Board of Directors
Paula M. Evans, chairperson, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in architectural technology from the New York Institute of Technology. Her career focused on residential and commercial property management in both Manhattan and Chicago. Paula oversaw the management and title transfer of multimillion-dollar properties, and handled all property negotiations, purchasing, construction/renovation projects and staff supervision. Her portfolio contained some of the highest-profile buildings and entities in the above-mentioned cities. Paula has two children. Her daughter, Ainsley, has Angelman syndrome.
Roy Azout, director, received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics from The Wharton School at University of Pennsylvania, where he graduated magna cum laude. He is owner and corporate manager at Lafayette S.A.S., a vertically integrated, state-of-the-art, textile manufacturing and distribution company, which was founded in 1942 and has customers in 24 countries around the world. Roy grew up and lives in Bogota, Colombia. Roy has three children, his daughter Michelle has Angelman syndrome.
Allyson Berent-Weisse, chief science officer, is a veterinarian in New York City. She received a bachelor’s degree and doctor of veterinary medicine degree from Cornell University. She is a member of the American College of Veterinary Internal Medicine and is a specialist in internal medicine and interventional radiology/interventional endoscopy. She is a director of interventional endoscopy at one of the largest specialty animal hospitals in the world. She has spent the last 10 years performing clinical research and designing various clinical trials to develop and evaluate novel therapeutics and medical devices in dogs and cats. Allyson has three children. Her daughter Quincy has Angelman syndrome.
Sharon M. Claridge, secretary, is a leader in national security strategy and services. As Booz Allen Hamilton’s deputy director of security, she ensures tactical delivery of critical security and business assurance support to the firm’s global operations. Previously, Sharon helped launch and lead SAVA Workforce Solutions, listed at the top of Washington Technology’s Fast 50 fastest growing companies between 2010-2013. Prior to that, she led General Dynamics’ Security Services Line of Business. Sharon holds a Certified Information Systems Security Professional certification, a Bachelor of Arts degree from California State University Dominguez Hills; Human Resources Management Certification from California State University Northridge, and a Juris Doctor degree from Concord University School of Law. She is a member of the State Bar of California and Los Angeles County Bar Association. Sharon has four children. Her son Zachary has Angelman syndrome.
Meagan Cross, international liaison, operates a geographic information science consultancy with experience in vegetation, native title mediation, cultural heritage and strategic planning. The company also specializes in data programming, as well as database and website design and management. Meagan also runs a specialized stainless steel fabrication business in Far North Queensland Australia with her husband, Rohan. In addition, Meagan is chairperson of sister organization FAST-Australia. Meagan has two children. Her daughter Molly has Angelman syndrome.
Kelly David, director, received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology and Master of Arts degree in communication sciences and disorders from the University of Central Florida. She is a member of the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) and holds a license to practice speech-language pathology in the state of Florida. She works at a local hospital as an acute care speech-language pathologist and at the University of Central Florida as an adjunct clinical educator. Kelly’s career is focused on the evaluation and treatment of dysphagia and cognitive/communication disorders resulting from acquired brain injuries in adults. She has conducted research and presented at the national level. Kelly lives in Orlando, Fla., with her husband, Brian, and their son, Colin, who has Angelman syndrome.
Kristy Dixon, director, is an international program manager for Lockheed Martin in Orlando, Fla. Kristy has worked at Lockheed Martin since 2002 in various customer-facing positions within engineering, business development and program management. Her strengths in building personal customer relationships, developing and executing win strategies, and leading cross-functional teams has enabled her to find solutions that meet customer needs resulting in the award of significant customer funds. Kristy earned a Bachelor of Science degree in computer and information sciences from the University of Florida and a Master of Science degree in computer science from the Florida Institute of Technology. Kristy has a daughter, Grace, with Angelman syndrome.
Maiddy Dunigan, vice chairperson, received a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications from University of Nevada, Reno; a Juris Doctor degree from California Western School of Law, cum laude; and a Master of Laws degree from Georgetown Law Center, with honors. She is a member of the American Bar Association and a member of the State Bar of California. Maiddy is licensed to practice in front of the Supreme Court of the United States. Maiddy spent more than 10 years at KPMG LLP and Ernst & Young LLP as a federal tax services manager in international practices. She specialized in mergers and acquisitions. Maiddy provided tax services to multinational companies in numerous domestic and international situations. Maiddy has four children. Her son Jaxson has Angelman syndrome.
Sam Maydew, director, is a collaborator at Silver Lining Entertainment, a full-service production/talent management company that he started with long-time partner, Jeff Golenberg. Silver Lining represents primarily film and TV talent and continues to expand their roster of personalities, writers, directors and musicians. Prior to that, Sam, Jeff and a third partner, Michael Green, started The Collective in 2005. Sam moved to Los Angeles from Seattle, Wash., and first worked in development at NBC before pursuing a producing career. Sam has three children. His son Brooklyn has Angelman syndrome.
Ben O’Connor, director, is a litigation attorney for Kirkland & Ellis LLP in Chicago, where his practice focuses on commercial litigation, white-collar criminal defense, and government and internal investigations. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame, a master’s degree from Saint Louis University, and a Juris Doctor from The John Marshall Law School in Chicago. Prior to joining Kirkland & Ellis, Ben served as a law clerk for the Hon. William J. Bauer on the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago. Before becoming an attorney, Ben was a high school theology teacher and football coach at Loyola Academy in Wilmette, Illinois. Ben lives outside of Chicago with his wife, Elizabeth, and their two children. His son, Ryan, has Angelman Syndrome.
Danielle Pinders, director and event coordinator, has a bachelor’s degree in sociology/child development from Castleton University. She has more than 10 years of experience working in event fundraising for several national nonprofit organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the American Lung Association and NFI Vermont. She has developed successful strategies for increasing event participation, revenue growth, community awareness and engagement. She is currently a program director for a cultural exchange company based in Boston. Danielle lives in Vermont with her husband and three children. Her son Jace has Angelman syndrome.
Kena Richert, chief financial officer, is a certified public accountant with The Church at Horseshoe Bay. Prior to assuming a local accounting role to spend more time with her family, she worked at Pricewaterhouse Coopers LLP in the Assurance Practice. She provides audit services to a Fortune 50 technology company as well as other smaller private companies in various industries. She received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree in accounting from Southwest Texas State University and graduated magna cum laude. Kena is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Texas State Board of Public Accountancy, and the National Association of Church Business Administration. Kena has three children. Her daughter Ashley has Angelman syndrome.
John Schlueter, director, is the owner of Frontline Commercial Real Estate, LLC, where he develops, acquires, finances, and leases retail and industrial commercial real estate. Concurrently, his manufacturing business, Keder Solutions LLC, designs, manufactures, and distributes textile reinforcement products internationally. Prior to this, John led his family business to become the largest manufacturer and installer of temporary structures. A few notable clients include Walt Disney World, NFL/Super Bowl, IMG/New York Fashion Week, and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. John’s daughter Grace has Angelman syndrome.
Bryan Thompson, director, is the head of business affairs for The Jackal Group, a joint venture between 21st Century Fox and Gail Berman. The Jackal Group is a studio that develops and produces television programming, feature films, and theatrical productions. Bryan is responsible for all transactions and legal matters impacting the company. Bryan has also worked at Yahoo!, where he focused on intellectual property matters and licensing, and Akin Gump, where he focused on mergers and acquisitions. Bryan has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas, where he graduated with honors, and a Juris Doctor from the University of North Carolina, where he was a Chancellor’s Scholar. Bryan lives with his family in Los Angeles, California. Bryan’s son, Finn, has Angelman syndrome.
Sharon Weil-Chalker, director, grew up in New Jersey and received a Bachelor of Science degree and medical doctor’s degree from the honors program in medical education at Northwestern University in Evanston and Chicago, Illinois. She completed her pediatrics residency and a pediatric cardiology research fellowship at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia, Pa., and a fellowship in Pediatric Cardiology at the Cardiovascular Research Institute, University of California, San Francisco. Her practice in pediatric cardiology near Philadelphia is devoted to the care of fetuses, premies, infants, and children with complex congenital heart disease, in which her interests include associated genetic syndromes and breastfeeding of infants with heart disease or developmental issues. Dr. Weil-Chalker is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Sharon has two children; her son Ethan has Angelman syndrome.