Leadership

Learn more about the people that have made the Arthritis Foundation such a successful non-profit, including our National Leadership Team.

National Leadership Team

Steve Taylor LobbySTEVEN TAYLOR

President & Chief Executive Officer

A mission-first leader in the voluntary health space, Steve has over three decades of experience devoted to making life better for patients with life-altering diseases.

Since joining the Arthritis Foundation in 2021, Steve has established the organization’s multi-year strategic mission plan, which outlines the Foundation’s clear pathways to finding a cure and improving quality of life for the nearly 60 million Americans diagnosed with arthritis. Steve is passionate about aligning the Foundation’s advocacy agenda and science strategy with the organization’s priorities, which are shaped by patient voices. Steve’s leadership is guided by the Foundation’s strong community of patients and volunteers — who are critical in driving the organization’s progress in audaciously attacking arthritis and its effects.

Prior to being named President & CEO in 2022, Steve served as the Arthritis Foundation’s Executive Vice President, Mission & Strategic Initiatives for the past year. Previously, he served as President & CEO of the Sjögren’s Foundation for 18 years from 2003-2021. While there, Steve worked to make Sjögren’s a household name, increasing awareness among the general public and health care professionals. He also notably led the development of the first-ever Clinical Practices Guidelines for Sjögren’s, a resource to help physicians treat, manage and monitor their patients.

Since childhood, Steve has been devoted to worthy causes, including the Muscular Dystrophy Association’s telethon and American Heart Association’s Jump Rope Heart program. He has also served in staff leadership positions at the American Heart Association and the American Cancer Society and, in 2012 and again in 2019, served as volunteer chair of the National Health Council board of directors.

Steve holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from Boston University and an executive MBA from Auburn University. He is the proud father of three sons.

“It is my greatest honor and joy to work alongside our volunteers and patients — who serve as my biggest inspiration,” says Steve. “That’s what is so powerful about being a part of a mission like ours. Their stories are what fuel us as we champion the fight against arthritis, together.”


VICKIE FUNG, MPH

Senior Vice President, Mission Delivery

Vickie joined the Arthritis Foundation in 1996 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in mission delivery.

As vice president of mission delivery, Vickie oversees mission-driven initiatives across the organization, including patient education and engagement, juvenile arthritis programs, and enterprise-wide health partnerships. Her team develops and executes consumer-based patient education resources and tools, develops strategies that drive patient and volunteer engagement in mission opportunities, and maintains an appropriate feedback loop with patients, volunteers and staff for ongoing quality improvement.

Vickie holds a Master of Public Health, Public Education and Promotion from the University of California, Los Angeles. She resides in Arcadia, CA.

“Our mission is to help people with arthritis feel empowered and to know that they are not alone in our fight against arthritis. It is very inspiring to me to see the lives we’ve been able to impact. I am privileged to be part of an extraordinary group of staff and volunteers that work hard to make a difference every day,” says Vickie.

KELLY MARTIN

Senior Vice President, Operations

As senior vice president of operations, Kelly is responsible for providing oversight and strategy development for operations, information technology, human resources and finance.

Kelly comes to us from Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), where he most recently served as vice president of business strategies. While working at BIO, Kelly was responsible for driving strategic growth planning and key improvements in revenue generation, internal systems, data processes and financial operations.

Kelly has diverse leadership experience in association, nonprofit and commercial organizations. He has delivered positive business outcomes in roles at the American International Automobile Dealers Association, the National Federation of Independent Business, the American National Red Cross, Lockheed Martin and Sycamore Networks.

Kelly holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Cincinnati. He resides in the Washington D.C. area.

“I am honored to be a part of the life-changing work we do at the Arthritis Foundation,” says Kelly. “Seeing the direct impact we have on people battling arthritis inspires us to work even harder each day to fulfill our mission, so we can touch more lives.”

SABRINA SEXTON

Senior Vice President, Marketing, Communications & e-Commerce 

Sabrina joined the Arthritis Foundation as senior vice president of marketing, communications and e-Commerce in 2020. After working in agencies and consulting firms, she held leadership roles at Stanley Black & Decker, SunTrust Bank and the American Cancer Society. Sabrina is based in Atlanta and leads the Foundation’s integrated marketing, brand, content and digital experience efforts. She has a bachelor of arts degree in English from the University of Georgia and is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP®).

“I’ve learned that creating an authentic human experience is the best way to be both meaningful and memorable,” Sabrina says. “Good design is not just making things pretty. It’s about solving problems, which I’m honored to do alongside passionate staff, volunteers, partners and supporters on behalf of the entire arthritis community.”

MARIA VASSILEVA, PHD

Senior Vice President, Science Strategy

As the Senior Vice President of Science Strategy at the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. Vassileva leads and oversees all aspects of our scientific programs, including strategic planning, development and evaluation of all new projects and management of the scientific awardee portfolio and internal Science Team.

Dr. Vassileva is focused on applying innovative approaches while building multi-stakeholder consortia and to position the Foundation as a conceptual and programmatic leader in arthritis research and drug development.

Dr. Vassileva holds a doctorate of philosophy in biochemistry and cellular biology from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland, with a minor in vaccine science and policy. She holds a bachelor of science in biology and chemistry with a concentration in mathematics.

Prior to her role at the Arthritis Foundation, Dr. Vassileva led the clinical research team at Navitas Clinical Research, formerly KAI Research, a global contract research organization, as the Director of Clinical Research and a member of the senior management team there. Her previous roles include Director for Strategic Program Development at Social & Scientific Systems, a Senior Scientific Program Manager at the Foundation for the NIH (FNIH) and a Senior Research Associate at the American Association for the Advancement of Science. At FNIH she oversaw a portfolio of complex clinical public-private partnerships with budgets over $60 million, including the Accelerated Medicines Partnership in Type 2 Diabetes, and all programs under the Biomarkers Consortium Metabolic Disorders Steering Committee umbrella, including projects in musculoskeletal disorders and bone quality.

Dr. Vassileva is an expert in biomedical public-private partnerships and multi-stakeholder collaborations. She has multiple publications in peer review journals, and has extensive teaching, mentoring and contract negotiation experience.


FRANK P. LONGOBARDI, CPA

Chair, Board of Directors

Frank Longobardi, CPA, was named chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s board of directors in November 2020.

Frank is the former CEO of CohnReznick, one of the country’s largest public accounting firms. His term as CEO ended in January 2020. Frank previously served as strategic advisor to the CEO and executive board on key growth initiatives while also overseeing CohnReznick’s Mergers and Acquisitions Program. Frank retired from CohnReznick, effective January 31, 2021.

During Frank’s tenure, CohnReznick experienced sustained growth with current revenue of $660 million, over 2,700 employees and 25 offices in the U.S., Hong Kong, Australia, the Netherlands and India. Prior to being elected CEO, Frank held various leadership positions within the firm, including roles overseeing its industry practices and go-to-market strategy, managing an audit efficiency initiative and launching CohnReznick’s strategic plan and its diversity and inclusion task force.

Frank is a committed corporate citizen and has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles at the Arthritis Foundation over the past 20 years, dedicated to giving back to the arthritis community. In 2016, he received the organization’s Legacy of Volunteer Service Award. He also serves on the board of the Safe at Home Foundation, where he chairs the audit committee.

Frank now resides in Jupiter, Florida, with his wife, Pat. He is an avid golfer and loves to read.

“I am honored and humbled to part of such great organization,” says Frank. “Our focus is on helping people with arthritis improve their daily lives through advocacy, programs and research. I love the passion and commitment of our staff and volunteers.”

Meet Our Board 

2022 National Board Roster

Officers & Executive Committee

Frank Longobardi | Chair | Florida

Matt Mooney | Vice Chair | Georgia

Winell Belfonte | Treasurer | Maryland

Dennis Ehling | Secretary | California

Steven Taylor | President & CEO | Georgia

Rose Thomas | Assistant Treasurer | Georgia

Cathy Hood | Assistant Secretary | Georgia

Board of Directors

John L. Coalson, Jr. | Georgia

Mary (Peggy) Crow, MD | New York

Robin Dore, MD | California

Thomas Fleetwood | Georgia

Mark Froimson, MD | Ohio

Helen King | Pennsylvania

Martin Lotz, MD | California

Kevin Mandrell | Indiana

Diana Milojevic, MD | Florida

Amanda Parks | Georgia

Paulo Pinho, MD | New Jersey

I Want to Contribute
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  • Donate

    Donate

    Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life.

  • Volunteer

    Volunteer

    Join us and become a Champion of Yes. There are many volunteer opportunities available.

  • Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Live Yes! INSIGHTS

    Take part to be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis.

  • Partner

    Partner

    Proud Partners of the Arthritis Foundation make an annual commitment to directly support the Foundation’s mission.

Donate


Ways to Give

Every gift to the Arthritis Foundation will help people with arthritis across the U.S. live their best life. Whether it is supporting cutting-edge research, 24/7 access to one-on-one support, resources and tools for daily living, and more, your gift will be life-changing.

Make a Donation

Help millions of people live with less pain and fund groundbreaking research to discover a cure for this devastating disease. Please, make your urgently-needed donation to the Arthritis Foundation now!

Become a Member

Become an Arthritis Foundation member today for just $20 and you'll receive access to helpful tools..... and more. 

Make a Honor or Memorial Gift

Honor a loved one with a meaningful donation to the Arthritis Foundation. We'll send a handwritten card to the honoree or their family notifying them of your thoughtful gift.

Gift Planning

I want information on ways to remember the AF in my will, trust or other financial planning vehicles.
 

Volunteer


Volunteer Opportunities

The Arthritis Foundation is focused on finding a cure and championing the fight against arthritis with life-changing information, advocacy, science and community. We can only achieve these goals with your help. Strong, outspoken and engaged volunteers will help us conquer arthritis. By getting involved, you become a leader in our organization and help make a difference in the lives of millions. Join us and become a Champion of Yes.

Become a Volunteer

More About Volunteering

Live Yes! INSIGHTS


Give Just 10 Minutes.

Tell us what matters most to you. Change the future of arthritis.

By taking part in the Live Yes! INSIGHTS assessment, you’ll be among those changing lives today and changing the future of arthritis, for yourself and for 54 million others. And all it takes is just 10 minutes.

Your shared experiences will help:

- Lead to more effective treatments and outcomes
- Develop programs to meet the needs of you and your community
- Shape a powerful agenda that fights for you

Now is the time to make your voice count, for yourself and the entire arthritis community. 

Currently this program is for the adult arthritis community.  Since the needs of the juvenile arthritis (JA) community are unique, we are currently working with experts to develop a customized experience for JA families. 

How are you changing the future?

By sharing your experience, you’re showing decision-makers the realities of living with arthritis, paving the way for change. You’re helping break down barriers to care, inform research and create resources that make a difference in people’s lives, including your own.

Get Started

Partner


Meet Our Partners

As a partner, you will help the Arthritis Foundation provide life-changing resources, science, advocacy and community connections for people with arthritis, the nations leading cause of disability. Join us today and help lead the way as a Champion of Yes.

Trailblazer

Our Trailblazers are committed partners ready to lead the way, take action and fight for everyday victories. They contribute $2,000,000 to $2,749,000

Visionary

Our Visionary partners help us plan for a future that includes a cure for arthritis. These inspired and inventive champions have contributed $1,500,00 to $1,999,999.

Pioneer

Our Pioneers are always ready to explore and find new weapons in the fight against arthritis. They contribute $1,000,000 to $1,499,999.

Pacesetter

Our Pacesetters ensure that we can chart the course for a cure for those who live with arthritis. They contribute $500,000 to $999,000.

Signature

Our Signature partners make their mark by helping us identify new and meaningful resources for people with arthritis. They contribute $250,000 to $499,999.

Supporting

Our Supporting partners are active champions who provide encouragement and assistance to the arthritis community. They contribute $100,000 to $249,999.