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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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. 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 email@example.com
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 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 Research and Advocacy for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She manages the Foundation’s iCureCeliac® patient registry, State Advocacy Ambassador program, 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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 Janie.Harris@celiac.org.
Brianna Evers is the Development Manager for the Celiac Disease Foundation. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Stony Brook University in New York. Brianna was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2014, which is what sparked her interest in nutrition, and eventually encouraged her to pursue her Master’s degree in Human Nutrition.
Brianna manages the Foundation’s social media channels, annual fundraising campaigns, email communications, and assists in the planning of Foundation events. Her goal is to keep the celiac community involved and informed through social media and email outreach, and hopes that her efforts will one day contribute to finding treatments and a cure for celiac disease.
Email Brianna at email@example.com.
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.
Email Matthew at firstname.lastname@example.org
Sierra Manning has worked for the Celiac Disease Foundation since August of 2019. She graduated from California Lutheran University in May of 2019 with her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with an emphasis in Law and Public Policy and a minor in Economics. Before coming to the Foundation, she interned in Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s district office, worked as a legal assistant, and in customer service.
Sierra works in coordination with the Director of Research and Advocacy to manage the Foundation’s research initiatives, advocacy programs, and general communications. She serves as project manager of the iAdvocate State Advocacy Ambassador Program, the Celiac Disease Management for Learning Environments Training Program, the 2020 Patient Advocacy Summit, and the 2021 Patient Education & Advocacy Summit.
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.
Craig Pinto is the New York Area Development Officer at the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Before CDF he earned his Masters Degree in Nonprofit Management at NYU, and ran the National Celiac Disease Society, (formerly the Kicking 4 Celiac Foundation), which worked to provide education and awareness programs for the celiac disease community.
He was a former college and professional football player, and is a three-time Guinness World Record holder for most forty-yard field goals kicked in one minute (11), 12 hours (717), and 24 hours (1,000). As a person with both Crohns’s disease and celiac disease, Craig is dedicated to helping those with celiac disease thrive to live and feel their best.
Email Craig at email@example.com
Ben Nicholson is an independent policy consultant based in Washington, DC, providing legislative, policy, and advocacy services to the Celiac Disease Foundation. He was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2015, and, like many of those who suffer with this disease, is determined to contribute to efforts to find a cure.
Ben has worked in Washington, DC for the past 18 years, including twelve years as a professional staff member on the House Appropriations Committee, where he held several roles of increasing responsibility. He most recently served as Staff Director of the Subcommittee on Homeland Security Appropriations. In this capacity, he was responsible for the oversight of more than $45 billion in federal spending on the Department of Homeland Security. Prior to serving as the Subcommittee Staff Director, Ben served as a professional staff member on the Committee on Appropriations, overseeing a variety of security and defense agencies. Ben also served for almost 10 years in the U.S. Coast Guard as a Commissioned Officer, including qualifications as both a Deck Watch Office and Engineer.
Ben is a graduate of University of Michigan where he received his MS Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering and MS in Resource Policy. He also received a BS with high honors in Naval Architecture & Marine Engineering at the United States Coast Guard Academy. He serves on the board of Government Affairs Institute at McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University and as practitioner and guest lecturer for the Department of Humanities at United States Coast Guard Academy.
Additionally, Ben is currently the Vice President for Government Affairs of L3 Technologies, a global aerospace and national security company with 2017 sales of $9.6 billion that employs approximately 31,000 people worldwide. In this position, he is responsible for leading all aspects of the company’s engagement with senior government officials and Members of Congress.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.