Our Leadership

The Down Syndrome Research and Treatment Foundation was founded in 2004 by a dedicated group of parents and leading scientists who are committed to finding treatments to improve learning, memory, and speech, and prevent the early onset of Alzheimer’s Disease in persons with Down syndrome. We changed our name to the LuMind Foundation in 2014 and merged with Research Down Syndrome in 2015 to create LuMind Research Down Syndrome Foundation. Interested in joining the Board? Click here to learn what it takes.

Board of Directors

Staff Management Team

Amy Allison Carolyn Cronin, President and CEO
Terry W. AnCel Marly Chevrette, Marketing Specialist
Virginia Bennett Flynn Katie Coughlin, Special Events Coordinator
Hector Guinness Jill Reslock, Operations and Special Events Coordinator
Ryan Hartman
Hampus Hillerstrom
Patrick Kannan
Christopher Lis
Michael Mannor, Ph.D.
Deborah Morris
Paul Murasko
Bjoern Sperling
Sarah Wernikoff

Amy Allison, Kansas City, Missouri

Amy-Headshot1Amy Allison currently serves as the Executive Director of the Down Syndrome Guild of Greater Kansas City (DSG). DSG, founded in 1984 by a group of dedicated parents of children with Down syndrome, provides programs and services to improve the quality of life for individuals with Down syndrome and their families. DSG serves over 800 families caring for a loved one with Down syndrome in the greater Kansas City area on both sides of the state line. In addition to her work with DSG, Amy Allison serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Down Syndrome Affiliates In Action (DSAIA). In 2009, Amy’s leadership and expertise helped DSAIA organize a conference in Washington DC where more than 300 Down syndrome advocates from 35 states gathered at the U.S. capitol to lobby Capitol Hill. The purpose of this effort was to seek federal funds to help spread accurate information about prenatally diagnosed disabilities and to raise additional support for Down syndrome related causes.

Amy received a double bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Brigham Young University.

Terry W. AnCel, Chicago, Illinois

Terry AnCel currently serves as President/CEO of Chicago-area contracting company Hayes Mechanical, a pioneer in the boiler, construction, and repair industry. With Terry at the helm, Hayes Mechanical is experiencing a steady, well-planned growth program. The company has a special loyalty to the city it has called home for now over 90 years. Out of that loyalty arises a sense of civic duty: Mr. AnCel, for example, has served as Chairman of the Martin Luther King Scholarship Dinner Committee through the Illinois Commission on Diversity and Human Relations, helping award college scholarships to Chicago public school students.Terry also serves as Chairman of Power Maintenance Construction in Bellevue, IL; Trustee of International Pension Fund for the Boilermakers in Kansas City, MO; and Director, Winfield Community Bank in Winfield, IL.

With Hayes Mechanical as the lead sponsor, Terry’s family and friends presented its seventh annual Golf Outing to benefit LuMind in 2014. Year after year, this flagship event keeps growing in popularity, with more than half a million dollars raised for Down syndrome cognition research. His youngest daughter, Christine, has been the face of the Hayes Annual Golf Outing since its inception.

Terry is married to Carol and has seven children and three grandchildren. Terry received his BA from University of Minnesota.

Virginia Bennett Flynn

Ginny is the head of compliance and audit at the Global Legal Entity Indentifier Foundation. Ms. Flynn is a senior leader with broad-based international experience in financial services, consulting services, consumer goods manufacturing, internal audit, finance and compliance operations. Her Background includes leadership and strategy-setting roles reporting at the Board and senior executive levels providing advice, support and oversight to key company initiatives.

Ryan M. Hartman, Hood River, Oregon — Board Chair

ryan-hartman-headshotRyan Hartman is President and CEO of Insitu Inc., a Boeing Company, a $450 million company, where he provides corporate leadership and strategic guidance, and holds responsibility for the organization’s overall execution of its business plan and investments. He also serves on the Board of Directors for The Next Door, a not-for-profit organization focused on families and children in need, and is president of the National Industrial Defense Association – Pacific Northwest Chapter.

Ryan received a BS and an MS at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, with further study in aerospace engineering at Arizona State University. Ryan and his wife, Stephanie, have a son with Down syndrome.

Hector Guinness, London, UK

Hector Guinness

Since 2012, Hector Guinness has been with HgCapital, where he focuses on investments in growing technology companies, and represents Hg as a board observer at Allocate Software, Evaluate and TraceOne. Prior to joining HgCapital, Hector spent three years working at Bain & Company in London and Mumbai.

Hector graduated from the University of Oxford with a first class honours degree in Biological Science. He and his wife, Lucy Guinness are the proud parents of Alfred and a new baby girl, Jemima.

Hampus Hillerstrom, Boston, Massachusetts

Hampus Hillerstrom co‐founded NeuroPhage Pharmaceuticals in 2006 , a company developing a novel approach for treating Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and other protein misfolding diseases, and he currently serves as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. Previously he spent three years as an associate at leading European biotech venture capital firm HealthCap where he participated in a large number of investment transactions including several IPOs. Hampus also spearheaded a project at AstraZeneca to evaluate decision‐making leading to Phase III clinical trials.

Hampus holds a Masters in Economics and Finance from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland), an MBA from Harvard Business School, and an MSc in Health Sciences and Technology from MIT/Harvard Medical School (HST). Hampus and his wife have one child with Down Syndrome.

Patrick Kannan, Ashburn, Virginia

Patrick is the Vice President of Finance at Exostar, LLC., a leader in secure cloud-based solutions that improve identity access management, collaboration, and supply chain management for regulated industries.  As Vice President of Finance, he oversees the operational accounting and customer service, as well as all of Exostar’s finance and strategic planning efforts. Prior to joining  Exostar he was the Controller at Data Systems and Solutions (DS&S), a world leader in asset management and predictive maintenance.  The company is an international technology leader in various markets, including nuclear, aerospace & defense, and energy.

Patrick has more than 20 years of finance and accounting experience.  In addition to holding and undergraduate degree in Accounting from Radford University, Patrick is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute for Certified Public Accountants (AICPA).

Patrick and his wife have three children, including Ashley their oldest daughter, who has Down syndrome.

Christopher G. Lis, Chicago, Illinois

Christopher-LisChristopher G. Lis is a senior executive with Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA), a national network of five cancer care hospitals, which recently ranked 4th out of more than 1,400 companies tracked in the YouGov BrandIndex “Best Brand” survey during the first six months of 2015.  Collaborating with the leadership team, Lis helped transform CTCA’s patient experience results to rank among the highest in the nation on the ‘would recommend’ metric as measured by the external Hospital Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (HCAHPS) Survey.  At CTCA, Mr. Lis has held roles as Vice President of Market Insights, Chief of Outcomes Research, Vice President of Research and Development, and Chief Strategy Officer.

Mr. Lis currently serves on the board of directors of the Illinois Chapter of The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS), and on the editorial boards of two medical and scientific journals.  He has published over fifty manuscripts in the peer-reviewed medical and scientific literature, spearheaded CTCA’s inclusion into a Harvard Business School (HBS) Case, and has been interviewed and quoted regarding advice to leaders in Harvard Business School Press books, as well as a book on leadership called ‘CEO Material’ authored by New York Times Best-selling author Debra Benton.  Mr. Lis previously served on the Hospital Advisory Committee for The Leapfrog Group, on an Expert Panel for the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF), and as an expert reviewer and/or invited thought leader to foreign government and private research agencies in the Netherlands, New Zealand, and England.

Christopher and his wife Heather have four children. Their fourth child has Down syndrome.

Mike Mannor, Ph.D., Notre Dame, Indiana

Mannor-MikeMike Mannor is a strategy professor at the University of Notre Dame. His research focuses on strategic leadership, corporate governance, and knowledge creation, with a particular emphasis on how the characteristics and experiences of CEOs and top management teams can help and hurt organizations in their pursuit of sustainable competitive advantage. His research has been published in the leading management journals and he has been interviewed or quoted on NPR, CNN, BusinessWeek, the USA Today, the LA Times, Yahoo, and a variety of other media outlets. He teaches primarily in Notre Dame’s MBA program, with classes on corporate strategy and business model innovation.

Mike holds a BS from Aquinas College, an MBA from Grand Valley State University, and a PhD from Michigan State University.  Mike and his wife have five children. Their second child, Sophia, has Down syndrome.

Deborah Morris, New York, New York

Deborah Morris is the Zonal Executive for AIG PC based in New York. In this role, Deborah is responsible for a significant book of commercial insurance including Property, Casualty, Healthcare, Financial Lines and Program business. Deborah spent the majority of her career with AIG in the International Financial Lines unit, spanning 85 countries, where she held several senior positions including COO and Commercial Institutions Manager. During her 21 years in International Financial Lines Deborah held a number of senior overseas assignments including London and Hong Kong.

Deborah graduated with a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the College of William and Mary. Deborah and her husband Andrew have two children; Sophia (10) and Benjamin (8).  Sophia has Down syndrome and is Deborah’s inspiration, giving rise to her passion about advocacy and therapeutic programming for people with Down syndrome. She is the Founder and President of GiGi’s Playhouse NYC, a Down syndrome awareness and achievement center located in Harlem, NYC.

Paul Murasko, Hopkinton, Massachusetts


Paul is currently Sr. Director of Multi-Channel Marketing for Sunovion pharmaceuticals leading digital strategy and execution as well as the telesales team. Previously he was with Johnson & Johnson (J&J) primarily in the Medical Device and Diagnostics (MD&D) space. While Director of Digital Marketing for J&J, he led the digital integration for $19.8 billion acquisition of Synthes and was chairman of the Digital Acceleration team for the MD&D sector.

Paul has been actively involved in charity/nonprofit work for over 20 years as a volunteer, committee member, and board director. He currently serves on the executive committee of the Tri- County United Way serving a 2nd vice chair and is in the process of developing a foundation – Special & Determined – with his wife Marla to help families with children who have Down syndrome with education and resources to navigate today’s complex support system and the access to services for early intervention to build a path to a stronger more inclusive society.

Paul and Marla have two children, the youngest, Jacob has Down syndrome.

Bjoern Sperling, Cambridge, Massachusetts

Bjoern Sperling

Before becoming the senior medical director of clinical development for Alzheimer’s disease with Biogen, Bjoern spent many years in medical affairs as the global therapeutic lead for Multiple sclerosis. He has previously authored or co-authored more than 30 papers and presented multiple abstracts at scientific congresses including as an invited speaker, and has given educational presentations at universities worldwide.

Bjoern also brings great insight about the opportunities research can have on emerging adults with Down syndrome from his own 22-year-old son, Sebastian. “Sebastian has a beautiful mind, always curious, interested and eager to study new things, he brings a lot of insights and joy into our lives, and I want to do my best to protect his and others minds from the devastating effect of Alzheimer’s disease. My hope is that I through LuMind can support the research and work that is so much needed to improve and preserve the quality of life of people with Ds,” says Bjoern. Bjoern and his family moved from Denmark 6 years ago and now live in Massachusetts.

Emeritus Board Members

Ann Margaret Chrisney
Shon Christy
Teresa Cody
Hollye Doane
Jim Dovey
Margie Doyle
Daniel Flatley
Patricia White Flatley, MD
Lara Font
Michael M. Harpold, PhD
Roger and Dawn Kafker
Todd Kinsella, PhD.
Jane Lodato
Stephen Lazare
Sohail Masood, Pharm.
Chris Messina
Darryl Mikuni
Andrew Miller
William Mobley, MD, PhD
Betsy Plaschke
Anthony Providenti
Vince Randazzo
Karen Shea
Hilda Templeton
Sara Weir
Jim White
Patty O’Brien White

Staff Management Team

Carolyn Cronin, President/CEO

cronin-headshotCarolyn Cronin has been the President and CEO for LuMind Research Down Syndrome since January 2013. In this position, Ms. Cronin provides vision, leadership, strategic direction and administrative oversight for the fundraising effort of the Foundation, the staff and its ongoing support of other research organizations.

An experienced non-profit executive with more than twenty years of progressive experience managing and leading non-profit organizations, Ms. Cronin has a strong background in developing and cultivating relationships with individuals and organizations in support of further fundraising programs and growth initiatives.

Ms. Cronin was previously the President of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (NMSS) for its New York City – Southern New York chapter, where she was responsible for providing leadership in all areas of chapter operations including fund development, client programs, community relations, financial management, staff development, and board partnership.

Prior to the position with NMSS, she was the President and CEO of Accelerated Cure Project for MS. In collaboration with the Board and staff, she created a comprehensive fundraising campaign that increased revenue over 50% in less than twelve months.

She was the Executive Director for seven years at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in the Greater Illinois Chapter, providing overall leadership and management to create cost effective and ongoing sources of revenue, community presence, and mission enhancement for the organization while doubling the revenue during her tenure.

Ms. Cronin spent the last decade in leadership positions for non-profit organizations including Prevent Blindness America, Foundation Fighting Blindness, American Cancer Society and Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers.

A native of Peru, Indiana, Ms. Cronin attended Ball State University. She completed the CFRM at the Indiana University Center on Philanthropy and was awarded a scholarship and participated in the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management Program at Harvard Business School.

Contact: ccronin@lumindrds.org