Chris Elliott Fund

Bringing HOPE to the lives of brain tumor patients & their families

Meet the Team

Dellann Elliott Mydland | Founder & President

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Dellann co-founded the Chris Elliott Fund shortly before her husband, Chris Elliott, passed away in June of 2002.  Dellann is a skilled public advocate, attending hearings in Washington, D.C., educating doctors/patients through multimedia educational campaigns while driving the research community to collaborate care at all junctures. Dellann has been honored by Harvard University as a National Glioblastoma Patient Advocate, and is also the recipient of the Spirit of Sammamish Award for 2009—an award in which the city and its citizens acknowledge “Magnificent Moments of Inspiration”.  Dellann, a mother of two children, is also a Rotary Club Member, a Sammamish Chamber of Commerce member, and a member of the Swedish Community Advisory Board. Prior to creating the Chris Elliott Fund, she served as an environmental regulator and as an early childhood educator at a local Washington state elementary school, specializing in educating children inflicted with Down Syndrome.

Tamara DePorter | Vice President and Board Chair

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Tamara graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Theory. Originally from Bellingham WA, Tamara and her family moved to Sammamish in 2000. Tamara spent 11 years working for Microsoft and is currently working as the Global Website Content Manager for Colliers International in downtown Seattle. Tamara has spent the majority of her career in the area of Human Resources and most recently as the Global Website Content Manager for Colliers International.

Tamara also served as the 2008/2009 President of Plateau Partners, Business Network International (BNI). Her drive to help others be successful with their goals makes her an integral member the Chris Elliott Fund board. Having glioblastoma take a friend’s life over ten years ago left Tamara feeling helpless, but her participation with Chris Elliott Fund is her a way to honor his memory while helping other patients and families.

In 2013, Tamara was recognized for her contributions to the Chris Elliott Fund by the Microsoft Alumni Foundation as an Integral Fellows Nominee.

David Heyting | Treasurer

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David is an outdoorsman and adventure racer, husband and father of two boys, active in local nonprofits as a former board member of the Salvation Army Northwest Division, and a Senior Manager at a CPA firm.  Diagnosed at the age of 34 with an Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor, David has used this experience to help others through speaking engagements and his own personal blog.  http://davidheyting.wordpress.com/

David’s tumor, which was mostly resected in 2011, was the size of a tennis ball, and aptly named “Goliath” by his children.  Thus, David’s personal mission is to “Defeat Goliath” and find a cure through advocacy, awareness and research.

As Board Member and Treasurer, David brings invaluable financial expertise to the Chris Elliott Fund as well as his “adventurer” spirit.  As one for whom “survivorship” means a renewed focus and purpose in life, David was honored in the Spring of 2013 with CEF’s HOPE Award.

Kylie Schluter | Secretary

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Kylie has been involved with Chris Elliott Fund since 2006. In past years she has been the Golf Tournament co-chair for the annual event and has now accepted a Board position to expand her involvement. Kylie graduated from Seattle University in 2007 in Marketing and Management, and has been working in Commercial Real Estate / Project Management with CBRE, Inc. for the past 5 years.

Shriya Sheth | Volunteer Manager

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Shriya brings with her human resources background to her role as Volunteer Manager at the Chris Elliot Fund. Shriya graduated from the University of Pune, India with a Masters in Personnel Management. In addition to her master’s degree, Shriya has a bachelor’s degree in Hotel Management with a primary focus on the field of Human Resources.

Shriya’s past experience includes working as a recruiter and a guest relations executive for a multi-national four star hotel chain. Shriya’s extensive education and her relentless desire to help others makes her an integral part of the Chris Elliot Fund. She constantly strives to make a difference to the organization through her innovative ideas.

Rachel Tougher | Communications Manager

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Rachel graduated from Whitman College with a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology. Since graduation she has continued her passion for nonprofit work and communications in helping the Chris Elliott Fund make others aware of its mission and goals.

Though her previous work at the Hospice in Walla Walla, WA, Rachel discovered her passion for helping the nonprofit healthcare sector and learned that awareness can effect change. Rachel also discovered that vital and timely information can drastically improve the healthcare experience, a main tenet of Chris Elliott Fund’s role in the brain tumor community.

CEF’s mission touches Rachel personally from her grandfather was diagnosed with a brain tumor. She views her role of helping CEF expand their presence and increase visibility in the press, social media and digital world as a way to personally way give back and help #endbraincancer.

Mary Hacket | Development Manager

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As Development Manager, Mary is responsible for annual giving, major giving, corporate giving and stewardship for the Chris Elliott Fund.
Mary brings more than a decade of development experience and has held leadership positions with Swedish, Humane Society of the United States, and Boys & Girls Clubs of King County. She has a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Dayton and her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Gonzaga University.

DeEtta Snyder | Executive Assistant

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DeEtta holds a degree in Administrative Office Management from Central Washington University, and fills a much needed administrative support role for The Chris Elliott Fund. She has done administrative support for the Puget Sound Blood Center and has attended medical conferences and seminars.

DeEtta is thrilled to be a member of the Chris Elliott Fund team and to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients.

Andrea Quadros | Patient Support & Health Information Concierge

Andrea joined The Chris Elliott Fund in February 2013 as Health Information Concierge and now also serves Doctor Outreach Coordinator.

Andrea holds a MS in Pharmacology from Narsee Moonje Institute of Management Sciences and has served as a Medical Adviser and Research Associate at leading global pharmaceutical companies. Because of her pharmacology background, Andrea is extremely attuned to the critical need for accurate and timely patient information regarding disease and symptom management and also in terms of access to the most advanced available treatment options.

Donna Ross, MSW, LICSW | Patient Support Services Program Manager

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Donna has a Master’s in Social Work and is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) in the state of Washington with over 30 years of experience in social services. Previous to the Chris Elliott Fund Donna worked at hospitals and clinics for the majority of her career, with specialized focus in brain injury rehabilitation and neurogenetics.  She has also worked in academic medicine at both the University of Washington and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ).  Donna’s involvement with brain cancer stems through her work in rehabilitation settings, for patients following brain surgery. Donna is also an experienced support group facilitator.

Her enthusiasm for working with the Chris Elliott Fund comes from a desire to use her background in brain injury and genetics towards reversing (or possibly eliminating) the debilitating effects of brain cancer.  Part of the work she most enjoys is serving as a positive support system to people living day to day with the aftermath of cancer and its treatments as well as providing IMMEDIATE ACCESS to advanced treatment options.

Donna’s interests outside of the Chris Elliott Fund  include singing, spectator sports of any kind and attending musical theater performances whenever she can. Donna has two wonderful adult daughters who are pursuing careers in Women’s History and Public Policy.

 

Riley Elliott | Board Member

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Riley initially got involved in the Chris Elliott Fund just a few years after her father, Chris Elliott, passed away in June of 2002.  However, it wasn’t until 2013 that she officially became a board member in 2013 to carry on her father’s legacy.  Riley plans to always be an advocate for brain cancer and to honor her father through her accomplishments, laughs, and working hard.

Currently a junior at Central Washington University (CWU), studying Communication, (specifically Public Relations) with a double minor in Business and Non-profit Administration, Riley has spent her last few quarters as Public Relations Manager/ Social Media Assistant for Central’s on-campus store.  She anticipates becoming a News Producer or Public Relations Specialist upon her 2015 graduation.

Riley holds the title as Miss Greater Eastside USA 2013 and will be competing in Miss Washington USA 2013. Her platform is to expand brain cancer awareness, advocacy, and education. “My goal is to provide support for people diagnosed and living with brain cancer,” Elliott said, “I want to be there for others, because I know it would have made my father’s diagnoses a little easier.”

Nesby Glasgow | Board Member

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Former professional football player with 14 National Football League seasons, Nesby Glasgow brings his many talents and his dedication to making a positive difference as a Board Member of the Chris Elliott Fund.  Nesby grew up in the inner-city of Los Angeles and moved to Seattle in 1975 to attend the University of Washington on a football scholarship.  While earning his BA from the University of Washington, Nesby was a four year starter, All American and played in the 1978 Rose Bowl.

Nesby was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1979 and played with them until 1987. In 1988 he moved back to Seattle and spent the next 5 years with the Seattle Seahawks.  He considers the northwest as “home” taking full advantage of all the amenities the area has to offer.

Since leaving his football career, Nesby has pursued a variety of business interests, currently serving as a Project Director at The Pacific Institute and with NW Real Estate Consultants.  Regarded as a leader at every level, Nesby is well-traveled and brings solid practical experience and his unique perspective to organizations seeking to make the world a better place.

 

Juliann Chmielecki, PhD | Board Member

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Juliann Chmielecki is a cancer genomics scientist who focuses on understanding the molecular mechanisms driving tumors. She is committed to curing cancer through science, and demystifying scientific advances to the general public.  A native of Boston, MA, Juliann ventured to Montreal, QC to attend McGill University. It was there that she was introduced to the exciting world of scientific research, spending her spare time in a breast cancer lab “curing” cancer in mice. Juliann completed her doctoral work at Weill Cornell Medical College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, NY where she focused on strategies to overcome drug resistance in lung cancer, and the identification of novel therapeutic targets using genomic technologies.

Following successful defense of her thesis, Juliann returned to Massachusetts to pursue post-doctoral work at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT. She worked on the analysis of large-scale genomic datasets, including work on The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) project. During this period, she also taught at a local community college serving as both a lecturer and lab coordinator for science classes. Juliann is driven by the memory of her father, who lost his battle to Glioblastoma brain cancer in 2011. Juliann is currently a Senior Scientist at Foundation Medicine.

Claire Tinker | Finance Committee Chair

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Claire contributes a unique perspective from a diverse and multi-faceted career to the Chris Elliott Fund.   She brings her experience as a past regional Operational Support and Customer Loyalty Manager at Xerox Corporation as well as her more recent work as a business and market research consultant.   A Vermont native, Claire moved to Seattle from the NYC area six years ago, drawn by the mountains, cycling trails, vibrant forward-looking culture, and wonderful wine.

Having been through her own personal breast cancer journey, Claire is acutely aware of the need for the most up-to-date and reliable information for all cancer patients, especially during the critical initial decision process. She also knows that there is nothing like talking things through with a live person, especially when faced with a life-changing diagnosis.

Claire holds a MBA from Fordham University and a MA in Art History from Columbia University and also a Diploma in French Civilization from the Sorbonne.   Claire is thrilled to have the opportunity to give back to others in her Board Member role, and especially in creating a solid financial foundation for future growth.

Tom Hippensteel | Ambassador & Vitality Committee Member

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A former Board Member whose current job involves extensive travel, Tom brings the energy, experience and drive of a successful program manager to the Chris Elliott Fund.  Currently working for Revcot, Tom’s career has been focused on solving tough business problems and helping organizations grow including turnaround strategies, supplier/vendor networks, and plans for future growth.  For the Chris Elliott Fund, Tom has developed projects and plans for specific fundraising efforts.  Although current business travel and obligations prevent Tom from being fully engaged as a board member, he continues to support the Chris Elliott Fund as a member of the Vitality Committee.

Matt Mattson | Ambassador

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Matt Mattson holds a law degree from the University of Oregon and, as tribal administrator, has devoted much of his life and career to rebuilding the Snoqualmie Nation including the opening of the Snoqualmie Casino.

A non-native to the Snoqualmie Nation, Matt is cognizant every single day of the special guest status that he holds.  “I have had the opportunity and chance to make a difference. I am humbled and honored every day to be a guest,” he says. “Every day I work with a group to restore this tribe that was inappropriately disenfranchised from their land to a position of prominence. This land, the Snoqualmie Valley, was named for them.”

In addition to his duties with the Snoqualmie Tribe, Matt Mattson has served as Vice President of the Board for the Chris Elliott Fund, as an executive board member of the Mountains to Sound Greenway Trust, and as legal counsel to the Global Diabetes Alliance.

John Curley | Ambassador

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John Curley as served as a member of the Sammamish City Council and has worked for 14 years as the host of Seattle’s King 5 TV’s Evening Magazine, the highest-rated regionally produced TV show in the country. The show has been honored with numerous regional Emmy Awards and the Edward R. Morrow Award for excellence in Journalism. John has earned numerous awards for his work in the community and in the field of broadcasting, including appearing on stage at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theatre.

Jennifer Bohner | Ambassador

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A Seattleite by birth, Jennifer Bohner grew up on the East Coast just outside of Boston.  She has very few memories of her father David Jenks who tragically died of a brain tumor at the age of 26.  Jennifer was only two years old at the time so most of what she does know came from visits with her Seattle relatives.  A lifelong mission of hers has been to keep his memory alive.  She and her husband named their son David Jenks Bohner in his honor. She feels particularly gratified to serve on the board of an organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients.

Jennifer brings deep experience in education and building a successful nonprofit to her position of Vitality Committee Chair.   Returning with her husband to Issaquah in 1993, Jennifer had the opportunity to start a preschool and kindergarten as a working lab for Trinity Lutheran College.  Opening Noah’s Ark Preschool and Kindergarten in 1996 meant being responsible for all the elements required to create a successful educational nonprofit: building a Board of Directors, writing By Laws, and gaining accreditation (National Association for the Education of Young Children).   From there, the school expanded to add an elementary program for grades 1-5, and finally creating a capital campaign to incorporate The Sammamish Christian School in 2003.  Total enrollment went from 140 students to 315 students in just a few years.   During that time, Jennifer also served on the Advisory Board of the Foundation for Early Learning.

More recently, Jennifer has served on the fund raising committee for Encompass and has worked with Treehouse.    Jennifer feels blessed to be able to spend her time on charitable work and fund raising for nonprofit organizations that are making a difference in people’s lives.  She says of The Chris Elliott Fund:  “My father was taken away from me too soon and I have always wanted to do something in his memory.

Jean Smart | Ambassador & Chris Elliott Fund National Spokesperson

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A versatile and gifted actress, Jean Smart continues to exhibit her extraordinary talents in theater, television and film. She starred in the HBO drama series “Maximum Security” before starring in the popular sitcom “Designing Women”. In January, 2006 Smart received her fourth Emmy nomination, this time for her role as the troubled and medicated First Lady Martha Logan on the Fox Drama “24”. That same year the show won the Emmy for Best Drama, and received a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Ensemble Cast. Smart was awarded her first Emmy for her hilarious recurring role on “Frasier” and she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her starring role on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane in “The Man Who Came To Dinner”. Jean continues to be extremely involved in her community and passionate about assisting those in need.

 

Jack Barry | Ambassador

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Jack is a past member of the Sammamish City Council, having served for ten years as both Deputy Mayor and Mayor. He has a Masters degree in Art from Arizona State University. He has provided specific leadership on the Public Safety, Community Development, Public Works and Finance Committees. Mr. Barry has strong community involvement including church, civic, charity and local service club leadership. Through many years of service as a teacher, coach, and administrator in public education, he has realized that collectively people can make a difference. The Chris Elliott Fund is his opportunity to give back to the community.

Carrie Shaw | Ambassador

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Carrie brings 18 years of experience in the areas of public relations and public affairs to her ambassador role. She is currently the Director of Marketing and Social Media for Seattle’s iconic Dick’s Drive-In Restaurants and manages Countywide Community Forums, a nationally recognized civic engagement program underwritten by the Spady family of Dick’s Drive-Ins. She has directed national, regional, and statewide public relations and public affairs campaigns for nonprofit organizations and businesses including the USO, Fivash Publishing, and Approach Management Services to name a few. Carrie spent six years in Washington, D.C. where she served in the Reagan Administration, directed the national public relations efforts of a family advocacy group, and did political fieldwork and communication for the late Jack Kemp. While living in Washington, D.C. Carrie lost her best friend to brain cancer at age 29, and recently lost an extended family member to the disease – “I’ve seen brain cancer take away so much, but with organizations like the Chris Elliott Fund, there is reason for great hope for people fighting this disease.”