National Leadership Team

AnnPalmer web

ANN M. PALMER

President & Chief Executive Officer

With more than 30 years of experience within the voluntary health space, Ann has revolutionized the organization’s approach, structure and focus to deliver the greatest impact in the lives of those with arthritis. Since joining the Arthritis Foundation in 2013, Ann has established the organization’s four pillar areas, introduced an annual planning process to identify and measure priority outcomes and successfully implemented a consolidated structure.

With a BS in education from the University of Delaware, Ann has a strong background at three large voluntary health organizations: the American Cancer Society, the American Diabetes Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. Beginning her career with the American Cancer Society in 1979, she held numerous roles of increasing responsibility over 18 years. In 1997, she joined the American Diabetes Association to oversee increased fundraising for their Mid Atlantic region and led a nationwide operational restructuring that increased efficiency. During her 12 years at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, Ann’s leadership brought new business systems and a great team of staff and volunteers who annually raised a net income of more than $100 million.

Ann is a member of the board of directors of the National Health Council, which consists of voluntary health agencies committed to helping people with chronic diseases and disabilities and their caregivers. She’s also recognized as one of the 100 most influential leaders in the health care industry by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Ann is passionate about her work as the Foundation’s leader: “I am truly inspired by the dedication of our volunteers and the courage and perseverance of people with arthritis and their families. We are responsible for helping more people say Yes to conquering everyday challenges and to fulfill our mission of audaciously attacking arthritis and its effects.”


guy eakin senior vice president scientific strategy

GUY S. EAKIN, PHD

Senior Vice President, Scientific Strategy

Leading the Arthritis Foundation’s science department, Guy works to engage the scientific community as we chart the course to conquering arthritis. Previously, he was at the BrightFocus Foundation for almost 10 years where, as vice president of scientific affairs, he led nearly $90 million of international biomedical research initiatives for Alzheimer’s, macular degeneration and glaucoma, identifying projects that could change patient lives in the shortest timeline possible. Guy earned his PhD from Baylor College of Medicine and pursued research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.
 
“I find inspiration in the moment when patients and research recognize one another and understand what they can achieve together,” says Guy. “I’m honored to lend my time on this earth to making that happen.”


Melissa Honabach

MELISSA HONABACH

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications and eCommerce

Melissa leads the Arthritis Foundation’s initiatives to create meaningful engagement with constituents through education, story-telling and useful tools that generate increased interaction, visibility and support of our work. She comes here from Patientco, a health care payments technology company where she was vice president of operations. Melissa’s career spans 20 years as an entrepreneurial digital marketing executive with an extensive background in multimedia production, interactive marketing and advertising. She earned her BA from Bucknell University and her MBA in marketing from the University of Tennessee.

“I put time and energy into causes that make a difference and are important to me,” Melissa says. “Helping people with arthritis overcome their obstacles and celebrate their successes is what the Champion of Yes brand is all about – and that truly inspires me.”


CindyMcDaniel web

CINDY McDANIEL

Senior Vice President, Consumer Health and Impact

Cindy’s 30-year tenure with the Arthritis Foundation, coupled with her extensive consumer insights expertise, equips her well for the role of seamlessly integrating our key mission areas of Advocacy, Help & Support and Juvenile Arthritis – which are at the heart of our commitment to meet people’s needs. Cindy was founding editor of Arthritis Today magazine and today leads our consumer outreach initiatives. She’s a 2008 graduate of Leadership Buckhead, and in 2009 was awarded the Clifford M. Clarke Award for Outstanding Leadership, our highest employee honor.

“For the past 30 years, the Arthritis Foundation has been more than a life’s career for me; it’s been a life’s cause,” says Cindy. “My commitment is stronger than ever to pursue the ultimate answer that will end the pain of so many.”


david mcloughlin arthritis foundation chief operating officer

DAVID McLOUGHLIN

Chief Operating Officer

With more than 17 years of experience leading nonprofit operations, Dave is no stranger to our work. He held a number of roles at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, most recently as senior vice president of operations. He also served on the board of directors of ATCC (American Type Culture Collection) Global, a leading biological materials resource and standards organization. Dave holds a BS in accounting from the University of Maryland, and earned his MBA at the George Washington University. Today he leads our operations, legal, information technology and human resources functions. 
 
In Dave’s words: “I’ve embraced the timeless call to service made by Roman philosopher, Cicero: ‘Not to ourselves alone are we born.’ Answering the call to improve the lives of those with arthritis was easy. They deserve our best.”


Ann McNamara

ANN McNAMARA

Senior Vice President, Revenue Strategy

Ann has spent more than 20 years in fundraising and constituent management roles, touching the lives of thousands of staff, volunteers and people needing assistance. At the Arthritis Foundation, she oversees all revenue strategy and an integrated fundraising plan to support our organizational priorities, including corporate development, special events, planned giving, major gifts and direct response. A graduate of Northern Illinois University, Ann served as executive vice president and chief development officer at the Muscular Dystrophy Association prior to joining the Foundation. She previously held several leadership positions at the American Cancer Society.

“Throughout my career, I’ve had the privilege of contributing to improvements in many people’s lives,” says Ann. “At the Arthritis Foundation, my goal is to help increase our impact and restore the quality of life this disease often takes away.”


Rick Willis web

RICK WILLIS

Senior Vice President, Field Management

A graduate of the University of Tennessee, Rick got his start in fundraising in 1997 at the Muscular Dystrophy Association, and went on to hold leadership positions at the American Diabetes Association and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, expanding local events and opening new markets. He has a strong history in field management and fundraising strategy, and extensive experience working with volunteers. Rick joined the Arthritis Foundation in 2014, and today he oversees field operations, in addition to major gift and planned giving programs.

“I’m profoundly inspired by the multitudes of caring people who give so generously of their time, talents and resources,” says Rick. “Not only do they fuel our mission; they drive our success. I’m grateful to work alongside them.”