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Lee Dranikoff

Chair

Lee Dranikoff joined American Securities in 2003. He manages the overall deployment of the functional experts within the Resources Group and directly leads the in-house...

Lee Dranikoff

Chair

Lee Dranikoff joined American Securities in 2003. He manages the overall deployment of the functional experts within the Resources Group and directly leads the in-house Strategy Team in the U.S. In this capacity, Lee directs the Resources Group support of due diligence on prospective investments, as well as the extensive Shared Vision process that is used at all portfolio companies. Prior to joining American Securities, Lee spent seven years as a management consultant at McKinsey & Company. Prior to McKinsey, Lee worked as an attorney at Weil, Gotshal & Manges. Lee received a BA and an MA in Economics from Johns Hopkins University and a JD from Harvard Law School.

Avi Benaim

Vice Chair

Avi Benaim is the founder and President of A.B.E. Networks. Avi started the company almost 30 years ago in Silver Spring...

Avi Benaim

Vice Chair

Avi Benaim is the founder and President of A.B.E. Networks. Avi started the company almost 30 years ago in Silver Spring installing car Audio/Video entertainment systems.  As car manufacturers began to offer their own entertainment systems out of the factory and his customer base aged into home ownership, Avi pivoted A.B.E. Networks into residential and commercial technology integration. Avi’s dedication to excellent client interaction and customer service permeates all facets of his company and separates them from the usual home improvement contractor.  Over the years, many of Avi’s clients have become beloved friends.  A.B.E. Networks recently moved to a state-of-the-art facility in Rockville, Maryland, and has over 35 employees in 4 departments. 
Avi is a Montgomery County native and a graduate of Bethesda-Chevy Chase high school and American University. Avi first experienced a loved one succumbing to Colon Cancer after his father passed away when Avi was 10 years old.  
In his early 20s, he met the love of his life, Michelle Benaim, née Goldstein, at a philanthropy event that she had organized. Avi and Michelle married in 1998 and have 3 children: Alex, Sam, and Sophia.  In the early fall of 2015, Michelle was diagnosed with Colon Cancer. They both became immediately involved with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance; spreading awareness and raising money. Michelle fought incredibly hard even until her last days in October 2017. Avi aims to continue to display the Koach (Hebrew for strength) that Michelle was so well known for. 

Kevin Lewis

Treasurer

A carrier of the HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer) gene, Mr. Lewis has had several family members who have died or suffered from colon cancer. He follows an...

Kevin Lewis

Treasurer

A carrier of the HNPCC (hereditary non-polyposis colon cancer) gene, Mr. Lewis has had several family members who have died or suffered from colon cancer. He follows an extensive prevention regime designed to reduce his probability of developing a malignant tumor. He supports the National Cancer Institute by serving as a Patient Advocate on several programs. Mr. Lewis is a Principal and Partner at PwC, providing strategic operations expertise to technology-based clients. He has an MBA from Harvard Business School and an engineering degree from the University of Pennsylvania. His extensive corporate experience includes Raytheon, Teradyne, AMD, Boston Scientific Corporation, Schering Plough, IBM, and Alcatel Lucent, as well as Infolibria, an Internet startup company.

Jana Babatunde-Bey

Board Member

Jana Babatunde-Bey is a veteran media industry executive, film and television producer, and legacy builder...

Jana Babatunde-Bey

Board Member

Jana Babatunde-Bey is a veteran media industry executive, film and television producer, and legacy builder. Mrs. Babatunde-Bey is the founder of J. Bey Entertainment, LLC, a film and television production company focused on content with rich character-driven narratives that inspire, enlighten and entertain. Her critically acclaimed six-part docuseries titled AMEND: The Fight for America, premiered February 17, 2021 on Netflix. She was an Executive Producer on Apple + feature HALA, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was the first feature launched on the Apple+ Platform; as well as the multi-award winning, and African Academy Award nominated, SPRINTER. Mrs. Babatunde-Bey produced WILL, the groundbreaking memoir by Will Smith, Executive Producer of WILL the Audiobook presentation, and produced both the domestic and international WILL LIVE show & book tour of the title.

Mrs. Babatunde-Bey served as the CEO and President of the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation; a private non-profit that supports charities in the area of education & arts, health & wellness, social empowerment, and environmental sustainability, from 2015 - 2021, and currently serves as a member of the WJSFF Board. During her tenure, WJSFF formed key strategic partnerships, contributed to numerous grants for national, international, and grassroot organizations, and was established as the social impact vehicle of the Smith’s family collection of brands. Mrs. Babatunde-Bey also created and launched the Will & Jada Smith Family Foundation’s Careers in Entertainment Initiative, founded by Mrs. Pinkett Smith in 2015, providing access and opportunity to over 6,00 members and aspirational youth interested in a career in the entertainment industry through networking and internship opportunities across the world. For over two decades, Mrs. Babatunde-Bey played a vital role in building Overbrook Entertainment, Smith’s and partner James Lassiter’s signature film and television production company, holding dual positions during her tenure as both Chief Operating Officer and Chief of Staff to Mr. Smith. She currently also serves as a Board Director for the Smith Family Office, and has participated in various speaking engagements, conferences and festivals across the nation in her capacity as producer, executive and thought leader.

Mrs. Babatunde-Bey grew up in Inglewood, California. She received her B.A. in Communications from the University of California, Los Angeles and completed her Executive MBA at Pepperdine University in 2017. She thrives on new challenges, is passionate about the connection between social empowerment and storytelling. She is a world traveler, avid reader, the proud mother of five children, and devoted wife of over thirty years.

Kay Chandler

Board Member

Kay Chandler is a partner at the law firm of Cooley LLP based in San Diego.  She chairs Cooley’s global life sciences industry practice and co-chairs...

Kay Chandler

Board Member

Kay Chandler is a partner at the law firm of Cooley LLP based in San Diego.  She chairs Cooley’s global life sciences industry practice and co-chairs the firm’s Women’s Initiative. Kay specializes in representing public and private life sciences companies in a wide range of commercial and corporate matters that are critical to their businesses. She counsels biotechnology, biopharmaceutical, diagnostic, and device companies on complex U.S., global and regional transactions, including technology and product licenses, acquisitions, and divestitures; research, development, and commercial collaborations; supply, distribution, and manufacturing agreements; and profit-sharing and co-promotion arrangements. Kay works collaboratively with her clients to understand each client's business and strategic objectives and to structure and negotiate transactions to meet those objectives. She applies corporate and securities experience to implement transactions in a manner that facilitates and supports the financing and corporate development strategies of her clients.

Kay is on the Leadership Council of the University of Michigan Life Sciences Institute and the External Advisory Board of Michigan Drug Discovery. She also serves on the Emerging Companies Section governing board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO) and is a member of the board of directors of Thirona Bio, Inc., a private drug development company focused on fibrotic diseases. 

Kay is recognized as a leading lawyer in the nation. In 2019, she was selected as an honoree for the Women, Influence & Power in Law awards in the collaborative leadership category. She has been recognized in Chambers USA 2009-2022 editions in the category of Life Sciences: Corporate/Commercial (Nationwide and California). She has been recognized by Legal 500 as a key lawyer in Healthcare: Life Sciences. She has been named to the 2006-2013 and 2016 editions of Best Lawyers in America in the category of Biotechnology Law and was named San Diego Biotechnology Lawyer of the Year by Best Lawyers of America in 2011. She has also been recognized in the 2007-2009 and 2011-2019 Southern California Super Lawyers list in the category of Securities & Corporate Finance and by Lawdragon as one of 500 dealmakers in America in 2007. She received an Athena Pinnacle Award in the service category in 2004 in recognition of her efforts toward the development and promotion of skilled and talented women in the San Diego technology business community.

Kay received her undergraduate and juris doctor degrees from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.  She and her family and friends have been deeply affected by cancer in various forms, and she is committed to doing all that is possible professionally and personally to help and support those impacted by cancer and find and fund treatments and cures.

Charlie Guevara

Board Member

Most recently Charlie was the Vice President of Global Sales for Albert Technologies, an AI tech company focused...

Charlie Guevara

Board Member

Most recently Charlie was the Vice President of Global Sales for Albert Technologies, an AI tech company focused on digital media. He is credited with building a world class sales organization serving Fortune 500 clients across five continents. His expertise in ABM sales strategy has helped drive similar results across several other AdTech companies. Charlie's success has led to his new focus of providing angel funding and guidance to several startups where he takes an active role on their advisory boards.

Charlie studied Economics at Duke University where he was a four year letterman and captain on the nationally ranked soccer team. Charlie is passionate about finding a cure for colorectal cancer after having lost his wife Liz of 26 years to the disease.

Patrick G. Jackson, M.D., FACS

Board Member

Dr. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of General Surgery at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital where he is also the Chair of the Cancer Committee...

Patrick G. Jackson, M.D., FACS

Board Member

Dr. Jackson is an Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of General Surgery at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital where he is also the Chair of the Cancer Committee. Having graduated from Harvard University and then Columbia University Medical School, he completed his surgical residency at Massachusetts General Hospital before moving to Washington, D.C.. He has been published extensively and has numerous book chapters and invited lectureships. He was the state chair for the Commission on Cancer for Washington D.C., and has been the President of the Metropolitan D.C. Chapter of the American College. He has dedicated himself to the care of colon cancer patients on both the individual and systemic levels.

Craig Melvin

Board Member

News Anchor, TODAY; Co-Host, 3rd Hour TODAY; anchor on MSNBC Live....

Craig Melvin

Board Member

Craig Melvin is an award-winning news anchor on NBC News’ “TODAY,” a co-host of 3rd Hour TODAY, an anchor on MSNBC Live, and a host of “Dateline.” His breaking news coverage and reporting appears across all NBC News and MSNBC platforms.

Melvin has covered a wide-range of news events, including several Republican and Democratic National Conventions and three Presidential Inaugurations. His coverage of politics has included notable interviews with former President Bill Clinton, Former Vice President Joe Biden, Ambassador Nikki Haley, and Secretaries of State John Kerry, Mike Pompeo and Condoleezza Rice. He has also covered tragic mass shootings across the country for the network, including Dallas and Orlando in 2016; Charleston, South Carolina in 2015; the Navy Yard in Washington, D.C. in 2013; and Sandy Hook in 2012. Melvin reported extensively on police involved shootings and subsequent protests nationwide.

In addition, he has also covered two Olympic Games and six Super Bowls. Prior to joining NBC News and MSNBC in July 2011, Melvin was a weekend anchor for WRC, NBC’s owned-and-operated station in Washington, DC. Before that, Melvin earned acclaim as an evening news anchor at WIS in Columbia, South Carolina, which is also his hometown.

Melvin is a graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg, South Carolina where he serves on the board of trustees. He is an active member in several charities, including the Colorectal Cancer Alliance.

Melvin lives in Connecticut with his wife, awarding winning sportscaster Lindsay Czarniak, who is a Fox Sports reporter and the host of the podcast “The Artist and The Athlete.” They have a son and daughter.

Melvin is on Twitter at @craigmelvin.

Edith P. Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP

Board Member

Dr. Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP, has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areas to realize that simple changes in lifestyle...

Edith P. Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP

Board Member

Edith Peterson Mitchell, MD, FACP, FCPP, is Board Certified in Internal Medicine andMedical Oncology and is Clinical Professor, Department of Medicine and Medical Oncologyat Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University and Associate Director forDiversity Programs and Director of the Center to Eliminate Cancer Disparities for the SidneyKimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University.

Dr. Mitchell has spent her medical career helping individuals in medically underserved areasto realize that simple changes in lifestyle can have a dramatic impact on cancer care.Through her work, Dr. Mitchell has demonstrated the importance of community service andoutreach especially to those individuals who may not have the means to seek out moreconventional medical advice.

Dr. Mitchell received a bachelor of science in Biochemistry “with distinction” from TennesseeState University and her medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond.In 1973, while attending medical school, Dr. Mitchell entered the Air Force and received acommission through the Health Professions Scholarship Program. She entered active dutyafter completion of her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Meharry MedicalCollege and a fellowship in Medical Oncology at Georgetown University.

Dr. Mitchell’s research in breast, colorectal, and pancreatic cancers and other GImalignancies involves new drug evaluation and chemotherapy, development of newtherapeutic regimens, chemoradiation strategies for combined modality therapy, patientselection criteria and supportive care for patients with gastrointestinal cancer. She travelsnationally and internationally teaching and lecturing on the treatment of gastrointestinalmalignancies.

Frank L. Sapienza

Board Member

Frank Sapienza was a founding director of the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Board during 2014 and 2015 and was a member of the...

Frank L. Sapienza

Board Member

Frank Sapienza was a founding director of the Chris4Life Colon Cancer Foundation. He served as Chairman of the Board during 2014 and 2015 and was a member of the Medical Advisory Board for Chris4Life. After a 30-year career with the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), he has been a founding partner in The Drug and Chemical Advisory Group, LLC, a consulting group specializing in drug development guidance for the pharmaceutical industry for products containing abusable substances. During his career at the DEA Mr. Sapienza was the senior scientific advisor on technical and policy matters. He has served on expert panels with the U.S. Government, the World Health Organization, the International Narcotics Control Board and the United Nations Office of Drug Control Policy as well as on scientific and medical advisory boards for the pharmaceutical industry. He has lectured internationally and written and co-authored articles on drug regulation and abuse liability, prepared portions of national legislation and international treaties and provided expert testimony in criminal, administrative and legislative proceedings.

Mr. Sapienza has a graduate degree in chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh. His wife of 37 years, Christine Antonelli Sapienza passed away in 2009 after a three year bout with colon cancer.

David Schoeman, MBA

Board Member

David Schoeman is a Senior Partner in the New York Office of McKinsey & Company. David serves Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies...

David Schoeman, MBA

Board Member

David Schoeman is a Senior Partner in the New York Office of McKinsey & Company. David serves Private Equity firms and their portfolio companies, Banks and Insurance carriers. While focuses primarily in the US, he has supported clients in the North and South America, Europe and Asia. Over his 20 years at McKinsey, David has supported clients on a range of strategic and operational topics. Including new business building, go-to-market strategies, integrations, organization redesign, investment due diligences, and performance turnarounds. He has also helped investment funds and non-profits on fundraising and investor management. In addition to his client work, David leads McKinsey’s Consumer Finance Practice in the Americas. David is also on the Board of McKinsey Solutions, the Firms benchmarking, software, and analytics capabilities. Prior to joining McKinsey, David was a systems developer at Morgan Stanley supporting the Prime Brokerage, Clearing, and Custody businesses. 
David received an MBA from Columbia Business School and BA in Economics and History from Northwestern University. He is a published writer on bank economics and school finance reform. David currently lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. 

Scott Soussa

Board Member

Scott Soussa is Chief Strategy Officer of Angelo Gordon, a  leading, privately-held credit and real estate alternative investment firm, managing...

Scott Soussa

Board Member

Scott Soussa is Chief Strategy Officer of Angelo Gordon, a  leading, privately-held credit and real estate alternative investment firm, managing approximately $51 billion. Previously, Mr. Soussa was a Senior Managing Director of Blackstone and Head of the Hedge Fund Solutions Group’s Strategic Capital Group, which includes the hedge fund seeding and GP stakes businesses. Prior to that, Mr. Soussa was Head of Due Diligence in the Hedge Fund Solutions Group where he led a cross-functional team charged with evaluating and monitoring underlying hedge fund managers, which encompassed front office, business and operational, risk management and legal due diligence.

Before joining Blackstone in 2003, Mr. Soussa was Controller of Lava Trading Inc., a securities trading technology company. Prior to that, he worked in Arthur Andersen's Hedge Fund Advisory and Capital Markets Group.

Mr. Soussa received a BS in Accounting from Binghamton University, where he graduated summa cum laude and was elected to Beta Gamma Sigma. He is the Co-Founder and Chairman of the Board of Michael’s Mission, a charity focused on improving the quality of life and treatment options for colorectal cancer patients, families and caregivers. He is a Certified Public Accountant.

Mr. Soussa lives in Rye, New York with his wife, Jennifer and three kids, Andrew, Avery and Noah.

Carmen Marc Valvo

Board Member

American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo has used his designs as a platform to raise awareness about colon cancer all over the US...

Carmen Marc Valvo

Board Member

American fashion designer Carmen Marc Valvo has used his designs as a platform to raise awareness about colon cancer all over the US. Carmen is an Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) Ambassador and has appeared in a PSA with Vanessa Williams for the National Colorectal Cancer Research Alliance (NCCRA). As a colon cancer survivor, Carmen Marc Valvo has been working with Katie Couric since 2004 when she partnered with the organizers of New York Fashion Week. His efforts, on behalf of the organization, were honored at a gala in 2006 where Carmen received the first-ever Advocate Award from the foundation. Since then, Carmen has been honored by numerous organizations including Gilda’s Club World Wide, the National Coalition for Cancer Survivorship, the American Cancer Society, and the Colorectal Cancer Alliance. He has appeared on the covers of AARP and Coping with Cancer magazines, NBC Today Show, CBS Early Show, USA Today and countless other national and local media outlets to make colon cancer fashionable to talk about. His book (no longer in print) “Dressed to Perfection, The Art of Dressing for your Red Carpet Moments” (Rizzoli 2011) benefitted colon cancer research.

Joe Whalen

Board Member

Mr. Whalen has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry leading and supporting transactions...

Joe Whalen

Board Member

Joe Whalen has more than 25 years of experience in the healthcare industry leading and supporting transactions involving licensing, acquisitions, and alliances. Joe was among the first 20 employees when he joined Horizon in 2010 and has led or supported many of Horizon’s acquisitions since that time helping to grow Horizon into a publicly-traded company with a market capitalization of greater than $20 billion, over 1,700 employees, and net sales approaching $3 billion per year. He played a leadership role in the strategy and execution of Horizon’s recent acquisition of Viela Bio for $3 billion. 

 Prior to Horizon, Joe worked at Baxter Healthcare and Searle Pharmaceuticals in various finance and business development roles.  Joe earned an MBA from the University of Illinois and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame.

 Joe and his wife Jen became involved with the Colorectal Cancer Alliance after losing Jen’s younger brother Ryan to this terrible disease.

John Woerner

Board Member

John Woerner has been with Ameriprise Financial since 2005 and is President - Insurance & Annuities and Chief Strategy Officer for Ameriprise Financial, responsible for...

John Woerner

Board Member

John Woerner has been with Ameriprise Financial since 2005 and is President - Insurance & Annuities and Chief Strategy Officer for Ameriprise Financial, responsible for leading the company’s RiverSource Insurance and Annuities businesses as well as Ameriprise’s strategic and business development initiatives.  John also leads Ameriprise Information Management, the data and analytics group.
 
Prior to joining Ameriprise in 2005, he was with McKinsey and Company, where he was a leader of its North American Asset Management, Brokerage and Wealth Management practice. Woerner was at McKinsey for 10 years and was elected partner in 2000. He began his career at Goldman Sachs as a financial analyst.
 
Woerner holds a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University and a master of business administration from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He serves as a board member of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) and The George Washington University School of Business’ Global Financial Literacy Excellence Center (GFLEC) Advisory Board

John is passionate about addressing barriers to greater participation in clinical trials, to speed the race for a cure to colorectal cancer. 

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