Board of Directors

Meet The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Board of Directors

Ralph E. Lawson, FHFMA, CPA

Ralph E. Lawson, FHFMA, CPA

Chair of the Board

Ralph Lawson is a widely acclaimed expert in United States Healthcare. He has testified before Congress and has spoken at hundreds of healthcare meetings and conferences nationally and internationally. During his 30-year tenure as the Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer of Baptist Health South Florida, Inc., he was instrumental in expanding Baptist from a single hospital in Miami to the largest provider of healthcare services in South Florida. Baptist now operates eleven hospitals and more than 100 outpatient facilities and physician practices in four counties with more than 23,000 employees.  Before joining Baptist Health in 1989, Mr. Lawson was a general partner with Deloitte responsible for the Florida healthcare practice.  He meets the Sarbanes Oxley and SEC definition of an Audit Committee Financial Expert.  Presently, Mr. Lawson serves as a member of the Board of Trustees of Boca Raton Regional Hospital, and is the Chairman of the Board of Catholic Health Services, the largest provider of post-acute healthcare services in Florida. He is the past National Chair of the Healthcare Financial Management Association, with more than 40,000 members and 68 chapters.  Mr. Lawson is retained by Navigant, Inc., as a National Advisor. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Colorado, and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. As a 25 - year cancer survivor, he is deeply sensitive to the ravages of the various cancer diseases. He has long been an LLS champion and philanthropist, including serving three times as the Chair or Co-Chair of the Light the Night Walk in Miami.

Jeff Sachs

Jeff Sachs

Vice Chair

Jeff Sachs is the North American managing director of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Hotels and Hospitality Strategic Advisory and Asset Management Group. Before joining JLL, Sachs was a founding partner of Strategic Advisory Group, which was acquired by JLL in early 2016. Prior to forming Strategic Advisory Group in 1998, he was the national director of the Public Assembly Consulting Practice and the southeast director of the Hospitality Practice for Ernst & Young. He earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in accounting from the University of Iowa. Sachs has been a volunteer with LLS since 2005, one year after surviving a diagnosis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML).

Kathleen Meriwether

Kathleen Meriwether

Secretary/Treasurer

Kathleen Meriwether is the Americas Life Sciences Leader for Ernst & Young LLP’s Forensic and Integrity practice. She specializes in assisting health sciences companies with global risks and compliance assessments and regulatory compliance analysis. She works closely with management teams, compliance officers and counsel to identify compliance and enforcement risks, determine potential vulnerabilities and recommend solutions from business and operational perspectives. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, she served as an assistant U.S. attorney in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She previously spent more than 16 years with Bristol-Myers Squibb Company in a number of legal, regulatory affairs and compliance positions, including division counsel for the Oncology and Immunology franchise.

Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.

Ruben A. Mesa, M.D.

At Large

Ruben A. Mesa, M.D., is director of the Mays Cancer Center, the newly named home to the UT Health San Antonio MD Anderson Cancer Center, a National Cancer Institute-designated Cancer Center. Dr. Mesa is a professor and holds the Mays Family Foundation Distinguished University presidential chair. Dr. Mesa has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator in more than 70 clinical trials for patients with myeloid disorders and played a lead role in various FDA approvals. He has been a funded investigator from the National Cancer Institute throughout his career and currently is Co-Principal Investigator of the NCI Program Project Grant Funded Myeloproliferative Neoplasms Research Consortium where he co-leads the clinical trial consortium. He also served as the Chair of the Arizona Cancer Coalition which oversees the Arizona Cancer Control Plan and worked with the Arizona Department of Health Services in advocating for Cancer in the State of Arizona. Dr. Mesa plays a range of leadership roles with the American Society of Hematology, and is chair of the Standing Science and Education Committee for the International Society of Hematology. Dr. Ruben completed his undergraduate training in nuclear engineering and physiology at University of Illinois and attended Mayo Medical School in Rochester, MN, where he completed his internal medicine residency and hematology & medical oncology fellowship. He was then on the faculty of the Mayo Clinic in hematology and later selected as deputy director of the Mayo Clinic Cancer Center from 2012-2017.

Michele Cameron

Michele Cameron

Board Member

Michele Cameron is a director with Allianz Global Investors, which she joined in 2007. She is responsible for executing the firm’s institutional investor business development strategy. She was previously a vice president at Alliance Bernstein, vice president at Bear Stearns Asset Management and an associate at Goldman Sachs & Co. Michele graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and holds an M.B.A. from Columbia Business School.

Dr. Renzo Canetta

Dr. Renzo Canetta

Board Member

Renzo Canetta, M.D. has more than 35 years of clinical and regulatory cancer research experience at Bristol-Myers Squibb. At the forefront of cancer research, he has seen firsthand how innovation has transformed cancer treatment. His experience includes direct patient care, diagnosis and experimental treatment of cancers that affect blood, bone marrow and lymph nodes, as well as solid tumors, methodology of clinical trials and new drug development. He has held multiple leadership roles, including head of Clinical Cancer Research, head of Development on the Life Cycle Management team and head of Regulatory Oncology Research Policy. Dr. Canetta and his team developed 16 new drugs to treat cancer and two to treat viral infections, and received approval of more than 50 regulatory dossiers for additional indications and formulations. Dr. Canetta retired from Bristol-Myers Squibb in August, 2015.

Casey Cunningham, M.D

Casey Cunningham, M.D

Board Member

Casey Cunningham, M.D. is the chief scientific officer of Santé Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on creating and investing in companies in healthcare and life sciences. Dr. Cunningham received his fellowship training in oncology and hematology at Harvard Medical School, where he subsequently served on the faculty. He was also one of the founding members of the Division of Experimental Medicine at the Brigham & Women’s Hospital in Boston. Dr. Cunningham received his medical degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School with a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He returned to Texas in 1999 as the Associate Director of the Mary Crowley Cancer Research Center in Dallas, a position he held until 2007. He joined Santé Ventures shortly after its founding. He has served in operating roles in Terapio, Molecular Templates and Beta Cat Pharmaceuticals and has served on the Boards of Terapio Corp., Molecular Templates, Lyric Pharmaceuticals, AbVitro and Mirna Therapeutics.

Christopher Flowers, M.D.

Christopher Flowers, M.D.

Board Member

Christopher R. Flowers, M.D., is professor in the Department of Hematology and Medical Oncology at Emory University School of Medicine. He is a member of the Emory Stem Cell and Bone Marrow Transplant team and Director of the Emory Lymphoma Program. His clinic focuses on specialized care for patients with lymphoid malignancies and early phase clinical trials. Dr. Flowers is a member of InterLymph, an international collaboration of experts in lymphoma epidemiology that is focused on finding the causes for lymphoma and co-leader of the Lymphoma Epidemiology of Outcome (LEO) Cohort Study, the largest study in the US of lymphoma patients. The Lymphoma Program at Emory has been a key contributor in clinical trials that have led to FDA approval of new drugs for cancer patients. Dr. Flowers also has been instrumental in developing national guidelines for the management of cancer patients with the American Society of Clinical Oncology, the American College of Radiology, and the American Cancer Society. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology and a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation. Dr. Flowers graduated from Stanford University from the human biology and humanities honors programs. He remained at Stanford where he completed medical school and received a master’s degree in medical information sciences. After medical school, he completed an internal medicine residency at the University of Washington. He continued his research training in Seattle through the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program and oncology fellowship at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.

Janice L. Gabrilove, M.D.

Janice L. Gabrilove, M.D.

Board Member

Janice L. Gabrilove, M.D. is The James F. Holland Professor of Medicine, associate director, Education & Training for the Tisch Cancer Institute and director of the Clinical Research Education Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai and the Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences. She previously served on the faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Dr. Gabrilove is the recipient of a patent for the discovery of human granulocyte colony stimulating factor (G-CSF), and was the first to demonstrate that it could alleviate certain harmful effects of chemotherapy on blood cell production. She has worked closely on the development of novel therapeutics for fostering leukemic cell maturation, and has been awarded patents for two additional drugs, approved by the FDA, for the treatment of myeloid leukemia. She is a member of the American Society of Clinical Investigation, has served as a member of the Editorial Boards for the journal Blood, UpToDate, Clinical Cancer Research & Leukemia; and on the FDA Advisory Committee for approval of Biologics, among others. She has also served as an elected councilor on the executive committee for the American Society of Hematology. Dr. Gabrilove graduated from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai where she held the highest academic standing in the graduating medical school class.

John Greene

John Greene

Board Member

John Greene is senior vice president of Customer Centric Engineering and Site Reliability Engineering at Salesforce, a US cloud computing company headquartered in San Francisco, CA. Greene is a hands-on technical executive, with a passion for building, growing, coaching and managing high caliber, motivated teams in enterprise. His worldwide team ensures customer success by triaging, troubleshooting, debugging, and proposing fixes to complex customer issues and incidents on the Salesforce platform. He previously spent six years providing and managing enterprise technical support at BEA/WebLogic and three years running support and community for an online virtual world. John received his bachelor’s degree in computer and information sciences in 1993 from UMass. Greene is an acute myeloid leukemia survivor and was given a 35%-40% chance to live five years when he was diagnosed in 2010. After several rounds of chemotherapy and a stem-cell transplant in 2011, he is cancer free. Greene has led Salesforce's participation in Light the Night since 2011, raising more than $4 million nationally for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Greene is an avid Phish and Grateful Dead fan and currently plays keyboards in Chum, California's premiere Phish tribute band.

Francie Heller

Francie Heller

Board Member

Francie Heller is a director at Arabesque Asset Management USA, a firm that pioneered a new approach to asset management by integrating ESG big data with quantitative strategies. She has over 30 years of financial experience spanning both the public and private sectors. Prior to Arabesque Asset Management, she was a managing partner at Heller Advisory, an alternative asset placement agent. Before that, she was a managing director at Houlihan Lokey Investment Bank and prior to that, she was a managing director at Chilton Investment Company. She has also served as senior managing director and global head of the Pension, Endowment and Foundation Services Group at Bear Stearns and Co, Inc. She was president of MBIA Municipal Investors Service Corporation (MISC) where she created and ran all aspects of the government investment management business. Heller was also an education director in a New York public school for several years. She currently serves on several boards including Big Picture Learning and Furman University. Heller graduated from Boston University with a BS and earned a master’s equivalent degree from the University of Georgia and a professional diploma (PD) from Fordham University. She holds certificates from Columbia University, Stanford University and Harvard University Executive Education programs. Heller holds her FINRA series 7 and 63 licenses. She is also a certified mediator.

Ted Moroz

Ted Moroz

Board Member

Ted Moroz has over 25 years of professional experience specializing in retail and logistics management. He became President of The Beer Store (TBS) and Brewers Distributor Ltd. in 2009 where he is responsible for managing all aspects of the business and works closely with the LLS’s committed supporter of 33 years, United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW). Prior to this role, he has held multiple leadership roles including Vice President, Retail and Vice President, Logistics. During his tenure at TBS, he served on several committees and continues to be an active member of the Retail Council of Canada where he has served on the executive roundtable. Notably, he is a leader of the largest bottle drive in Ontario, raising over $13 million for leukemia research. Ted is Chair of LLS Canada’s Board of Directors. In 2015, he was awarded the Laurdentain University Alumni Award, which recognized his volunteer work with nonprofits. He received his Master’s degree in political science from Carleton University in Ottawa, Ontario in 1988.

 

 

Lynne F. O'Brien

Lynne F. O'Brien

Board Member

Lynne F. O'Brien worked as a policy analyst with the White House Cancer Moonshot office under former Vice President, Joe Biden. Previously, she worked as director of the Washington government affairs office of DuPont Merck, working with members of Congress on issues involving the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, tax legislation, and health care reform. She started her career in D.C. with Williams and Jensen, a law firm in Washington, DC, focusing on healthcare clients. She is on the board of the Potomac School in McLean Virginia and member of Princeton's Alumni Schools Committee. She was formerly on the board of the National Organization for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. O'Brien graduated cum laude from Princeton with a degree in political science and earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center.

James F. Palmer

James F. Palmer

Board Member

Prior to retiring, James F. Palmer was senior financial executive at Northrop Grumman where he had significant leadership experience in financing, reorganization, investment management, contracts and investor relations. Before joining Northrop Grumman, he held CFO positions at Fortune 500 companies, McDonnell Douglas and Visteon. He was president of Boeing Capital and former audit partner at Ernst & Young. Palmer is a dedicated and longtime supporter of The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) and has completed four marathons with Team In Training. He was honored with the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2015 Leukemia Ball in Washington, D.C. His commitment to LLS and its mission to find cures for blood cancers is deeply personal, having lost his 26-year-old son to acute myeloid leukemia.

Marla Persky

Marla Persky

Board Member

Marla S. Persky retired as senior vice president and general counsel of Boehringer Ingelheim USA Corporation in 2013. She launched WOMN LLC, a company dedicated to helping women succeed in the private practice of law by increasing their knowledge of and acuity with the “business of law.” Through years of mentoring, she has shared her experience and observations with other attorneys and professionals to assist them in building valued, inclusive legal departments, career development and achieving business excellence. Persky’s leadership and efforts to improve diversity and inclusion in the legal profession have been recognized by elite organizations such as the Lawyer’s Collaborative for Diversity and the Connecticut Appleseed Foundation. She was recognized as one of the ten most innovative in-house counsel for her strategy and efforts to increase the opportunities and visibility of women in high profile litigation.

Robert Rosen

Robert Rosen

Board Member

Robert Rosen is a managing member of Greyhawke Capital Advisors LLC, a Greenwich, Connecticut-based company which invests capital in, and applies management expertise to, selected investment opportunities generally involving net leased real estate properties. Since 2012, he has also served as an independent director of KLS Diversified, a hedge fund specializing in trading multiple debt strategies. Prior to this role, he was chief executive officer and at Odin Management Company, LP and Newkirk Limited Partnership. He has also practiced real estate and securities law as a senior partner at Hertzog, Calamari & Gleason and Rosen, Hacker & Nierenberg. Rosen is a graduate of Columbia Law School where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar. He graduated cum laude with departmental honors in political science from the University of Massachusetts. Rosen is a member of the Dean’s Council at Columbia Law School and the Advisory Board of the Richman Center at Columbia University for Business, Law and Public Policy.

Bart Sichel

Bart Sichel

Board Member

Bart Sichel’s interest and passion for LLS is deeply personal: His son is a leukemia survivor, and in 2005 he lost his father to lymphoma. Sichel was formerly the Chief Marketing Officer at Burlington Stores, where he was instrumental in shaping the strong bond between Burlington, a national off-price retailer, and LLS, a relationship that has generated more than $25 million for blood cancer research and patient services. Prior to Burlington, Sichel was a principal at McKinsey & Company, where he specialized in marketing and e-commerce for clients in a wide range of industries. It was his work with the firm's social sector office that strengthened his passion for making a difference in nonprofit settings. Sichel received a bachelor's degree in political science and economics from Vassar College and an MBA in marketing from Columbia University.