Marilyn G. Geller is Chief Executive Officer for Celiac Disease Foundation. 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.
Seeking to change this all too common narrative, 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.
Founded in 1990, the Celiac Disease Foundation seeks to accelerate diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease through strategic investments in biomedical research, patient and healthcare provider education, and public policy advocacy.
Under Marilyn’s guidance, CDF has developed:
- The nation’s first and largest celiac disease patient registry, iCureCeliac®️.
- The nation’s first patient-driven clinical trial and study tool, iQualifyCeliac.
- In partnership with the Keck School of Medicine of USC and Children’s National, groundbreaking healthcare provider celiac disease education programs.
- In partnership with Children’s National and NASPGHAN, the first national standards for 504 programs in schools to support students with celiac disease.
- In partnership with NASPGHAN, the first online clinical decision support tool for celiac disease diagnosis.
An appointee to the PCORI Patient Engagement Advisory Panel and an inaugural winner of the Alpha Chi Omega Real. Strong. Women. Of Distinction Award, Marilyn has co-authored and presented numerous medical research papers and posters on celiac disease and its impact on patients. She has also emerged as a primary spokesperson for the patient and caregiver perspective on celiac disease, speaking at numerous domestic and international conferences and, most importantly, testifying before the House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies earlier this year.
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 the lead inventor of Medversant’s patented technologies. 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 [email protected]
Lisa Shaevitz is the Chief of Finance for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She is responsible for the company’s long-term financial health and growth, overseeing all accounting operations and financial reporting. Her goal is to provide accurate reporting to improve current practices and increase efficiency.
Lisa is a strategic thinker and effective leader with an entrepreneurial spirit cultivated through nearly 30 years of running her own businesses. Additionally, she brings non-profit expertise through her service on the Board of Directors for Home Ownership Made Easy (Westside Regional Center) and the establishment of HOPE Housing (Harbor Regional Center). Lisa’s experience in all roles of that board, including president, has cultivated a unique understanding of the non-profit world. She hopes her contribution will foster the financial longevity needed for the Foundation to continue its important work for many years to come.
Lisa earned her Bachelor’s degree from UCLA in Political Science with an emphasis in Business, and a Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurship from USC.
Email Lisa at [email protected]
Amanda Halligan is the Vice President of Policy and Communications at the Celiac Disease Foundation. She believes in the transformative power of story to inspire change, and it is from this perspective that she develops and implements the organization’s legislative agenda, advocacy activities, and strategic communications plan.
Amanda brings to the Foundation decades of experience working at the intersection of communications, policy, and advocacy on behalf of individuals and organizations in the public, private, and non-profit sectors. She has worked as a reporter, editor, speechwriter, spokesperson, and has served as a strategic advisor to several elected officials. She is recognized for her ability to synthesize information, develop campaigns, and successfully navigate complex communications challenges.
Amanda’s personal experience with issues of access to resources and healthcare, a protracted celiac diagnosis, and 20 years of gluten-free living all inform her daily work. From the newsroom to Capitol Hill, and many points between, she has witnessed the profound ways that narrative and policy affect our health and well-being. She is committed to strengthening and advancing the effort to diagnose, treat, and cure celiac disease—and to improve the quality of life for everyone affected.
As the second person in her family to attend college, Amanda earned her journalism degree from the University of Arizona and her honorary doctorate from the School of Hard Knocks.
Email Amanda at [email protected].
Justin and his TeamLogic IT staff provide the Celiac Disease Foundation 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.
ABOUT TEAMLOGIC IT
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.
Julia McBeth is the Director of Scientific Affairs for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She believes the celiac disease community deserves better treatment options. In service of this mission, she uses patient-centered strategies to improve awareness of clinical trials and remove barriers to participation. She manages the iQualifyCeliac study screening platform, iCureCeliac® patient registry, and partnerships with corporate and academic researchers.
Julia brings to her role at the Foundation her experience conducting research that examines the intersection of health, emotions, and addiction at the Department of Population and Public Health Sciences at the Keck School of Medicine of USC.
Her own journey with chronic illness motivated her to get involved in public health research and patient advocacy. She hopes to leverage her personal and professional experience to help improve the quality of life for all those affected by celiac disease.
Julia earned her degree in psychology at the University of Southern California.
Email Julia at [email protected]
Janie Magill is the Director of Development for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She handles a wide range of responsibilites, including the execution of annual fundraising initiatives, planning Foundation events, securing sponsorships, and producing content for multiple platforms including social media, digital, and print publications. She enjoys interacting with donors and corporate partners to align their philanthropic interests with programs and services that improve the quality of life for those with celiac disease.
Prior to joining the Celiac Disease Foundation, Janie served as Development Coordinator at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia, and more recently as the Director of Development at CARE, one of the leading global humanitarian organizations. During her tenure as Director of Development, she led individual giving efforts and managed a multi-channel fundraising campaign strategy to renew and upgrade existing donors.
Shortly after being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2015, she became committed to empowering others living a gluten-free lifestyle and served as the Gluten Intolerance Group Branch Manager. Her own celiac disease journey also led her to the Eat! Gluten-Free app, created by the Celiac Disease Foundation as a resource for new products and recipes. In her role at the Celiac Disease Foundation, she will continue to create meaningful relationships with individuals suffering with celiac disease and provide resources for them to live the best life possible.
Janie earned her Bachelor’s Degree in communications at the University of Kentucky.
Email Janie at [email protected]
Jennifer is the Communications Director for the Celiac Disease Foundation. In this role she develops and implements communications to promote the Foundation’s policy agenda and address donor interests. She handles all types of content, from the website to social media, fundraising e-newsletters to presentations and brochures.
Jennifer is a wordsmith and brand storyteller with a broad background in non-profits, higher education, and agency settings. Prior to joining the Foundation, she worked in journalism, textbooks, health agencies, alumni communications, executive communications, and copywriting. She has a knack for researching and editing and loves ensuring message consistency.
The Foundation’s mission is personal for Jennifer, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2017 and has embraced gluten-free living (and baking) ever since.
Jennifer earned a bachelor’s in Journalism from Northwestern University’s Medill school, and a master’s in Public Relations and Advertising from DePaul University. She also had the pleasure of working at each alma mater after earning her degrees.
Email Jennifer at [email protected]
Shalei L’Heureux is the Development Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. Her primary responsibilities include managing the Foundation’s Individual and Major Giving, allowing her the unique opportunity to personally connect with those who give philanthropically to the Celiac Disease Foundation, and to organize cause-marketing events.
Prior to joining the Celiac Disease Foundation, Shalei served as the Development Officer for Hoag Hospital’s Digestive Health Institute. While at Hoag, she was able to grow relationships between Digestive Health clinical partners and that Foundation, as well as secure funding for a variety of philanthropic needs for the Digestive Health Institute, build foundational relationships with donors, and plan cultivation and stewardship events.
Shalei was diagnosed with celiac disease in August of 2015 and has been passionate about patient education, advocacy, and the overall celiac disease community ever since. She is dedicated to educating others about celiac disease, while uplifting the experiences of those who are impacted by the disease themselves. In her role at the Celiac Disease Foundation, she is excited to build and foster relationships with those impacted by celiac disease, like herself, to increase funding for research, patient advocacy, and education.
Shalei’s educational background is a direct reflection of her personal and professional passions, having a Master of Nonprofit Leadership and Management, alongside a Master of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Southern California (fight on!).
Email Shalei L’Heureux at [email protected].
Jackson Rau is the Advocacy Project Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. He is tasked with expanding federal advocacy efforts for the Foundation, managing the patient advocacy program, and providing timely policy updates to the community.
Jackson has an extensive background working in Washington D.C. on behalf of more than thirty patient advocacy groups. His work has included assisting advocates in developing public policy agendas, drafting and promoting legislative initiatives, coordinating Hill Days, and working closely with Hill staff in submitting appropriations requests.
A number of Jackson’s loved ones have suffered from chronic illness throughout his life, and he was greatly impacted by the personal stories many patients shared at his last position that were simply searching for help from decisionmakers in Congress. These experiences provided Jackson with a strong passion for advocacy, and he looks forward to making a difference alongside advocates across the country to benefit the celiac disease patient community.
Jackson received his bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Maryland. Go Terps!
Email Jackson at [email protected].
Marcia Gailes is the Research Advocacy Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She believes that policy and research are integral facets in the battle against celiac disease. Her responsibilities include developing and implementing the Foundation’s research advocacy engagement strategy, managing the ICureCeliacâ patient registry, and maintaining patient relations.
Marcia brings to the Foundation her background in public health, clinical and translational research, and analytical aptitude. In addition to coordinating and conducting research, she has experience in program evaluation, database and biorepository management, and patient engagement.
Marcia has a passion towards health equity and hopes her work at the Foundation makes a positive impact in the advancement of clinical trial inclusion for those affected by celiac disease.
Marcia earned her Master of Public Health from Tufts University School of Medicine, specializing in Epidemiology and Biostatics.
Email Marcia at [email protected]
Matthew Clark is the Project Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. He believes working with all aspects of the Foundation helps to better serve the needs of the celiac disease community.
Matthew brings to his role at the Foundation his experience in technical support, customer service, creative editing & design, social media, administrative & office skills, and database management.
He is motivated by helping others and connecting people to the resources they are looking for. Matthew’s experiences with friends and family members affected by celiac disease have motivated him from an early age.
Matthew is passionate about community engagement, and is active in local community organizations.
Email Matthew at [email protected]
Marissa Mahoney is the Scientific Affairs Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. Marissa believes in the importance of scientific research and its ability to change lives, and it is from this perspective that she helps manage the Foundation’s Patient Recruitment Services for clinical trials and studies, including the iQualifyCeliac study screening platform, as well as the Foundation’s Research Awards and Prizes.
Marissa brings to the Foundation her experience advocating for patients with diverse abilities and their caregivers and healthcare providers to make critical early intervention services financially accessible. She also has experience conducting research and managing research assistants in the University of California Santa Barbara’s Social Evaluations and Emotions Lab.
Marissa is passionate about helping the community and hopes her work at the Foundation will help advance celiac disease research toward treatments and a cure.
Marissa earned her degree in psychology at the University of California Santa Barbara.
Email Marissa at [email protected].
Emma is the Scientific Affairs Coordinator for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She works in coordination with the Scientific Affairs team to manage the Foundation’s partnerships with biopharma, technical, and academic researchers, as well as providing patient recruitment services for clinical trials and studies.
Emma brings to the Foundation her background in education, which translates into her passion for making research and resources more accessible for patients and caregivers affected by celiac disease.
After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2016, Emma became committed to advocating for the needs of the celiac disease patient community. She is so grateful that she gets to spend every day connecting with others suffering with celiac disease, and working with leading industry professionals to find treatments and a cure.
Email Emma at [email protected].
Rodney English is a communications, marketing and fundraising specialist for the Foundation. He has brought to his work at the Foundation over four decades of experience in non-profits, many focused on health/patient advocacy and social justice. His expertise is using a data-driven approach to deploy multimedia campaigns to increase constituent value.
He has a degree in economics from Georgetown University.
Ian Chainey works on the Celiac Disease Foundation Healthcare Provider Directory (HPD), a database of over 1,000 providers from multiple disciplines offering care to the celiac disease patient community. In addition to data entry and database management tasks, Ian verifies and monitors licenses. No licensing body is too obscure: the HPD contains verified providers found on four continents.
Before joining the Foundation, Ian worked at credentials verification organizations, helping insurance companies, universities, and state governments to credential their healthcare providers. Ian also has experience implementing IT solutions.
“My best friend’s partner has celiac disease, and I saw what it was like trying to navigate a world that doesn’t consider your well-being,” Ian writes. “But, since I joined the Celiac Disease Foundation nearly a decade ago, the world has changed. Much of that is a credit to CDF’s immense efforts at educating the public and helping those with celiac disease find knowledgeable healthcare providers. It makes me proud knowing that my work may make the lives of future generations easier.”
Ian is a University of La Verne graduate with a degree in organizational management. In addition, Ian holds numerous CompTIA certificates.
Email Ian at [email protected].
Nicole Bragg has been a creative end since she was a little girl taking endless drawing and painting classes, which she thrived in. Nicole found her career path in Graphic Design from 1996 – 2000 at SUNY New Paltz in New Paltz, NY. She graduated magna cum laude with B.A. in Fine and Performing Arts and a concentration in Graphic Design. Nicole worked in the corporate world doing various design jobs, such as, designer for a private handbag label, she also taught Adobe Design programs like Illustrator and Photoshop for a couple years and then was a Marketing Manager for 8 years at the number one ranked Dutchess County real estate company, Prudential Serls Prime Properties. Nicole then moved on to become a freelance Senior Graphic Designer to multiple companies from New York to California in 2013. With over 20 years of design experience and 8 years working with The Celiac Disease Foundation, Nicole Bragg enjoys her creative role and being part of such an influential team that drives diagnosis and a cure for celiac disease… as she too is gluten-free, not by choice.