Board of Directors

 

Photo of John Tucker

John Tucker, Vice Chair– Virginia

Vice President of Commercial Lending and Relationship Management at TD Bank

John primarily works with CEOs and CFOs of nonprofit and for-profit entities, crafting strategies that address their long-term and short-term financial management needs. John brings a strong vision for the future of Allergy & Asthma Network that supports all four of the mission areas – outreach, education, advocacy and research.

Photo of Dennis Williams

Dennis Williams, Chair – North Carolina

Pharm.D. – Associate Professor, University of North Carolina Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Dennis practices at the UNC Medical Center with the pulmonary medicine medical service. Dennis has served as a member of the National Asthma Education Program Coordinating Committee, and the National Asthma Educator Certification Board. Dennis serves on the Board of Directors because he feels that one of the most important things that a pharmacist can do is help patients get the most benefit from their medication.

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Randy Taylor, CPA, Treasurer – Maryland

President – J. R Taylor & Company

Randy is president of a business that provides tax and financial service to high net worth individual, small businesses and nonprofit entities. Randy is on the board of several nonprofits where he helps with tax, accounting and other financial matters. He was originally recruited to the Board by the organization’s founder to lead the transition from a ‘kitchen table’ entity to a fully functioning organization, and he has continued his involvement since the beginning.

Photo of William E. Berger, MD

William E. Berger, MD – California

Founder – Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California

Board Certified in both pediatrics and allergy and immunology, Dr. Berger founded the Allergy and Asthma Associates of Southern California Medical Group in 1981 in Mission Viejo, Calif., where he practices both adult and pediatric allergy. Dr. Berger entered the field of medicine because he wanted to make a positive difference in the lives of others. His commitment to improving patient care has extended beyond his practice to clinical research, publications, leadership in professional organizations and his work with Allergy & Asthma Network.

Photo of Jennifer Blair

Jennifer Blair – Oklahoma

Executive Director – Brendon McLarty Memorial Foundation

After Brendon McLarty, Jennifer’s nephew, died of a sudden severe asthma attack at the age of 16, Jennifer co-founded the Brendon McLarty Memorial Foundation, with Brendon’s mother, Lori McLarty. Jennifer is a Medical Social Worker by training and is now dedicated to saving lives through asthma education and awareness. She is proud to serve on the Board of Directors to continue honoring the memory of Brendon McLarty.

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Laonis Quinn, RN, MSN, AE-C – Michigan

Founder and Executive Director, Breathe Anthony J Chapman Asthma Foundation

Since the untimely death of her eldest son Anthony (Tony) Jamar Chapman in 2007 due to a fatal asthma attack, Laonis has been unwavering in advocating for asthma education. She has told Tony’s story on several national platforms and it’s her mission to increase awareness about the impact that asthma has on families and communities.

Laonis has served on the Board of Directors at Allergy & Asthma Network since 2021. She has had asthma since childhood and serves as host and moderator of the Network’s “Black People Like Me” Facebook page. Laonis has been a registered nurse for 25+ years, specializing in critical care. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Eastern Michigan University and her Master of Science in Nursing Education from the University of Phoenix. Laonis is a 2024 recipient of the prestigious President’s Lifetime Achievement Award from The White House.

photo of board member Marissa Magnetti

Marissa Magnetti, MPA – North Carolina

Independent consultant

Marissa brings more than 20 years of diverse experience in nonprofit management, healthcare communications and public affairs. She has a wealth of experience creating and launching a variety of unbranded, branded and franchise campaigns supporting business objectives. Marissa began her career at Allergy & Asthma Network, where she successfully advocated for patients, caregivers, and healthcare providers at the state and federal level. One of her most notable campaigns, “Breathe: It’s the Law,” earned the 2006 Associations Advance American Award. As a communications and public affairs professional in New York City, Marissa led cross-functional, award-winning teams in marketing and public awareness campaigns for a wide array of organizations and companies. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Richmond in Virginia and a Master of Public Administration degree from George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia. Marissa is entering the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing program at Duke School of Nursing in fall 2024.

Photo of Donna Matlach

Donna Matlach – Arizona

President and co-founder of the Severe Asthma Foundation, patient with severe asthma

Donna suffered from asthma as a child, but her condition went away in her teenage years only to return with a vengeance in as an adult. She turned her energy to founding the Severe Asthma Foundation, speaking about her journey with asthma. The Foundation merged with Allergy & Asthma Network. Donna knows that severe asthma impacts nearly every area of patients’ lives. She serves on the Board of Directors to continue to share her experiences and advocate for patients to get the treatment that they need.

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Rhonda Nelson – Tennessee

Rhonda was diagnosed with Aspirin-Exacerbated Respiratory Disease (AERD) in 2002 when she was 33 years old. As a patient advocate, she is dedicated to raising awareness of AERD, a condition that involves asthma, nasal polyps and sensitivity to aspirin, and providing support for patients. Rhonda serves as Allergy & Asthma Network’s spokesperson for AERD issues. She and her husband Wayne, lead singer of the rock group Little River Band, have attended Allergy & Asthma Day Capitol Hill (AADCH) to advocate for people living with respiratory diseases and raise awareness of AERD among lawmakers. When they are not traveling for concerts, Rhonda and Wayne reside in Phoenix, Arizona.

Headshot of Tbakhi Bushra

Bushra Tbakhi, MD – New York

Internal Medicine Physician, University of Rochester Medical Faculty Group

Dr. Tbakhi is a physician who has dedicated five years to caring for patients in her role as a hematology-oncology hospitalist at the Wilmot Cancer Center in Rochester, New York. She earned her medical degree from the University of Jordan in Amman, Jordan, and subsequently completed her Internal Medicine residency in Rochester, NY. She received recognition with an award in Pulmonary Medicine. Currently, Dr. Tbakhi is specializing in allergy/immunology at the University of Cincinnati/Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. She is passionate about the promotion of health equity both nationwide and globally. She engages in advocacy efforts, with a specific focus on enhancing the quality of life for those with sesame allergy. Beyond her clinical pursuits, Dr. Tbakhi holds an interest in clinical informatics. She is certified as a Physician Builder with Epic (electronic health records systems) and aspires to leverage her skills in creating systematic change.

Photo of board member Deidre Washington

Deidre V. Washington, PhD – Maryland

Director, Health Equity, AdvaMed

Deidre serves as Director of Health Equity at AdvaMed (Advanced Medical Technology Association), the association representing the medical device industry. In this role she works to ensure that all patients, regardless of background or ability to pay, have access to innovative and life-saving technology. Prior to joining AdvaMed, Deidre held positions at various organizations with an emphasis on equity in health care, including National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA), the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA), and Adventist HealthCare. She earned her B.S. from Florida A&M University and her PhD from the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. In her spare time, Deidre enjoys reading, Zumba and travel.