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NAF Welcomes a New Board Member and Several Team Members

We’re thrilled to introduce some fresh faces joining our mission here at NAF! Meet our newest board member and the five staff who have joined our team this year.

With diverse backgrounds, talents, and a shared passion for making a difference, these individuals bring unique perspectives and skill sets that promise to not only enrich our team but also propel NAF toward achieving our ambitious goals.

Keep reading to learn more about them and get a glimpse into the hearts and minds behind our mission.

The Ataxia community welcomes you!

Meet Our New Board Member

Bryan Tabery

Bryan is a Certified Public Accountant who specializes in financial statement audits/assurance for private companies. He believes that everyone deserves to have an amazing life and wants to help ensure that people with Ataxia can live life to the fullest. Bryan says, “I take pride in my community and giving back. I think NAF is doing so many amazing things right now and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to continue building on the current successes and finding cure(s) for all forms of Ataxia.” One of Bryan’s personal life motto’s is P.M.A. – positive mental attitude. He believes that having a positive mindset is critical to helping us navigate this challenging world.

Meet Our New Team Members

Our team has grown this year, and we’re happy to have the help!

Rich McCutchen, Regional Development Manager

Rich received his BA in Marketing from Oklahoma State University. He spent 15 years working in college and professional sports and 3 years in the nonprofit field with the Parkinson Foundation of Oklahoma and the American Heart Association. Rich is responsible for a variety of Development areas including national fundraising events, major giving, legacy giving, and third-party fundraising events. He strives to help NAF lead the charge in finding effective treatments and cure for this community. He enjoys working for those that are living with Ataxia to help in any way he can.

Laura Crespo, Clinical Research Coordinator

Laura has a BS in Integrative Neuroscience from Binghamton University and 7+ years in a leadership position within intensive clinical research laboratories. In her role, Laura coordinates the Clinical Research Consortium for the Study of Cerebellar Ataxias (CRC-SCA), which manages an NAF-sponsored Natural History Study. She maintains protocols, contracts, IRB documentation, and best data practices – overseeing study timelines, recruitment goals, and invoicing. Laura is committed to supporting the needs of the site clinics because she knows that successful management of the CRC-SCA natural history study is crucial to accelerating treatment development for families affected by Ataxia.

Pat Morel, Controller

Pat has a BBA and MBA, and brings over a decade of nonprofit management experience, specializing in finance with controller responsibilities. As a key member of the NAF’s finance team, she oversees month and year-end close, annual audits, compliance, and internal controls. Driven by a passion for making a positive impact on people’s lives, Pat joined NAF to align her values with the organization’s mission. Her goal is to contribute to NAF’s success, raising awareness for Ataxia, facilitating community access to treatments, and ultimately supporting the quest for a cure.

Ellie Martin, Communications Intern

Ellie has a Bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Rehabilitation Services. In her role, she works closely with the Communications team to implement strategies to promote the mission, vision, and activities of the organization through various communication channels. Ellie has a rare form of Cerebellar Ataxia and wants to spread awareness. She is passionate about helping others in the Ataxia community.

Maria Hajjar, Communications Intern

Maria has a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies with a minor in Human Relations from Concordia University, Montreal, QC. As part of her duties, she works in close collaboration with the communications department to promote the mission, vision, and activities of the organization through social media coordination and engaging project management. Maria had been diagnosed with AOA2, a rare form of Ataxia and her mission is to spread its awareness. She knows that through her contributions to the Ataxia community, she can help accelerate and improve people’s knowledge of rare diseases by putting the word out there. 

We look forward to a productive 2024. To learn more about NAF’s leadership, visit our About NAF page.

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