LANDOVER, Md., July 17, 2019/PRNewswire/ -- Epilepsy Foundation announced today it has elected three new board members who bring their professional expertise and personal epilepsy journeys to the Foundation's already strong Board of Directors. The newest board members include: David Hawk, person with epilepsy and chief executive officer and chairman of Hawk Investments; Adam Kaller, parent of a teen with epilepsy and equity partner at Hansen Jacobson; and Rebekah Walker, parent of a child with epilepsy.
"We are excited to welcome these epilepsy warriors and visionary leaders to continue to strengthen the leadership and impact of our board," said Robert W. Smith, chair of the Epilepsy Foundation's Board of Directors. "David, Adam and Rebekah embody the Foundation's spirit of innovation and good stewardship. I am confident that their unique and diverse backgrounds, insightful perspectives and commitment to our cause complement and enhance our already exceptional board. I look forward to working closely with them to build upon our strategic vision to support the 3.4 million people in the U.S. affected by epilepsy and advance our efforts to END EPILEPSY®."
Hawk was diagnosed with epilepsy 25 years ago and for five years, experienced uncontrollable seizures and side effects from his seizure medications. It wasn't until he had surgery in 1998 at Mayo Clinic that he achieved seizure freedom. Hawk was instrumental in establishing the Mayo Clinic Advanced Epilepsy Imaging project and continues to support epilepsy research efforts.
Kaller is father to Audrey, who at 13 began having seizures. The Kaller family spent countless days in and out of ambulances, hospitals and doctors' offices. In spite of the anxiety and exhaustion caused by epilepsy, Kaller and family decided to fight for themselves and for others by embarking on efforts to increase funding for epilepsy awareness, research and programs. Kaller is also a member of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Board of Trustees.
Walker is mother to Braylon, who in 2017 had his first seizure followed by more seizures and a diagnosis of nocturnal frontal lobe epilepsy. Since, Walker has become a staunch advocate for her son and others living with epilepsy. She is part of the Epilepsy Foundation's Athletes vs Epilepsy initiative and has spearheaded several epilepsy fundraising and awareness efforts in her local community.
The Foundation recently re-appointed Smith as board chair for another term and appointed Bradley P. Boyer, Esq., as chair-elect. Boyer, partner at Kutak Rock LLP and father of a teen with a severe form of epilepsy, currently serves on the board as secretary. He is joined by vice chair Brooke E. Gordon, a philanthropist and woman with epilepsy; and treasurer Roger Heldman, a person with epilepsy. They join current board members:
- Steven Baum, Co-Founder & COO, IronChain Capital, California
- Mark Borman, The Borman Group, LLC, California
- Aly Clift, Executive Director, Epilepsy Foundation of Georgia
- Tony Coelho, Founding Partner, Vectis Strategies, Pennsylvania
- Frank M. Fischer, President and CEO, NeuroPace, Inc., California
- Stephanie Fokas, Chairman of the Board, Epilepsy Foundation Texas - Houston/Dallas-Fort Worth/West Texas
- Phil Gattone, M.Ed, President and CEO, Epilepsy Foundation, Maryland
- Rick Harrison, Owner, World Famous Gold and Silver Pawn "Pawn Stars," Nevada
- Cynthia Hudson, Senior VP and General Manager, CNN en Español and Hispanic Strategy for CNN/U.S., Florida
- May Liang, Co-Founder; General Counsel and Chief Financial Officer, OpenConcept Systems, Inc., Virginia
- Daniel Moore, Chairman, LivaNova, PLC, Texas
- Jeffrey Parent, Gulf States Toyota, Texas
- Geoff Pope, MBA, Vice President, Aon Risk Solutions, Pennsylvania
- Steven C. Schachter, MD, Professor of Neurology, Consortia for Improving Medicine with Innovation & Technology (CIMIT), Massachusetts
- Howard R. Soule, PhD, EVP, Discovery and Translation, Prostate Cancer Foundation
- Robert Wechsler, MD, PhD, Owner, Consultants in Epilepsy & Neurology, PLLC; Medical Director, Idaho Comprehensive, Idaho
- Steve Wulchin, Colorado
The Epilepsy Foundation's Board of Directors is responsible for governance and has fiduciary responsibility for the success of the organization and mission. Board officers and members serve on a voluntary basis and are initially appointed for a three-year term; they are eligible for two additional consecutive three-year terms. For more information about the Foundation's Board of Directors visit epilepsy.com/foundation-board.
According to the World Health Organization, epilepsy is the most common serious brain disorder worldwide with no age, racial, social class, national or geographic boundaries. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) estimates that 3.4 million people in the United States are affected by epilepsy. It is the underlying tendency of the brain to produce seizures which are sudden abnormal bursts of electrical energy that disrupt brain functions.
About the Epilepsy Foundation
With a network of nearly 50 partners throughout the United States, the Foundation connects people to treatment, support and resources; leads advocacy efforts; funds innovative research and the training of specialists; and educates the public about epilepsy and seizure first aid. For more than five decades, the Epilepsy Foundation has shone a light on epilepsy to promote awareness and understanding, and to advocate for laws that matter to people with epilepsy, while also funding $65 million for epilepsy research and supporting 3,076 epilepsy investigators and specialists in their early careers. Over the past 17 years, in partnership with the CDC, the Epilepsy Foundation has helped to improve access to care for people with epilepsy, expanded its digital reach and online resources in homes across the country, and trained more than 500,000 school and community personnel in how to recognize seizures and administer Seizure First Aid. The Foundation has also assisted more than 108,000 people through its 24/7 Helpline in the past five years, and continues to focus on innovation, new therapies, community services, advocacy and education as key priorities. To learn more visit epilepsy.com or call 1.800.332.1000. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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SOURCE Epilepsy Foundation