FIRST Announces Board of Directors for 2013

Date: 01/01/2013

Board governance is critical to the lifeline of any nonprofit. There are approximately 1.5 million nonprofit organizations in the US today and many of these will fail within the next two years. Lack of leadership is one of the most common factors that contribute to those nonprofits that struggle. FIRST is lucky to be one of the fortunate nonprofits that has had years of strong leadership and commitment by many dedicated members of our Board. Our success over the past 31 years is a direct result of those who have taken on voluntary roles in guiding and governing FIRST.

FIRST’s bylaws, which are the set of rules and guidelines that each nonprofit must follow, limit the number of years that board members and officers can serve on the board. This concept is designed to help keep FIRST fresh, with new board members rotating on and off, so new ideas and leadership expertise constantly changes as we continue to serve our members.

As 2012 comes to an end, it’s time for several board members to leave the board.

Dave Scholl has been our dedicated leader as president for the past seven years. He is a true visionary. His leadership of and love for FIRST have allowed us to become a more vibrant and well-run organization. His dedication led us to accomplish so many amazing and strategic goals to advance our mission. Dave will be handing over the reigns as president to Mike Briggs on January 1st. He will remain a Board Member for an additional year and a life-long volunteer.

John Schoendorf has been serving as FIRST’s Chief Financial Officer for the past seven years. He has seen us through some tough economic times, but through it all, John has fiscally led FIRST in right direction. FIRST is on solid ground and continues to grow financially, which is a result of the excellent stewardship of our donor’s gifts, led by John and the Finance Committee. John will be stepping down as CFO at the end of this year but will remain a Board Member for another two years.

Janet McCoy has been serving on our Board of Directors for nine years and will be rotating off at the end of this year. She has served as our Secretary and a member of FIRST’s Executive Committee for the past four years. She has also served on various committees, including our Strategic Planning and Board Development Committees. Janet is so dedicated to FIRST and she will remain a staunch volunteer for years to come.

Mark Klafter will be rotating off our board at the end of this year as well. Mark has served FIRST in many different capacities over his nine year term. He served as CFO and a member of our Website and Finance Committees. He was instrumental in getting our Research Program off the ground six years ago. He and his family have hosted multiple and very successful grassroots fundraisers in his hometown. Although Mark is leaving the board, he will continue to help raise funds by serving as our liaison to the Power Up! Energy Program.

Sherri Bale, PhD, Angela Godby, and Mark Dunkin will also be leaving our board at the end of the year. Sherri will continue to serve on our Medical & Scientific Advisory Board and will continue to be our “go to” person for genetics questions and concerns. Angela, who will continue to serve as our Advocacy Chair, will remain a committed volunteer and our “eyes and ears” in Washington, DC.  Mark has also stepped off our board to pursue other responsibilities at home and work but will remain active as a volunteer and donor.

And introducing our newest board members, who will be joining our board in 2013…

Denise Benedetto is a mother to an affected teenager and an educator in New York. She will be joined by Gabriele Richard, MD, Chief Medical Office at GeneDx, Inc. in Maryland. And, Larry Silverman, CPA, is a Founding Member of MyCFO4Life in Texas.  Larry will take over as FIRST’s CFO for the next two years. We are thrilled to have these talented and committed members join our board. Together, we will all continue to work to advance our mission – To educate, inspire, and connect those touched by ichthyosis and related disorders through emotional support, information, advocacy and research funding for better treatments and eventual cures.