It takes collaboration of great minds, great brands and great passion to successfully foster our global mission to empower women to make smart consumer choices. We are honored to showcase this extraordinary group of leaders committed to our mission to empower women and to raise the standards of customer experience for all.
HEALTHCARE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Chief Executive Officer
Pullman Regional Hospital
Scott Adams was raised in southern California and attended college at Brigham Young University. In 1982, Scott completed his master’s degree in Health Administration and moved with his wife Sharon to Roanoke, Virginia to conclude his residency training as part of his master’s degree. In Roanoke he had the opportunity to work at Roanoke Memorial Hospital and be involved with a large tertiary teaching hospital.While there Scott obtained much of his understanding of hospitals and their relationships with their communities and their patients.
In 1984, Scott and Sharon moved with their family to Wythville, Virginia where he was appointed the administrator of Wythe County Community Hospital, a 106-bed community hospital serving southwest Virginia. For eight years Scott and Sharon had the opportunity to contribute to the Wythville community through their participation in school activities, sports events, and other community service endeavors. Four of Scott and Sharon’s five children were born in Virginia and in 1992 they were given the opportunity to move to Pullman, Washington, where Scott was appointed the administrator at Pullman Regional Hospital. Scott’s leadership has guided Pullman Regional Hospital from their surroundings as part of the Washington State University campus to a state-of-the art, new hospital facility located on Bishop Blvd., in Pullman. The 95,000 sq. ft. facility boasts the latest in medical, as well as information technology resulting in additional capabilities and services to better meet the needs of the Palouse region. Full-time MRI services are now available as well as a full service intensive care unit. The expansion of services in obstetrics, surgery, and psychiatric care are also part of the improvements made in the time that Scott has been a part of Pullman Regional Hospital. In addition to hospital developments, a part of the vision of Pullman Regional Hospital is to see the growth and development of a comprehensive care community. This is known as the Pullman Care Community which is being developed on the new hospital site.
Scott and Sharon are involved in many civic, church, and work related activities and continue to be active in the lives of their children. Scott and Sharon enjoy traveling, outdoor activities, participating with their family in sporting events and becoming loyal fans of the Washington State Cougars without any disloyalty to the Brigham Young University Cougars.
Deborah M. Angerami
Chief Operating Officer
Health First Viera Hospital
Deborah Angerami currently serves as the Chief Operating Officer for Health First’s Viera Hospital, a newly constructed 84-bed hospital in Brevard County, Florida. Viera Hospital, which opened on April 2, 2011, is the fourth hospital in the Health First Integrated Delivery System. In her first year as Chief Operating Officer, Deborah drove double-digit percentile improvement in patient satisfaction & quality metrics while exceeding budget projections by 20% in key services lines such as orthopedic & bariatric surgery.Health First’s Viera Hospital recently received a 5-star customer rating from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid, a recognition given to 6% of hospitals in the country.
Prior to her role as the Chief Operating Officer, Deborah served as the Vice President of Operations and oversaw the on time, under budget opening of Viera Hospital & Viera Medical Plaza. In this role, Deborah was responsible for the successful on boarding of more than 400 associates.
Deborah began her career in 2000 as an administrative resident with Health First Health Plans. After the successful completion of her residency, she held leadership roles within several entities of Health First, including Health First Health Plans & Health First Corporate as the Manager of Business Development.
In 2005, Deborah was promoted to an Administrative Director position with Health First’s Holmes Regional Medical Center, a 514 bed, level II, trauma center in Melbourne, Florida. During her tenure at Health First’s Holmes Regional she oversaw clinical operations and had operational responsibility for over 750 associates.
Deborah received her MBA & MHA from the University of Florida. Deborah has served as a preceptor for students affiliated with the University of Florida & the University of Central Florida.
She has served as a board member of The Daily Bread & as a member of the Melbourne Chamber of Commerce.
Deborah also teaches three fitness classes a week at Health First Pro Health & Fitness – Viera.
St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital
Aubel has been employed by Mercy Health for 25 years working her way up the ladder from administrative resident, fellowship and Administrative Director of Medical Affairs at St. Elizabeth Hospital, to VP of Ambulatory and Post-Acute Services and then Sr. VP, Boardman and Post-Acute Services for Humility of Mary Health Partners.She is responsible for providing strategic leadership for St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital and Mercy Health.
In 2006, Genie Aubel became president of Mercy Health’s St. Elizabeth Boardman Hospital. Aubel, a Canfield resident, planned from the ground up the multi-phased evolution of the campus that includes the cancer center, emergency and diagnostic center, wellness center, St. Elizabeth Boardman Health Center and the addition last year of a $100 million second tower that houses maternity services.
The original $100 million, 132-bed hospital opened in 2007 and was the first new hospital in the Valley since 1958. The campus now employs 800 workers and has annual gross revenues of $531 million. It has received the Healthgrades 2014 Outstanding Patient Experience award, Women’s Choice Award for Patient Experience and the Thomas Reuters Top 100 Community Hospitals in the U.S. award.
Aubel has a bachelor of arts degree in public administration at Miami University of Ohio and a master’s in hospital and health services administration from The Ohio State University.
Aubel and her husband, Dr. Steve Aubel, have two beautiful daughters and live in Ohio. Aubel also volunteers at the St. Vincent de Paul Soup Kitchen, is a member of the Boardman Civic Association, and is a board member for the Orthopedic Surgery Center. Aubel enjoys spending time with her family, gardening and traveling.
In May, 2015, Genie was selected to be the one women out of 16 to receive the 2015 Athena Award before a crowd of more than 500. The Athena Award, presented by the Regional Chamber and The Vindicator/vindy.com, is given annually to recognize area business and professional women who have demonstrated excellence in their chosen careers, provided leadership in the community and mentored or contributed to the growth of other professional women.
Eddie Beard, RN
Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer
Catawba Valley Medical Center
Eddie has held many positions in healthcare during his 31 years as a Registered Nurse, including staff nurse, nursing instructor, and nurse manager. He currently holds the position of Chief Operating Officer/Chief Nursing Officer of Catawba Valley Medical Center in Hickory, where he has been for over 27 years.He has held numerous state and national offices in professional organizations and is an ANCC Magnet Appraiser.
Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D.
President and Chief Executive Officer
Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute
Gerold Bepler, M.D., Ph.D., is a world-renowned thoracic oncologist who has spent his career researching risks, progression, treatments and outcomes related to lung cancer, with a special focus on non-small cell lung cancer. Dr. Bepler began his tenure as president and chief executive officer of the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit in February 2010.Karmanos is one of only 41 National Cancer Institute-designated, comprehensive cancer centers in the United States. In addition to his chief administrative duties, Dr. Bepler also serves as principal investigator of the National Cancer Institute Comprehensive Cancer Center Support Grant.
Prior to coming to Karmanos, Dr. Bepler was director of the Comprehensive Lung Cancer Research Center; department chair of Thoracic Oncology; and program leader of the Lung Cancer Program at the Moffitt Cancer Center in Tampa, FL. He also served as professor of Medicine and Oncology at the University of South Florida. Prior to joining the Moffitt Cancer Center, Dr. Bepler was director of the Lung Cancer Program at Roswell Park Cancer Institute in Buffalo, NY. He also held positions at Duke University Hospital and Durham VA Medical Center.
Dr. Bepler has secured more than $65 million in cancer-related research funding since the mid-1980s. He has published more than 168 peer-reviewed articles, including articles in the New England Journal of Medicine, the Journal of Clinical Oncology and Cancer Research. His awards and recognitions are numerous and include membership on the Women’s Choice Healthcare Advisory Board with WomenCertified Inc. (2014); an appointment to the Fleischner Society for Thoracic Imaging and Diagnosis (2012); the Moffitt Cancer Center’s Scientist of the Year (2008), the American College of Physicians Information and Education Resource Editorial Consultant (2007 – 2008), and he served on the Journal of Clinical Oncology Editorial Board (2006 – 2008). He also holds eight patents.
Dr. Bepler is a native of Germany. He received his medical and doctorate degrees from the Philipps University School of Medicine and Dentistry in Marburg, Germany. His postdoctoral fellowships were completed at the National Cancer Institute, Philipps University and at Duke University Medical Center.
Amy E. Berentes, RN, MSN
Vice President of Patient Care Services & Chief Nursing Officer
Mercy Medical Center, Clinton
Ms. Berentes is the Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer for Mercy, Clinton. She is responsible for creating the structure and environment that cultivates professional nursing practice and elevates quality care in order to improve patient outcomes. Prior to working in Clinton, Amy worked at Mercy-Dubuque as the Director of Clinical and Professional Development/Magnet Coordinator.Amy received her Associates in Applied Science from Sauk Valley Community College in Dixon, IL and both her undergraduate and graduate nursing degrees from Clarke College in Dubuque, IA. She also serves as an ANCC Magnet appraiser, the Clinton Salvation Army Advisory Board, and is a member of the Iowa Nurses Association, the Iowa Organization of Nurse Leaders, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives. She was recognized as one of Iowa’s Top 100 Nurses in 2010 and the YWCA Woman of the Year for Clinton in the Business Category in 2013.
Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake
Traci serves as the President at Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake.
Traci has made it her mission to take her passion for improving healthcare to various health systems including 9 years as a Vice President of Operations with the Baylor Health System. Traci’s role of change agent fostered success by maintaining a balanced focus on improving operations, financial and satisfaction initiatives.Traci has been recognized for her ability to assist organizations in achieving desired results by engaging people and changing behaviors in the workplace.
By implementing a proven approach to excellence, Traci helped her organizations create a culture that is built on the foundation of leadership and is focused on excellence in service, people, quality, finance, and growth. She has a proven record of accomplishment in increasing employee retention and creating cultures where patient care staff and management work cooperatively for the good of the patient.
With a broad background, including hospital operational responsibilities, finance, quality management and strategic planning, Traci has a results oriented philosophy and passion for employee, physician and patient satisfaction, leadership development and organizational culture change. Traci contributes more than 20 years of clinical and management experience. Traci brings a practical, hands-on management approach to organizations. She is especially comfortable working with senior leaders, physicians, leadership teams and staff to align their goals with behavior to achieve operational excellence.
Traci understands the persistence it takes to shift a hospital culture, and has personally experienced the satisfaction it brings to watch an organization become one where employees want to work, physicians want to practice medicine and patients receive exceptional health care. Traci is passionate about operational and service excellence and creating great places for people to work and patients to receive care. This passion translates to results.
Darrel W. Box
Chief Executive Officer
Lafayette Regional Health Center
Darrel Box has been CEO of Lafayette Regional Health Center since January of 2013. Darrel attended the University of Missouri at Kansas City receiving a BS in Pharmacy in 1988 and started at LRHC in 1993 as the Director of Pharmacy and has held several positions since that time. He received his Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Minnesota in 2001. In 2003, he joined the senior leadership team.Darrel is currently the Chairman of the Community Health foundation of Lafayette county, chairman of Healthcare Collaborative of Rural Missouri and is an Alderman / mayor pro-tem for the city of Buckner. He has been married for 22 years to his wife Oletta. In his spare time he enjoys travel, cycling and watching baseball and football.
Lakeside Women’s Hospital
Oklahoma City, OK
Kelley Lynn Brewer serves as President of Lakeside Women’s Hospital located in Oklahoma City. Kelley has held this position since 2000. She began her career in healthcare at Mercy Health Center as a staff nurse in labor and delivery. Mrs. Brewer has since had an extensive career that has included positions in education and management in several Oklahoma Hospitals.Her career has focused on Women’s Health and the development of innovative programs, including the leadership of physician owned specialty hospitals. She most recently led the transaction, which resulted in the recent partnership agreement between Lakeside and INTEGRIS.
Kelley received her Master of Science Degree, from the University of Oklahoma in 1990. She received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing at the University of Central Oklahoma. She was a finalist for the Journal Record, Most Admired CEO in 2010, and has actively donated her time and talents to March of Dimes, Go Red for Women, YWCA, Executive Women’s Forum, Oklahoma Organization of Nurse Executives and other community agencies and institutions.
Anita Capps, MS, BSN, RN
VP/Chief Nursing Executive
Community Health Network South Region
Ms. Capps oversees Community South’s nursing services and operations. She works with physician leaders, hospital leaders, product line leaders and the hospital nursing team to enhance clinical performance in the areas of service, quality and safety, growth, finance, and the patient experience.
Capps brings more than 17 years of nursing, clinical and healthcare administration leadership experience to her role at Community South. She has nursing experience in surgical, medical, oncology and emergency services.
In her previous role from September, 2014 to April, 2016, Capps served as vice president and chief nursing executive for Munroe Regional Medical Center, a 421-bed hospital in Ocala, Fla., where she implemented best practices for patient safety and enhanced the hospital’s commitment to provide quality patient care. She also led efforts to improve patient, employee and physician satisfaction. Prior to that, Ms. Capps was at Gateway Regional Medical Center in Granite City, Illinois where she served as Chief Nursing Officer from 2012 until 2014.
Capps earned an associate degree in nursing from Indiana State University in Terre Haute, Indiana in 1998 and completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Nursing in 2005 and Master’s in Management Degree in 2007 from Indiana Wesleyan University in Marion, Indiana.
Paula A. Carynski
OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center
Ms. Carynski joined OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in 1985 and became its President in July 2013 after serving as Vice President of Patient Care Services and Chief Nursing Officer since 1999. Previously, Ms. Carynski served in many capacities at OSF Saint Anthony including Director of Nursing Operations, Director of Regional Heart Institute, Director of Neuroscience Institute and Director of Cardiovascular Services.A graduate of Saint Anthony College of Nursing and Rockford College, Ms. Carynski earned a Masters of Science Nursing Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her professional development includes participating in the OSF Leadership Academy where Ms. Carynski was selected as one of ten executives within the OSF system demonstrating superior leadership characteristics and a capacity for growth. A member of the American Organization of Nurse Executives and American College of Healthcare Executives, Ms. Carynski is board certified in Nursing Administration by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and has been honored with the Distinguished Nurse Advocate Award by the Illinois Nurses Association District 3. She is actively involved in Rockford community activities, serving such organizations as Rosecrance, the Rockford Health Council and American Heart Association. In 2003 Ms. Carynski received the Dr. Francis Johnson Award for Science at the YWCA Leader Luncheon.
Virginia F. Casey, MD
Executive Board Director
Dr. Virginia Casey is versed in all areas of pediatric orthopedic conditions, from simple strains to complex reconstructive hip surgery. Her practice includes newborns, adolescents and young adults. She has a special clinical interest in hip disorders. She earned a B.A from the University of North Carolina, her M.D. from the University of Oklahoma and completed her residency in the department of orthopedics at the University of Utah.Dr. Casey began her specialization in pediatric orthopedics by completing a fellowship at the Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children in Dallas, TX.
Her academic achievements range from awards for outstanding resident research to excellence in academic performance and potential for contribution in the field of medicine.
In her spare time, Dr. Casey enjoys spending time with her husband and their three children.
She stays active by biking, hiking and camping.
Timothy L. Charles
President & Chief Executive Officer
Mercy Medical Center
Cedar Rapids, IA
Tim Charles joined Mercy in 2003 and in 2007 was appointed President and CEO of Mercycare Service Corporation and its subsidiaries, Mercy Medical Center; Mercy Care Management, Inc.; and the Mercy Foundation, comprising a $580 million, independent, not-for-profit Eastern Iowa provider, sponsored by the Sisters of Mercy.In 2012, Mr. Charles worked in collaboration with Genesis Health System, University of Iowa Health Care and Mercy Health Network to form the University of Iowa Health Alliance, which includes over 50 hospitals and more than 160 clinics. The members of the alliance are working together to advance the high quality of healthcare services, improve the health status of patients and communities, and achieve efficiencies that will help member organizations reduce the rising cost of care for their patients.
Mr. Charles is an active board member of the Iowa Hospital Association, Cedar Rapids Physicians’ Hospital Organization, MedQuarter Regional Medical District, Medical Self-Supported Municipal Improvement District Commission, U.S. Bank, United Way, WomenCertified, Inc.® Healthcare Advisory Board, and serves on the local chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. He is a member of the Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance Large Investors Innovation Council and belongs to Downtown Rotary. Mr. Charles serves as an alternate on the American Hospital Association Metropolitan Policy Committee.
Deborah (Taylor) Chelette, RN, BSN, MHA
Chief Nursing Officer
Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital at Trinity Mother Frances
Ms. Taylor serves as the Chief Nursing Officer for the Louis and Peaches Owen Heart Hospital at Trinity Mother Frances and has a passion for increasing awareness of women’s heart disease, risk factor modification and healthy lifestyle changes. Ms. Taylor holds an Associate Degree in both Paramedic Technology and Nursing from Austin Community College, a Bachelor’s in Nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a Masters in Healthcare Administration from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor.
Chief Executive Officer / Chief Nursing Officer
USMD Hospital at Arlington
Marcia Crim, RN, BSN, MS has served in healthcare executive roles for over 25 years. Her experience includes the development of multiple healthcare facilities that range from free standing clinics to licensed acute care hospitals. She is experienced in development, design, construction, staffing and equipping of facilities.With a proven track record in preparing facilities for state, federal and regulatory agency surveys, she is also experienced in developing governing and medical staff organizations. She has served in capacities that range from staff nurse to Vice President of Development and Operations for two hospital development companies. Ms. Crim received her BSN from Texas Christian University and her MS from Texas Women’s University.
Margaret Dimond, Ph.D.
President & Chief Executive Officer
Crittenton Hospital Medical Center
Rochester Hills, MI
Margaret Dimond, Ph.D., is President & CEO of Crittenton Hospital Medical Center. Before taking over at Crittenton, Dr. Dimond was president of the Karmanos Cancer Hospital at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute. Prior to Karmanos, Dr. Dimond served as president and chief executive officer of McLaren Medical Group. She has also held positions with Henry Ford Health System and the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and its physician practice plan.Dr. Dimond earned a doctorate degree in philosophy from Michigan State University, a master’s in Public Administration from the University of Michigan, a master’s of Social Work from Boston College, and a bachelor’s from St. Mary’s College.
Dr. Dimond has had a distinguished career in hospital administration, has held a faculty appointment at Michigan State University’s College of Human Medicine and currently holds a faculty appointment at the College of Social Sciences. She serves on several area boards and is pleased to be involved with the Social Science Scholars Program.
Chief Executive Officer
Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital
Buffy Domingue is the CEO of Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital, a wife and mother of two girls, a caring daughter, a family caregiver, a community leader, a business advocate, a legislative muscle, and an all around great person in every aspect of her life.Buffy grew up in Lafayette and began her career in the healthcare sector by working in the office of the late Dr. John Cobb as a medical transcriptionist. She worked her way up into being an integral part in the creation of Lafayette Surgical Specialty Hospital. As project manager, she helped build the facility and shape the organizational culture from its inception. Buffy continues to grow the hospital through her leadership today as CEO. Because of the rich family-like culture she encourages, LSSH has been named a Best Place to Work in Healthcare multiple times and patient satisfaction scores are consistently 98% and above. Last year, she led the team to win the NSH Quality Award over all other 13 hospitals in the NSH system and in 2011; the hospital received the Louisiana Capstone Quality Award from eQHealth Solutions.
Buffy is an active member of Physician Hospitals of America and participates regularly in legislative advocacy for physician owned hospitals across the country. She is a member of the Louisiana Hospital Association and holds a seat on the Legislative Regulatory & Policy Council.
In addition to her role in healthcare locally and nationwide, Buffy is highly involved in the Acadiana community. She served on several non-profit boards and most recently serves on the United Way Board of Directors and chaired their Women’s Leadership Council’s Luncheon for a Cause. She is also involved in the Business Council of Acadiana and the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. She supports local charities and is active in community events. She promotes charitable giving and volunteerism to her employees through offering opportunities within the hospital.
As if she didn’t have enough on her plate, Buffy is currently enrolled at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette in the MBA program continuing her educational growth. She also trained under Quint Studer, well renowned HCHAPS guru, where she studied best practices for increasing patient satisfaction.
In her personal time Buffy is an active parent and wife. She supports her daughter Lauren in her efforts as an Elite dancer which requires long hours and frequent travel across the country. And her daughter Sydney is a busy high school Senior at STM. She does all this while maintaining a happy marriage of 20 years with her husband, Kelly.
Patti Ellish, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer
St. Tammany Parish Hospital
St. Tammany Parish Hospital President and CEO, Patti Ellish has transformed a small community hospital into a thriving regional medical center. Under her leadership, this facility has tripled in size to serve the fastest growing parish (county) in Louisiana. An Employer of Choice, a Best Place to Work and ranking in the 97th percentile nationally for patient satisfaction, STPH bears measurable results of her influence.A native New Orleanian with nursing, bachelor’s and master’s of health administration degrees, Ellish began her career in health care at West Jefferson Hospital in 1974, rising to Director of Nursing by 1996. She left West Jefferson to become Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for the Memorial Health System of East Texas where she led significant growth and improvement before joining St. Tammany Parish Hospital as CEO in 2000.
Ellish is a fellow of the American College of Health Care Executives, past chair of Metropolitan Hospital Council of New Orleans, board member of Louisiana Hospital Association and Northshore Healthcare Alliance and member of Northshore Business Council and Women’s Leadership Council of Greater New Orleans. She has earned regional recognition including YLC Role Model, Top 10 Female Achievers, and CityBusiness Woman of the Year, including its hall of fame.
Steven C. Herber, M.D., F.A.C.S., Plastic Surgeon
President & Chief Executive Officer
St. Helena Hospital
Saint Helena, CA
Steven C. Herber, MD is a board-certified plastic and reconstructive surgeon and President, CEO of at St. Helena Hospital. Dr. Herber completed his plastic surgery training in 1992 at Yale University School of Medicine, where he was also a plastic surgery instructor.He received his medical degree and surgical residency training at Loma Linda University School of Medicine, where he later returned to teach in the Department of Surgery.
An active researcher, Dr. Herber has contributed widely to medical journals, textbooks and conferences, and has appeared in the media as an authority on a variety of reconstructive procedures.
St. Luke’s Hospital
Jan Hess is Vice President and a member of the Senior Administrative Staff at St. Luke’s Hospital.
Jan joined St. Luke’s Hospital in 1976 and has served on the Leadership Team for more than 35 years.
Jan’s administrative responsibilities include oversight of Quality Improvement, Case Management/Social Services, Health Information Services, Medical Library, Medical Staff Office, Voice Services, Oncology Service, and Marketing/Community Outreach.
Jan also is the Executive Sponsor of St. Luke’s Spirit of Women initiative, helping improve the quality of life in our community by providing leading health services and community outreach to women and their families.
Jan is a graduate of Saint Louis University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Record Administration. She holds a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Management from Washington University.
Jan has served in numerous leadership positions in the community and has a passion for issues involving women and children’s advocacy. She currently serves as an officer on the Governance Boards for Family Resource Center and Lydia’s House. She is also a member of the Board of Directors for Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri and the NCCJ.
Jan is a recipient of the St. Louis Business Journal’s 2011 Most Influential Business Women Award. She was also named one of the 2011 Women of Worth honorees by the Gateway Voice of Mid-life and Older Women (OWL), and she received a Salute to Excellence in Health Care Award in 2008 from the St. Louis American Foundation.
Chief Executive Officer
King’s Daughters Medical Center
Alvin Hoover is the CEO of King’s Daughters Medical Center (KDMC), Brookhaven, Mississippi.
Women’s Choice named KDMC one of America’s 100 Best Hospitals for Patient Experience in 2013 and 2014, and KDMC was selected by Modern Healthcare as one of the Best Places to Work in 2012, 2013 and 2014.With over 20 years of distinguished service in hospital administration, Mr. Hoover is the past chairman of the American Hospital Association’s Small or Rural Governing Council. He currently serves as the Chair elect of the Mississippi Hospital Association Board of Trustees, and is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives.
Mr. Hoover received his BS from Houghton College, a Master of Education from Georgia State University, and a Master of Health Service Administration from Central Michigan University.
Mr. Hoover follows three principles. Service to God; service to his wife Nancy and their four children; and service to others. It is one his greatest joys to have the privilege of leading a hospital where health care embraces the heart, soul, and intellect.
Donald E. Koenig, Jr.
Executive Vice President, Humility of Mary Health Partners
St. Elizabeth Health Center
Don Koenig is the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Humility of Mary Health Partners (HMHP), and the principal administrator for St. Elizabeth Health Center in Youngstown, HMHP’s flagship facility – a Level I Trauma Center with 350+ beds, and the region’s only Level III Obstetrics and Neonatal ICU. St. E’s is the home of the most advanced minimally-invasive and robotic surgery program in the region, including urological, gynecological, cardiac and general surgery procedures.St. Elizabeth is also the home of the Joanie Abdu Comprehensive Breast Care Center, the most advanced, accredited and awarded Breast Care Center in the State of Ohio, and the state’s only Women’s Choice Best Breast Care Centers of America award winner.
HMHP is the home of 7 medical residency programs, 1 dental residency, and a Nursing School (a branch campus of Mercy College of Ohio). HMHP trains hundreds of medical, dental, nursing, dietician, therapist and technologist students through collaborative teaching agreements with more than a dozen universities.
HMHP is an $800M annual revenue health system that provides care across the continuum, including:
- three acute hospitals,
- free-standing EDs and urgent care centers,
- ambulatory surgery centers,
- safety net ambulatory clinics,
- two 5-Star-rated long-term care facilities,
- top nationally-ranked comprehensive home services (including home health, pharmacy and medical equipment services),
- one of the largest and top-rated hospice programs in the state,
- five NCQA Level III Patient Centered Medical Home practices, and
- integrated palliative care and hospice programs.
HMHP employs about 5,000 people, including more than 130 physicians. HMHP is one of the seven operating regions of Catholic Health Partners, and is the leading healthcare provider in the 600,000 person area of the Mahoning Valley.
Don is responsible for operations, capital, productivity, patient satisfaction, physician alignment and associate engagement goals, as well as quality, patient safety, facilities, ancillary services and regulatory compliance. Since joining HMHP, Don has led the team to achieve significant improvement in patient experience scores, and numerous national awards – winner of the Premier Quality Award, earned the US News and World Report ranking of #7 hospital in Ohio and #3 in Northeast Ohio; earned US News ranking for gynecology services of #48 in the nation, awarded top 100 General Surgical Hospital in the nation, Top 100 Community Hospital (Boardman), and HealthGrades Distinguished Hospital of Clinical Excellence (4th consecutive award).
Prior to joining HMHP in March 2009, Don was Vice President and Chief Corporate Responsibility Officer for Catholic Health Partners in Cincinnati, OH. In that position for 10 years, Don led and built the legal and regulatory compliance efforts for one of the largest ($5B in annual revenue) not-for-profit integrated health care delivery systems in the country. Don is a recognized national expert, speaker and author on health care compliance and fraud, HIPAA and EMTALA regulations.
While at CHP, Don served for five years as a member of the Board Audit, Compliance and Mission Effectiveness Committee of Catholic Health West (now Dignity Health), a $9B, 42-hospital system in three western states. CHW had recently transformed from a holding company model of operations into a direct operating company, changing its management and governance structures, as well as standardizing and centralizing most back-of-house functions, while maintaining strong quality, mission and community hearts-and-minds linkages within each community it served.
Prior to joining CHP, Don was an active commissioned Navy JAG Officer for 14 years, where he served in a series of more critically responsible leadership positions:
- Legal Counsel, Navy Hospital, Portsmouth, Virginia
- Navy Family Advocacy Program Counsel (Counsel to multi-disciplinary committees to intervene, prevent and, where necessary, prosecute domestic, physical and sexual abuse cases)
- Federal Tort Claims Act Counsel, Navy Hospital, Portsmouth (medical malpractice claims)
- Special Asst. U.S. Attorney, for southern Mississippi & Maryland
- Civil Law Department Head, Navy Legal Services Office, Europe and Southwest Asia, Naples, Italy. Oversaw Legal Assistance, International Law and International Claims Divisions.
- Department of Defense Foreign Criminal Jurisdiction Coordinator, Italy
- Office of the Judge Advocate General, Head, Office of Standards of Conduct and Government Ethics
A Pittsburgh native, Don earned a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of Public and International Affairs, and a Juris Doctor degree from the George Washington University National Law Center. Don is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, the Navy-Marine Corps Court of Criminal Appeals, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces.
Don also serves on the Board of Directors of the Better Business Bureau of the Mahoning Valley, and the Regional Advisory Committee for the Salvation Army of the Mahoning Valley. Don is the former President of the Board of Directors of the Mercy HOME Program, which merged to become the Mercy Neighborhood Ministries of Cincinnati in 2008.
Don and his wife Sherrie reside in Canfield, Ohio, and are the parents of one daughter, Emily Minhovets, of Southampton, New York.
James M. Lally
President, Chino Valley Medical Center
JAMES M. LALLY is President of Chino Valley Medical Center. Dr. Lally holds the positions of Chief Medical Officer, Chino Valley Medical Center & Montclair Hospital Medical Center. He is recognized in the local community as a charitable and giving physician, who leads by example. Early to work and late to leave, he serves as a role model to his management and staff as someone willing to “walk the walk”. Board certified in Family Practice, with certificates of added qualification in Sports Medicine and Geriatrics, he is responsible for the day to day operations of both hospitals and also serves as director of medical education for an internship, family practice residency & sports medicine fellowship.
Dr. Lally serves as team physician for the USA Shooting Team and is its Immediate Past-President and is Chairman of the Medical Committee of the International Shooting Sports Federation as well as a member of the International Olympic Medical Commission. He holds a third-degree black belt (Sandan) in Kodokan Judo and sits on the Board of Directors for the United States Judo Association. Locally, he oversees the sports medicine programs of the four local high schools in the Chino Valley Unified School District. He is a member of the YMCA Board of Directors and serves as medical director to indigent clinics in Chino and Montclair and is a past board member of Chino Youth Boxing. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Chino Valley Medical Center and Montclair Hospital Medical Center. In 2016, he was recognized as the Physician of the Year for the American Osteopathic Foundation having been selected from over 125,000 eligible physicians and was selected as the Corporate Division, Inland Empire Spirit of the Entrepreneur award. In 2017, Chino Valley Medical Center was recognized as a Truven Top-1oo Hospital for the 6th year in a row. He lives with his wife, Rebecca and daughter, Kaitlyn Bai Lally, 20 in Upland, California.
Robin F. Linafelter
Chief Executive Officer
Lincoln Surgical Hospital
Robb Linafelter is currently the CEO of 70th Street Properties in Lincoln, Nebraska. Among the holdings of 70th Street in which Robb oversees:
- The Lincoln Surgical Hospital, a multi-specialty surgical hospital performing over 11,000 surgeries per year.
- Eye Surgical Associates, a 9 provider physician’s clinic serving southeast Nebraska.
- The Eye Group, an 18 provider management services organization for optometrists and ophthalmologists.
Robb has been in his current position since 1997.Prior to becoming CEO of 70th Street Properties, Robb served as Director of Operations at Saint Elizabeth’s Regional Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. Before that he was a Management Consultant for Ernst and Young’s St. Louis Healthcare Consulting Group, working for clients such as the Mayo Clinic and the Cleveland Clinic.
Robb received his Masters in Health Administration from the University of Missouri, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University and a Nursing Degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center.
His professional activities include:
- Currently serves on the certification board for the Certified Ophthalmic Administrators
- Member of National IT advisory board for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeon/American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators
- Former National Board Member of the American Society of Ophthalmic Administrators (ASOA).
- Numerous publications and presentations at the national and local level.
Robb and his wife Mary have 3 children. Robb is involved in youth sports at all levels in the Lincoln area.
President & Chief Executive Officer
St. Mary’s Health Care System, Inc.
Don McKenna has served as president and CEO of Athens-based St. Mary’s Health Care System since 2008. St. Mary’s is a fully integrated health care delivery system serving 13 counties in the greater Northeast Georgia area. McKenna has more than 23 years of progressive and diverse health care experience, including serving as administrator and chief operating officer of Wuesthoff Medical Center in Melbourne, Florida, a 115-bed, not-for-profit community hospital that is part of a two-hospital system headquartered in Rockledge, Fla.
Prior to his service at Wuesthoff, McKenna worked for Tenet Healthcare Corporation for over 11 years, serving as chief executive officer of Seven Rivers Community Hospital in Crystal River, Fla., and, before that, as chief operating officer for North Ridge Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Prior to that, he served as director of managed care/information systems at Tenet’s Palm Beach Gardens Medical Center in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla.
McKenna earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration as well as his master’s degree in public administration from Long Island University in Brookville, New York. He is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and he serves as a trustee of the Melbourne/Palm Bay Chamber of Commerce.
Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan of Southern California
Julie Miller-Phipps has been appointed president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan in Southern California. She assumed this role on August 15, 2016 and directs Hospital and Health Plan operations for the region’s 14 hospitals and 241 medical offices that are staffed by almost 68,000 employees who partner with 6,600 Southern California Permanente Medical Group physicians to meet the health care needs of more than 4.2 million members.Julie Miller-Phipps has been appointed president of Kaiser Foundation Hospitals and Health Plan in Southern California.She assumed this role on August 15, 2016 and directs Hospital and Health Plan operations for the region’s 14 hospitals and 241 medical offices that are staffed by almost 68,000 employees who partner with 6,600 Southern California Permanente Medical Group physicians to meet the health care needs of more than 4.2 million members.
Miller-Phipps previously served as president of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia where she was responsible for the delivery of health care needs to nearly 300,000 Kaiser Permanente members who are served through a network of 26 medical offices and specialty centers, as well as four contracted hospitals. Additionally, she oversaw 2,600 employees and worked closely with the 500 physicians of the Southeast Permanente Medical Group to strengthen the medical-management partnership for which Kaiser Permanente has become a model.
With more than 30 years of health care leadership experience, Miller-Phipps previously served as senior vice president and executive director for Kaiser Foundation Hospital and Health Plan operations in Orange County, Calif. In this role, she directed Hospital and Health Plan operations, supported by nearly 7,000 staff and 760 Permanente physicians, to provide care to more than 489,000 members.
Miller-Phipps earned her bachelor’s degree from California State University, Fullerton and a master’s degree in health care administration from the University of LaVerne. She also completed the Executive Advanced Leadership Program at the University of North Carolina and the University of Southern California Advanced Leadership Program.
An active member of the community, Miller-Phipps serves on the board of trustees of the Woodruff Arts Center, is a board member of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership and the Metro Atlanta Chamber, and is a member of the Board of Councilors of the Carter Center. Previously Miller-Phipps currently served as chair of the California State University, Fullerton board of governors and as chair of the Girl Scout Council of Orange County board of directors, past chair of the board of directors for the Orange County Business Council and was a member of the executive board of the Hospital Association of Southern California.
She has been honored for her community and professional leadership. She was one of 11 area leaders inducted into the YWCA Academy of Women of Achievement in 2016. She was named one of the Orange County Business Journal’s “Top 50 Most Influential Business Leaders” for three years in a row, one of 14 “Game Changers” by the Orange County Register for her significant contributions to the Orange County business landscape, and one of the “Hot 25 Women in Business” by the Orange County Business Journal for her outstanding leadership and business acumen.
Jeffrey E. Morrow
Chief Executive Officer
Doctors’ Hospital at Deer Creek
Jeffrey E. Morrow serves as CEO/Administrator of Doctors’ Hospital at Deer Creek located in Leesville, LA. Jeff has held this position since January 2013. He began his career in healthcare in Mount Pleasant, TX at Titus County Memorial Hospital as a Cost Accountant. Since, he has held positions varying from Accountant, Controller, Chief Financial Officer, Assistant Administrator, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Executive Officer.His career has mainly focused on improving financial stability of struggling facilities while maintaining high standards of patient care. His career has remained engrained in improving patient outcomes and financial stability through growth of employee morale. He has held positions of trust and authority from for-profit to not-for-profit behavioral health to acute medical/surgical facilities. His current position is in a physician-owned medical/surgical hospital.
Jeff received his Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Northwestern State University of Louisiana in 1989. He has been a member of the Healthcare Financial Management Association since 1992, a member of the Lions’ International, Rotary Club and served as President of the NW District of the Louisiana Hospital Association. Jeff is an active member of Many First Baptist Church in Many, LA. His hobbies include fishing, hunting and playing golf. He also enjoys spending quality time with his wife, four sons and two granddaughters.
Chief Executive Officer
Mille Lacs Health System
Bill Nelson, MHA, FACHE, has been the CEO at Mille Lacs Health System, in Onamia, MN, since 2008. MLHS is a fully integrated independent health system with a Critical Access Hospital, 10 bed Geri-Psych Unit, 57 bed Nursing Home, Home Care/Hospice, BLS and ALS Ambulance Services, 4 Family Clinic locations, and is the operator and part owner of Lake Song Assisted Living. MLHS has facilities in Onamia, Isle, Garrison, Hillman and Milaca.Bill received a BS/BA from Mount Marty College, Yankton, South Dakota, and an MHA from the University of Minnesota. Prior to moving to Onamia, Bill was the CEO at Coteau des Prairies Hospital and Clinic in Sisseton, South Dakota, for 19 years.
Denise M. Peterson, RN, MSHCA, NEA-BC, FACHE
Vice President, Professional Nursing Practice & Quality
Chief Nursing Officer
St. Francis Hospital & Medical Center
Saint Francis Care has named Denise M. Peterson, RN, MSHCA, NEA-BC, FACHE, as Vice President, Professional Nursing Practice and Quality, Chief Nursing Officer, effective August 1, 2015.
In her new role, she will be responsible for nursing education, nursing practice, and staffing; and, in collaboration with Surendra Khera, M.D., Chief Medical Officer/Chief Quality Officer, Peterson will have joint oversight of the inpatient medicine units, hospitalist medicine, critical Care, respiratory therapy. quality, performance improvement, accreditation, safety and high reliability, pharmacy, case management, infection prevention and the patient experience.
Since February 2014, Peterson has served as the Executive Director of Surgical Services at Saint Francis.
A resident of Middlebury, Peterson has 32 years of experience as a healthCareexecutive. Prior to joining Saint Francis she was Vice President of Patient CareServices/Chief Nursing Officer at The Hospital of Central Connecticut (THOCC), New Britain. While at THOCC, she served as the executive lead for the design and construction of a 100,000 square-foot cancer center and medical office building. Peterson also held the role as Director of the Oncology Service Line, Pediatrics, and Stroke Center of Excellence.
Peterson earned her nursing degree from the Saint Francis School of Nursing, her bachelor of science in nursing from the University of Hartford, and her master of science in healthCareadministration from Rensselaer, Hartford. She is a Fellow of the American College of HealthCareExecutives (FACHE) and is certified by the American Nurses Credentialing Center (NEA-BC). She also earned a Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Jayne E. Pope
Chief Executive Officer
Hill Country Memorial
Jayne Pope is Chief Executive Officer for Hill Country Memorial, a 2014 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award recipient. Prior to accepting the CEO position, she served as HCM’s Chief Nursing Officer.
Jayne received her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario. As CEO, Jayne increased staff ownership of key initiatives, resulting in empowered teams, and remarkable patient outcomes. HCM ranks in the top decile of the nation for patient experience and VBP performance.
Lisa Rameaka, MD
Chief Medical Officer
South County Health
Lisa S. Rameaka, MD is a board certified Obstetrician /Gynecologist and Chief Medical Officer at South County Health. She received her medical degree from the University of Vermont and completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Baystate Medical Center, Tufts University.
Dr. Rameaka has been involved with medical staff leadership roles for many years (including Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology), and has received Top Doc awards at the state and national level.
Dr. Rameaka is passionate about quality care for women, and is working at the state level for developing quality metrics for obstetrical care.
David F. Ruskowski
Franciscan St. Anthony Health, Crown Point
Crown Point, IN
Dave Ruskowski is a career health care executive with extensive leadership experience in a multi-hospital system, Franciscan Alliance. He holds responsibilities at the hospital, regional and system levels. He has held senior leadership roles in three of the 13 Franciscan Alliance hospitals. Since 2008, he has served as President of Franciscan St. Anthony Health, in Crown Point Indiana, an acute care hospital with 2 major campuses and 15 additional clinics and service sites in Northwestern Indiana.In 2004, he took on the role of Executive Vice President and COO of Franciscan St. Anthony in Michigan City, Indiana and by 2007 had become President of that Facility. Mr. Ruskowski began his service to the Franciscan Alliance organization when he was recruited to be the Director of Cardio-Respiratory Services at what is now, Franciscan St. Francis Health in Indianapolis, IN. There he held various positions over the years including President of the Indianapolis Regional Heart Center and Vice President for Marketing and Planning at the hospital. His first position in healthcare management was at Riley Hospital for Children, Indianapolis in 1973. He holds an MBA from the University of Indianapolis, and a BA from Indiana University. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and is currently serving as President of the Indiana Hospital Association, Northwest District. He serves on a number of community service boards and related partnership Boards of Directors. He is married with 2 children and 2 grandchildren. His hobbies include long distance cycling and tennis.
Chief Executive Officer
The Women’s Hospital
Christina M. Ryan RN MHA currently serves as CEO of The Women’s Hospital, and Administrator for Deaconess Health System Pediatric Product Line and Riley Clinic’s. Past and current boards include: AHA Governing Council for Maternal Child Health, DHHS Secretary Advisory Council for Infant Mortality, March of Dimes, Welborn Baptist Foundation Advisory Committee for Movement Building Healthier Communities, German American Regional Advisory Banking Board, Indiana Perinatal Network, and Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Collaborative (IPQIP) for the Indiana State Department of Health.Mrs. Ryan has also recently been recognized as one of Becker’s review top female healthcare executives to know. The Women’s Hospital is the recipient of the JD Power and Associates award for Inpatient Service Excellence for three years in a row, and recently ranked 2nd in the nation of the top 100 hospitals from Modern Healthcare Best Places to Work.
Chief Executive Officer
Gibson Area Hospital and Health Services
Gibson City, IL
With over 20 years in healthcare leadership, Rob joined GAHHS as the CFO in 2002. Rob was promoted to CEO in 2007. Rob is a Fellow of both the American College of Healthcare Executives and the Healthcare Financial Management Association. Rob received his Master in Business Administration from Webster University on their Fayetteville, Arkansas campus. Rob is also on several boards of the Illinois Hospital Association and Treasurer of the Illinois Critical Access Hospital Network.In his spare time, Rob enjoys spending time with his wife, Linda, and their three children, Kate, Claire, & Brooks. Rob is an avid sports fan, following the likes of the GCMS Falcons, Chicago Cubs, and Seattle Seahawks
James E. Shmerling, DHA, FACHE
President and Chief Executive Officer
Connecticut Children’s Medical Center
James E. Shmerling was named President and Chief Executive Officer at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center on October 1, 2015. For over three decades, Dr. Shmerling has served in management roles in children’s hospitals and is nationally recognized as a leader in issues concerning children’s health and wellness.Prior to joining Connecticut Children’s, Dr. Shmerling spent the last eight years as the Chief Executive Officer of Children’s Hospital Colorado, one of the top ranked children’s hospitals in the nation. Before that, he was the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt from 2002 to 2007. He was the Senior Vice President of Methodist Healthcare and President of Le Bonheur Children’s Medical Center from 1995 to 2002, and was Le Bonheur’s Chief Operating Officer from 1991 to 1995. He served as the Associate Director of Hospitals at Indiana University Hospitals and Administrator of the James Whitcomb Riley Hospital for Children from 1987 to 1991. Dr. Shmerling’s career in children’s hospitals began in the Children’s Hospital of Alabama where he progressed in administrative responsibilities from 1979 to1987, the last of which was as its Associate Administrator.
He earned his Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Education from the University of Tennessee in 1976. In 1980, he was awarded a Master of Science Degree in Hospital and Health Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. He earned a Master of Business Administration from Samford University in 1984 and his Doctorate of Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina in 1999.
Dr. Shmerling is a Fellow in the American College of Health Care Executives (ACHE). He is an adjunct faculty member in the Hospital Administration programs, University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Additionally, Dr. Shmerling is active in several national healthcare organizations.
Currently he serves as:
• Board member of the Children’s Hospital Group, Dublin, Ireland
• Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals, Salt Lake City, Utah
• Immediate Past Chair of the Board of Children’s Hospital Association, Alexandria, VA
• Chair of the Child Health Patient Safety Organization, Inc., Overland Park, KS, a component entity of the Children’s Hospital Association
• Chair Elect on the Governing Council of the American Hospital Association’s Section for Maternal and Child Health, Washington, D.C.
• Past Board Chair of the Colorado Regional Health Information Organization (CORHIO), Denver, Colorado
Dr. Shmerling is a native of Nashville, Tennessee.
Christine Schuster, RN, MBA
President & CEO
Ms. Schuster has over 25 years of health care experience. Prior to joining Emerson in 2005, she served as President and CEO of Quincy Medical Center and previously Athol Memorial Hospital. She also served as Chief Operating Officer of the Extended Care Division of Tenet Saint Vincent Healthcare System in Worcester and director of critical care at New England Deaconess Hospital.Early in her career, she was a healthcare consultant with Coopers & Lybrand. Ms. Schuster received her MBA, with honors, from the University of Chicago Booth Business School and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Boston University.
She currently serves as Chairman of Power Options, a leading energy buying consortium in Mass as well as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals and Executive Insight and a Corporator for Middlesex Bank. She currently serves on the MA Hospital Association Standing Committee on Finance and Political Action Committee. In 2011, Ms. Schuster received the Citizen of the Year Award from the Concord Chamber of Commerce as well the Prescription for Excellence Award from the Mass Medical Health Law Report. She also received the 2009 American Hospital Association Grassroots Champion Award and the 2008 Maynard Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award. She was also recognized by Modern Healthcare magazine and Witt Kieffer Associates as one of their Up and Comer Award recipients.
Elayne Shutt, BSN, MHA
Chief Nursing Officer
Lone Peak Hospital
Elayne was a member of the original administrative team that opened Lone Peak Hospital in 2013. Under her leadership as the Chief Nursing Officer, Lone Peak Hospital continues to grow in services, volume and acuity.She has been instrumental in leading the leadership team in achieving consistent HCAHPS scores greater than the CMS 75th percentile. Lone Peak prides itself in creating a unique experience with every patient interaction.
She currently serves as Chairman of Power Options, a leading energy buying consortium in Mass as well as a Board Member of the Massachusetts Council of Community Hospitals and Executive Insight and a Corporator for Middlesex Bank. She currently serves on the MA Hospital Elayne comes to Lone Peak Hospital with 30 plus years in healthcare, including more than 15 years in leadership. Early in her career, she spent more than 15 years working as a registered nurse in women’s services and then advanced into quality, risk management and administrative leadership. She has a Bachelor’s in nursing from the University of Phoenix and a Masters of Healthcare Administration from Weber State University.
Johnese Spisso, RN, MPA
President, UCLA Health
CEO, UCLA Hospital System
Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Sciences
Johnese Spisso assumed the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences on February 8, 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA’s hospitals and clinics as well as the health system’s regional outreach strategy.Before coming to UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years at UW Medicine, in Seattle, Washington, where she was chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. While there, she played a major role in expanding collaborations with regional hospitals and in the operational integration of two major community hospitals into UW Medicine. She also helped to lead development of a statewide trauma system.
A registered nurse, Spisso rose through the ranks at UC Davis Medical Center to direct critical care; trauma, burn and emergency services; and the Life Flight Air-Medical Program. Before that, she was a critical-care nurse in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.
Spisso received a master’s degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor’s degree in health sciences from Chapman College. She earned her RN at the St. Francis School of Nursing. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on healthcare leadership, and she serves on several national boards, including the American Association of Medical Colleges’ Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems.
Parker Templeton, FACHE
Chief Executive Officer
Iberia Medical Center
New Iberia, LA
Parker Templeton is Chief Executive Officer of Iberia Medical Center in New Iberia, Louisiana. He formerly served as CEO of Franklin Foundation Hospital, Franklin, Louisiana; CEO/Administrator at Iberia Rehabilitation Hospital, New Iberia, Louisiana; Assistant Administrator at St. Mary’s Hospital, Decatur, Illinois; and Assistant Administrator at Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas.Templeton has served as a board member for several philanthropic, civic and professional organizations, and currently serves on the boards of the Louisiana Hospital Association, Louisiana Rural Hospital Coalition and Southwest Area Health Education Center.
Templeton is a board certified healthcare executive, obtaining fellowship status in the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and receiving the Regent’s Award – Early Career Healthcare Executive from the Louisiana ACHE in 2013.
President / Chief Executive Officer
Salina Regional Health Center
Micheal Terry has 27+ years of CEO experience in both the for-profit and not-for-profit sectors of healthcare. His experiences allow him to focus on quality, patient satisfaction and patient outcomes as he leads the strategies for SRHC to improve healthcare in North Central Kansas. He has a dedication to train the best employees and providers to carry SRHC into the future healthcare environment.Micheal grew up in Alabama and attended Auburn University for undergraduate and graduate degrees in Business. He is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on several professional Boards in the State and is active on local healthcare and civic boards.
Chief Executive Officer
FirstLight Health System
Randy Ulseth was named Chief Executive Officer of FirstLight Health System in January of 2002. Ulseth joined FirstLight Health System with ambitious goals for both the organization and the community. As CEO he is responsible for the growth, management and strategic direction of the hospital and its affiliated departments and services.Prior to joining FirstLight Health System, Ulseth worked for Cannon Falls Community Hospital, most recently as the Chief Executive Officer. Prior to becoming CEO of Cannon Falls Community Hospital, Ulseth served as their Chief Financial Officer from 1995 until 1997. From 1993 to 1995, he held the position of Chief Financial Officer for Deer River HealthCare Center. Ulseth began his career in 1991 as the Staff Accountant for Virden and Johnson, Ltd., CPA.
Ulseth received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting from Bemidji State University. He received a Master of Business Administration from the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse.
Ulseth serves on the Minnesota Hospital Association’s Political Action Committee and the Policy and Advocacy Committee. Ulseth has served in multiple community organizations including Mora Lions Club, Pine City Rotary, Knights of Columbus, Paradise Theater Board, Economic Development Authority and the Mora Half Marathon.
Ulseth lives in the Mora community with his wife of twenty-two years, Jackie. They have three children; Nathan, Tyler, and Drea. Ulseth is dedicated to the health and wellness of the community, and to leading FirstLight Health System into a future of growth and opportunity.
Michael K. Winthrop, FACHE
President & Chief Executive Officer
The Bellevue Hospital
Mike Winthrop has been President and CEO of The Bellevue Hospital since September 1988. Prior to that, he was President and CEO of St. Mary’s Hospital in Kankakee, Illinois. The Bellevue Hospital relocated to a replacement facility on March 13, 2005 on a 109 acre site just west of Bellevue. Mike indicates the experience of leading the planning, design and construction of the 50 bed, 130,000 square foot facility has been the “dream of a lifetime.”He is quick to point out that the entire Bellevue “family”, by providing excellent care to the Bellevue and Clyde residents, is the real reason the hospital was able to re-build. “The Bellevue Hospital employees, medical staff and board of trustees are the finest I’ve ever worked with, period!” exclaimed Mike.
Mike is married to Gail. Mike and Gail met as students while attending Valparaiso University, Valparaiso, Indiana. Mike then attended Ss. Louis University for his MHA.
Mike and Gail have four children. The first three, Meagan, Geoff, and John, all graduated from Miami University and live in Chicago. Their fourth, Ryan, graduated from Western Michigan University and also lives in Chicago. Mike and Gail are the very proud grandparents of five grandchildren.
Robert P. Wise
President and Chief Executive Officer
Mr. Wise has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the Hunterdon Medical Center since 1990. He also serves as President of Hunterdon Healthcare System, Hunterdon Medical Center Foundation, Hunterdon Regional Community Health and Midjersey Health Corporation. Mr. Wise received his undergraduate degree from Boston College (1969) and his Masters in Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh (1974). Prior to coming to the Medical Center, he held administrative positions at Rancocas Hospital (Executive Director), Albert Einstein Medical Center (Vice President) and Kennedy Memorial Hospital (Administrator).Mr. Wise serves on the Board of Trustees of the New Jersey Hospital Association and is a past chairman of that organization. He serves as a director on the board of NJHA HealthPAC, serves as a member of the NJHA Chairman’s Advisory Committee on Industry Direction, the NJHA Committee on Nominations and the NJHA Provider Fee Task Force. Mr. Wise is the recipient of the NJHA 2014 Distinguished Service Award. He is a former director of the Center for Health Affairs and the Health Research and Education Trust. He serves on the Board of Directors of VHA Mid-Atlantic, and served as Chairman of VHA, East Coast. He was Co-Chairman of the New Jersey Joint Teaching Hospital Forum, Chairman of the NJHA Policy Development Committee and was Chairman of the NJHA Task Force on Charity Care. Mr. Wise was a Delegate to the American Hospital Association and a member of the American Public Health Association. He is a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives. He is the 2005 recipient of the ACHE Senior Career Leadership Award and a speaker at their national conference. In 2006, he received the Edward J. Ill Outstanding Medical Executive Award by MD Advantage. He has served on the Board of Directors of the NJ Chamber of Commerce, is a Leadership Council Member for the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation NJ Nursing Initiative, serves on the Board of Trustees of the NJSNA Institute for Nursing, a member of the NJ Council on Gender Parity in Labor and Education, and serves on the Board of the New Jersey Council of Teaching Hospitals and on the Board of the New Jersey Action Coalition. Mr. Wise serves on the Advisory Board of Community Hospital 100 and serves as Chairman on NJ’s State Employment and Training Commission’s Health Care Workforce Council and has been appointed by Governor Chris Christie to serve as a member of the State Employment and Training Commission. He also serves as a member of the State Employment and Employability Skills Task Force.
Locally, Mr. Wise currently serves as the Vice Chair on the Board of Trustees of Raritan Valley Community College and was Board Chairman of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce. He served as a Board Director of the Rotary Club of Flemington, and was a former Director of United Way of Hunterdon County. Mr. Wise received the Hunterdon County Business Leader of the Year Award in 2000 and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America in 2001. He received the Elks Distinguished Citizenship Award in 2010. Mr. Wise is a founding director of the Hunterdon County Partnership for Health. He serves on the School Advisory Committee for Immaculate Conception Church and serves as a Lector at St. Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in High Bridge, NJ.
Mr. Wise is married for 43 years to his wife, Vicki, and has three daughters – Jessica, Rebecca and Amanda, and a grandson, Oliver.
Robert Zentz, MSA, RN, NHA
Before joining Fellowship Community in 1996, Zentz worked with diverse corporations in the hospital industry for 38 years and last held the position of vice president of patient care.An active member of the community, Zentz serves as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Sacred Heart Hospital, Trustee and Chairman of the Board Planning and Project Development Committee of Cetronia Ambulance Corps, President of the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce, President of Bible Fellowship Church Homes, Board Member of the Whitehall Township Planning Commission, President, Treasurer and Elder of Fellowship Community Church, Member of the Medical Advisory Board of CareNet Pregnancy Center and a Member of American College of Health Care Administrators.
FINANCIAL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Chief Marketing Officer
Commonwealth Financial Network
Todd joined Commonwealth in 2004. As chief marketing officer, he manages the expression of Commonwealth’s brand across all media. He also directs the development of the firm’s overall marketing strategy and oversees the execution of the company’s marketing initiatives, including print advertising, online media, internal publications, direct marketing, and public relations.His team also supports advisors’ marketing efforts through the firm’s Four-Corner Marketing program. Todd holds a BA in history from Colgate University and an MS from the Graduate School of Business Administration at New York University. He also serves on the board of directors of Chorus America, the national service organization for choral arts, and on the board of governors of Boston’s Handel + Haydn Society, America’s oldest performing arts organization.
Executive Vice President
for SunTrust’s Private Wealth
Lynne Ford is Executive Vice President and Division Executive for SunTrust’s Private Wealth in Greater Washington and Maryland. In this role, she leads the region’s team of wealth management professionals who deliver a suite of financial planning, investment management and banking solutions for high net worth individuals.Most previously, Ms. Ford was Executive Vice President and Head of Distribution for Calvert Investments where she was responsible for distribution strategy and execution across institutional and retail channels, as well as product, marketing, and public relations efforts.
An industry veteran since 1984, Ms. Ford joined Calvert from VOYA Financial (formerly ING US) in New York City where she served as Chief Executive Officer of the Individual Wealth Management and Retirement division. In that role, she was responsible for the development and execution of the wealth management strategy and delivery by a team of wealth advisors who provided investment management, trust and retirement services.
Prior to VOYA, Ms. Ford spent twenty years at Wachovia, which merged with Wells Fargo in late 2008, serving in a number of executive capacities within its wealth management and investment management organizations. She built and led the Individual Retirement Group as Executive Vice President and Managing Director, and also held senior executive positions within Evergreen Investments, the wholly owned asset management division of Wachovia.
A native of the Greater Washington region, Ms. Ford grew up in Alexandria, Virginia graduating from St. Stephens & St. Agnes School. She is an active and engaged member of her community and a graduate of the 2015 Leadership Greater Washington program. She is a current director of Junior Achievement USA and a former director and past chair of the Insured Retirement Institute.
Ms. Ford holds a Bachelor’s degree from Davidson College and a Master’s degree from the University of North Carolina, Charlotte.
She and her husband are parents to two adult daughters and live in Bethesda, MD.
Founder & CEO, and Board Director
Kim M. Sharan, LLC
Founder & CEO, Kim M. Sharan, LLC and Board Director
As a C-suite executive and general manager with full P&L responsibility, Kim Sharan has over 35 years of diverse leadership experience with several premiere multi-billion dollar global financial services organizations, including Ameriprise Financial, American Express, Merrill Lynch, Citicorp and Citibank.Kim has established and led multiple new startups in the U.S., Japan and India, as well as rapid growth, turnaround and traditional businesses. She has served as a Board member, corporate officer and top operating executive. Kim is recognized as an inspiring leader with exceptional strategic and financial discipline, team-building skills, digital media and communications savvy, and a unique ability to embrace change and consistently achieve positive transformation in complex, demanding organizations. Forbes named Kim one of the world’s most influential CMOs in 2013.
Kim retired in May 2014 from Ameriprise Financial where she was the President of Financial Planning and Wealth Strategies and Chief Marketing Officer. She led the firm’s financial planning business as well as the global brand, marketing, client experience, innovation and digital strategies. Under Kim’s leadership, she repositioned the firm to be a recognized leader in retirement planning and secured a US patent for their unique Confident Retirement ® consumer value proposition. Over the years, the advertising and brand work Kim directed won numerous research and creative awards. In recognition for the focus on the client, Forrester Research named Ameriprise “Among the most customer-obsessed in financial services” in 2014.
Since retiring, Kim formed a strategic advisory company, Kim M. Sharan, LLC, and is advising businesses in creating unique and memorable client and employee experiences. Kim serves on the TIAA Board of Trustees, is an Executive Advisor to Yext, a technology company putting companies on the map, and Own the Room, a company developing world-class communicators.
Kim is a recognized leader and industry expert. She is also a member of two preeminent, invitation-only women’s organizations: Women’s Forum New York, comprised of prominent women achievers, and The Committee of 200, a group of high level corporate operating executives and women entrepreneurs focused on advancing women’s leadership in business. She is also a member of The Economic Club of New York.
Giving back to the community is important to Kim and, as a working mother and executive, she’s particularly passionate about helping young women realize their goals. She provides guidance and expertise for future leaders and serves on the national Board of Girls Inc., a non-profit organization that operates in North America serving over 100,000 girls, and inspiring them to be “strong, smart and bold” by building academic and life skills. In addition, Kim was recently elected to the Community Association of Bonita Bay in Bonita Springs and serves as the Treasurer.
Kim holds a BA in Economics from Drew University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She and her husband reside in Bonita Springs, Florida.
AUTOMOTIVE ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Co-Founder, Executive Vice President – Corporate & Partner Development
Jim Nguyen is responsible for corporate development, business development and the overall management of TrueCar’s affinity partner channel. Jim brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy, finance, accounting, operations and corporate administration to TrueCar, where he’s a founding executive and served as CFO until 2012.Prior to joining TrueCar, Nguyen was the Director of Finance & Corporate Administration at ePolicy Solutions, a venture-backed enterprise software company acquired by ChoicePoint. He was also the CFO and Managing Director of The Goetzman Group, a project management consulting firm, and Corporate Controller for Zyan Communications, a DSL service provider.
Nguyen’s automotive background includes multi-functional roles at Toyota Motor Sales, USA, including strategic planning, product planning and corporate finance; and with venture-backed start-ups Model E Corporation and Build-to-Order, Inc. While at Toyota, he developed the pricing strategy for the Camry (Toyota’s top-selling vehicle), the launch of the Lexus RX300, and was the senior product planner for Toyota’s lineup of small cars and sports vehicles.
Nguyen is a Certified Public Accountant. He earned his M.B.A. from the UCLA Anderson Graduate School of Management and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Economics and Accounting from Claremont McKenna College. He serves on the board of directors for WebCars, an online automotive company in China, and is on the advisory board of Tagnos, an enterprise software company providing analytics and wireless patient tracking solutions to hospitals.
Lyn St. James
Lyn St. James Enterprises, Inc.
Lyn St. James has raced for over 30 years including being 1992 Indy 500 Rookie of the Year, wins at the 24 Hrs. of Daytona, 12 Hrs. of Sebring, Watkins Glen, Elkhart Lake, closed course speed record holder of over 225mph; and is an author (Ride of Your Life, An Incredible Journey, Oh By the Way, Car Owner’s Manual for Women), motivational speaker, and founder of the Women in the Winner’s Circle Foundation.She has made significant contributions to motorsports, both on and off the track. Her legacy is one of inspiration, encouragement, and commitment to excellence. She continues to impact motorsports by training race car drivers of the next generation to be prepared for success both in the business of racing as well as on the track.
As a motivational speaker, Lyn has presented to such companies as Bosch, Ford Motor Co., HSBC, Merrill Lynch, NIKE, and GTE, just to name a few. Her presentations are ideally customized to the client’s needs, ranging from teamwork, technology, performance,
excellence, success, and finding and living your passion.
Awards & Recognitions:
- Sports Illustrated for Women Top-100 Women Athletes of the Century;
- Working Woman “One of 350 Women Who Changed the World between1976-1996”;
- 2010 Automotive News “One of the Top 100 Women in the Automotive Industry”;
- 2010 NASCAR Industry Ambassador Award;
- 2009 SEMA Businesswomen’s Network Athena Award;
- 2008 Automotive Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award;
- 2006 Northwood University Distinguished Woman of the Year;
- 2002 Office Depot Visionary Sportswoman of the Year.
She serves on the Kettering University Board of Trustees, Indiana WNBA Fever Team Advisory Board, NASCAR’s Diversity Council and Appeals Commission, Automotive News PACE Award Judge, and founding board member of the Indiana Motorsports Association.
TRAVEL ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Cruise Strategies Ltd.
One of Canada’s leading proponents and influencers within the cruise industry and a well-known writer and speaker on cruising and travel, Vanessa Lee recently celebrated her 36th year in the travel business. Vanessa was born in England, has lived in Australia and has enjoyed a lengthy career in the Canadian travel and cruise industry. She was a founding partner of Encore Cruises, which went on to achieve enormous success as Canada’s pre-eminent cruise specialist tour operator.
Today Vanessa is the owner and publisher of the upscale Cruise and Travel Lifestyles magazine, also custom publishing four other travel magazines in North America and is President of Cruise Strategies Ltd, a company promoting small, luxury and niche cruise lines. Additionally Vanessa is a regular columnist for the travel trade website Travel Industry Today, was voted one of Canada’s Top 20 “Industry Rock Stars” in a poll of her peers and is a frequent motivational speaker on the joys of cruising.
Her love of cruising has enabled her to sail on 151 cruises and she has also travelled to 89 countries with a goal of reaching her century mark in the not too distant future. Vanessa was recently accorded a rare and prestigious honour, that of being chosen to be the Godmother of the Avalon Waterways ship, the Avalon Vista which she successfully christened in Holland in May 2012. She accepted that honour with great appreciation at being afforded such a remarkable privilege.
SVP, Global Marketing & North America Sales
Princess Cruises Ltd.
Gordon Ho serves as the SVP and Head of Marketing & Sales at Princess Cruises, the 3rd largest cruise line in the world. Since joining in 2013, Gordon’s team has led a number of partnerships including Discovery at Sea, bringing Discovery Channel & Animal Planet experiences to the ship (i.e. Mythbusters, Deadliest Catch, SharkWeek). He also helped launch The Voice of the Ocean & live singing competition based on the hit TV series and the all new musical, “Magic to Do”, from the composer of Wicked, Stephen Schwartz. Gordon & team spearheaded new culinary offerings including partnerships with Chef Curtis Stone (Top Chef Masters, Take Home Chef), and renowned chocolatier, Norman Love. Gordon’s team also led the product & marketing launch for Princess entry into China.
Previously, Gordon was EVP of Marketing and Business Development at Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment where he created their $3B direct–to–video category with over 20 Disney DTV releases. He oversaw Disney’s expansion into DVD and Blu-ray including top sellers, Lion King, Pirates of the Caribbean, High School Musical and ABC’s LOST and Desperate Housewives. He led Disney’s digital marketing and content strategies with Apple iTunes and developed the industry’s #1 CRM loyalty program, Disney Movie Rewards and #1 subscription program, Disney Movie Club. Gordon led Disney Studio’s environmental efforts as member of Disney’s Executive Environmental Council.
Gordon serves on the Board of CAPE, the Coalition of Asian Pacifics in Entertainment, with the goal of advancing more diversity in media. He also serves on the Advisory Boards for several start-ups including Simulmedia, a targeted TV ad platform and ITV, a leading tv social platform. Gordon also served on the Board of Promax|BDA, the leading tv marketing organization, as Chair of their Research Committee.
Previously, Gordon held positions in Hewlett Packard and Leo Burnett advertising. Gordon holds an MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and a B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University.
Paul Gauguin Cruises
Diane Moore is President of Paul Gauguin Cruises. A seasoned veteran of the cruise industry, Moore joined Paul Gauguin Cruises in 2010. Previously, she was President of Windstar Cruises. Moore began her career as a member of Royal Cruise Line serving as Senior Vice President of Passenger Services until 1996 to join forces with Holland America Line as Vice President of Passenger Programs.She spent four years handling guest services for Holland America Line before joining Crystal Cruises in Los Angeles as Senior Vice President of Guest Services. Moore has also served as Executive Vice President of Supplier Relations at Virtuoso®.
President & CEO
Entrepreneur, author, speaker, and online media impresario, Mark Murphy is a 20-year travel media industry veteran recognized by his peers as an innovator at the cutting edge of online publishing, social media, advertising and brand marketing. His understanding of both the travel industry and the rapidly changing media landscape, combined with his desire to continuously offer unique and customer-driven solutions, has positioned him as a pioneer in the business.His latest venture, TravelTribe.com promises to shake up the industry once again with an online content driven social network married with travel agent experts.
Mark writes regular columns and produces video segments for the industry leading publications he founded including Vacation Agent magazine, Agent@Home magazine, and TravelPulse, the world’s leading online news source for the travel trade. Murphy has hiked, sailed, climbed, kayaked, Segued and rickshawed his way through more than 50 countries around the world, and brings his extraordinary first-hand experiences to the travel veteran and amateur alike. He reports on exotic, off-the-beaten-path locations, travel deals, breaking news related to the industry, and is a passionate advocate on behalf of the agent profession regarding the advantages of working with a travel professional.
Mark is perhaps best known for founding Performance Media, a New Jersey-based marketing services company that combines the high powered pressure of a New York City media business with the fun dynamics of a Silicon Valley dotcom start up. He took a major leap of faith in 2002 when, in the aftermath of September 11, he risked it all to launch an Internet business focused on what was then considered a dying breed ï¿½ the travel agent.
Born in Chicago and raised in Central Jersey, Murphy is a graduate of Lehigh University where he was best known for catching major air on the basketball court. Now he spends most of his time at 32,000 feet. He enjoys his time on the ground writing about his favorite destinations which he’ll soon publish in an autobiography about his experiences in the travel business. He resides in Moorestown, New Jersey with his wife, two children and a dog named Beau.
Executive Director & COO
Dawn Repoli is the WINiT Executive Director and COO responsible for the coordination and facilitation of WINiT Operations, employees as well over 200 volunteers from 40 countries.
In collaboration with these volunteers, Dawn is responsible for the strategic initiatives, development, implementation, maintenance and preservation of programs. These programs represent the key pillars of WINiT services to our membership: Visibility, Mobility and Career Development. She manages the WINiT vendor relationships and contract negotiations and, in partnership with the Board of Directors and corporate accountants, oversees all financial activities and statements.
Dawn is a certified grant writer and an experienced fund raising event coordinator, with extensive experience working with 501c(3) non-profit start-up organizations. As a former small business owner, her experiences range from preparing a business plan and securing financing, to the implementation of expansion strategies. She has procured federal, state and local licenses and permits and has collaborated with several committees and executive boards modifying by-law structure and computer program development.
Additionally, Dawn is proud of her background with children. She has over 20 years’ experience as a teacher, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis with Autistic Children and Kinesthetic Learning.
President & COO
With more than 30 years of experience in the global cruise, travel and technology industries, cruise industry veteran Edie Rodriguez joined Los Angeles-based ultra-luxury Crystal Cruises as its president and chief operating officer on October 16, 2013. Although known to many in the industry as Edie Bornstein, Edie took her husband’s last name, Rodriguez, when she married in mid-February, 2014.Prior to joining Crystal, she was senior vice president of marketing and sales at Azamara Club Cruises, the upscale division of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. (RCL). It was under her leadership that she and her team re-launched the young brand as Azamara Club Cruises.
She has also served as vice president of business development and strategic partnerships for Carnival Cruise Lines, and was a senior officer at Cunard and Seabourn Cruise Lines, where she developed strategic plans and led partnerships with several respected luxury brands. Prior to her in-house positions with the cruise lines, Rodriguez was vice president of cruise and specialty sales, marketing and customer support for Amadeus Global Distribution System. At Amadeus, she was instrumental in the implementation of automation solutions for the cruise industry and numerous other projects.
In mid-2014, Rodriguez was invited to become a member of “Women of Note,” The Wall Street Journal’s exclusive network of influential and innovative female leaders.
Edie Rodriguez and her husband Tom reside in Los Angeles.
Robert J. Stuart
Executive Vice President, Global Sales and Marketing
The Hertz Corporation
Bob Stuart is the Executive Vice President of Global Sales and Marketing for The Hertz Corporation. Mr. Stuart joined Hertz in December 2007 and is based out of Naples, FL. Mr. Stuart overseas worldwide sales programs for business, leisure and travel industry outlets as well as partnership sales including airline, hotel and online partnerships for car rental brands Hertz, Dollar, Thrifty and Firefly.He is also responsible for worldwide marketing functions, including branding and innovation, partnership marketing and customer relationship management. His responsibility extends to Hertz on Demand, the company’s hourly car-sharing product, as well as Sales and Marketing for Hertz Equipment Rental, one of the world’s largest equipment rental companies, and Donlen, a Hertz subsidiary focusing on fleet management.
Mr. Stuart came to Hertz from GE where he served in various senior level Sales and Marketing positions that touched all major consumer segments ranging from retail to large commercial accounts. Mr. Stuart last served as General Manager, Consumer Lighting and Electrical Distribution Sales, and before that, as General Manager of Consumer Marketing and General Manager, Business Development Sales and Marketing for GE’s lighting business. Prior to joining GE in 2000, Mr. Stuart held senior Sales and Marketing positions at Halex and Philips Lighting Companies.
Mr. Stuart holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Cleveland State University.
PET ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Warren Eckstein’s Hugs and Kisses
Warren Eckstein is an internationally known pet and animal expert. Warren developed his unique approach for understanding animal behavior by combining different techniques learned and observed while working in Southeast Asia and Europe. He has devoted over thirty years to teaching both pets and their people to live happily together through his unique “Hugs and Kisses” approach to animal behavior, care and training.Warren has worked with more than 40,000 pets including those of many well-known celebrities. David Letterman, Cheryl Tiegs, Lily Tomlin, Geraldine Ferraro, Al Pacino, Rodney Dangerfield, and Phylicia Rashaad are just a few of many whom Warren has helped with pet problems. Warren Eckstein has been a Contributing Pet & Animal Editor for NBC’s TODAY Show for nearly a decade. For the more than fourteen years, Warren was the regular pet and animal expert for the national television show “LIVE! WITH REGIS AND KATHIE LEE.” Youngsters are familiar with Warren from his appearances as the “Creature Keeper” for the Disney Channel’s “New Mickey Mouse Club.”
Warren hosts his own syndicated radio show, “The Pet Show With Warren Eckstein,” going into its 30th year on the air and bolstering its reach with the addition of more than 400 markets to its affiliate network. As a pet therapist, Warren dispenses pet behavior and psychology advice during his call-in shows. Consequently, he’s been nicknamed “The Dr. Phil of Pets” and is also the author of eleven books on pet and animal behavior. In 1995, Warren founded the nonprofit Hugs & Kisses Animal Fund in honor of his late wife Fay, a champion of small humane groups. The Fund’s mission is to support the smaller humane groups that do the majority of rescue work in the U.S.
Carlos Campos D.V.M.
America’s Favorite Veterinarian
Graduated from the University of Florida College of Veterinary Medicine in 2002. He has been working in Pasco since graduation. He enjoys challenging cases in dermatology, internal medicine, reproduction and surgery. He has a special interest in the management of obesity cases in both felines and canines. Winner of the American Veterinary Medical Foundation “America’s Favorite Veterinarian” 2013. He is the current President of the Suncoast Veterinary Association. He has served in the Animal Services Advisory Council for Pasco County since 2004. He is also a 3rd Degree Knight with the Knights of Columbus, Council 5869.
Mychelle Blake, MSW,CAE,CDBC
Association of Pet Dog Trainers
Mychelle Blake is the President and CEO of the Association of Professional Dog Trainers, the largest association in the world for companion dog trainers and behavior counselors. She served as several years as the Editor in Chief of the APDT’s award winning magazine, The APDT Chronicle of the Dog. From 2004 to 2006, she was a Co-Editor for Animal Behavior Consulting: Theory and Practice for the International Association of Animal Behavior Counselors.She has several published articles as well in publications such as Animal Sheltering, The APDT Chronicle of the Dog, Dog and Cat Care Monthly, AKC Family Dog and Off Lead.
Mychelle has a Masters in Social Welfare Administration and Community Organizing and Planning from the University of California, Los Angeles and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from New York University. She also holds a certification in the Internet Design and Technology Program from the University of Nevada Las Vegas. She is a Certified as a behavior consultant through the IAABC, and has worked extensively with cat and dog behavior issues through her work, both as staff and as a volunteer, in various shelters in Los Angeles, CA, Lancaster, PA, and Las Vegas, NV. She is also a Certified Association Executive through the American Society of Association Executives.
She lives in Las Vegas, Nevada with her husband and dogs.
The Pawsitive Coach™
Arden happily wears many “collars” in the pet world: radio show host, animal behavior consultant, master pet first aid instructor, media consultant, editor and best-selling author. She travels all over North America to help millions better understand why cats and dogs do what they do. Arden unleashes her sage advice spiced with humor as an in-demand TV and radio show guest, (including The Today Show, CNN, FOX, Martha Stewart and The George Lopez Show.) Her mission is to help people and their pets learn to play.
Pet Media PR
Gregg R.Oehler, a veteran of the dog publishing beat, brings over 35 years of experience to the job. As a 30-year publishing executive, Gregg has been involved in over 50 magazine start-ups. Gregg is President of Pet Media PR, Canine Health & Wellness, and The New York Pet Fashion Show’s parent company Oehler Media Inc., a publishing, media, marketing and advertising firm based in New York City.He is currently the publisher of Cesar’s Way Magazine from TV’s Dog Whisperer, Cesar Millan. He has been publisher of New York Dog Magazine, the Metropolitan Dog Club’s Blue Book, and Hollywood Dog magazine. He has acted as Executive Director of Petstyle.com and Sales Director for both FIDO Friendly magazine and DoggedHealth.com. Gregg has also been the media director of Pet Fashion Week.
CONSUMER GOODS ADVISORY BOARD MEMBERS
Consumer & Home Products
Michelle Barry, PhD
President and CEO
With a doctorate in sociocultural and medical anthropology, and arts degree in visual communications, Michelle develops new approaches for understanding brand and product experiences through the lens of consumer culture. Michelle has spent the past 18 years pioneering innovative research methods and strategic analytic frameworks to truly get underneath the nuances of human behavior and sensory experiences that lead to successful brand, product and retail experiences.
Prior to Centric, Michelle served for 12 years as Senior Vice President of a leading national research firm, developing and managing research, trends, innovation and consulting divisions. Michelle also spent 5 years in managerial and clinical positions in traditional healthcare and complementary alternative medical fields, and owned a visual communications studio delivering brand and design elements to manufacturers and retailers. Her expertise runs deep in the worlds of consumer culture, food, health & wellness, natural and organic, and sustainability.
Michelle has co-authored two books: Reflections on a Cultural Brand and Marketing in the Soul Age, has appeared on MSNBC, NPR, CNN and Oxygen, speaks routinely at national events, and appears frequently in national and industry publications as a thought leader in human behavior and cultural trends.
President and CEO
Restonic Mattress Corporation
President and CEO of Restonic Mattress Corporation, Ron Passaglia began his career in the bedding industry as a part-time sales associate in a mattress store in California. In the 1970s, he joined Simmons, where he worked his way up the management ladder, eventually becoming Senior Executive Vice President. Under Ron’s leadership, Simmons grew to more than $600 million in revenue through strong marketing and brand building.He joined Verlo Mattress Factory Stores in 2000 as president where he continued to sharpen his focus on marketing and brand integrity. Most recently Ron served as CEO of Selther USA, the U.S. marketing arm of Groupo Selther, a Mexican bedding producer. Ron is an officer of the International Sleep Products Association (ISPA) board as past chair.
Ron is well known in the industry for being a personable leader who invests in building strong relationships. Colleagues, direct reports and industry peers describe Ron as a decisive leader who inspires organizational change through strategic business planning, dynamic motivation and team building. He has a keen eye for spotting opportunities and has been successful in revenue improvement and market-targeted product development.
In 2000, ISPA awarded Ron the Robert MacMorran award for meritorious service to the industry. “I honestly believe that offering a product that improves someone’s health, expands their day-to-day performance and helps them wake up on the sunny side of life is worth investing for a lifetime career.”
Restonic is guided by the principle that getting a healthy night’s sleep is a right, not a privilege: this means that every Restonic mattress is crafted with better quality materials and greater attention to detail than comparably priced mattresses from competitive brands. Restonic Mattress Corporation is a leading international bedding company with manufacturing facilities throughout the world, including North America, the Far East, Europe, India, Brazil, Middle East and South Africa.
Brand Arsonist and Visionary
Tim Ransom is a CLIO Award winning brand development visionary and author with broad CPG retail experience and over thirty years of proven success in converting product benefits into unique and profitable brands with tangible results that generate long-term revenue streams. Tim’s work compels the choices people make.If you’ve ever put Jimmy Dean in your freezer, Maybelline on your face, Coppertone on your kids, Dr. Scholl’s on your feet, played a Nintendo game or put Autozone chemicals in your car, you know his work. Tim has built or repositioned over twenty leading mass-market retail brands into the number one selling position in their respective category and launched over 3,500 sku’s in national mass retail chains.
Tim has designed and or branded the top selling product for the following brands: AutoZone, Coastal Unilube, Coppertone, Di-Gel, Dr. Scholl’s, Ezon Automotive, Florida’s Natural, Fructis Garnier USA, F.X. Matt Brewing Co., Grizzly, Hunter Fan, Jimmy Dean Foods, Lansinoh, Maybelline, PAAS, Solarcaine, Wal-Mart (Clip Strip).
Learn more at: http://timransombranding.com/
Food & Beverage
Senior Vice President
Broad Street Licensing Group
Bill spearheads business development for Broad Street Licensing Agency, a world leader in Food & Beverage licensing. In an effort to excel in his work, he researches and writes the company’s blog “Food Business News,” which covers all aspects of the world F&B marketplace, including health & wellness trends.He also writes about the food & restaurant industry for a variety of publications, and is a frequent speaker at industry conferences and seminars, most recently at the National Restaurant Show in Chicago, May 2014. Bill joined the agency from the world of public relations and marketing, consulting for clients in the licensing, sporting goods, travel and computer software fields. In his former life, Bill was a journalist covering economic and consumer trends in Asia for publications including The Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Boston Globe, Money Magazine and Chicago Tribune. He holds an M.Phil in Comparative Literature from Yale University and a B.A. in German from the University of California at Santa Barbara.
Wisdom Natural Brands
Carol is President of Wisdom Natural Brands, a family business begun by her husband, Jim, in 1982, selling consumer packaged stevia sweeteners and teas from rainforest herbs directly to retailers and through distributors and in bulk to food service, as well as their premium natural ingredients with applications to other manufacturers, Carol May has worked in various capacities in the company since 1987, having assumed executive leadership in 2007.The company has been named one of America’s Top Wellness Companies, and their flagship product line, SweetLeaf Stevia Sweeteners, has won 24 awards for taste and innovation in the past few years. Development of global distribution in now 30 countries has been recognized by the prestigious Presidential “E” Award for enhancing exports. In her tenure she has dealt with all the challenges of a business reinventing itself, including organic and other certifications, governmental regulation, intellectual property issues, marketing, finance and production, as well as the demands of both recession and growth. Her focus is reflected in the company mission: “Making the world a sweeter place.”
Carol has received many accolades for her work, including being named one of Arizona’s Most Influential Business Women in 2015. She also was named one of the Top Women in Grocery and presented the coveted Stevie awards for Female Entrepreneur and Lifetime Achievement. She and her husband were 2016 inductees into the Natural Products Industry Hall of Legends. She has served on the Board of Directors and Stevia Task Force of the international Calorie Control Council.
Educated at Arizona State University (BA’77 and Master’s ’81), Carol adores seven grandchildren, reads widely, enjoys cooking, theater and travel.
Vice President/General Manager
ConAgra Foods McDonald’s Business Unit
Sharon Miller was named vice president and general manager of the ConAgra Foods McDonald’s Business Unit in 2013. In this role, she has responsibility for leveraging ConAgra Foods’ best capabilities to partner with McDonald’s. ConAgra Foods supplies three categories to McDonald’s – potatoes, bakery and foodservice & flavors – and Sharon oversees the strategy to serve McDonald’s global and local needs.Sharon has held various leadership positions since joining ConAgra Foods in 1999, most recently as the vice president of Sales for our Lamb Weston/Meijer joint venture in Europe. Her extensive international experience positions her well for working hand-in-hand with McDonald’s.
Sharon brings nearly 25 years of global experience in sales, customer operations and supply chain. In her time with Lamb Weston/Meijer, the business had delivered the most profitable results in its history. Before taking her position with Lamb Weston/Meijer in Europe, Sharon was a key sales and business leader within Lamb Weston in both the United States and Canada.
Prior to ConAgra Foods, Sharon held sales management positions at Maple Leaf Foods, Ready Foods and Gordon Food Service. She is a graduate of University of Guelph (Canada) and holds her MBA through a joint international program of the Kellogg School of Business and Schulich School of Business (Canada).
Carol C. Reber
Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer
Duckhorn Wine Company
Carol Reber is Chief Marketing & Business Development Officer with Duckhorn Wine Company, one of the most successful luxury wine portfolios in the world. In addition to leading a team of 50+ marketing and hospitality professionals, Ms. Reber has an established track record of driving rapid growth by using market intelligence and trends to best position companies, brands, products and people for maximum success.Her areas of expertise include portfolio strategy and premium brand building, national accounts, business development, new product development, trade marketing, finance, direct-to-consumer and building the modern sales infrastructure necessary for sustained growth. She is a regular industry speaker and director of CIF Inc., a family portfolio of corn and soybean farms.
Ms. Reber is highly regarded as a clear and forward thinking wine industry executive with 20+ years of cross-functional experience leading teams in progressively challenging roles across diverse environments and industries from entrepreneurial start-ups to large, multinational corporations to nimble private-equity owned businesses. She has worked for several blue chip companies, including The Walt Disney Company, Ernest & Julio Gallo, Sony Pictures and Universal Studios.
Carol received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of California at San Diego, and earned an MBA, with dual majors in marketing and finance, from the J. L. Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She lives in Northern California with her husband Robert and two children.