Leadership & Staff

Executive Staff

  • David Arons

    David F. Arons, JD

    Chief Executive Officer

    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.

  • Nance

    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.

  • antonellis

    Michael Antonellis

    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.

  • strenger

    Craig Strenger

    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.

  • Knight

    Kristina Knight

    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.

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Board of Directors


  • Michael_Nathanson2

    Michael Nathanson, JD, LLM


    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

    Sarah Durham

    Vice Chair

    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 Frishkof

    John Frishkopf


    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

    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.

Board Members

  • Dave Brown
  • Robert Burger
  • Robert Corrao
  • David Donabedian
  • Evanthia Galanis, MD
  • Autumn McDonald
  • Chandri Navarro, Esq.
  • Eric Olson, PhD
  • Thomas Roloff
  • Stephen T. Sadler, JD
  • Liz Salmi
  • Carrie Treadwell
  • Rabbi Eric B. Wisnia
  • Salo Zelermyer, JD

Co-Founder: G. Bonnie Feldman

Emeritus Board Members

  • Michael Corkin
  • Richard Genderson
  • Ken Grey
  • Steve Karol
  • Sheila Killeen
  • Jeffrey Kolodin
  • Susan Pannullo, MD
  • Cord Schlobohm, DMD
  • Charles B. Wilson, MD

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Regional Boards

Greater NY/Long Island Region

  • Kris Pollina

Mid-Atlantic Region

  • Beth Finn
  • Shari Goldstein
  • Jessica Hess
  • Mary Stein

Pac-West Region

  • Lisa O’Leary
  • Dr. Leia Nghiemphu
  • Britt Aaronson
  • Lauren Wiedmeier
  • Nancy Harris
  • Reza Sadaghiani
  • Dr. Diego Carrera
  • Terry McNiff

Southwest Region

  • J.J. Pellini

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Medical Advisory Board

  • Terri S. Armstrong, PhD, NP
    Neuro-Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute
  • Dr. Stephen Brem, MD
    University of Pennsylvania
  • Timothy Cloughesy, MD, (Vice Chair)
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Paul Fisher, MD
    Stanford University Medical Center
  • Sherry Fox, PhD, RN, CNRS
    Bon Secours Cancer Institute
  • Amar Gajjar, MD
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Mark Gilbert, MD
    Neuro-Oncology Branch, National Cancer Institute
  • Glenn Lesser, MD
    Wake Forest University Medical Center
  • Susan Pannullo, MD
    New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weil Cornell Medical College
  • Scott Pomeroy, MD, PhD
    Boston Children’s Hospital
  • Liz Salmi
    The Liz Army
  • Jeffrey Wefel, PhD
    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center
  • Dr. Patrick Wen, MD, (Chair)
    Dana Farber Cancer Institute

Scientific Advisory Council

  • Suzanne Baker, PhD
    St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
  • Joseph Costello, PhD
    University of California, San Francisco
  • David Eisenstat, MD, MA, FRCPC
    University of Alberta
  • Frank Furnari, PhD
    University of California, San Diego
  • Candece Gladson, MD
    Cleveland Clinic
  • G. Yancey Gillespie, PhD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • C. David James, PhD
    University of California, San Francisco
  • Robert Jenkins, MD, PhD
    Mayo Clinic
  • Ching Lau, MD, PhD
    Texas Children’s Cancer Center
  • Linda Liau, MD, PhD
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • Paul Mischel, MD
    University of California, Los Angeles
  • John Sampson, MD, PhD
    Duke University Medical Center
  • Evan Snyder, MD, PhD
    Sanford Burnham Medical Research Institute
  • Forest M. White, PhD
    Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jean Zhao, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Defeat GBM Strategic Scientific Advisory Council

  • Anna Barker, PhD
    Arizona State University
  • Mitchel S. Berger, MD, FACS, FAANS
    University of California, San Francisco
  • Lewis Cantley, PhD
    Weill Cornell Medical College
  • Webster Cavenee, PhD
    Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, San Diego
  • William C. Hahn, MD, PhD
    Dana-Farber Cancer Institute
  • W.K. Alfred Yung, MD
    The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center