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 this work we do.

Marilyn Grunzweig Geller

Chief Executive Officer

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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]

Deborah J. Ceizler

Chief Development Officer

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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 celiac.org, 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.

Deborah plays a critical role in assuring the implementation of strategies to developing donors and securing the necessary funding to support the Foundation’s goals to accelerate diagnosis, treatments, and a cure for celiac disease.

Email Deborah at [email protected].

Amanda Halligan

Senior Director of Policy and Communications

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Amanda Halligan is the Senior Director of Policy, Communications, and Marketing for 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 strategic marketing and communications plan, manages media relations activities, and oversees advocacy program strategy.

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 17 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].

Lisa Shaevitz

Director of Finance

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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.

Justin Tsui

Director of Technology

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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.

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

Director of Scientific Affairs

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Julia McBeth is the Director of Scientific Affairs for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She manages the Foundation’s iCureCeliac® patient registry, iQualifyCeliac study screening platform, partnerships with biopharma/tech and academic researchers, and Patient Recruitment Services for clinical trials and studies.

Julia earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Southern California. Her background is in research in the Preventive Medicine Department of the Keck School of Medicine of USC, where she studied the intersection of health, emotions, and addiction.

Her own journey with chronic illness motivated her to get involved in research and advocacy to help others navigate similar difficult health conditions. She hopes to contribute to improving the quality of life for all those affected by celiac disease.

Email Julia at [email protected]

Janie Magill

Director of Development

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Janie joined the Celiac Disease Foundation in September 2021 as the Director of Annual Giving with more than five years of non-profit experience. Prior to joining the Celiac Disease Foundation, she served as the Director of Development at CARE, one of the leading global humanitarian organizations and as the Program Coordinator for Stewardship at the Cathedral of St. Philip in Atlanta, Georgia.

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 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.

As Director of Annual Giving at the Celiac Disease Foundation, Janie handles a wide range of functions, 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.

Janie is committed to improving the lives of those impacted by celiac disease and is thrilled to to help accelerate diagnosis and forge pathways to a cure.

Email Janie at [email protected].

Matthew Clark

Project Manager

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Matthew Clark is a Project Manager at Celiac Disease Foundation. He is responsible for overseeing the Eat! Gluten-Free, database management, office administration, and more.

Matthew has a background in business administration, creative writing, social media, I.T., political science, and other business oriented skills and initiatives. He is passionate about helping others, and is active in his community.

Email Matthew at [email protected]

Marissa Mahoney

Scientific Affairs Manager

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Marissa earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Applied Psychology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She conducted research in UCSB’s Social Evaluations and Emotions Lab, where she studied the effects of intergroup threat theory and intergroup similarity on American-immigrant relationships. She grew up in California and interned for the Celiac Disease Foundation during the summers of 2015 and 2016. She now lives in Seattle, Washington and is excited to return to the Foundation as Research and Advocacy Coordinator.

Marissa works in coordination with the Director of Research and Advocacy to manage the Foundation’s partnerships with biopharma/tech and academic researchers and Patient Recruitment Services for clinical trials and studies. She also works with the Research and Advocacy Manager to support the Foundation’s advocacy programs and initiatives.

Emma Kowzun

Scientific Affair Coordinator

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Emma Kowzun is a Research and Advocacy Coordinator for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She works in coordination with the rest of the Research and Advocacy team to manage the Foundation’s partnerships with biopharma, tech and academic researchers, as well as patient recruitment services for clinical trials and studies.

Emma graduated with her bachelor’s degree from Messiah University, where her passions for education and advocacy led her to nonprofit work. After being diagnosed with celiac disease in 2016, Emma became committed to advocating for the celiac community. She is so grateful that she gets to spend every day forming relationships with others suffering with celiac disease, and working towards finding a treatment and a cure.

Rodney English

Development and Government Relations Officer

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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

Healthcare Practitioner Directory Coordinator

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Nicole Bragg

Senior Graphic Designer

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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.