David Fajgenbaum, MSc, Co-Founder & Board Chair
Co-Founder, National Students of AMF Support Network
MD/MBA candidate ’14, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine/Wharton School of Business
While a student at Georgetown University, David founded Students of AMF, a peer-led support group and service program, in memory of his mother, Anne Marie Fajgenbaum. Working with co-founder Ben Chesson, David grew the Georgetown chapter into a national, nonprofit organization in 2006, while also conducting research for his senior thesis on college student bereavement. At Georgetown, David was a John Carroll Fellow, quarterback of the football team, Raines Scholar, recipient of the 2005 Georgetown Lena Landegger Community Service Award, Rhodes Scholar Finalist, one of 20 college students in the United States named to the 2007 USA TODAY Academic All-America First Team, and graduated Magna Cum Laude in Honors Human Sciences with Distinction.
After Georgetown, David attended Oxford University as the recipient of Georgetown’s Joseph L. Allbritton Scholarship and completed a 24-month master’s degree (M.Sc by Research) in Public Health with a focus on cancer prevention in 8 months.
David was selected as one of 12 winners of the 2007 BRICK Award in North America for his outstanding leadership, achievements with AMF, and for being a young person who has “changed the world.” In April 2008, he was named one of 10 Reader’s Digest “Make it Matter” stories of the year, which included a feature story and photo on the cover of the issue. NBC’s Today Show ran a similar story the same week the Reader’s Digest article was published. Eli Lilly recently awarded David the 2012 Welcome Back Award for his national community mental health achievements (click here to watch his acceptance speech).
David is currently a fourth year combined MD/MBA student at the University of Pennsylvania, where he is a Twenty-First Century Scholar and will study for an MBA at the Wharton School of Business.
David is supported in all that he does by his family, which includes fiancee Caitlin, father David, sisters Lisa and Gena, brother-in-law Chris, nieces Anne Marie (who is named for his mother) and Ava Grace, and nephew Christopher.
Benjamin Chesson, Co-Founder & Vice Chair
Co-Founder, National Students of AMF Support Network
Associate, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Benjamin is the co-founder of National Students of AMF. He was primarily responsible for transforming the support network into a national, 501(c)3 tax-exempt nonprofit organization. Ben also founded the second chapter of Students of AMF while at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Through his friendship with David Fajgenbaum, Ben knew Anne Marie Fajgenbaum very well. Her heroic battle with cancer inspired him to honor her by helping students to cope with similar losses. In the summer of 2005, Ben took on the duties of director of outreach to help make Students of AMF reproducible on other campuses. Later, he used a Kauffman Grant from UNC to incorporate the organization and then took on all business and legal responsibilities. Today, Ben remains active as the secretary of the board of directors and member of the board’s Finance Committee.
Ben is currently an associate in the Energy and Commodities practice of the law firm of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP and is based in the firm’s Washington, DC office. As one of the world’s most prominent financial services law firms, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft has long-standing client relationships with premier financial institutions, Fortune 500 companies and other leading corporations, government entities, charitable and health care organizations, and individual private clients.
Benjamin received his J.D. from Wake Forest University School of Law, where he was an editor for the Wake Forest Law Review. He earned his B.A. in political science and B.A. in public policy analysis, with a legal concentration, from UNC. While there, Ben was inducted into the Order of the Old Well, which recognizes students and faculty members of high character who have demonstrated outstanding humanitarian service and whose service has gone uncompensated and unrewarded.
Family Risk Manager, BB&T Insurance Services, Inc.
Lisa M. Fajgenbaum is a Family Risk Manager for BB&T Insurance Services, where she specializes in the implementation of comprehensive personal risk management programs for affluent and high-net-worth individuals and families.
Prior to joining BB&T, Lisa served as the director of the Young Alumni Program for the Duke University Annual Fund and an account planner with OnSport, where she worked with clients such as American Express, Wachovia and Nationwide Insurance to craft and execute brand marketing strategies through sports and entertainment partnerships and programming. Lisa also managed the volunteer efforts for Junior Achievement of New York, Inc., where she was employed while living in New York City.
Lisa holds a B.S. in Psychology from Duke University. In addition to her work with AMF, Lisa served on the Alumni Council for Ravenscroft School. Lisa currently resides in Raleigh, N.C. and is the oldest of the three children of Anne Marie Fajgenbaum, who inspired Students of AMF.
Bette Jacobs, Ph.D.
Distinguished Professor, Georgetown University O’Neill Health Law Institute
Bette Jacobs is distinguished professor, Georgetown University O’Neill Health Law Institute and fellow, University of Oxford Campion Hall. Her career has emphasized engaging multiple disciplines and methods in mission-centered performance organizations. She recently concluded 10 years as academic dean at Georgetown University, transforming the School of Nursing to the School of Nursing and Health Studies offering four majors, establishing the Center on Health and Education, and co-founding the O’ Neill Health Law Institute.
Prior to her work at Georgetown University, Bette was a corporate officer for Honda of America Manufacturing. She also held academic and administrative positions in higher education, including the University of Alabama Birmingham. Bette received undergraduate and graduate degrees at California State University and her Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.
Bette is the mother of three adult children and the grandmother of six. She is married to Dr. Joseph Jacobs who works for Abbott Molecular. They reside in Washington, D.C.
Alison Malmon Mahowald
Founder & Executive Director, Active Minds
Alison is founder and executive director of Active Minds, Inc., the only national organization that uses students as the driving force to change perceptions about mental health on college campuses. Alison formed the organization in 2001, following the suicide of her only sibling, 22-year-old brother Brian Malmon. Wanting to combat the stigma that had caused her brother to suffer in silence and ultimately take his own life, she created a group on her campus at the University of Pennsylvania that promoted an open, enlightened dialogue around mental health issues. Just two years later, Alison formed the 501(c)3 organization to develop and support chapters of the student group on campuses around the country. She has since served as executive director of the non-profit organization, engaging thousands of student leaders in hundreds of chapters nationwide and promoting a unified national voice for young adults in the mental health awareness movement.
For her efforts, Alison was named Washingtonian of the Year, in 2007, by Washingtonian Magazine; Citizen of the Year, in 2008, by the Potomac, Maryland Rotary Club; and a Woman of Distinction by the American Association of University Women and National Association of Student Personnel Administrators. She has also received the Tipper Gore Remember the Children Award from Mental Health America, the inaugural Young Leadership Award from the National Mental Health Research Association (NARSAD), Leadership Award from Didi Hirsch Mental Health Services, and was named the first-ever Montgomery County Public Schools (Maryland) Distinctive Alumnus. Alison has been profiled as a “Person You Should Know” on CNN, and in stories in the New York Times, Washington Post, Glamour Magazine, and ABC’s Good Morning America, among others.
In addition to her work at Active Minds, Alison sits on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Consumer/Survivor Subcommittee, Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law Leadership21 Committee, Bringing Theory to Practice Project Planning Committee, and Students of AMF Board of Directors. In her spare time, Alison enjoys teaching the flying trapeze at the Trapeze School in Washington, D.C., and thinks everyone should “fly” at least once in his or her lifetime!
Founder, Accentuate Staffing
Graduated from Lake Forest College (1978) BA, and the University of Rochester Simon School (1980) MBA. Founded Accentuate Staffing, in 1996, a $20m+ revenue, 500+ contract employee, recruitment agency singularly focused upon the Raleigh-Durham marketplace. The company has been recognized with 8 Triangle Fast 50 Awards, 4 Raleigh Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Awards, and the #222 ranking on the Inc. Magazine 500 List.
A company core values remains the strong encouragement of community-based service. Personally served on the Eastern NC Make-A-Wish and Raleigh-Durham Dress for Success Board of Directors. The company has provided meaningful assistance to the Children’s Flight of Hope, the MS Society, and the Triangle Food Bank, amongst others.
Shortly after the start of freshman year at Lake Forest College, my grandmother passed away. During my junior year, one of my freshman suite mates committed suicide. In both instances, I found myself very isolated and unprepared to “deal” with their meaningful absences. As one not likely to seek professional help, the prospect of a student lead organization like ‘Students of AMF’ would have been a very appealing and needed alternative.
Social Work Professor, North Carolina State University
Ramona Ivy is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Social Work, where she earned a Masters of Social Work degree, with a direct practice concentration. She possesses over 16 years of experience working with individuals, groups and communities in need of support and guidance. Her personal and professional experiences have allowed her to become a beacon in the lives of those she has encountered.
During her years in the social work practice field, she has worked in various practice settings consisting of acute care; heart and lung transplantation, hematology/oncology, ICU, cardiac; managed care/medical management-private, federal, state and local; Social work and healthcare consulting-Regional Hospice Consultant, Federal Grant Reviewer.
She is currently a Lecturer at North Carolina State University where she has also served as research consultant, MSW Field Coordinator and MSW Site Supervisor. She uses her years of experience in direct practice and organizational development to guide those entering the field and assist in program planning and development. She has provided leadership training to corporations and civic organizations throughout her career and enjoys providing practical application in the areas of ethics, leadership, critical thinking, team building and problem solving. She is an active grant reviewer with the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) and the Corporation for National and Community Service.
She has a desire to assist those experiencing grief and loss which derived from losing her father three days before her 18th birthday and entering college three months following his death. She has facilitated leadership conferences and trainings regarding death, dying, grief and bereavement. Ramona has served on the Task Force of the Carolinas Center for Hospice and End of Life Care as a conference proposal reviewer and planning member.
She enjoys reading, traveling, gardening and spending time with her husband-Andre and daughter-Emilie. Ramona is an active member in her local church. She established and Chairs the Women’s ministry at Shiloh United Church of Christ-Fayetteville, NC, where her husband serves as Pastor.
Marketing Director, Gena Chandler; Marketing Director, Quintessentials
Alison Anderson is a graduate of Hollins University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree with a concentration in Business Communication & Technology, with an Art History minor. Alison has over 8 years of experience with strategic marketing planning, corporate branding, advertising, event planning, and direct marketing. More recently, she has begun utilizing public relations, web development, and social media marketing to improve her clients advertising presence.
During her years in the advertising and marketing field, she has managed accounts including the American Cancer Society, First Citizens Bank, and Duke Raleigh Hospital. Previously, she was a television producer for Scripps Networks, which includes Food Network, HGTV, DIY and Fine Living. Currently, she is the Marketing Director for Gena Chandler and Quintessentials in Raleigh, NC.
Alison is an active member of the Junior League of Raleigh. She is currently co-chairing the marketing committee for their largest annual fundraising event, “A Shopping SPREE!” Alison has served on the marketing committee for AMF’s Spring Soiree in 2010 and 2011.
She enjoys spending time with her husband Michael and their daughter Mary Wells, along with their labradoodle, Miles. Her other hobbies include tennis, golf and spending time on the North Carolina coast at her family beach house.
Partner, Howard, Stalling, From & Hutson
While attending George Washington University, Allan was active in many extra curricular activities resulting in his election to Omicron Delta Kappa, an honorary fraternity. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the George Washington University, where he is Assistant Secretary, Chairman of the Student Affairs Committee, and a member of the Board’s Executive Committee. While in law school, he served on the legal staff of the Internal Revenue Service, Estate and Gift Tax Division. Allan also has been active in his community and has served as President of the Wake County Jewish Federation.
President, University of North Carolina Hospitals
Gary Park has served as President of University of North Carolina Hospitals (UNCH) in Chapel Hill, North Carolina since March 2004. UNCH is an academic medical center with 799 licensed beds. He also serves as Chief Executive Officer of Rex Healthcare, a 435 bed hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina, which is part of the University of North Carolina Health Care System. The hospital system is comprised of 1260 beds and approximately 10,000 employees. Gary previously served as Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer of Moses Cone Health System from October 1997 until December 2000. He also served as President of Wesley Long Community Hospital from November 1992 until September 1997 when Wesley Long merged with Moses Cone. Prior to his position at Wesley Long, Gary was President of Thomas Memorial Hospital in South Charleston West Virginia from 1986 to 1992. He has an undergraduate and graduate degree from West Virginia. He and his wife, Cindy, have four children and are active members of the community.
Network Architect, Cisco Systems
Tony has years of experience reviewing local nonprofits’ Technology Plans in order to match their needs with Cisco’s resources. Tony also serves as a technology consultant for another local nonprofit organization…
Newest members of the Board of Directors (Class of 2015):
Josh Haymond, CPA
Senior Associate in Assurance Practice, PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP
Josh obtained his Bachelors of Science in Accountancy (2007) and Masters of Science in Accountancy (2008) from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington. Josh began his career in public accounting as an intern in Summer 2007, joining PwC in the Fall of 2010. Josh serves as a senior associate on public and private audit clients in various industries, including multiple government contractor clients and the office’s largest not-for-profit. He has performed audits in accordance with generally accepted government auditing standards and OMB Circular A-133.
As a member of the PwC Carolinas practice, he has served companies in the technology, investments, and not-for-profit industries. During his time with PwC, Josh has been responsible for auditing companies listed on the NASDAQ and several other companies with international operations. His key clients have included Allscripts; Research Triangle Institute; Cherokee Investment Partners; Intersouth Partners and USfalcon. Prior to joining PwC in Fall 2010, Josh worked for two years in KPMG Carolinas practice, where his key clients included Dex One Corporation, Republic Mortgage Insurance Company, Winn-Dixie, Genworth Financial, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Partner, New York Life
Human Resources Manager, Starbucks Corporation
Natasha is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, California where she earned a degree in Business Administration focusing on Managerial and International Business. After attending LMU, she attended post-graduate classes to continue to grow her knowledge in the HR field and earned a certificate in Human Resources Management from the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. She began a career with Starbucks Coffee Company in 2004 while attending college and has grown within the organization, currently holding the role of Human Resources Manager supporting the Mid-Atlantic Region. Natasha has been involved with Students of AMF as a volunteer since 2008 as a Chapter Development Coordinator and recently has joined the Board.
Natasha currently lives in New York, New York with her husband, Grant. When not working, she enjoys doing anything outdoors – skiing, swimming, running, boating, biking and hiking are among her favorite activities.
Board Member Emeritus
Principal CPA, Stancil & Company
Ken currently serves as a tax partner at Stancil & Company, a local accounting firm in Raleigh, N.C. As such, he is responsible for the tax planning and compliance services for the firm’s business and individual clients. Ken is a member of the American Institute of CPA’s and the North Carolina Association of CPA’s. He is a member of the Professional Development Committee and the Taxation Committee with the North Carolina Association of CPA’s.
Ken graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. While a college student there, Ken experienced a roommate or close friend losing an immediate family member three times. When Ken learned of the mission of Students of AMF Support Network, he was very excited at the opportunity to be involved.
On a personal level, Ken is active in his church as a deacon and Sunday school teacher, and is also a member of the board of North Raleigh Christian Academy. Ken has coached more than a dozen youth sports teams through Raleigh Parks and Recreation and the Upwards Basketball league. He is married to Anita, and they have three beautiful daughters, Anna, Emily, and Molly.