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.

Bonnie Shepherd, Vice Chair, 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.

Paul Lester, TreasurerRaleigh, 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.

Stephen Fenoglio, Esq., Recording Secretary, 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.

Deanna Angello, M.B.A., San Francisco, CA, has served various marketing, analytics and strategy roles since 2004, when she joined Pfizer as part of its Finance Leadership Development Program. In 2015, she took on a Commercial Strategy role for Genentech in San Francisco, leading strategic initiatives, including development of a corporate strategy for biosimilar entry, across the U.S. organization. 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.

Matthew Hatfield, Esq., 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.

Daniel Hedaya, New York, NY, is the Managing Partner and President of Platinum Real Estate, a suite of companies offering a range of real estate services to consumers, investors, and institutions. When he was in his teenage years, his father was afflicted with FTD; he passed away in 2009. Though his passing was a painful loss, his father has inspired him to become intimately involved with AFTD and drives his motivation for greater awareness, research, and ultimately hope for a cure. Daniel has led a successful grassroots campaign and served as co-chair for AFTD’s inaugural Hope Rising benefit.

Kacy Kunesh, Austin, TX, is a Communications Consultant with expertise in communication strategy, business development, public affairs, speaking and presentations, sales, and marketing. She graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Studies. Her international career, combined with being an avid adventurer, has taken her to over 29 countries. Kacy moved back to Texas in 2010 to help take care of her mother, Donna Kunesh, when she was diagnosed with bvFTD after 4.5 years of misdiagnosis.

Kathy Mele, New York, 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.

Brian Rose, New York, NY, is an Institutional Relationship Manager at Credit Suisse. His expertise is in financial statement analysis, budgeting and capital expenditure analysis. Brian’s mother is afflicted with FTD and he has become an avid supporter of AFTD by organizing successful events for the annual Food for Thought campaigns. He would like to seek out best practices from his philanthropic contacts to raise awareness of FTD and gain usable knowledge for fundraising and governance.

Michael Stowell, Ph.D., Boulder, CO, is an Associate Professor of molecular biology at the University of Colorado, Boulder. His laboratory focuses on study of the molecular and supramolecular structures that facilitate communication between neurons at the chemical synapse. Michael’s stepfather died of bvFTD; he has been a long-time sponsor of AFTD’s annual conference and since the summer of 2016 has served on AFTD’s Research 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.