Board of Directors
Chair: Sue Rehmus (Mableton, GA)
An internationally experienced communication professional, Sue Rehmus supports senior executives with strategic messaging, speech writing and delivery, and presentation development. She helps companies accomplish business objectives through effective communication with employees at all levels. Currently, Sue leads the internal communication for the global human resource function of CGI, the world’s fifth largest independent information technology and business process solutions firm. Prior to CGI, Sue worked for General Motors where she led several complex communication initiatives in Michigan, Tennessee, Dubai, and South Africa in the 10 years she was with the company.
Sue is also the founder of CHUMS – Children’s Hope for Understanding Multiple Sclerosis. CHUMS is the only multiple sclerosis based non-profit organization in the United States to give children, whose lives are affected by MS, the hope, resources, knowledge, support, and skills to effectively cope with the disease as a component of their life. Established in 1993, CHUMS is inspired by and is a direct tribute to Sue’s father who battled chronic progressive MS for 27 years before his death in 1993 at the age of 50. It is primarily through Sue’s partnership with the MSAA that she provides the CHUMS experience to children and families throughout the country.
Sue has been on MSAA’s Board of Directors since 2004 and currently serves as Chair of the Board. Sue earned her bachelor's degree in Communication from Michigan State University and master's degree in Communication and Multimedia from Saginaw Valley State University.
Vice Chair: Jim Anderson (Ridgeland, MS)
Jim Anderson is the Managing Member of Anderson Crawley & Burke, pllc, a Mississippi law firm headquartered in the Jackson, Mississippi area. An Honor graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi and a cum laude graduate of the Mississippi College School of Law, he is active in numerous professional organizations surrounding his private law practice where he focuses on workers' compensation litigation, insurance/self-insurance regulation, and mediation. He carries Martindale Hubbell's highest rating (A-V), has been listed in The Best Lawyers in America since 1995, and he was named Lawyer of the Year for 2012 by Best Lawyers in the field of Workers' Compensation - Employers in the Jackson, Mississippi area. Also in 2012, he was named the Lawyer of the Year for Outstanding Lifetime Achievement in the Legal Community by the Mississippi College School of Law.
Treasurer: William Saunders (Bryn Mawr, PA)
Having become interested in alternative investments 25 years ago, Bill created, in 2005, Meeteetse Advisors, LLC, a financial services company specializing in alternative investments. Meeteetse assists wealthy, sophisticated investors in finding superior, smaller, alternative investment managers and opportunities that are housed in limited partnerships which invest in physical assets, such as real estate, private equity, mineral rights, timber, and various hedge funds.
Bill has been involved with various charities around Philadelphia: the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, where he was its head of Forum 3; the Center for Literacy, where he has been its Deputy Chairman, is on its Executive Committee, and chairs its Development Committee. At MSAA, he is its Treasurer, and member of its Executive Committee.
A cum laude graduate of the University of Pennsylvania, with honors in Russian Language and Literature, Bill speaks Russian, French, and Polish. He is married with two sons and lives with his wife, Sally, in Bryn Mawr, Pennsylvania.
Secretary: Monica Derbes Gibson (Washington, DC)
Monica Derbes Gibson is an environmental attorney who has practiced in both the federal government and the private sector. Currently of counsel at Venable LLP, she previously served as a trial attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice and as an attorney and manager in the Office of General Counsel at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. She also spent several years with the law firm of Liskow & Lewis in her home town of New Orleans.
Ms. Gibson is an active member of the community. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, and she currently serves as the Secretary and as a member of the Audit Committee. She also volunteers as a cook for So Others Might Eat, a Washington DC organization that helps the homeless. At St. Peter School on Capitol Hill, where her son is in fifth grade, she has served in numerous volunteer capacities, including bringing Mardi Gras to St. Peter School students.
Ms. Gibson is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was on the managing board of the Virginia Environmental Law Journal and was active in community theatre and the Charlottesville AIDS Support Group. She is a member of the American Bar Association and is admitted to practice in Louisiana, Virginia, and the District of Columbia. She is also a member of the bars of the Supreme Court and the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, the First Circuit, the Fourth Circuit, and the Fifth Circuit.
Robert J. Barth, Ph.D (Chattanoga,TN)
Robert J. Barth, Ph.D. has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Neuropsychology, for making “significant contributions to the science and profession of neuropsychology.” He has been invited to provide faculty, writing, editorial review, and program development duties for many health science academies, governmental agencies, healthcare publishers, and other organizations (e.g., American Medical Association, American Osteopathic Association, American Psychological Association, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, American Academy of Neurology, etc.).
His family accuses him of excessively doing volunteer work, due to his very long history of involvement with a wide variety of health-related non-profit organizations (e.g., focused on helping people who are faced with incurable illness, brain injury, dementia, occupational injuries, disability, etc.).
Timothy Garrett (St. Louis, MO)
Timothy Garrett graduated from Parks College of Saint Louis University with a Bachelor of Science of Aerospace Engineering in 1981. Currently working for Boeing Phantomworks, Tim is an expert at aircraft configuration advanced design with 33 years of experience. Mr. Garrett was the lead configurator on the X-36 tailless demonstrator that led to the successful flight program in 1997-1998. In addition, Mr. Garrett holds five aerospace patents.
Tim was diagnosed with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis in 1989. Tim is also a speaker at MS patient programs where he inspires patients to never give up their dreams. Tim's dream of building and flying a two-seat experimental homebuilt aircraft while working his dream job were all accomplished while living with MS. Tim currently holds a private pilot license with over 700 hours logged. Most of that flight time was after his MS diagnosis.
Annette M. Howard, MD (Houston,TX)
Annette M. Howard, MD is from Houston, Texas where she currently serves as Medical Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Institute of Texas since 2001. Her education includes the Dr. Michael DeBakey High School for Health Professions in Houston, Bachelor of Arts in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas, Master of Public Health in Health Services Administration from University of Texas School of Public Health in Houston, Texas, Medical Degree from University of Pittsburgh from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, plus advanced training in Internal Medicine and Neurology from Baylor College of Medicine Affiliated Hospitals in Houston, Texas. Prior to establishing to MSIT, Dr. Howard was Assistant Professor of Neurology and Medical Director of the Multiple Sclerosis Clinic at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Dr. Howard has served on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America since June, 2006 and been a member of Nominating, Development, Audit, Programs and Services committees. She currently serves as the Chair of the Healthcare Advisory Council and Program and Services committee.
Laura Kimball (Black Creek, WI)
My name is Laura Kimball. I work full time as a first shift Operating Coordinator for WOW Logistics-a warehousing and distribution company. I grew up on a dairy farm in Wisconsin and have a love for the outdoors and animals, especially horses. I started to compete with horses at an early age in 4-H but especially had a passion for the speed events so turned to the sport of barrel racing. My husband Kelvin and I live in Black Creek WI with our two horses, two goats and dog.
I was diagnosed with relapsing and remitting multiple sclerosis in 1991 at the age of 25. At that time, there were no treatments for MS and was told to quit my job, sell my horses and apply for disability. I was told to go home and adjust to living the rest of my life in a wheelchair and that basically there was no hope - I would never compete again. A year later, I learned about a new drug to be tested for MS and was screened and accepted to be a study patient at UW Hospital in Madison WI. I am still one of the original study patients participating in this study 20 years later. I have been fortunate enough to become an advocate for Teva and Copaxone and have been invited to speak at MS patient programs all across the country. I was representing Teva at the 2011 MSAA Cattle Drive in Texas when I first met Doug Franklin who then invited me to become a member of the Board of Directors for MSAA. I am very proud to serve with this group of professional and intelligent people who passionately want to help MSAA and the people with MS. The one thing I have learned in living with MS is you always have to have hope and the MSAA offers this hope to people with MS and their families! They truly are a lifeline for people with a disease that still has no cure. We’ve come a long way but there is much work to be done yet. I also continue to compete in the sport of barrel racing and served as the Wisconsin State Director for the National Barrel Horse Association from 1994 to 1999 and was a two-time Wisconsin NBHA State Champion in 2002 and 2006. I want to use my life as an example to others not to give up - there is always HOPE!
Robert Manley (Eastchester, NY)
Bob Manley is a registered nurse working in the home health care industry for more than thirty years. He began his career in public health at the Visiting Nurse Service of New York in 1979. In his early twenties Mr. Manley was promoted to the position of Patient Service Manager, one of the youngest RN’s ever to attain this distinction at VNSNY. In 1981 he worked with Cambodian refugees in Southeast Asia and later coordinated the development of a mobile health unit, jointly sponsored by Cornell Medical School’s Department of International Medicine and the International Rescue Committee. The mobile unit provided clinical outreach and initiated an immunization program for more than a dozen remote villages along the Cambodian border in Thailand. In 1986 at the age of thirty, he founded PRN Professional Registered Nursing, a home care services agency licensed by the New York State Department of Health, which specializes in providing emergency after hours coverage to a number of the most prominent home health agencies in the New York metropolitan area. In addition to running PRN, Mr. Manley currently works as a Health Care Consultant to several Managed Care Organizations. In 2005 Mr. Manley was asked to speak in St. Louis at the National Meeting for the ALS Association, the topic “Reawaken Your Passion”, addressed burnout among caregivers and staff. In May 2006 he received the “Corporate Community Service Award” for “Outstanding Philanthropy” from the Visiting Nurse Association of Hudson Valley.
John McCorry (Princeton, NJ)
John McCorry is Executive Editor, Americas at Bloomberg News, where he is responsible for headline news from North and South America and coordinates coverage from 53 bureaus in the region. Previously, McCorry had been in charge of global company and regional news operations since 2003.
Prior to that, McCorry was Managing Editor for North American company news, a position he began in 1998. He joined Bloomberg as a reporter in 1992 covering municipal finance and the bond markets and helped Bloomberg News win a Deadline Club award for its coverage of the Orange County bankruptcy.
He became an editor for company news in 1995, and helped lead Bloomberg's coverage of tobacco settlement negotiations; selective disclosure and Enron Corp. Stories on two of those topics -- selective disclosure and Enron's collapse -- were finalists for Gerald Loeb Awards for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism. McCorry was Managing Editor of the Bond Buyer from 1982 through 1987 and the Founding Editor of Bond World for Thomson Financial in 1990.
Christine Snyder (Southfield, MI)
Christine Snyder has been part of the Little Caesars organization since 1997. While working for the 3rd largest pizza chain in the world, Christine built on her graphic design and communication skills and grew into her current position of Director of Brand Marketing. In this role, Christine is responsible for managing the national marketing calendar; including the national campaigns and promotions, marketing and brand positioning communication, product messaging and category management. She also serves as a co-captain in the coordination, development and execution of the annual Little Caesars global business conference and was recognized in 2009 and again in 2014for her contributions to the company with a Little Caesars Achievement Award.
Christine graduated magna cum laude from Alma College (Michigan) receiving her BFA degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design and Communication. Throughout the years, Christine has been volunteering her time and talent in several different ways from supporting CHUMS (Children’s Hope for Understanding Multiple Sclerosis), coaching high school and Special Olympic athletics to volunteering at senior living homes. She currently serves on the MSAA Board of Directors and chairs the Marketing and Communications committee.
Robert Soileau (New Richmond, WI)
Bobby is the founder/owner/master craftsman of James Robert & Son, Llc. Pairing a passion for working with his hands and an MBA degree that he used in progressive corporate positions over 14 years after completing his graduate work in London England. Bobby focuses his custom cabinetry and precision carpentry business on executive and historic homes in the Minneapolis/Saint Paul metropolitan market.
Bobby has volunteered his time with numerous charity and professional organizations, including MSAA for the past eight years.
Bobby spends his personal time traveling with his partner Michelle and enjoying the outdoors with his growing children Andy and Maggie. Bobby is also an avid high-altitude mountain snowmobiler.
Thomas J. Vassallo (Mohegan Lake, NY)
Tom Vassallo was one of the founding partners of Axis Global Systems in 1997. As a Managing Director, he is responsible for sales, warehousing, distribution, and strategic planning at Axis Global Logistics.
After graduating from Lehman College/CUNY, where he majored in political science, he began his career in freight forwarding and logistics in 1980 with KRK Expediting (later to become BEK Expediting), a New York based forwarder. Tom initially worked in operations, later moved into sales, becoming Vice President of Sales in 1982. Always looking for new challenges, in 1990, he initiated the warehousing and fulfillment group and moved up to Executive Vice President, responsible for both the freight and warehouse divisions, both in sales and operations.
In 1997, he founded along with three partners, Axis Global Systems, a New York based freight forwarder. Over the past 16 years Tom has worked to build Axis Global Logistics, a complete supply chain provider, with locations in North America, the UK, and Asia. He continues to focus on building the Axis brand and moves forward in working with the organization's technology to provide an international supply chain solution.
Tom currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Multiple Sclerosis Association of America. He has volunteered his time and support for 25 years with several charity organizations.
Mary Alissa Willis, MD (Jackson, MS)
Alissa Willis is a board certified neurologist practicing at the Mellen Center for Multiple Sclerosis Treatment and Research at the Cleveland Clinic. Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, she graduated summa cum laude from the University of Mississippi Medical School. Her interest in multiple sclerosis began as a medical student and grew during neurology residency at UMMC. She completed fellowship training in clinical neuroimmunology at the Mellen Center in 2011.
Alissa joined the MSAA Board of Directors in May 2013. She also serves on the editorial board for the International Journal of MS Care and participates in research at the Mellen Center. She supports the efforts of her local National MS Society chapter through educational talks and participation in the annual MS bike ride.
|Last Updated on Friday, 24 October 2014 08:43|