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Board

Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s Board of Directors is made up of parents, grandparents, family members, and friends of those living with Duchenne. Unlike many nonprofits, PPMD’s Board is hands on, not only governing the organization, but directly working within many of PPMD’s programs.

John Killian, Board Chairman
John KillianJohn Killian lives in Dallas Texas with his wife, Stefanie, and five children, Abbie, Nick, Ben, Sam, and Sophie. Their youngest son, Sam, was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in January 2005. John is a Director and Chief Financial Officer of a private real estate fund with Clarion Partners.

Ellen Wagner, Board Treasurer
Board Member - No PhotoBio coming



Christine L. Piacentino, Board Secretary
Christine L. PiacentinoChristine L. Piacentino is an Senior IT Business Risk and Control Management Analyst with HSBC. Prior to that she was an IT Audit Consultant with Robert Half Management Resources, an IT Auditor and a IT Project Manager. Christine is a Certified Information Systems Auditor. Christine was elected to Parent Project Muscular Dystrophy’s board of directors in 1999 and served as the Secretary from 1999 until 2011. She was re-elected to the board in December of 2014. She is also currently a co-coordinator for the Western NY FACES group and is the NY State Advoacy Captain for PPMD. Christine lives in a suburb of Rochester NY. She is married to Michael and has two children, Kathryn and Jonathan. Jonathan was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy on December 31, 1997.

Lawrence Charnas, MD
Board Member - No PhotoBio coming



Linda Cripe, MD
Linda Cripe, MDLinda Cripe, MD, is a professor of pediatrics and a pediatric cardiologist for The Heart Center. She is also a member of the physician team for the Neuromuscular Disorders section of The Neurosciences Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Dr. Cripe completed her residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. She served as a pediatric cardiology fellow at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, and at Children’s Hospital Boston. Before coming to Nationwide Children’s, Dr. Cripe spent 12 years at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. Dr. Cripe’s clinical interests focus on non-invasive cardiac imaging specifically echocardiography as well as on the care and treatment of cardiomyopathy associated with neuromuscular disease, such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy. She was a member of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) National Steering Committee Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy Standards of Care, and has been an invited lecturer nationally and internationally on cardiomyopathy related to DMD.

Christopher B. Curran
Board Member - No PhotoBio coming



Anessa Gaydou Fehsenfeld
Anessa Gaydou-FehsenfeldAnessa Fehsenfeld lives in Rockford Michigan with her husband, Scott and their three children, Bekah, Tyler and Hudson.  Their middle son, Tyler, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2005 at the age of six. Anessa has a background in the Arts in Secondary Education & the Sciences studying Biology. She has been involved in various non-profits in her community but since her sons' diagnosis, her efforts have all been directed to PPMD. Anessa is the current Michigan PPMD F.A.C.E.S. coordinator and joined the PPMD board in 2011.  

Jonathan Finder, MD
Jonathan Finder, MDDr. Finder is a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and an attending pulmonologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, where (read more)
he has been on faculty since 1993.  Dr. Finder was the first author of the 2004 American Thoracic Society Consensus Statement on the respiratory management of patients with Duchenne muscular dystrophy and many other publications concerning respiratory aspects of this disease.  Dr. Finder is also a member of the Academy of Master Educators at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and a long-time medical educator.  Dr. Finder’s career focus has been in respiratory complications of neuromuscular disease. He is the father of two teen-aged sons and married to Jana Finder, an attorney. In addition to being an avid cyclist Dr. Finder enjoys playing bluegrass banjo. 

Lance Hester 
lance hesterLance Hester lives in Gig Harbor, Washington, with his wife, Janelle, and their two boys, Brayden and Micah. Micah was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in 2005. Since that time, Janelle and Lance have been active in Duchenne advocacy and fundaising. Lance is a principal and trial lawyer at the Hester Law Group in the state of Washington. He graduated from Seattle University School of Law, and obtained his undergraduate degree and teaching credentials from Pepperdine University. He joined the PPMD Board in 2012.

Joanna Johnson
Joanna JohnsonBio coming



Chris Jones
Chris JonesChris Jones lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with his wife, Natalie and 3 living children. Their son, Mitchell Jones passed away from Duchenne in 2013. Prior to his son's passing Chris started a Facebook page entitled Mitchell's Journey which has since gained international attention as both a place for healing and insights on the often misunderstood world of grief and healing. Most notably, Mitchell's Journey has become a beacon of hope to many and an invitation to live a life of significance. The collateral effect of that blog's universal message is awareness of Duchenne. Chris has a background in leadership development and is currently the CEO of a software/L&D company. Chris is also a public speaker, gaining popularity across a wide range of industries on what it means to live a life of significance, what happnes on the other side of medicine, and how to close the gap between what we value and what we do.




Lifetime Trustees

Howard Kaplan
Board Member - No PhotoBio coming



Donna Saccomanno, Co-Founder
Donna SaccomannoDonna Saccomanno is co-founder of PPMD and lives in New Rochelle, NY with her two children Thomas and Dean. Donna is a Registered Nurse working in a Medical Spa managing patients a medical weight loss and nutrition program, as well as performing cosmetic procedures. She also has background in pediatrics.

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