Board of Directors

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David Pfeifer | Chair

Denver, CO
David is a graduate of the University of Cincinnati College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning. He is president of Anderson Mason Dale Architects in Denver. In his 25 years with the firm he has led teams designing a diverse array of projects with an emphasis on university and college science and research facilities, some of which have won awards for outstanding design. David’s wife, Cathy, was diagnosed with FTD in 2014 at the age of 47. David placed Cathy in an assisted living facility early in 2016, and she passed away December 2016. Their children were 17, 15 and 13 at the time. A host and collaborator in multiple Denver AFTD events, as well as our Hope Rising Benefit and other national efforts, David brings to AFTD a passion for finding treatments and a cure before FTD can affect another generation.

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Kimberly Pang Torres | Vice Chair

Skillman, NJ
Kimberly is a Supply Chain Professional at Johnson & Johnson with over 15 years of experience in the health care industry. Throughout her career, she has held leadership positions in Procurement, Planning and Distribution within the J&J Pharmaceutical and Consumer Products segments. Kim’s mom, Jackie, was diagnosed with bvFTD in February 2017, just a few days before her 61st birthday. Shortly after Jackie’s diagnosis, the Pang Torres Family became an active AFTD grassroots fundraising team through the Philadelphia Marathon and Food for Thought campaigns. With a passion for people and community, Kim hopes that her work on the AFTD Board will help to provide hope for other families facing an FTD diagnosis.

Brian Rose

Brian Rose | Treasurer

New York, NY
Brian is an Institutional Relationship Manager at Credit Suisse. In addition to having experience managing relationship with senior executives of large financial institutions, he has expertise is in financial statement analysis, budgeting and capital expenditure analysis. Brian’s mother is afflicted with FTD, and he has become an avid AFTD supporter by organizing successful events for AFTD’s Food for Thought campaign as well as serving on the Hope Rising planning committee. He continues to seek out best practices from philanthropic contacts to raise FTD awareness and gain usable knowledge for fundraising and governance.

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Kacy Kunesh | Recording Secretary

Austin, TX
Kacy is a business consultant with expertise in communications, strategic growth, sales and marketing. Her international career, combined with being an avid adventurer, has taken her to 32 countries. Kacy’s caregiver journey spans 12 years, starting as her mother endured four and a half years of misdiagnoses before being diagnosed with bvFTD. Kacy has played key volunteer roles in the AFTD’s Partners in FTD Care program, our 5K in Austin, and our Young Adult Facebook Support Group, and speaks publicly to advocate for greater awareness of FTD and the needs of caregivers. She joined AFTD’s Board in 2017.

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Halima Amjad, MD, PhD

Laurel, MD
Halima is assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in the Division of Geriatric Medicine and Gerontology. Dr. Amjad earned her medical degree from Drexel University, followed by residency in internal medicine at Yale New Haven Hospital and fellowship in geriatric medicine and gerontology at Johns Hopkins University. Her career focuses on the care of people living with dementia, informed by her own father’s diagnosis of primary progressive aphasia in 2009. She currently sees patients at the Johns Hopkins Memory and Alzheimer’s Treatment Center. Dr. Amjad’s NIH-funded research focuses on improving the care of individuals with dementia; her research interests include understanding outcomes in undiagnosed dementia, optimizing timely diagnosis and care, and improving health services provided to patients and families living with dementia.

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Gail Andersen

Jacksonville Beach, FL
Gail 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. Ms. Andersen served as AFTD’s Board Chair from 2016-2020.

Chris Barrow of JPMorgan/Chase, Philadelphia, PA.  Photo / Curt Hudson

Christian Barrow

Montreal, Quebec
Christian is an Executive Director with J.P. Morgan’s Life Sciences banking team, where he helps biotech, specialty pharmaceutical, specialty pharmacy, medical device, medtech, medical diagnostics and contract research organizations gain access to J.P. Morgan’s well-known healthcare commercial and investment banking resources. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry with roles that have spanned public accounting to banking.

Rita Choula

Rita Choula, M.A.

Beltsville, MD
Rita is the Director of Caregiving with the AARP Public Policy Institute, where she manages and provides content expertise on family caregiving initiatives, specifically focused on identifying and supporting the needs of multicultural family caregivers. Rita’s mother was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD (bvFTD) and passed away in October 2020. Rita understands the balancing act that people with loved ones affected by FTD must take on— having served as her mother’s caregiver for several years, while working full time and parenting two young children. She joined AFTD’s Board in 2021.

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Helen-Ann Comstock

Perkasie, PA
Helen-Ann 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 Executive and Governance Committees. The Comstock Respite and Travel Grant Program is named in her honor and the foundation she has laid for the organization.

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Sandra Grow

Massillon, OH
Sandra is a registered nurse with nearly four decades of experience; she currently works part time as a Quality Nurse at the Ohio Anesthesia Group. In 2007, her husband Karl – a former air traffic controller in the U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserve and a U.S. postal worker – was diagnosed with FTD. Sandra’s involvement with AFTD dates back nearly 10 years. She has co-facilitated a support group in Akron, co-presented a webinar with AFTD Program Director Sharon Denny, and is a current advisor to AFTD’s Partners in FTD Care initiative.

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Daniel Hedaya

New York, NY
Daniel is the Managing Partner of the real estate investment company DAX Real Estate. When he was in his teenage years, his father was afflicted with FTD; he passed away in 2009. Though this was a painful loss, Daniel’s father has inspired him to become intimately involved with AFTD, and drives his motivation for greater awareness, research, and the hope for a cure. Daniel has led a successful grassroots campaign and served as co-chair for AFTD’s Hope Rising benefit.

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Kristin Holloway

San Francisco, CA
Kristin is a communications professional with more than 10 years of experience as a strategist for high-growth technology companies. In addition to having experience in technology public relations, her expertise includes media and analyst relations, campaign management, strategic and crisis communications, project management and technical content creation. In April 2017, her husband Lee Holloway, a gifted technology pioneer who co-founded the web security and performance company Cloudflare, was diagnosed with behavioral variant FTD. To honor Lee’s legacy, Kristin and the Holloway family established The Holloway Fund for Help and Hope at AFTD in 2019. Kristin is passionate about raising funds to help others as they navigate their FTD journey, as well as supporting cutting-edge research to advance treatments.

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Jary Larsen, PhD

San Francisco, CA
Jary is a licensed neuropsychologist and currently is affiliated with the Neuropsychology Service at the University of California, San Francisco/Zuckerberg San Francisco General Hospital (UCSF/ZSFG) and the Cognitive Neuropsychology and Electrophysiology (CNE) Laboratory at VA Northern California, where he has also served as the Chair of the Institutional Review Board (human research ethics board) since 2012. He previously served on the AFTD Board from 2010-2017, and was Board Chair from 2013-2016. Jary’s brother, who was diagnosed with FTD in 2006, died in 2013.

Joseph Marquez

Joseph Marquez, M.D.

Seattle, WA
Joseph is a urologist and founder and head of the Department of Urology at a large multispecialty practice in Seattle, WA. He has an undergraduate degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz and his M.D. from Northwestern University, and he completed his internship and residency in urology at the University of Minnesota. Joseph has been recognized for pioneering many emergent technologies and techniques for urologic and prostate treatments. FTD has had a significant impact on his life, affecting his beloved aunt, who passed away in 2017. He was grateful to have a medical background that enabled him to shepherd his aunt and his family through the journey of progressive bvFTD, connecting her with and enrolling family members in therapeutic and observational trials at the University of California, San Francisco. He joined AFTD’s Board in 2021.

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Kathy Newhouse Mele

New York, NY
Kathy has been an elementary school teacher and a teacher of English as a second language. Currently she is chair of the Angel Shine Foundation, which supports dance education. Other interests in the nonprofit world include National Dance Institute, providing dance classes in the New York City public schools; The Paper Bag Players, a children’s theater group; and Citizens Committee for Children, a city and state advocacy organization. She is passionate about supporting AFTD because her mother suffered from primary progressive aphasia (PPA) for more than 15 years, and an unrelated uncle passed away from PPA as well.

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Donald E. Newhouse

Lambertville, NJ
Donald E. Newhouse and his brother Samuel I. Newhouse Jr. (known as Si) were senior executives at Advance Publications and Newhouse Broadcasting Co. Donald retired in 2019. He became a member of the Board of the American Newspaper Publishers Association in 1983. The ANPA changed its name to the Newspaper Association of America and Mr. Newhouse served as its Chairman from 1993 to 1994. He was elected to the Board of Directors of the Associated Press in 1988, and served as Chairman of the AP’s Board from 1997 to 2001. He served on the Syracuse University Board of Trustees, and is an Honorary Trustee. Mr. Newhouse was married to Susan Marley in 1955; she was diagnosed with primary progressive aphasia (PPA) in 2003, and died in 2015. Si Newhouse was diagnosed with PPA in 2014 and died in 2017. A generous donor and committed AFTD volunteer, Mr. Newhouse has played a pivotal lead role in the AFTD’s Hope Rising Benefit since its inception in 2016.

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Kristin Schneeman

Westport, CT
Kristin is a Director at the Washington, D.C. think tank FasterCures, a subsidiary of the Milken Institute. Kristin has primary responsibility for FasterCures’ innovation portfolio of projects and activities, focused on best practices in the funding and conduct of medical research, and innovative collaborations to advance treatments and cures for a range of diseases and conditions. Her work focuses on best practices in the funding and conduct of medical research, as well as fostering innovative collaborations to advance research. Kristin’s father was diagnosed with FTD and passed away in 2007. She joined the AFTD Board’s Research Committee in 2019 and became an AFTD Board member in 2021.

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Michael Stowell, PhD

Boulder, CO
Michael 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.