The Officers include the Board Chair, President, Health Care & Education, President, Medicine & Science, Secretary/Treasurer and the Chief Executive Officer.
Christopher K. Ralston, JD, is a partner and practice coordinator in the New Orleans litigation practice at Phelps Dunbar LLP. Mr. Ralston handles a range of commercial litigation and focuses in the areas of antitrust law, business torts, trade secret litigation and contract disputes, tax litigation, securities litigation and arbitration, direct selling, and intellectual property litigation. He also serves as a part of the firm’s appellate practice. Mr. Ralston’s work in the legal field has received recognition in numerous forms: In 2012, he was named to the New Orleans City Business Hall of Fame; in 2016, he received both the Federal Bar Association’s New Orleans Chapter President’s Award and the Louisiana State Bar Association’s President’s Award; in 2013 and 2016, he received the Louisiana Bar Foundation’s President’s Award; and in 2021 he received the David A. Hamilton Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana State Bar Association. After recognizing the devastating impact of diabetes in New Orleans, Mr. Ralston joined the ADA’s New Orleans Community Leadership Board (CLB) in 2009, and he has served as Chair of the CLB since 2014.
Marshall has a passion for improving the lives of those with diabetes and has been a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association (ADA) since 2008, serving as a Tour de Cure Corporate and National Team Captain, Silicon Valley Tour Volunteer Chair, Community Leadership Board member, and National ADA Finance Committee member for the past two years. He is an operations-oriented business management leader with strong business acumen. He led public, private, and divisional executive leadership teams through growth and restructuring transformations. Case retired from Lockheed Martin in 2016 as Vice President of Infrastructure Services for the $8B Space Systems Business. Prior to that he was Vice President of Finance and Operations for two Lockheed Martin business units and Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for private and public high technology companies. He started his career on the Financial Management program at General Electric Company in Erie, PA. He now resides in Savannah, GA and is actively involved in community service and pursuing his lifelong love of triathlon competition.
Guillermo Umpierrez, MD, CDCES, is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology, and Director of the diabetes and endocrinology section at Grady Memorial Hospital, Atlanta, Georgia. He is the recipient of numerous teaching awards for Best Clinical Teacher and Mentor at Emory University, and national awards from the American College of Physicians, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, Endocrine Society, and the American Diabetes Association. His research interests include mechanisms for beta-cell dysfunction in minority populations, prevention of acute and chronic diabetic complications, and hospital management of patients with diabetes and hyperglycemia. He is the author of more than 400 scientific manuscripts and book chapters and has presented over 300 research abstracts at national and international scientific meetings. In addition, he heads the Emory Latino Diabetes Education Program, a nationally accredited Spanish Diabetes education program dedicated to providing diabetes education to Latinos.
Otis W. Kirksey, PharmD, RPh, CDCES, BC-ADM, currently serves as the Director of Pharmacy Services for Neighborhood Medical Center in Tallahassee, FL. He brings 25 years of experience in academia as a former Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Florida A&M University College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences and was recently honored with the distinction of Professor Emeritus of Pharmacy Practice by the University. His certifications include, Board Certified in Advanced Diabetes Management (BC-ADM), Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist (CDCES), and Lifestyle Coach and Master Trainer for the National Diabetes Prevention Program. He served more than 11 years on the board of Neighborhood Medical Center and is currently Director Emeritus of the Prince Hall Shriners' National Diabetes Initiative. As director of this initiative, he led the organization's effort to fulfill its 10-year, $1 million-dollar commitment to the American Diabetes Association, to support research and outreach efforts in underserved communities, particularly African American and Latino communities.
Rone has spent most of the past 30 years helping major retailers manage and reengineer their supply chains to operate more efficiently and profitably. Currently, Rone is the Assistant Vice President of Supply Chain Management (SCM) at Service Corporation International, Inc. (SCI), North America’s largest single provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services. He also holds the title of President of SCI Shared Resources, LLC., which is SCI’s Procurement Corporation. SCI has more than 1,900 locations and 25,000 employees in 44 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. In his current role, Rone is responsible for all Procurement and Supply Chain activities at SCI. Rone oversees a dedicated team of individuals that manage more than $1 billion in spending and supports 2,000 locations with products and services. SCM is also responsible for continuous process improvement having moved SCI from a decentralized purchasing company to a center-led end-to-end supply chain organization to leverage scale, one of the three major strategies for the corporation. The supply chain team are also the co-owners of Procure to Pay, Inventory Management, Vendor Management among other functions. Rone and his team have been instrumental in driving out millions in costs and expenses as well as driving revenue increases for SCI. Rone has served on the ADA’s South Texas Community Leadership Board (CLB) and the Houston CLB where he was Past Chairman. Rone was head of the SCI’s Team Dignity Tour de Cure team which is the largest corporate fundraising team in the nation. Rone was also a member of the ADA national Volunteer Committee for 2020. Rone is currently the Committee Chair of ADA’s Fundraising Committee and serves on the Finance Committee. Rone was a founding Board Member of SCI’s Dignity Memorial Foundation and currently serves on the US Bank and Boundless Customer Advisory Boards.
Todd is the co-founder and CEO of Urban Edge Network—www.hbculeaguepassplus.com. The streaming first company is bringing a platform to HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) for sports, bands, gaming, and HBCU culture. In the role, he draws upon more than 20 years of venture capital and C-suite leadership experience at Fortune 500 companies to help Silicon Valley startups develop business plans, raise capital, and execute their business ideas. Prior to starting his firm, Todd was the Chief Executive Officer of TheGrio, a former division of NBC News and the largest online media company geared toward African American audiences. He also held a board-level position at Johnson Publishing Company, where he increased the digital footprint of Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair magazines by rolling out technology to increase reader engagement. He also helped revitalize the public’s perception of the publications by building an experiential marketing division for the business. Earlier in his career, Todd held senior leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies including Comcast, Viacom, GE Capital, Comdisco, Dell, and HP, where he streamlined processes and drove tangible financial results. He is an expert in the development and implementation of corporate strategy and cultural transformation initiatives, management operations, and technology disruption.
Todd holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Oklahoma State University. He completed executive management programs at Harvard Business School and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. As a diverse executive, Todd founded the Diversity Special Interest Group at the Project Management Institute that now has seven chapters at HBCUs. He has served on nonprofit boards at Boulder Special Transit, Oklahoma University, and the University of Texas and is an active member of the National Association of Corporate Directors.
Rodica Busui (Pop-Busui), MD, PhD, is the Larry D. Soderquist Professor of Diabetes, and a recognized national and international leader in the field of diabetes and diabetes complications. She is the Vice Chair for Clinical & Health Outcomes Research in the Department of Internal Medicine, and Director Clinical Research, Mentoring and Development of the Caswell Diabetes Institute at the University of Michigan. Her research interests involve chronic complications of diabetes, particularly diabetic neuropathy, diabetic foot complications, diabetic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and novel technologies for treating type 1 diabetes. She has been PI and member of the Steering Committee in many landmark diabetes clinical trials funded by NIH or Pharma including: Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes (ACCORD) trial, the Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications, Preventing Early Renal Loss in Type 1 Diabetes (PERL), Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Diabetes 2 (BARI- 2D), Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Type 2 Diabetes-A Comparative Effectiveness Study (GRADE), DEVOTE, REPLACE-BG, WISDM or MOBILE. She also designed and leads several investigator-initiated studies to unveil disease-modifying agents for diabetic complications, and on the use of diabetes technologies to improve patients’ outcomes and diabetes care delivery funded by NIDDK and Pharma, and she is PI and member of the Steering Committee of the NIDDK Diabetes Foot Consortium. Dr. Busui has published more than 220 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters, and received awards from the Fulbright Foundation, American Diabetes Association (ADA), and the University of Michigan. She has been an elected member of the ADA Clinical Practice Committee, chaired the 2017 ADA Position Statement on Diabetic Neuropathy, chaired the ADA Scientific Research Review Clinical and the ADA Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease Interest Group, and chairs the Precision Prognostic in Type 1 Diabetes Working Group of the ADA/EASD.
Janet Brown-Friday, RN, MSN, MPH, has been a registered nurse for more than 38 years and is currently the Clinical Trials Manager of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s Diabetes Clinical Trials Unit (DCTU). At Einstein she manages the clinical and administrative operations of both National Institutes of Health and locally funded clinical trials and is currently the Study Coordinator for the GRADE study. She was also the original Program Coordinator for the Diabetes Prevention Program (DPP) study from 1995 to 2013. Ms. Brown-Friday previously served on the National Board of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) from January 2017 to December 2019. She remains a current member of the NYC Community Leadership Board for the ADA. Ms. Brown- Friday has also served on the Association’s African American Committee from 1995 to 1998 in NYC. From 2002 to 2009, Ms. Brown-Friday served as a committee member for the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and was her workgroup's Vice Chair and Chair during that period. From 2009 to 2013 Ms. Brown-Friday also served on the Operations Committee for NDEP. From 2005 to 2008, she served as a special government employee and council member for the National Institutes of Health–National Institute of Diabetes Digestive and Kidney Diseases Advisory Council. She currently serves as a volunteer with iMentor as a mentor for a high school student. Ms. Brown-Friday is married to Clement E. Friday Jr. and has one child, Vahn J. Friday, 18. She also volunteers with her church in Spring Valley, N.Y.
Ms. Brown-Friday holds an MPH in Community Health Education and an MSN in Community Health Nursing from Hunter College in New York, NY.