National Staff

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Once we find a cure for celiac disease, it won’t be due to the work of one individual. It will be because we are all working together to further the mission of Celiac Disease Foundation. We are proud of the work we do. Meet some of the extraordinary individuals who work tirelessly to keep Celiac Disease Foundation the number one resource for celiac disease.

Marilyn G. GellerMarilyn Grunzweig Geller, Chief Executive Officer

Marilyn is Chief Executive Officer for Celiac Disease Foundation (CDF), the nation’s leading voluntary health organization for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. For 14 years, Marilyn’s son suffered with debilitating symptoms despite seeking help from innumerable health professionals. A chance blood draw revealed celiac disease was the cause of his suffering. From that day forward, Marilyn, a longtime healthcare executive, became active in celiac disease advocacy, joining the CDF National Board of Directors. In 2012, Marilyn succeeded Founder Elaine Monarch as Chief Executive Officer.

Marilyn has focused CDF on two important initiatives: FDA gluten-free labeling regulations and a national awareness campaign to increase the shockingly low rate of celiac disease diagnosis. A strong believer in the power of technology, she continues to develop online tools to empower patients to seek diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease. Under her guidance CDF joined the Community Engaged Network for All (CENA), a patient empowerment network of the Patient Centered Outcomes Institute (PCORI), and is one of the first organizations to participate in the American Autoimmune Related Diseases Association (AARDA) autoimmune research network. In 2014 she hosted the autoimmune disease roundtable at the Milken Institute Partnering for Cures conference. In 2015 served on the FDA GREAT3 Steering Committee and was named an inaugural winner of the Alpha Chi Omega Real. Strong. Women. of Distinction Award.

Because of her in-depth knowledge of the issues surrounding celiac disease, Marilyn has become a primary spokesperson on the gluten-free labeling issue. She has been featured nationally on the Hallmark Channel’s Home and Family Show, internationally on television networks in Europe and the Middle East, and in numerous newspapers and magazines, including USA Today, National Geographic and Gluten-Free Living.

Marilyn brings more than 20 years of management experience in healthcare and IT operations. A former Los Angeles County and UCLA hospital administrator and RAND Corporation researcher, she is a co-founder of Medversant Technologies, where she was responsible for the company’s strategic direction and is the lead inventor of the company’s patented technologies. Marilyn’s nonprofit experience includes board positions with the Olive View-UCLA Foundation, UCLA Health Services Alumni Association and Alpha Chi Omega.

Becoming CDF’s Chief Executive Officer marks a return to her roots in public health advocacy. Selected as a Los Angeles County Department of Health Services Fellow, Marilyn received her MSPH degree from the UCLA School of Public Health and her undergraduate degree from UCLA.

Email Marilyn at

Deborah CeizlerDeborah J. Ceizler, Chief Development Officer

Deborah is Chief Development Officer for the Celiac Disease Foundation. Deborah provides senior leadership and strategic direction for the Foundation’s corporate sponsorship, fundraising, and special events, as well as for online and offline marketing and branding efforts. Previously serving as the Foundation’s Director of Marketing, Deborah brings a diverse background in advertising, marketing, and event planning.

During her tenure as Director of Marketing, revenues across key business lines increased by 600% through targeted program expansion and intensive business development. Deborah’s strategies have also helped to raise the profile of the organization from a regional support group to a national disease advocacy organization. For example, unique visitor traffic to, the Foundation’s primary communication platform, has increased from 300,000 annually to more than 7,000,000. 

In support of the Foundation’s mission, Deborah has identified and cultivated strategic relationships in the biopharma, healthcare, food manufacturing, and food service industries. She is also responsible for the planning and management of the Celiac Disease Foundation National Education Conference & Gluten-Free EXPO, which draws national attendance and features lectures from leading medical experts in celiac disease, in addition to a vast array of gluten-free companies. Deborah plays a critical role in securing the necessary funding to support the Foundation’s goals to accelerate diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease.

Email Deborah at

Lisa Shaevitz, Director of Finance

Lisa Shaevitz is the Director of Finance at Celiac Disease Foundation. She is responsible for all accounting and financial reports, expenses, and receivables. A strategic thinker and effective leader, she helps lead Celiac Disease Foundation to profitability and long-term success with their mission. Lisa graduated from UCLA with a Bachelor’s Degree, as well as an MBA from USC.

Talia Hassid

Talia Machlouf, Director of Advocacy and Research

Talia is the Director of Advocacy and Research for Celiac Disease Foundation. She is responsible for managing the Foundation’s advocacy programs, research priorities, and communications. Talia formulates the Foundation’s advocacy policy, as well as manages the Patient Advocacy Program, research grants and projects, and research studies summary initiatives. She also produces the Foundation’s electronic newsletters, website content, talking points, speeches, and presentations, among others.

Talia earned her Master’s in Public Health and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology & Social Behavior. Since her diagnosis in 2011, she has been an active member in the celiac disease community and has become a zealot for gluten-free living. Talia is passionate about helping others live happily gluten-free, and is thrilled to be involved with Celiac Disease Foundation to help advocate for celiac disease and increase public awareness.

Email Talia at


Matthew Clark, Project Manager

Matthew Clark is a Project Manager at Celiac Disease Foundation. He is responsible for overseeing the Gluten-Free Marketplace and its mobile app. His key role is selling and promoting the Marketplace while offering project support to other CDF projects and programs.

Matthew has a background in business administration, creative writing, social media, I.T., and other business oriented skills and initiatives. He is passionate about helping others and connecting people with the gluten-free and allergy-free products they need.

Laura Boone, Communications and Marketing Associate

Laura Boone is the Communications and Marketing Associate for the Celiac Disease Foundation. As the Team Gluten-Free Director, she manages CDF fundraising events and the Student Ambassador Program. Through social media channels, Laura ensures the celiac disease community is consistently informed about CDF’s research, education, and advocacy initiatives. She also cultivates relationships with food manufacturers and helps manage the annual CDF Gluten-Free EXPO.

After her diagnosis in 2011, Laura became an active leader for public health equity. She earned her Master’s in Health and Human Performance and taught Health Education at Middle Tennessee State University. She is excited to join the CDF team in empowering the lives of those with celiac disease.

Email Laura at

Julia McBeth, Research and Advocacy Coordinator

Julia McBeth has joined the Celiac Disease Foundation team in 2018, bringing with her experiences in a broad range of industries. Coordinating the research and advocacy aspects of Celiac Disease Foundation, her strong background and solid work ethic help make her a positive contribution to the team.

Email Julia at 


Craig Pinto, Development Officer

Craig Pinto is a former college and professional football player (kicker), and former college ice-hockey player who lives with both Crohn’s disease and celiac disease. He is a two time Guinness World Record holder for most field goals kicked in 12 hours (717 in 2010) and most field goals kicked in 24 hours (1000 in 2011). In 2011, he started a 501c3 non-profit organization, the National Celiac Disease Society, (formerly the Kicking 4 Celiac Foundation), which worked to provide education and awareness programs for the celiac disease community.

In 2013, he was inducted into the American Football News Hall of Fame, recognized for his football achievements and philanthropy through the sport. He was also selected by the President’s Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition to receive their Community Leadership Award, and recently was awarded the NYU Bart Lawson Award for Public Service by the University.

Recently in 2015, he received the “Portuguese-American Young Man of the Year” award.

Marianne BrooksMarianne Brooks, National Education Conference Volunteer Coordinator

Marianne Brooks is the Volunteer Coordinator for the CDF National Education Conference and Gluten-Free EXPO held each spring in Los Angeles, CA. Marianne was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2006 and has been involved in CDF activities since that time. She currently owns a small business in the South Bay, CA, and prior to this, spent 28 years in a Global Telecommunications company as the Director of Service Delivery. Marianne is very involved in her community, serving as an emergency room volunteer at a local medical center, and a volunteer at a Feed the Needy program. Marianne’s professional experience combined with her passion for celiac awareness and serving the community brought her to her role at CDF.

To be a National Education Conference Volunteer, email Marianne at

Justin TsuiJustin Tsui, TeamLogic IT

Justin and his TeamLogic IT staff provide CDF with in-depth experience and insight in IT strategy development and management. Passionate about non-profits, TeamLogic IT brings clarity, simplicity and coherent IT strategy and solutions to CDF, lowering overall operational costs and optimizing operational efficiency.

Justin holds a Masters Degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the University of California, Irvine, specializing in distributed and fault tolerant computing.


TeamLogic IT is a nationwide network of computer consultation and managed services businesses providing outsourced IT services to thousands of businesses throughout the United States. The company addresses the needs of most computer networks and systems and strives to become the “IT Partner” for small and medium-sized business customers.