Benjamin D. Cowley, Jr., M.D. – Chair
Benjamin D. Cowley, Jr., MD, lives in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He is the Chief of Nephrology & Hypertension and John Gammill Professor in Polycystic Kidney Disease at the Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Cowley has been involved in PKD research for more than 20 years, publishing numerous articles and presenting on PKD at various conferences and events. He trained under Dr. Jared Grantham, co-founder of the PKD Foundation and distinguished physician at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He currently serves as the Vice Chair of the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees. Dr. Cowley completed his post-graduate education in Internal Medicine, Nephrology and Biochemistry at the University of Kansas Medical Center. He received his MD degree from Baylor College of Medicine and attended undergraduate school at Rice University. Dr. Cowley has been named one of Oklahoma's "Top Doctors" by Castle Connolly Medical Ltd. for the past five years.
Frank Condella, Jr. – Vice Chair
Frank C. Condella, Jr. lives in Andover, Massachusetts. He is currently President, CEO and Director of Columbia Laboratories, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBRX) as well as the Non-executive Chairman of Skyepharma, PLC (LSE: SKP). Frank's career spans 35 years working in both privately and publicly held companies, all of which were involved in the life sciences industry. His experience in the pharmaceutical industry includes having worked in senior management roles for several major international companies. Frank is active with the Northeastern University Health Sciences Entrepreneurs and currently serves as Chair of the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees. He holds a bachelor's degree in Pharmacy and an MBA from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He is married to Mary Martin Condella and has three grown daughters.
R. Francis Towey, Jr. – Treasurer
Fran Towey is President of Natural Partners, Inc., a distributor who provides a convenient way for health care practitioners to better serve their patients. Since 1995 they have operated as a one-stop-shop, supplying the integrative health care community with professional-grade nutritional supplements, nutrition education, and value-added services. The leading service provider in the U.S. for medical professionals, Natural Partners carries over 13,000 items from 150+ reputable supplier partners. Mr. Towey most recently was President of Allergy Research Group, and prior to that he spent 16 years with a private equity group located in Hampton, NH working in a variety of operating roles in the health care and life sciences industries, serving as President and CEO of their natural products distribution company. He has also served as an at-large member of the board of trustees for Berwick Academy, an independent school in South Berwick, ME and has had the pleasure of supporting the Boston PKD Chapter for the several years. Fran earned a BS in Mechanical Engineering Technology from Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and an MBA from the Fogelman College of Business and Economics at the University of Memphis. Fran is a PKD patient as is his sister and brother, and he is a successful, thriving transplant recipient. Fran lives a very active life in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Mary, and their two college age daughters; Molly a recent graduate of American University now living in DC, and Katie a junior at Emerson College in Boston.
Anne Ryan – Secretary
Anne Klingbeil Ryan lives in San Francisco, California. She is a Managing Director of Klingbeil Capital Management, a family-owned real estate investment company. Anne acts as the asset manager for a variety of real estate and financial holdings and is the defacto president of the family office. Before joining KCM, Anne co-founded and managed a chainlet of fine paper stores called Oggetti. Besides currently serving as Chair of the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees Planning and Assessment Committee, she has recently served on the boards of St Ignatius College Preparatory, a Jesuit high school, and City Youth Now, a non-profit supporting youth in the San Francisco Juvenile Court system. Anne is a recently invested member of the Order of Malta, a Catholic organization serving the sick and poor. Her family has been closely involved with the Foundation for over 15 years as donors and board members. Anne graduated from University of Southern California with a B.S. in Business. Anne is a PKD patient, as is one of her brothers; her mother has PKD and is a successful kidney transplant recipient. She lives in San Francisco with her husband Kevin and has two young-adult sons.
Julia Roberts – Governance Chair
Julia Roberts is raising two teenagers to be their own advocates as they navigate the medical and educational community. She also owns an advertising agency, is a writer, an advocate and community builder.
In 2010 she co-founded SupportforSpecialNeeds.com, a site for parents and professionals about kids with special needs. She's worked with clients for nearly 20 years at her marketing firm, the Roberts Resource. She's married to Julian and lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
She's an activist for kids with disabilities, organ donation, suicide prevention and removing the stigma against mental illness. She been involved with the PKD Foundation since 2002 and also serves on the Parent Advisory Council of Children's Health of Atlanta. She speaks frequently on the topic of raising kids with special needs to parents and healthcare professionals.
Terry Watnick, M.D. – Scientific Advisory Chair
Dr. Terry Watnick lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She is an Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Nephrology. Dr. Watnick has
established an inherited renal disease clinic at the University of Maryland. She has also been an investigator in several multicenter Clinical Trials recruiting patients with ADPKD, including TEMPO. She moved to the University of Maryland School of Medicine in 2012 where she leads the Baltimore Polycystic Kidney Disease Research and Clinical Core Center. She currently serves as the SAC Chair for the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees. Dr. Watnick received her medical degree from The Yale School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine training at Yale-New Haven Hospital. She then moved to the Johns Hopkins Hospital where she received Clinical Training in Nephrology. She also completed a research fellowship that was focused on the genetics of autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease. Dr. Watnick subsequently joined the faculty at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine where she rose through the ranks to Associate Professor. During this time she continued to develop her clinical and research interests in Inherited Kidney Diseases.
Paul Conway lives in Falls Church, Virginia. He currently serves Governor Robert McDonnell as an appointed member of both the Board of Health Professions and the Commonwealth Protection Board (homeland security) for the Commonwealth of Virginia. Paul was diagnosed with kidney disease through a high school sports physical when he was sixteen years old and spent the next thirteen years as an ESRD patient. He was placed on peritoneal dialysis in 1994 and received a kidney transplant in 1997. At the time he went on dialysis, he served as the Deputy Secretary of Health and Human Resources for the Commonwealth of Virginia and was responsible for the management of fourteen state agencies. Since his transplantation in 1997, Paul as continued to be active in health care policy and kidney issues. In 2009, Paul was elected to the Board of Directors of American Association of Kidney Patients (AAKP) and presently serves as the Vice President of AAKP, as a member of the Executive Committee and as the Co-Chair of the Public Policy Committee. Apart from his activities related to health policy and kidney disease, Paul has a record of public service including roles under four presidents and three governors. His public service positions have included Chief of Staff of the Office of Federal Personnel management, the agency responsible for the Federal Employee Health Benefit Program, as well as service as the Chief of Staff of the United States Department of Labor. In his last Federal post as the Acting Federal Coordinator and Chief of Staff for the Federal Office of Gulf Coast Rebuilding – a Presidential Executive Order agency established in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina – Paul was responsible for the coordination of Federal disaster rebuilding policies and funding issues. Former Department of Homeland Security Secretary Michael Certoff awarded Paul the second highest civilian award from DHS, the Secretary's Silver Medal, for his efforts to advance the mission of the department and to aid the states and communities impacted by Hurricane Katrina. For his dedicated service to their citizens and rebuilding efforts within their communities, Governors Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, Rick Perry of Texas and Bob Riley of Alabama each named him an Honorary Citizen.
Lisa Guay-Woodford, M.D.
Dr. Lisa Guay-Woodford lives in Washington, D.C.. She is the Richard L. Hudson Professor of Pediatrics and the Associate Vice President for Clinical and Translational Research at The George Washington University. She also serves as Director of the Center for Translational Science at Children's National Medical Center (CNMC) and Director of the Clinical and Translational Science Institute-Children's National (CTSI-CN). She is a Pediatric Nephrologist and an internationally-recognized investigator whose research focuses on identifying clinical and genetic factors involved in the pathogenesis of inherited renal disorders, most notably autosomal recessive polycystic kidney disease. In April 2012, she moved to CNMC from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she had founded and served as Director of the Inherited Renal Disorders Program at the Children's Hospital of Alabama, established the NIH P30-funded UAB HepatoRenal Fibrocystic Disease Research and Translational Core Center (HRFDCC) and was the founding Director of the UAB Center for Clinical and Translational Science. She plays an active role on the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees.
Michele Karl lives in NY with her husband, Matt, and her three peas, Max, Nate and Gabe. Michele became involved with the PKD Foundation eight years ago when Gabe was born and diagnosed with ARPKD, which led to a subsequent diagnosis of ARPKD in Max. Nate does not have ARPKD. Over the past eight years Michele has become involved with her local PKD chapter, participated in nine Walk for PKD events, attended many chapter meetings and education meetings, and attended five National Conventions. Michele is the co-coordinator of the National PKD in Children Chapter and is now on the Board of Trustees and the Volunteer Advisory Committee for the PKD Foundation. When Michele is not with her boys or doing something for the PKDF she works part time as a teacher for young children who are blind and visually impaired.
Klee Kleber lives in Austin, Texas. He is currently involved in the local start-up community, working with entrepreneurs on their marketing and growth strategies. Klee is a partner at the Capital Factory, the leading local incubator, accelerator and co-working space. His most recent corporate role was as CMO of WP Engine, and he continues to be an advisor for the company. Before WP Engine, Klee was a Senior Vice President at Rackspace, where he led various marketing, sales and support teams. Prior to joining Rackspace, he was Vice President of Marketing for Segway. He also spent 10 years as an executive at Dell, including assignments in the U.S., Europe and Japan. Klee earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from Rice University in Economics and German, and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He lives near downtown Austin with his wife, Brigid, and their two daughters, Cate and Claire.
Andrea Kringstein lives in NYC with her husband, Richard. She has two grown children, a son, Jason, and a daughter, Jamie. Andrea studied business in college and worked for Merrill Lynch as a product development manager and financial analyst. She left her position to start a family and became active in several charity organizations and ran enrichment programs at her children's school. She became an attorney when her children were in middle school. While at law school, Andrea volunteered at the Family Court in White Plains, NY, to represent victims of domestic violence and also worked for a civil court judge in Hackensack, NJ. She practiced real estate law for a few years and then represented New Yorkers with family issues, on a pro bono basis, for a short while. Andrea served on the Board of Directors at her previous Cooperative Apartment for six years and plans to serve at her brand new apartment building when the Board is formed next year. One of Andrea's passions is animal welfare and she has volunteered at the NYC animal shelter for several years.
PKD significantly affects Andrea and her family. She had a successful transplant in September 2014, as did her brother, Jeff, just two months later. Her family has proudly supported the PKD Foundation for nearly 30 years. Andrea's son participated in the 2011 Ironman in Lake Placid and dedicated his efforts to those who suffer from PKD. Her family and friends participated in the NYC PKD Walk last year and Andrea has advocated in Washington several times on behalf of those who suffer from PKD, a cause that is very personal to her.
Brock Nelson was raised in Grand Island, Nebraska but has lived in Wichita, Kansas since 1993. He is currently the President of Spring Creek Capital, a Koch Industries subsidiary. Brock began his career with Koch Industries at the company's refinery outside St. Paul Minnesota where he was a senior process engineer. Prior to that, he held summer internships with Dow Chemical and Exxon. Prior to his current role as President of Spring Creek Capital, Brock worked in a variety of business development roles from 1993 until 2008 with his last role being in Koch Fertilizer. While in Koch Fertilizer he was a leader in numerous acquisitions with a total value in excess of $500mm and sat on the board of directors of six different joint ventures including being the Chairman of the Board for two of these companies. The many charitable organizations Brock as been an active member of include: Kansas Humane Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters, American Cancer Society, Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity, Salvation Army, Sedgwick County Zoo, YMCA, Texas A&M Foundation, CASA of Sedgwick County, Boys and Girl Scouts, and the American Red Cross. He is also heavily involved in the advisory council of the Texas A&M Chemical Engineering Advisory Board. Brock holds a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering where he graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1990. Brock was diagnosed with polycystic kidney disease in June 2010. He is the first member of his family with the disease. Brock is a widower with two children, Jace, 14 and Brynnalese, 10.
Dwight Odland lives in Simi Valley, California. He currently is the Manager of New Business for UTAS Space Systems and has 25 years of aerospace project management. experience in Business Development, Marketing, Finance, Operations and Information Technology. Dwight is one of ~350 people worldwide certified at Practitioner Level for New Business Proposal Management by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP). His most recent accomplishment was winning a $134M Space Station power system contract (2011). Dwight not only serves on the PKD Foundation's Board of Trustees but he is the Los Angeles metropolitan area PKDF Chapter Coordinator. He is also a Board Member of the Boys & Girls Club of the West Valley, Canoga Park. His current position is Chair of Human Resources Committee and Member of Executive Board. Dwight earned his B.S. in Business Administration & Finance, Cum Laude from California State University, Northridge.
Craig A. Ramseyer
Craig is the leader of Procopio's Construction Practice Group and a member of the firm's Management Committee. He is a former leader of the firm's Litigation team. Craig's practice emphasizes general business litigation, as well as construction law and litigation. In the business litigation area, Craig has handled matters including partnership disputes, alter ego liability and contractual disputes. In the construction arena, he is experienced in handling disputes arising on both public and private works of improvement, inclusive of contractual disputes, bid protests, mechanic liens, stop notice and payment bond claims, work out agreements, design professional errors and omissions and delay, disruption and inefficiency claims. Craig has represented general contractors, subcontractors, public and private owners and sureties in various matters over the course of his career.
Craig was admitted to practice in the US District Court, as well as the Central and Southern Districts of California in 1981. He was later admitted to practice in the US Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit, US Court of Federal Claims and the US Supreme Court.
In June of 1993, Craig was the principal founder of the law firm of Ramseyer & Kuhlman, APLC, where he worked until Ramseyer & Kuhlman merged with Procopio in May of 2001.
Jeffrey Rona lives in Niwot, Colorado. He currently is a senior financial executive. As a senior financial executive for three life sciences start-ups, Jeff rose over $300 million of capital, completed two liquidity events and negotiated several licensing agreements. He has developed long-term relationships with life science focused venture capitalists, investment bankers, equity research analysts, public market investors and transaction lawyers. As an investment banker, Jeff provided services to clients in a wide range of industries, including Healthcare, General Industrial, Real Estate, Lodging and Gaming. Specific types of debit financing that Jeff rose for his clients included, construction finance, bank loans, and high-yield debt, and investment grade debt, perpetual preferred and synthetic leases. Jeff started his career at Coopers & Lybrand in the Tax Department. Jeff received his B.S. Degree in Accounting from Case Western Reserve University.
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Jerry has resided in Germantown, TN for the past 31 years. He attended Lehman and Brooklyn Colleges, earning a degree in Education in 1976. He and Karyn Harcup Waxman have been married 38 years. They have two married daughters, Erica and Kimberly, a granddaughter Eva, and a new granddaughter expected in July 2015. Jerry enjoys playing golf and spending quality time with his family.
Jerry's sales and marketing career began in 1979 at Kalex Chemical Co. He then served for 19 years as National Sales Manager for Intex Plastics. He and his business partner, Jim Jones, purchased Intex in June 2003, changing the name to Mississippi Polymers, Inc. in October 2003. Mississippi Polymers grew into a $70+ million company, with expected revenues to exceed $90 million over the next 5 years. Selling the company in October 2012, Jerry retains his position as Director of Sales and Marketing.
Upon Karyn's diagnosis of PKD nearly 16 years ago, both have dedicated themselves to the PKD cause. Karyn has served as the Memphis Chapter Coordinator for the PKD Foundation for the past 15 years. Jerry founded and organizes the "Driving Home A Cure for PKD" Golf Tournament. Now in its 14th year, this event has raised $800,000 since its inception, becoming a model for other PKD Foundation Chapter golf tournaments nationwide. In 2011 the tournament became a member of the Liberty Mutual Invitational Family of Charity Events, making it into one of the Memphis area's top charity golf experiences.
Jared J. Grantham, M.D.
Co-founder of the PKD Foundation
Distinguished Professor, University of Kansas Medical Center
Orme Lewis, Jr.
Managing Director, Select Investments
Vice Chair, Arizona Biomedical Research Commission