American Diabetes Association Welcomes 2022 Principal Officers and New Members to National Board of Directors
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) welcomes the 2022 Principal Officers and Board of Directors. The 13-member board is comprised of forward-thinking, innovative medical, scientific, education and executive business professionals, who will strategically lead and focus efforts to ensure the ADA continues to uphold the mission upon which it was founded.
"We are so excited to announce our 2022 Board of Directors, including four new Board members,” said ADA’s Office of the CEO. “We look forward to the insight and skills that each of these thought leaders will provide to help move the needle and improve the lives of all people living with diabetes. We are also thankful for the service and commitment of our outgoing Principal Officers Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD and Cynthia E. Muñoz, PhD, MPH. Ruth will remain on our Board of Directors for 2022 as an at-large member and Cynthia will remain dedicated to our mission at the local level, working with her local Community Leadership Board. Again, we are very appreciative of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to fighting for all people affected by diabetes.”
The Principal Officers of the Board of Directors who will start their terms of service on January 1, 2022 are:
Christopher Ralston, JD, Chair of the Board
• 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; and 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 Case, Secretary/Treasurer
• Marshall has a passion for improving the lives of those with Diabetes and has been a volunteer with the 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, President, Medicine & Science
• Guillermo Umpierrez, MD, CDCES is professor of medicine in the Division of Endocrinology at Emory University School of Medicine in 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, Diabetes Technology Society, and the American Diabetes Association. Dr. Umpierrez is a member of the ADA National Board of Directors and will serve as the ADA President, Medicine and Science in 2022. 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 Kirksey, PharmD, R.Ph., CDCES, BC-ADM, President, Health Care & Education
• Otis W. Kirksey 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.
The Elect Officers for 2022 are:
Rone Luczynski, Chair-elect
• Rone has spent most of his last 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 over 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 over $1.0 billion in spend and supports our 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 F. Brown, PMP, Secretary/Treasurer-elect
• Todd is the co-founder and CEO of Urban Edge Network - hbculeaguepassplus.com. The streaming first company is bringing a platform to HBCUs for sports, bands, gaming, and HBCU culture. We will be super-serving the 101 black communities the students, alum, and their families occupy physically and Over - the Top (OTT) on our media platforms which are available on 303M devices. In the role, he draws upon over 20 years of venture capital and C-suite leadership experience at Fortune 50 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 historically black colleges and universities. 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 Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, President-elect, Medicine & Science
• 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. In addition, she 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 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, President-elect, Health Care & Education
• Janet Brown Friday 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 from January 2017 through 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 2002-2009, Ms. Brown-Friday served as a committee member for the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and was her workgroups Vice Chair and Chair during that period. From 2009 through 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, N.Y.
New At-Large Board Members are:
Mandeep Bajaj, M.B.B.S
• Dr. Mandeep Bajaj is the Vice Chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine and a Professor of Medicine and Molecular and Cellular Biology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is the Chief of the Section of Endocrinology at Baylor St Luke’s Medical Center and the Medical Director of the Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Center Diabetes Program as well as Baylor Medicine Endocrinology and Diabetes. Dr. Bajaj is a medical graduate of the All India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and received his fellowship training in Endocrinology and Diabetes at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Dr. Bajaj is a reputed clinical and translational researcher in obesity and type 2 diabetes and has >100 publications. His patient-oriented research work has delineated the metabolic and molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief of British Medical Journal Open Diabetes Research and Care published jointly by the ADA and the BMJ Group. He has served on the ADA Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee and the Research Grant Review Committee. He has been awarded the Master Clinician Award as well as the Fulbright & Jaworski Faculty Excellence Teaching Award by Baylor College of Medicine.
Rhodes B. Ritenour, JD
• Rhodes B. Ritenour is a native of New Market, Virginia in Shenandoah County, and is the Vice President for External and Regulatory Affairs with Bon Secours Virginia Health System. He represents the system before local, state, and federal governments, in communities it serves, and to corporations; he also provides regulatory legal counsel and manages governance, serving as the corporate secretary of the Richmond Board. Prior to joining Bon Secours, Rhodes served as the Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for Civil Litigation. Before joining the Office of the Attorney General, he was a partner in the Richmond office of LeClairRyan, where he focused on intellectual property litigation, regulated industries, and counseling campaigns and elected officials. He served as the firm’s Hospitality and Tourism Industry Team Leader and was a member of the Energy Industry Team. Preceding his time at LeClairRyan, Ritenour clerked for U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser in the Western District of Virginia, served in the Policy Office of Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, and worked in the Press Office of Vice President Al Gore. Ritenour earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Virginia Business Council, and the Boards of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Longwood University, Lead Virginia, ChamberRVA, Venture Richmond, The Richmond Forum, project:Homes, and is a Trustee of River Road United Methodist Church. A Type-I person with diabetes since the age of five, he has served the diabetes community as Chairman of the American Diabetes Association Board in Central Virginia, a member of the ADA National Advocacy Committees, a member of the ADA Legal Advocacy Network, and as a Fund-A-Cure Co-Chair for the 2019 JDRF Richmond Gala. Rhodes and his wife Alana are co-founders of Diabetes Support Group, a national on-line diabetes community, and will launch a children’s book series in early-2022: The Adventures of Rhodes and Alana. He lives in Henrico County with his wife and two children.
We are thankful for the years of service, dedication, and commitment the following members of the Board whose terms will be ending on December 31, 2021:
• Glen Tullman
• Martha Parry Clark, MBA
• Mary de Groot, PhD
• Robert H. Eckel, MD
• Sherita Hill Golden, MD, MHS
• Umesh Verma
“This esteemed group of individuals have outstanding records of value creation in science, medicine, healthcare, and business,” said Chris Ralston, 2021 ADA Board Chairman. “They bring a great wealth of expertise and experience to the ADA and we look forward to collaboration and their leadership as we continue to help people with diabetes thrive.”
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About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 81 years the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the nearly 122 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn) and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).