David Arons is the Chief Executive Officer of National Brain Tumor Society. He also serves as the National Brain Tumor Society’s Chief Public Policy and Advocacy Officer. He previously served as the Director of Government Relations for the American Cancer Society in Minnesota and was the co-founder and Co-Director of the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest. He is the author of several books, including Power in Policy: A Funder’s Guide to Advocacy and Civic Participation, Strengthening Nonprofit Advocacy, and A Voice for Nonprofits. He serves on the National Cancer Institute’s Council of Research Advocates and Clinical Trials Advisory Committee. In 2016, Mr. Arons was named to the Blue Ribbon Panel of experts selected to help advise the National Cancer Moonshot, being led by Vice President Joe Biden.
Wendi Nance Huff
Interim Chief Advancement Officer
Wendi Nance Huff serves as the National Brain Tumor Society’s Interim Chief Advancement Officer and oversees development strategy and execution for the organization’s health care platform and the Cure GBM and Pediatric Cancer Cure LLCs. Ms. Nance is a senior-level development professional, who most recently served as the Associate Vice President of Institutional Advancement at the Morehouse School of Medicine (MSM). She has also served as the CEO of a South Carolina chapter of the YWCA, and is an active participant on several boards and committees in South Carolina.
National Director of Marketing Communications
Michael Antonellis is the National Director of Marketing Communications at the National Brain Tumor Society. Mr. Antonellis is a creative leader and senior executive who develops and directs marketing strategy and vision as well as all communications programs for internal and external marketing, promotion, awareness, social engagement, and branding. He leads campaigns to drive public awareness and brand recognition, build deeper engagement and loyalty from volunteers and donors, generate revenue and stewardship, and promote organization-centric fundraising and research/advocacy progress. He previously served as Director of Marketing & Communications at Harte Hanks, an international digital marketing services company, and has held senior communications and public relations positions at CAD software provider VISTAGY (now Siemens), and Lois Paul & Partners, a leading high technology and biotechnology public relations agency.
National Director of Field Operations
Craig Strenger is the National Director of Field Operations for the National Brain Tumor Society. In this executive role, Mr. Strenger is responsible for strategic field planning, Strategic corporate partnerships as well as national event fundraising, event structure development, budget creation, and training for volunteer management and sponsorship solicitation. He manages and leads a team of extremely talented regional directors that build and manage impactful events and community fundraisers. He has previously held executive positions at Penster Consulting, Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, American Diabetes Association and the Muscular Dystrophy Association.
Director, Research and Program Partnerships
Kristina Knight serves as the Director, Research and Program Partnerships. She oversees the vital work of our pediatric brain tumor research Initiative, supporting the LLC President. She also is part of our industry engagement team and organizes the annual NBTS Scientific Summit, among other responsibilities. Previously she worked overseeing the Marketing Communications department for seven years. Prior to working in the brain tumor community, Kris spent many years in branding and business development for small to mid-size businesses, working with non-profit, higher education, biotech, and technology clients. Kris has specialized in client services and project management, as well as working in-house to run marketing efforts.
Michael Nathanson is the Chair of the National Brain Tumor Society Board of Directors. He is also the Chief Executive Officer, President, and Chairman of The Colony Group, a leading independent wealth management company. He has been on the National Brain Tumor Society’s Board of Directors since 2011. He has been named eight times by Barron’s as one of the top 100 independent financial advisors in the nation. Mr. Nathanson has been living with a brain tumor since 2000.
Sarah Durham is the Vice Chair of the National Brain Tumor Society Board of Directors. She is the Principal and Founder of Big Duck, a communications firm that works exclusively with nonprofits to help reach supporters, build awareness, and raise money. She was named a top fundraiser under 40 by Fundraising Success in 2006, and one of the most influential women in technology by Fast Company in 2010.
John Frishkopf is the Treasurer of the National Brain Tumor Society Board of Directors and the Chair of the Programs Committee. He is a founder of NewStar Financial, Inc. from which he recently retired as Treasurer and Head of Asset Management. Mr. Frishkopf joined the board of NBTS after his husband, now deceased, was diagnosed with glioblastoma. A graduate of MIT and MIT Sloan, John Frishkopf has spoken at conferences and has published on using financial engineering techniques to speed the drug discovery process.
Patrick Connelly, PhD
Pat Connelly is a veteran scientist and executive in the biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. He founded and then for 10 years led the global Materials Discovery & Characterization (aka “MDC”) business unit at Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. where he co-invented medicines for hepatitis C (INCIVEK®) and cystic fibrosis (KALYDECO® and ORKAMBI®). In 2014, Connelly co-founded and led Vertex’s Corporate Innovation unit.