John “Jack” W. Betkoski, III is Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He is Vice Chairman of the State of Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority. Jack has chaired MS Corporate Achievers Hartford since 2005 and previously chaired MS Taste of Hope. He is currently co-chairs the Connecticut Executive Choice Award. Jack also serves on the Executive Committee, Personnel Committee and has been a speaker at numerous chapter events sharing his family’s experiences with MS and urging others to join the fight.
Peter R. Porrino is a Vice Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He was the past Chair of the former Western Connecticut Chapter Board of Trustees and is a member of the National Advisory Council of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Peter currently serves on the Executive, Finance and Audit Committees, and is an MS Hope Award recipient. He is an active Bike MS fundraiser and volunteer for other events. Peter is an Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at XL Group.
James T. Birchall, C.P.A., C.F.A. is the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees. He is an Assistant Vice President at the Travelers. Jim serves as Chair of the Finance Committee and is a member of the Investment, Governance and Audit Committees. Since 2009, he serves as a key organizer for the Walk MS Travelers team, a top fundraising team in Connecticut.
Jennifer L. Cox, Esq. is the Acting Secretary of the Board of Trustees. She is an attorney and partner at Cox & Osowiecki, LLC, a practice specializing in the health care field. She serves on the chapter’s Gala, Governance, Government Relations, Petit Endowment Fund Committee and Personnel Committees. Jennifer previously served as Chairperson, Immediate Past Chairperson and Secretary of the Board of Trustees and as Chairperson Elect. In 2007 she was named Board Member of the Year.
Richard “Dick” Simione, C.P.A. is the Immediate Past Chairperson of the Board of Trustees. He is a partner at Simione Macca & Larrow. Dick is the chair of the Governance Committee and serves on the Executive and Finance Committees. He is currently co-chairs the Connecticut Executive Choice Award. He previously served as the Treasurer of the Board of Trustees and chairperson of the Finance Committee. He was honored as an MS Corporate Achiever in 2007 and has Co-Chaired MS Corporate Achievers, New Haven since 2008.
Diane Biegel, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor at Central Connecticut State University, Department of Biology, and an Adjunct Professor at Middlesex Community College and Quinnipiac College. She serves on the Research Advocacy Committee, as well as the Comprehensive Care Task Force. With her extensive experience in the field of biomedical research, Diane continues to serve as the chapter’s Research Advocate and previously was a pivotal member of the Research Night Committee. Diane has also been a member of WAMS Hartford committee since it inception and as a table captain.
Stephen Borsy, C.P.A is a partner at Ernst & Young. Inspired by his participation in MS Dinner of Champions, Stephen joined the Connecticut Board of Trustees in 2010. He brings 20+ years of experience in accounting and finance to the Connecticut Chapter. He currently serves as the chair of the Audit Committee.
Alec Burger is President at GE Capital Real Estate. He was newly elected to the board in 2011. In 2010, Alec stepped out for the first time at the chapter’s annual Walk MS and raised $39,420, making him the top statewide fundraiser. He was also one of three featured speakers at the chapter’s Annual Meeting, speaking about this first foray into fundraising and offered advice on how to maximize donations from friends, family and co-workers.
Selma Cagatay-Searfoss, M.S.W. is a social worker and has been active with the Connecticut Chapter since 1993. In her private practice, Selma facilitates support groups for her patients and their families. She serves as Chair of the Financial Assistance Committee. Selma was named the 2003 Chapter Programs Committee Member of the Year and speaks on emotional health issues at various client education programs.
Michael Cummings is a past Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Connecticut Chapter. He previously served as Chairman from 1995 to 1998 and from 2004 to 2005. He was the recipient of the Norman Cohn Hope Award in 1999 for his outstanding, significant, and long-term commitment to the mission of the Society. In recognition for his many years of chapter leadership and outstanding contributions, he was named an Honorary Life Member of the Board in 2003. At the chapter’s annual meeting the Mike Cumming’s Leadership Award is presented to a dedicated volunteer exemplifying outstanding leadership and contributions.
Daniel A. Doty is the Domestic Data Center Manager at The Hartford. He serves on the Audit, Finance, Governance and Investment Committees, as well as the Comprehensive Care Task Force. He previously served as Chairperson of the Board and as a member of the Executive and Personnel Committees. Since 1992, Dan has been one of the top fundraisers for walk MS and has captained The Hartford’s Walk MS team.
Jeffrey R. Faul is President and Chief Executive Officer of NUKEM, Inc. Jeff and his wife are longtime supporters of MS Dinner of Champions and the Fairfield County Women Against MS Luncheon. In 2011, Jeff was named Bike MS spokesperson, an event he has participated in for many years. Jeff was diagnosed with MS in 2001.
John R. Formica, C.P.A. is a Partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He has been actively involved with the Connecticut Chapter for more than 20 years and currently serves on the chapter’s Development Committee, actively recruiting key sponsorships. John participates annually in the bike MS: bkm/Steelcase Ride and has since 1988. He consistently ranks as one of the event’s top fundraisers.
Jeffrey L. Gross, M.D. is a neurologist at Associated Neurologists of Southern Connecticut. Jeff is Co-Chair of the Clinical Advisory Committee. He has served on the Program Advisory, Care Management, Executive and Yale Task Force Committees. He also serves on the chapter’s Financial Assistance Committee and participates in clinical trails for MS treatments.
Karen Guarnaccia is the Chairperson of the Chapter Programs Committee after having served on the Committee since 2002. Karen has been an important chapter contributor as an MS Ambassador, giving talks about multiple sclerosis and her personal experiences with the disease at educational institutions, corporations, community organizations, and television, radio and print media. She is a former MS Mother of the Year award winner.
Michael Lech is the President of Readco, LLC. He serves on the chapter’s Audit and Gala Committees, and is a member of the Comprehensive Care Task Force. He was named Board Member of the Year in 2005 and received the MS Citizen of the Year Award in 2007. Mike has served as the Co-Chair of the MS Connecticut Citizen of the Year Gala for many years. He is also a supporter of MS Golf Classic.
Steven J. Malkiewicz is the Director of Communications for IBM Research Technology and Intellectual Property. He currently serves on the Public Relations Committee and MS Dinner of Champions Committee. Steven also serves on the Government Relations Committee, where he has been active for a number of years.
Shelley Marcus, Esq. is an attorney at the Marcus Law Firm. She has served as a Co-Chair of the Greater New Haven Women Against MS “WAMS” luncheon for many years. Shelley also serves as a member Taste of Hope New Haven Committee. She is a past MS Corporate Achiever and past chair of the Government Relations Committee.
Ira Millman, CFP, CIMA, AIFA serves as Managing Director and Senior Portfolio Manager of The Halbfinger/Millman Group at UBS. Ira is the Chair of the Investment Committee and serves on the Comprehensive Care, Development and MS Dinner of Champions Committees. He previously served on the Promise 2010 committee.
Mark E. Ojakian is the Deputy Secretary for the State of Connecticut Office of Policy & Management. Mark hosted a volunteer-organized event in 2004 and 2009 that each raised more than $100,000 for the Society. Mark has served as Co-Chair of the MS Gala every year since 2004, except 2007 when he was recipient of the MS Hope Award. Mark speaks frequently at chapter events, where he shares his family’s personal experiences with multiple sclerosis and talks about the effects of the disease on families.
Mary A. Rauscher is the Director of Special Events at AmeriCares. Mary currently serves on the Executive and Personnel Committees and previously served as Co-Chair of the Governance Committee. For many years, Mary has served as Chair of the MS Dinner of Champions Committee. She served as chair for the Inaugural MS Corporate Achievers event in Fairfield County. Mary is a recipient of the Chapter Chairman’s Award.
Everett Sussman, Esq. an attorney from Stratford, has been an active volunteer with the Connecticut Chapter since 1990. He currently serves as the Chair of the Government Relations Committee, a position he has held since 2005. Everett is the recipient of the 2008 Outstanding Advocacy Award. An active Walk MS volunteer since 1990, Everett served as Walk MS Chairman from 1998 – 2000.
Peter B. Wade, M.D. serves on the chapter’s Clinical Advisory Committee. A member of the Department of Neurology at Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center., Dr. Wade, board certified in neurology and vascular neurology, has been in private practice at Healy, Macinski, Rao, Wade & Gordon since 1990. He is also board certified in internal medicine. Dr. Wade is the Medical Director of the Joyce D. and Andrew J. Mandell Center for Comprehensive Multiple Sclerosis Care and Neuroscience Research at Mount Sinai Rehabilitation Hospital. He also serves on the chapter’s MS Golf Classic Committee.
Terrance Walsh is a Managing Director at Global Events. He has volunteered with the CT Chapter of the National MS Society since 1988 when he was asked to join the MS Dinner of Champions (DOC) Committee to produce the event opening video that year. Terry has since served on the MS DOC committee from 1988 to 1998 and re-joined the DOC committee in 2004 to present – becoming the committee/event chair in 2006. He has served on the Promise: 2010 Committee and is also a supporter of the MS Golf Classic event. Terry has served on the MS chapter’s Board of Trustees from 1992-1998 and was re-elected to the Board of Trustees in 2004 to present.