MRF Executive Leadership & Board
The Melanoma Research Foundation’s Board of Directors, working in partnership with the Executive Director and staff, defines the vision, mission and values for the organization and establishes plans and policies. Each member of the Board of Directors has a vested interest in melanoma, either as a physician or researcher involved in the treatment or research of the disease, as a patient, family member or friend of a melanoma patient.
Board of Directors
Stan Adler (New York)
Stan is the founder and creative director for Stan Adler Associates, a full-service marketing communications firm, based in New York City, established in 1979. After being successfully treated for Stage IV metastatic melanoma with high dose IL-2 in 2005, he discovered the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and became an active participant on the bulletin board and in the chat room to try and help melanoma patients make informed decisions about their treatment. As a patient advocate, Stan speaks frequently around the country to groups of doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers about his experiences battling metastatic melanoma. Stan and his wife Aviva live in New Rochelle, NY and have three married children and three grandchildren.
Michael B. Atkins (Washington, D.C.)
Michael B. Atkins, MD, is Deputy Director of the Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. and Professor of Oncology and Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Prior to his move to Georgetown, Dr. Atkins was Deputy Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office, Director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program, and Director of the Biologic Therapy Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In addition, he was the leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He served as Director of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant and co–principal investigator of the DF/HCC Skin Cancer SPORE since their inceptions in 2003 and 2001, respectively.
Dr. Atkins completed his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine, and postgraduate training at Tufts New England Medical Center Hospital. Dr. Atkins’ major research interests are cancer immunotherapy, treatment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, predictive markers for response to biologic therapy, and antiangiogenic and targeted therapies. His research work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, various foundations, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Rebecca Dreman (Colorado)
Rebecca King Dreman, Esq. was crowned Miss America in 1974. After her year of service, she attended the University Of Denver Sturm College Of Law and is currently a practicing attorney specializing in Family Law. In addition to her role as an attorney, Rebecca serves on the Miss America Pageant Board of Directors. In September 2010, Rebecca was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma. After enrolling in a combination therapy clinical trial, she finds herself NED (no evidence of disease). Rebecca received the MRF’s Courage Award in 2012 for her courageous battle with melanoma.
Rebecca has been featured in Vogue, USA Today, People: 25th Anniversary Edition, as well as The PBS American Experience and The BBC’s More Than Just A Pretty Face. Among her many television appearances, Rebecca has appeared on The Tonight Show, The Today Show, Carson's Comedy Classics and co-host of the Rose Bowl Parade. She lives in Denver, CO with her husband and has two daughters.
Tucker Eskew (Virginia)
Tucker Eskew is a founding partner of Vianovo, an international management and communications consulting firm. Tucker began his career in the national headquarters of President Ronald Reagan's 1984 re-election campaign. From there he went on to serve as Press Secretary and Communications Director to South Carolina Governor Carroll Campbell. Later, he served as Deputy Assistant to President George W. Bush and Director of the White House Office of Global Communications, and as Director of the White House Office of Media Affairs. In the mid-90s, Tucker co-founded an electronic commerce business and later started a South Carolina-based public relations and business-consulting firm. He serves on several philanthropic and educational boards, including the advisory council to the Communication Department of the College of Charleston. He holds a BA in Political Science from the University of the South (Sewanee).
Joe Fazio, Board Secretary (Pennsylvania)
Joe Fazio, recently retired, was an independent contractor providing Business Development Services to clients in the Philadelphia, PA area. He was previously Chief Operating Officer of the Mommy’s Light Lives On Fund in Exton, PA, which works to bring comfort to children whose mothers have died by helping them keep alive traditions they shared with their mothers. Prior to joining Mommy’s Light, Joe was the Director of Business Development at IMC Construction Company, a national commercial construction firm based in Malvern, PA. Before his stint with IMC, Joe spent 25 years as a Retail Executive with Genuardi’s Family Markets, headquartered in Norristown, PA. Joe holds a BS degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, NC, and an MBA from Temple University in Philadelphia, PA.
Joe, along with his three children, created the Susan Fazio Foundation for Melanoma Research (SFFMR) in 2006 in honor of his wife who died from mucosal melanoma. The SFFMR has raised over $400,000 since its inception and has funded four research grants through the MRF.
Jeffrey Harris, Vice Chair of the Board (California)
Jeff Harris is an alliance director at Oracle responsible for leading the PwC Diamond partnership for North America. In this role, Jeff focuses on expanding the strategic partnership between the 2 firms. Prior to this, Jeff served as a Principal with KPMG LLP in KPMG’s Silicon Valley Office, where he was the lead advisory partner for KPMG's Venture Capital practice and also served as a primary national trainer for a variety of service offerings. In addition to his work with the MRF, Jeff currently serves as a Board Member for the University of Victoria Faculty of Business and was recognized as one of the Top 25 alumni to watch for the University of Victoria's Gusatavson School of Business.
Anthony T. Hendrickson (California)
Prior to retirement, Tony Hendrickson served as Vice President & Chief Accounting Officer at Caliper Technologies, Inc., a microfluidics research and manufacturing biotechnology company. As a member of the executive management team, Tony was responsible for all finance, SEC, facilities, risk management and treasury operations. Before his time at Caliper Technologies, Tony served as Corporate Controller & Chief Accounting Officer at SEQUUS Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a $62 million biotechnology company which clinically developed manufactured and marketed oncological pharmaceutical products. His resume also includes serving as Director of Finance & Administration at a subsidiary of Lanier Worldwide; Senior Manager at KPMG LLP, Information & Computing Tax Advisory Practice; and management positions at Syntex Corporations. He holds a BBA from the University of Cincinnati and an MBA from Ohio State University.
George P. Jameson, Board Treasurer (Illinois)
George Jameson is the Founding Managing Director, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operating Officer of Dearborn Partners, LLC. Prior to founding Dearborn Partners, he was a Managing Director of the Fixed Income Division of Nesbitt Burns Securities, Inc., a subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal. He began his career at Goldman, Sachs & Co., where he served 16 years in various capacities, including Fixed Income Product Manager, Midwest Regional Manager and Vice President. George also served as Senior Managing Director and Head of Fixed Income Sales and Marketing at First Chicago Capital Markets. He earned a BS in Industrial Management from Georgia Institute of Technology and holds an MBA from Emory University.
C. Randy Lomax, MA, MFT (California)
Randy Lomax is a Stage III melanoma survivor. He served as Chairman of the MRF Board for ten years. He is now the President and CEO of the Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC), whose mission is to accelerate the research and development of the most promising therapeutics for melanoma in order to deliver curative options to patients.
Randy has both a Bachelors and Masters degree in Psychology and is a licensed Marriage and Family therapist. He has taught and worked in the counseling center of De Anza College for 38 years, retiring in June of 2009. His expertise included Human Sexuality and Drug and Alcohol abuse. Randy has been nationally recognized for his teaching excellence.
Chad MacDonald (Virginia)
Chad MacDonald is the Managing Partner in Connected Ventures, LLC, which invests in entrepreneurs and technology-enabled businesses that develop innovative service and supply chain companies that are disruptive to the real estate service, distribution procurement and financial services industries. Chad had been honored three times in Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year program and his company has also been recognized over the years in Inc. Magazine's 500/5000 Fastest Growing Companies.
Chad lost his wife Brenda in April 2005 to melanoma. In May 2005, The Brenda MacDonald Melanoma Research Foundation was established by Chad and their three sons, Zachary, Matthew and Kyle, to support research and advocacy for melanoma. In addition to supporting melanoma research, Chad serves as the Chairman of YPO, US Capital Chapter, and serves on numerous Boards including: Connected Services Technology, Integrated Supply, SmartCeo Publishing, Destination Cellars, Nissco and Professional Apartment Services.
William G. Reilly (Virginia)
Bill Reilly has served as the President/Owner of Champion Title & Settlements, Inc. since 1993 and has over 15 years experience in Commercial and Government Systems Sales. He serves as director of the Champion Way Foundation and is a member of ALTA, the Chamber of Commerce for Montgomery County, Maryland, the Northern Virginia Builders Industry Association, and Our Lady of Hope Church. Bill earned his BA in Business Administration at Roanoke College.
Ze’ev Ronai (California)
Ze'ev Ronai obtained his PhD degree in 1985 from The Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel and completed his postdoctoral research at Columbia University in New York. He established the Molecular Carcinogenesis Program at the American Health Foundation in Valhalla, New York, and in 1997 moved to the Ruttenberg Cancer Center at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where he was a tenured professor. During 2005, Dr. Ronai relocated to the Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute in La Jolla California, where he is currently a Professor, the Deputy Director of the NCI-designated Cancer Center, as well as the Scientific Director of the La Jolla campus. Among current research interests are studies on the mechanisms underlying the cellular response to stress, and their role in cancer development and response to therapy. Dr. Ronai uses biochemical, cell biological, and genetic tools to address key questions, identify new targets for therapy and determine their relevance in the development as well as in the resistance of melanoma to therapy.
Steve Silverstein, Chair of the Board (New Jersey)
Formally the President & CEO of Kurt Versen Company, manufacturers of specifications downlighting equipment, Steve Silverstein now serves as Chairman of the MRF Board. He is a Stage IV melanoma survivor who was a complete responder to IL-2. He has been an active advocate for patients since his own treatment and joined the MRF board in 2009. Steve also serves on both the Board of Trustees for Valley Hospital in Ridgewood, NJ and the Board for the YJCC of Bergen. He holds a BS in Business from USC and an MBA from New York University. Read Steve's letter
Cheryl Stratos (Virginia)
Cheryl Stratos was diagnosed with Stage IV melanoma in November 2009. She enrolled in a phase two clinical trial at UCLA and attributes research and drug development to saving her life. Since her diagnosis, she has dedicated herself to advocating for melanoma research advancement in hopes of finding a cure. She brings her background in nonprofit marketing, promotion and event planning to her role at the MRF. Cheryl has worked in the nonprofit sector for the past 25 years, helping organizations succeed at meeting their goals. After 13 years with Innovative Associate Solutions, Cheryl left her position as Partner to start her own firm in January 2013, called Media/Convention Sales, LLC. She holds a BS degree in economics and marketing from George Mason University and an AS in association management from the University of Delaware.
Joel M. Zaklin (New Jersey)
Joel Zaklin currently serves as Vice President of Contract Sales and Development at G&W Laboratories and was the founder and President of RZA, Inc., an international marketing and advertising agency. Prior to his time at RZA, Joel worked in advertising for Volkswagen of America, MovieMedia, Inc. and Prentice Hall. He received a BA from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Joel is married with three children.
Executive Leadership Staff
Timothy (Tim) Turnham, Ph.D.