, and cat Freddie Mercury.
As communications manager for the foundation, Eleanor is responsible for working cross-functionally to develop strategic communications that help advance the foundation’s efforts to maximize awareness and engagement among all of PRF’s key audiences. These strategies include public outreach campaigns, editorial support, content development, social media outreach, website maintenance, and media engagements.
Joining us in April 2019, Eleanor brings a background in marketing communications and brand development to the PRF team, along with 15 years’ experience in the healthcare space. Before joining PRF, she worked for six years in an agency setting, with Porter Novelli and Corinth Group Communications, where she supported clients in a variety of industries, including nonprofit, biotech, pharmaceutical, health tech, and med devices. Prior to that, she was marketing manager for Dynasil Products, where she supported the rebranding and relaunch of the company’s medical devices.
Eleanor earned her BS in business management from Skidmore College, with a minor in studio art.
Odette came to Progeria Research in March of 2015 and works closely with the Development Team as the part-time Donor Services Assistant. She is responsible for the day-to-day input of gifts into the database and running the corresponding letters of receipt, as well as monitoring the Match Gifts Program. Before coming to PRF, she worked for 15 years as the Administrative Assistant and Database Manager for the Development Office at Austin Preparatory School. She has a Bachelor of Science degree from Boston University. In her spare time she manages her family summer home in Maine, travels the world with her husband and helps take care of their 5 grandchildren.
Patient Programs Coordinator
Kelsey works closely with families of children with Progeria, coordinating all travel logistics for their trips to Boston from around the world, so they can participate in our clinical trials. She is looking forward to meeting them during their visits. She also works with the coordinators from participating Boston hospitals to schedule clinical trial visits. Kelsey joined PRF in June of 2019 with a background in marine biology and anthropology. She continues to be a dedicated board member at The BeatHeart Foundation, a nonprofit focusing on art, music, and addiction recovery/awareness, which she helped to create in 2017. Previously, she worked for Northeastern University’s Three Seas Program in marine biology, where she helped to coordinate travel, field, and lab work with various international scientific institutions. Kelsey is also a SCUBA Instructor and enjoys travelling, hiking, and gardening in her free time. She holds a Master of Science in marine biology from Northeastern University and is also a 2012 graduate of St. Lawrence University.
Executive Administrative Assistant
Lynn joined the PRF team to provide administrative support to the Foundation’s leadership, including the President/Executive Director and Medical Director.