Learn more about the people that have made the Arthritis Foundation such a successful non-profit, including our National Leadership Team.
National Leadership Team
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 the chair 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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
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.”
Chair, Board of Directors
Laurie Stewart was named chair of the Arthritis Foundation’s board of directors in November 2018.
Ms. Stewart is the president and CEO of Sound Community Bank, headquartered in Seattle and serving the Puget Sound region through eight branches and two loan offices. Sound Community Bank is recognized as one of the top performing community banks in the country and is also a leading philanthropic organization.
Active in the industry, Ms. Stewart was one of 14 bankers selected to serve on the inaugural FDIC community bank advisory board. Subsequently, she was appointed to the inaugural Consumer Finance Protection Board (CFPB) community banker’s advisory board. She is active in trade associations, serving two terms as chair of the WBA, and she chaired the ABA flagship governmental affairs committee.
In 2017, Ms. Stewart was one of nine community bankers invited to the White House for a listening session with the president. She was recently named chair-elect of the American Bankers national trade association and will serve as chair in 2019-2020. In December 2018, she was named Community Banker of the Year by American Banker.
Ms. Stewart has been recognized in the Most Powerful Women in Banking’s women-to-watch category four times, most recently in 2018. In 2016, she also earned the prestigious Woman of Influence Award from the Puget Sound Business Journal. Ms. Stewart’s community volunteer work includes serving as immediate past chair of the Woodland Park Zoo, volunteering as a court-appointed special advocate and decorating Christmas trees for Festival of the Trees.
Meet Our Board
2019 National Board Roster
Officers & Executive Committee
Laurie Stewart | Chair | Washington
Frank Longobardi | Vice Chair | Connecticut
Tony Bihl| Treasurer | North Carolina
Matt Mooney | Secretary | Georgia
Rowland W. (Bing) Chang | Immediate Past Chair | Illinois
Ann M. Palmer | President/CEO | Georgia
David McLoughlin | Assistant Secretary | Georgia
David McLoughlin | Assistant Treasurer | Georgia
Board of Directors
Robin Dore | California
Dennis Ehling | California
Thomas Fleetwood | Georgia
Mark Froimson | Ohio
Randeep Kahlon | Delaware
Martin Lotz | California
Diana Milojevic | Florida
Vijay Murali | Georgia
David Pleasance | Georgia
Jay Yadav | Georgia