Board of Directors
Gail Andersen, Chair, Mason, OH, is retired from Procter & Gamble after a 31-year career. Most recently she served as Associate Director of Innovation. Gail’s husband died in 2012 at the age of 56 with bvFTD and ALS. Ms. Andersen brings important experience in strategic planning and project management to the board. She served on AFTD’s Task Force for Families with Children, and she and her children have held several fundraisers for AFTD. She is very interested in research.
Jary Larsen, Ph.D., Immediate Past Chair, San Francisco, CA, is a research psychologist at the East Bay Institute for Research and Education. In addition to his professional interest in FTD research, Dr. Larsen is committed to research on a personal level. He has a brother who has been diagnosed with FTD.
Debbie Fenoglio, Vice Chair, Denver, CO, is a retired nurse whose husband, Dr. Michael Fenoglio, was a prominent surgeon in Denver. He was diagnosed with FTD a few years ago and had a sister who died of FTD at age 56. Ms. Fenoglio is particularly interested in research and program development.
Paul Lester, Treasurer, Raleigh, North Carolina, is a Services Operation Manager at Toshiba Global Commerce Solutions; he has worked for IBM/TGCS for the past 30 years. Mr. Lester has been involved with AFTD for many years, participating in the AFTD Task Force on Families with Children and in the parents’ phone support group. His wife, Arnette, passed away in 2013 at the age of 61. Mr. Lester is particularly interested in AFTD fund development.
Bonnie Shepherd, Recording Secretary, Salt Lake City, UT, retired from Hewlett Packard in 2002 after a 30-year-plus career in the computer industry. Her husband, Ned, was diagnosed with frontotemporal degeneration in 2007 and passed away in 2011. She was appointed to the Utah State Task force for Alzheimer’s and was successful in adding related dementias verbiage to the final plan that was approved by the state legislature. Ms. Shepherd facilitates an FTD Caregiver Support group and works to educate the community on FTD and the many faces of brain degeneration. She recounted her family’s journey with FTD on a recent podcast.
Deanna Angello, M.B.A., San Francisco, CA, has served various marketing, analytics and strategy roles since joining Pfizer in 2004 as part of the Finance Leadership Development Program. She is currently the Director, New Product Planning & Business Development for the US Brands portfolio for Established Products. Ms. Angello holds an MBA in Strategic Management and Finance from Kelley School of Business, Indiana University, and a BS in Psychology from the University of Pittsburgh. She is an avid triathlete and marathon runner, and loves pushing her limits. She trekked to Everest Base Camp in Nepal as part of her fundraising for AFTD in April 2012 in honor of her father who has FTD.
Steve Bellwoar, Phoenixville, PA, is President and CEO of Colonial Electric Supply Co. Inc. He has a BS in Marketing and a BS in Computer-based Management Systems, both from Clarkson University. Mr. Bellwoar’s mother is diagnosed with FTD.
Rick Childs, M.B.A., C.F.A., Scituate, MA, is Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer at the SRB Corporation, an investment advisory firm that offers financial planning, consulting and investment management services. Mr. Childs earned his B.A. in Economics and M.B.A. in Management, both from Harvard University and his Chartered Financial Analyst® (C.F.A.) designation in 1984. Deeply rooted in the Boston, MA area, his family established Harvard University’s first professorship in photography in honor of his grandfather, famed photographer Shirley Carter Burden. After his wife, Beatrice (Beezie), was diagnosed with PPA in 2010, he became an avid supporter of the Florence V. Burden Foundation, his family’s foundation, and joined AFTD’s Board of Directors in 2016.
Helen-Ann Comstock, Perkasie, PA, is the founder of AFTD. Her husband, Craig, was diagnosed with FTD at age 44 in 1978 and died seven years later. In order to increase research funding for frontotemporal degeneration and to provide information and support to those coping with FTD, Ms. Comstock formed the AFTD in 2002 and served as its board chair until 2010. Ms. Comstock continues to spearhead the organization’s international efforts and serves on the research and advocacy committees. The Comstock Respite and Travel Grant Program is named in her honor and the foundation she has laid for the organization.
Stephen Fenoglio, Esq., Austin, TX, runs his own law practice in the city, specializing in: administrative, gaming, utility, oil and gas law; legislative analysis and bill drafting; business transactions and contract negotiations; and litigation. He has represented hundreds of nonprofit organizations in matters before federal and state courts and agencies, and actively supports The Arc of the Capital Area and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation. Steve lost two siblings to FTD: His sister Libby Webb, a Wichita Falls teacher and school principal died at age 56 in 2010, and his brother Michael Fenoglio, a prominent Denver surgeon, died at age 57 in 2012. An active participant in his community, Steve chairs the Austin area’s FTD support group.
Matthew Hatfield, Tampa, FL, is an attorney with the law firm of Johnson Pope Bokor Ruppel & Burns, LLP. Matt practices in the areas of health care law and corporate and commercial transactions. He assists health care providers and health care companies with a wide variety of business, corporate and compliance matters. Matt earned his undergraduate degree from Yale University and attended Stetson University College of Law for law school. With the help of family and friends, Matt created the Robert M. Hatfield Foundation, Inc. – a charitable organization that hosts an annual golf tournament to raise funds in support of the AFTD’s mission. Having lost his father Robert to FTD in 2010, Matt has a personal connection to FTD and joined the AFTD Board of Directors in 2016.
Susan Laden, Washington, D.C., is Publisher for the Biblical Archaeology Society, a nondenominational nonprofit dedicated to educating the public about archaeology and the Bible. She lost her husband, the economist Dr. Ben E. Laden, to FTD in January 2009. Her family has donated generously to AFTD, including through the Laden Memorial Fund named fund.
Kathy Mele, New York City, NY, has been an elementary school teacher and a teacher of English as a second language. Currently, she is Chair of the Board of National Dance Institute, an organization that teaches dance in the New York City public schools. Other interests in the non-profit world include The Paper Bag Players, a children’s theater group whose board she chaired from 2000-2009 and Citizens Committee for Children, a city and state advocacy group. She is passionate about supporting AFTD because her mother has suffered from Primary Progressive Aphasia for the past fifteen years.
Lisa Radin, Las Vegas, NV, a special events consultant for the Alzheimer’s Association Delaware Valley Chapter, was a caregiver to her husband, Neil, who died from corticobasal degeneration. She has facilitated FTD support groups in Pennsylvania and New Jersey and currently facilitates one in Las Vegas. Ms. Radin, with her son, Gary, conceived and edited the first book ever dedicated to providing information to FTD caregivers: What If It’s Not Alzheimer’s?: A Caregiver’s Guide to Dementia. She was a founding member of AFTD and has devoted her time and expertise in the areas of caregiving and the organizing of FTD Conferences.
Popkin Shenian, Philadelphia, PA, is the principal and owner of The Shenian Company, a commercial real estate firm. His father had corticobasal degeneration and his mother was a founding board member of AFTD. Mr. Shenian has advocated for AFTD and our community’s interest with Senator Arlen Specter and twice has been key in getting verbiage about FTD research funding into the Budget Appropriations Committee document. He also serves on AFTD’s advocacy committee.
Beth Walter, Sacramento, CA, co-founding partner of a commercial real estate development company of 35 years and civic leader, lost her husband, Mike, and four of his family members to FTD/ALS. To honor his memory, she created the Mike Walter Fund for Research to support AFTD’s research initiatives. An active supporter of GRE events, Ms. Walter also founded The Walter Charitable Fund and has facilitated the “Quest for the Cure” golf tournament fundraisers since 2007, raising resources to advance research efforts and share knowledge about FTD. Ms. Walter served as AFTD’s Board Chair from 2010-2013, succeeding its founder.
John Whitmarsh, Ph.D., Los Angeles, CA, has a Ph.D. in Physics and worked as a professor of biophysics at the University of Illinois from 1981-2002. He worked at NIH from 2003-2010 in the Institute of General Medical Sciences, where his passion was to foster an innovative approach to scientific research and education. Mr. Whitmarsh’s wife, who is diagnosed with FTD, was a scientist at NIH as well.