Kevin Baker - President, CDF Gluten-Free Lexington Chapter (KY)
Born in the "Bluegrass State" of Kentucky, Kevin Baker was an aggressive career man, avid outdoor and backpacking enthusiast and travel bug - until 40 years of ongoing damage from undiagnosed celiac disease finally reached critical mass, derailing his active lifestyle and leaving him permanently disabled. A year after his own diagnosis, Kevin lost his mother to medical complications resulting from her own undiagnosed celiac disease.
But Kevin turned these personal tragedies into a motivating force for action. In 2005, two years after his diagnosis, he joined the Lexington Chapter of the Celiac Disease Foundation. Serving initially as builder and webmaster for the chapter's web site at www.glutenfreelex.org, his drive and passion for the mission of CDF finally led to his appointment as Chapter President in 2008.
Today Kevin leads the Lexington Chapter of CDF in its mission to 'wake the neighbors' – to create the public awareness necessary to reach the millions of other gluten-intolerant Americans who remain undiagnosed.
Kevin lives with a proud and very supportive father in his hometown of Lexington. In his spare time he is a music collector, internet addict, enjoys science fiction and theology, and loves writing to his sponsored child in Indonesia, whom he supports financially through Compassion International.
Linda Freeman – President, CDF Hudson Valley NY Chapter (NY)
Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2004, Linda knew she couldn't be the only one in her community with celiac, so she posted a notice at a local restaurant that specialized in GF food and formed the Hudson Valley Celiac Disease Support Group. To give the group credibility, from the beginning Linda aligned with CDF as a connections member and in 2012 became an official chapter. Driven by the needs of its members, the group evolved into a fully functioning support group with monthly meetings with speakers and food sponsors held at Vassar Brothers Hospital and an all-volunteer board.
Linda is a former corporate communications director with an MBA and an MFA. In 2004 she made major life changes including going gluten-free and abandoning corporate life. She is now a yoga and swing dance teacher in Hudson Valley, New York as well as a writer for Living and Being magazine with a monthly column on holistic practices. She and her husband run Got2Lindy Dance studios, www.got2lindy.com.
Chandice Probst – President, CDF Arizona East Valley Chapter (AZ)
Chandice is the Founder and acting President of the Celiac Disease Foundation Arizona East Valley Chapter. "This group has been a safe haven for many in our local community. It has been so rewarding to help others and become a "celiac family" who are always there for each other. This group wouldn't be what it is without my amazing board members Brigette Heller and Christy Luedtka." said Chandice.
Chandice is also the CEO and Director of Events for Gluten Free Calendar, a company that hosts Gluten Free and Celiac Awareness Nights and pre-game parties with professional athletic teams around the nation. She also runs the popular blog Gluten Free Frenzy, which is the #1 Gluten Free Giveaway Site.
In addition to enjoying time with her best friend and husband Josh, and their two little boys, Chandice also loves teaching pilates, cycling and aqua aerobics at The Phoenician Resort and Spa in Scottsdale, AZ as well as learning all she can about natural living. Chandice received her Bachelors Degree in Exercise and Health Wellness and Certificate in Spa Management from Arizona State University. She also enjoys humanitarian work within her Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints ward. Chandice and her husband also own an online boutique, Diaperstyle, which specializes in modern cloth diapering and natural mom and baby products, all of which are gluten free!
Chandice has been featured on ABC 15 Sonoran Living Live, 3TV Your Life A to Z and Channel 12 Arizona Midday as well as in print publications Women's World and The Arcadian Journal. Chandice says, "I look forward to the exciting adventures ahead in providing support and creating more awareness in the gluten-free and celiac communities. These wonderful people deserve it!"
Laurie Sammon - President, CDF Northeast Ohio Chapter (OH)
When her 10 year old son was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2005, Laurie Sammon found her experience as a hospital pharmacy technician didn't prepare her for a medical condition treated solely by diet.
Like so many others, Laurie rolled up her sleeves, dusted off her college skills, jumped into finding new gluten-free products, and learned to read labels and navigate restaurants.
And since that initial leap, she has been jumping ever since: attending the International Celiac Symposium in NYC, working on grant writing for the Celiac Disease Conference in Northeast Ohio, attending the state's celiac conferences, and speaking on "Gluten Myths".
Laurie is proud of the Northeast Ohio Chapter. In the past 3 years, its steering committee doubled its membership. They sent over two hundred letters to physicians to raise celiac awareness, organized gluten-free dinners, spoke to future chefs about the gluten-free customer, and participated in gluten-free fairs and expos.
Nina Spitzer – President, CDF Greater Phoenix Chapter (AZ)
Nina Spitzer was biopsy-diagnosed with celiac disease in 1996. In March of 2000, she decided to fill a void in the Phoenix area for monthly celiac support by starting a CDF connections group. The group has grown steadily over the years with a consistence for offering support and celiac awareness in the Greater Phoenix area. The group is now a CDF chapter offering a School Nurse Awareness Program (SNAP) and proudly hosting an annual Gluten-Free Expo as well. In addition to being its founder, Nina is currently the President of the chapter. She is also available as a gluten-free consultant with her own company Gluten Free – Absolutely!
Jenny Darby – President, CDF Inland Empire Chapter (CA)
Kathy Button – President, CDF Ventura County Chapter (CA)
Julie Kincart – President, CDF Central Florida Chapter (FL)
Pam Fahy – President, CDF Celiac Support Group of the Mohawk Valley (NY)
Trish Cyrs – President, Chesapeake Tidewater Chapter (VA)
Lynn Gabriel – President, CDF Twin Cities Chapter (MN)