Susan Dickinson, M.S., CGC, joined AFTD as Executive Director in February 2008. She is a certified genetic counselor with more than 20 years’ experience facilitating communications among lay, scientific and medical communities for the benefit of patients, their families and the professionals who work on their behalf. Most recently Ms. Dickinson worked as a freelance writer and consultant to a number of rare disease patient advocacy organizations. She has worked with AFTD since shortly after its inception, writing and editing the organization’s newsletter and other publications.
Sharon S. Denny, M.A., joined AFTD as Program Director in September 2008. She has more than 25 years experience with nonprofit organizations that serve people with disabilities and their families. Her concentration has been on the development and delivery of innovative, responsive services to some of the most vulnerable people in our community, including those with serious psychiatric illness and traumatic brain injury. Sharon brings this commitment to AFTD where she directs our caregiver support and educational initiatives.
Nadine Tatton, Ph.D., joined AFTD as Scientific Director in June 2013. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a neuroscientist in basic science and translational research, combined with technology transfer and business development expertise. She has a personal connection to ALS, having been a family caregiver and is deeply committed to the translation of scientific discoveries into treatment opportunities that will benefit patients and caregivers alike in FTD and other neurodegenerative disorders.
Kerri Barthel, M.S.W., joined AFTD as Volunteer Manager in September of 2012. She has over 13 years of experience advocating for and supporting the needs of individuals, with life-threatening and debilitating diseases, and their families. Her extensive background includes developing and implementing effective programs and a passion for volunteering. Her volunteer work includes spearheading and managing a grassroots advocacy coalition in Pennsylvania for four years and completing two international missions through Doctors Without Borders. Kerri’s skills and experiences will be used to strengthen and develop the AFTD volunteer network.
Michelle Leahy joined AFTD as Office Manager in August 2009. She has 20 plus years of management and residential design experience in the private sector. Her position changed to Business Manager in the summer of 2012. Michelle is responsible for the management of business operations, internal control systems, annual audit efficiency, HR policy and compliance and donation processes. She also oversees logistical aspects of AFTD-hosted conferences.
Pamela E. McGonigle, M.A., joined AFTD as Development Manager in April 2011. She has more than 12 years of significant experience and achievements in nonprofit organizations with a proven track record in developing and implementing fundraising strategies, plans and programs that yield enhanced visibility and increased revenue streams. Currently Pam serves on the board of directors for NOAH, another rare disease organization. Pam is a Paralympic gold medalist, and for the past 20 years she has been an active spokesperson for persons with disabilities.
Matthew Sharp, M.S.S., joined the staff in December 2009 as Program Coordinator. Having earned his Master of Social Service degree from Bryn Mawr College’s Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research, he made a career transition to social services from the field of natural sciences. Matt also has a personal connection to FTD, as his father-in-law was recently diagnosed with the disease. Matt is integral to AFTD’s patient and caregiver support and education efforts, and is responsible for development of AFTD’s Grassroots Network.
Grassroots Events Coordinator
Liz Neal joined AFTD in September 2012 as the Development and Marketing Assistant. She has a degree in mass communication with a specialization in public relations. In June of 2014 Liz’s position changed to Grassroots Events Coordinator. In this position Liz will be responsible for working with events hosts and overseeing AFTD campaigns.
Development & Business Assistant
Brian Hannagan joined the staff in July 2014 as Development & Business Assistant. Brian is a 2014 Temple University graduate with a BA in English. Brian has completed a 6 month development internship at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This experience and several introductory accounting courses will support him in his job responsibilities.