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Chief Executive Officer

Janice Frey-Angel, CEO and Executive Director

Janice Frey-Angel, CEO & Executive Director.  Janice Frey-Angel has worked for over 25 years in the nonprofit sector.  With her master’s degree in social work, she began her career as a therapist for individuals, families, couples, and children, focusing on domestic violence. In her leadership positions, she has developed coalitions within organizations and with like-minded organizations as well as with groups who had never worked together before to make a greater impact in their communities.  She has been the leader of multiple nonprofit organizations with missions such as promoting stronger families and protecting mental health, rehabilitation, disabilities, and workforce development.  She has served as the Interim President and CEO of the National Human Services Assembly; Everybody Wins DC; The Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law; Thompson-Markward Hall; The National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition; and has run 3 non-profit organizations, including Melwood where she led over 1,600 employees at over 70 sites and managed an $86 million budget.

A nationally-recognized expert on nonprofit management and boards, Ms. Frey- Angel’s volunteer work has been focused on strengthening the nonprofit sector; she has served as a board member of United Way of Central Maryland and as the board chair of Maryland Association of Nonprofits and Maryland Works. In addition, in recognition of her success in turning around the nonprofits she has led, she has been named in The Daily Record’s Maryland’s Top 100 Women, The Gazette’s 25 CEOs You Need to Know, The Washington Business Journal’s 25 Women Who Mean Business, and has received Rotary’s Paul Harris Award for Service.  Connect

Tricia Maddrey Baker

Tricia Maddrey Baker, Communications Manager. Tricia is responsible for expanding the Foundation’s online connection between our patient and health professional communities and the education, support and research programs that we offer. Her diverse background ranges from small nonprofits and associations to corporate philanthropy. She’s also achieved excellent results in stakeholder engagement and credits her parents with her passion for service, as well as her artistic vision. Connect

Patient and Health Professional Services

Alice Houk

Alice Houk, Senior Director of Patient and Health Professional Services. Alice manages the research grant program, monitors newly published research and drug company announcements, coordinates the Scientific Symposium, serves as liaison to the Medical Advisory Board, and is the primary contact with other professional and patient organizations. She also leads efforts in educating health professionals about bone marrow failure diseases.  Her nonprofit experience includes having served as a national organizer for the SAFE KIDS campaign and as a regional program coordinator for the March of Dimes. In addition, Alice has extensive experience working with volunteers in educational, fundraising, and program areas. She holds a Master's degree in Health Policy from the University of Maryland. Connect

Leigh Clark

Leigh Clark, Director of Patient Services. Leigh has dedicated more than a decade to serving patients, families, and loved ones in the rare bone marrow failure disease sector for AAMDSIF.  In this role, her reach spreads across the nation to points across the globe. Leigh helps coordinate all of the AAMDSIF Patient & Family Conferences, webinars and support groups as well as providing direct assistance via the Helpline and Chat. Her previous experience includes working as a patient advocate for individuals with developmental disabilities. Leigh is a board certified patient advocate (BCPA). She currently holds an Associate of Arts in Psychology and is currently working on a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from University of Maryland Global Campus. As a a cancer survivor, Leigh understands the life changing phase of diagnosis, the life threatening phase of treatment and the life long phase of living with cancer. Connect

Jacob Gail

Jacob Gail. Jacob's information is forthcoming.Connect

Derek Admana, Marketing Coordinator. Derek is responsible for creating the materials and content needed as well as assisting in the audio/visual aspect of our webinars. Derek's experience ranges from photographing for Grammy-nominated musicians, independent films, corporate companies and working here at the Foundation. He holds Bachelor's of Arts Degree from Carleton University.  Connect

Sofia Semanaz

Sofia Perez Semanaz, Manager, Health Professional Programs & Research Grants. Sofia earned her Master of Science in Health Promotion Management and her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health, both from American University, Washington, DC.  Connect


Desiree Ruiters

Desiree Ruiters, Senior Director of Development. Desiree is responsible for corporate development and grants management. Establishing and maintaining relationships with the Foundation’s partners in the pharmaceutical and health care services area is a key aspect of her work. She studied at the University of Capetown, South Africa, and her previous experience includes accounting and asset management at Mobil Oil in South Africa before moving to the Washington, DC area.  Connect

Akeembra Lawrence, Director of Individual Giving. Akeembra is responsible for expanding and diversifying the organization’s donor base through strategic efforts that help patients and their families find answers, support, and hope. 
Driven by her passion for helping others, Akeembra utilizes her more than 15 years of expertise in nonprofit fundraising to collaborate with internal and external stakeholders in developing and delivering rewarding and impactful engagement opportunities and giving experiences. Akeembra has dedicated her career to serving those in need through philanthropy. She is forever grateful for the growing number of individuals who demonstrate their commitment to AAMDSIF through giving.  Akeembra holds a Bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University.  

Elise Harper

Elise Harper, Development Associate. Elise is the 2018 Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Service Award winner from Public Citizen. Elise joined the Foundation in 2010, providing admin support for the CEO, managing the database of patients and health care professionals and handling financial processes. Connect

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