Joyce A. Oberdorf, President and Chief Executive Officer
Ms. Oberdorf can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ms. Oberdorf has been President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Parkinson Foundation since March 2008. For the past five years, she has focused on transforming NPF into a technology-enabled, 21st century foundation focused on the mission of improving care through research, education and outreach aimed at better treatments and better care now.
In her role as head of NPF, Ms. Oberdorf is also a member of the board of the Parkinson’s Action Network, the advocacy arm for Parkinson’s.
Her most recent position prior to joining NPF was as Vice President, Policy, Planning and Communications for the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson Research. In that role, she was responsible for strategic planning projects, public policy and communications and marketing. She was previously a member of the board of the Thomas J. Hartman Foundation for Parkinson Research.
Prior to joining the Fox Foundation, Ms. Oberdorf was Vice President, Corporate Public Relations at Aetna Inc, one of the nation’s leading health insurance providers. In addition to oversight of all corporate and financial communications, as part of the senior management team, she was also tapped to help devise strategies for broader projects, such as corporate center restructuring and revamping health business products to be more consumer-centric.
Ms. Oberdorf began her career in financial services and financial public relations and held positions at Lehman Brothers, where she was Senior Vice President, Deputy Director of Corporate Communications; Chemical Bank, where she was Vice President, Corporate Communications; and Burson-Marsteller, where she was Vice President, Client Services Manager. Prior to that, she was a financial consultant at Merrill Lynch.
Ms. Oberdorf holds an A.B. degree, cum laude, from Douglass College, Rutgers University and an M. A. degree from Northern Illinois University.
Amy Gray, Vice President of Chapter Relations and Community Partnerships
Ms. Gray can be reached at email@example.com.
Ms. Gray joined NPF as Vice President, Chapter Relations and Community Partnerships in February 2013.
Ms. Gray has 15 years experience in fundraising, volunteer, and community partnership development, as well as chapter management. She comes to NPF with a solid grounding in chapter relations and strategic issues. She most recently worked with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) as the executive director of the Florida chapter for over five years, and brings an understanding of and interest in chronic disease management programs. During her time with CCFA, Ms. Gray launched a national walk campaign and a national endurance training program, as well as expanded services for those living with Crohn’s and colitis state-wide through new education and support programs, and developed a major gift campaign and leadership boards across the state of Florida.
Prior to joining CCFA, Ms. Gray was with the Muscular Dystrophy Association for over seven years in several positions, including more recently as the divisional field representative for the Southeastern US, where she was responsible for the development of fundraising programs and sponsor and donor development across four states.
A native of Minnesota and educated at St. Cloud State University, Ms. Gray relocated to Florida 10 years ago, where she now lives with her husband and two children.
Leilani Pearl, Vice President, Marketing & Communications
Ms. Pearl can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Leilani Pearl joined the National Parkinson Foundation in 2008. As Vice President of Marketing & Communications, she guides the communications strategy to articulate the mission of the foundation and to increase awareness of Parkinson's disease. Ms. Pearl is passionate about helping people with Parkinson's advocate for quality care. As the editor of NPF's newsletter, Parkinson Report, she is continually inspired by stories of people living well with Parkinson's.
Ms. Pearl began her work in non-profit healthcare communications as the Communications Manager for Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, focusing on women's health issues. Prior to that, Ms. Pearl worked in the field of education for nearly a decade teaching literature at Boston College and the University of Puerto Rico; she also served as a high school administrator and as an English teacher in Boston, Massachusetts.
Ms. Pearl is a graduate of the University of Vermont and holds an MA in English Literature from Boston College.
Peter N. Schmidt, Ph.D., Chief Information Officer, Vice President, Programs
Dr. Schmidt can be reached at email@example.com.
Dr. Schmidt joined NPF as Chief Information Officer and Director of Programs in June 2009.
Peter Schmidt brings a depth of experience in information technology management and execution to NPF. Dr. Schmidt was most recently Director at Cronus Partners, an investment banking firm in Norwalk, CT. Prior to this, Dr. Schmidt was president of Doctor Global, Ltd., a company offering software for chronic disease management. Among his accomplishments at Doctor Global, Ltd. was helping victims of Hurricane Katrina through their decentralized care. Dr. Schmidt is an active member of several trade groups and is widely published in both scientific and trade journals on issues around medicine, health information technology and finance.
Dr. Schmidt was awarded an M.S. and Ph.D. from Cornell University, Sibley School of Mechanical Engineering where he studied gait and balance and total joint replacement. He graduated from Harvard University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering. After a fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Dr. Schmidt temporarily left health care for the growing internet boom, taking several technology management positions at early internet companies. This culminated in a stint as the Chief Operating Officer of a non-profit joint venture of Oxford, Stanford, and Yale Universities offering on-line education.
Darcy Taylor, Vice President of Constituent Relations
Mr. Taylor can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Darcy Taylor joined NPF as Vice President of Constituent Relations in February 2013.
Mr. Taylor has over 20 years experience in corporate business as well as an extensive background in development, fundraising and coalition building. Prior to joining NPF, Mr. Taylor worked with the National Alliance for Mental Illness as its development director for over 9 years. Prior to that, he held positions with the National Coalition for Children and Families, the International Justice Mission and the Woodley House. Mr. Taylor specializes in major gifts, planned giving, DM mail, general donor programs, foundations and corporations. Mr. Taylor also has an extensive background in strategic planning.
Educated in California, Mr. Taylor oversees NPF’s efforts to develop and successfully execute funding strategies. His personal experiences have forged a passion and determination for dealing with issues of health and their impact on the lives of individuals in all communities.
Jill Wisth, Vice President, Finance & Administration
Ms. Wisth can be reached at email@example.com.
Jill Wisth brings the Foundation more than 25 years of experience in senior financial, operations and management positions successfully leading, building, strengthening the corporate finance functions for capital intensive, public, private and non-profit organizations.
Her most recent position prior to joining NPF was as the Chief Financial Officer of UCP of Central Florida, a voluntary health and welfare non-profit organization providing education and therapeutic services to children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other special need conditions. She was directly responsible for finance, accounting, treasury, Human Resources and MIS Functions.
Prior to joining UCP of Central Florida, Ms. Wisth was Chief Financial Officer at City Beverages an Anheuser-Busch distributor.
She holds her MBA degree with honors from Nova Southeastern University and a Bachelors of Accounting degree from Nova Southeastern University.
Dr. Bernard J. Fogel, Chairman
Dr. Fogel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dr. Fogel has served on the Board of Directors of the National Parkinson Foundation since 2007. In 2008, the Board elected Dr. Fogel to serve as Chairman. A long time friend of National Parkinson Foundation, Dr. Fogel has a personal interest in Parkinson’s disease and is committed to bringing his knowledge and expertise to assist the organization in their mission.
From 1981 to 1995, Dr. Fogel served as Senior Vice President for Medical Affairs and Dean at the University of Miami Leonard M. Miller School of Medicine. With an annual budget of nearly $500 million and research awards in excess of $100 million, the University of Miami School of Medicine ranks in the top 15 percent of the 127 medical schools in the country in terms of research and sponsored programs. Dr. Fogel currently holds the position of Dean Emeritus at the School of Medicine and has been instrumental in the development of many national organizations and societies, including the Jay Weiss Center for Social Medicine and Health Equity.
Dr. Michael S. Okun, National Medical Director
Michael S. Okun, MD, received his B.A. in History from Florida State University, and his M.D. from the University of Florida where he graduated with Honors. Dr. Okun completed an internship and Neurology residency at the University of Florida. Following residency he was trained at Emory University, one of the world’s leading centers for movement disorders research, in both general movement disorders and in microelectrode recording/surgical treatments. He is currently Co-director of the Movement Disorders Center located within the McKnight Brain Institute and the University of Florida College of Medicine. The center is unique in that it is comprised of over 25 interdisciplinary faculty members from diverse areas of campus, all of whom are dedicated to care, outreach, education and research.
Dr. Okun has been dedicated to this interdisciplinary care concept, and since his appointment as the National Medical Director for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2006, he has worked with the NPF Centers to help foster the best possible environments for care, research and outreach in Parkinson's disease. Dr. Okun has been supported by grants from the National Parkinson Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Parkinson Alliance, and the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Disease Research, and he currently runs the online “Ask the Doctor” forum on the National Parkinson Foundation web site. Dr. Okun has dedicated much of his career to helping in the development of care centers for people suffering with movement disorders, but has also has enjoyed a prolific research career exploring non-motor basal ganglia brain features and he has participated in some of the pioneering studies exploring the cognitive, behavioral, and mood effects of brain stimulation.
Dr. Okun holds the Adelaide Lackner Associate Professorship in Neurology, has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles, is a published poet (Lessons From the Bedside, 1995), and has served as a reviewer for more than 25 major medical journals. He has been invited to speak about Parkinson's disease and movement disorders in various regions throughout the world, and he is currently a faculty and founding member for SUPPORT-PD, which aims to bring functional Parkinson and Movement Disorders Surgery to “countries in need” around the globe.
Dr. Ariel Y. Deutch, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor and Chair of NPF’s Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Deutch is a Professor of Psychiatry and Pharmacology and Director of the Vanderbilt University Medical Center—a designated NPF Center of Excellence. Dr. Ariel Deutch joined the Vanderbilt Faculty in 1996. His studies focus on central dopamine systems and their involvement in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia and Parkinson’s disease, and in the mechanisms of action of antipsychotic drugs. He is a member of the Scientific Council of NARSAD and is Chairman of the Scientific Advisory Board of the National Parkinson Foundation.
NPF’s Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board performs peer review accreditation processes, sets research agendas, directs clinical research programs, issues request-for-application (RFAs), and forms grant review committees.