Ann Slaw, JD, President
Ann is a mother of a child with a rare, orphan disease, Familial Dysautonomia (FD). “Andrew is one of many poster children for FD NOW. Like so many others, Andrew’s overall health is dramatically improving due to several treatments discovered by Dr. Rubin and Dr. Anderson.”
Ann graduated from the University of Illinois with honors in psychology and received her JD from Loyola University. She practiced at Protection and Advocacy, Inc., advocating for the rights of persons with developmental disabilities. She then was a Program Planning Attorney at the Illinois Institute for Continuing Legal Education (IICLE) and then the Seminar Division Director at CLE Group, Inc., working with interactive technology as a training tool. She served as an Administrative Law Judge at the Illinois Department of Employment Compensation and was then elected as school board member for Kildeer Countryside Community Consolidated School District 96. She is a co-founder of “Special Kids, Special Families,” a parent-run support and advocacy group. Ann founded FD NOW with one simple, pinpoint focus in mind – fund research that promises to quickly improve the lives of kids and adults with FD.
Ken Slaw, PhD, Vice President
Ken is a father of a child with a rare, orphan disease, Familial Dysautonomia (FD). “Natural compounds and diet have made a positive profound impact on Andrew’s life, but FD is degenerative. There is no time to lose.” Ken is the Executive Director for the Society for Vascular Surgery (SVS). SVS is a 5,300-member not-for-profit professional medical society, composed primarily of specialty-trained vascular surgeons, which seeks to advance excellence and innovation in vascular health through education, advocacy, research and public awareness. Prior to the SVS, Ken held key senior staff posts at the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), including the Director of Membership and Director of Strategic Planning. The AAP is an organization of 64,000 pediatricians, pediatric subspecialists and pediatric surgical specialists. Ken is well-known in the nonprofit and medical society community, having served as a board member and president of both the American Association of Medical Society Executives (AAMSE) and Make a Wish Illinois. Ken now serves as the Vice President of FD NOW and, knowing that the clock is ticking loudly, is committed to accelerating the next breakthrough.
Andrea Greenfield, M.A., CCC-A -Treasurer
Andrea received both her Master of Arts degree in Audiology and her Bachelor of Science degree in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Currently, she practices audiology at the Hearing Professionals of Illinois. Prior, Andrea worked at Consultants in Neurology, specializing in neurodiagnostics, vestibular testing, balance disorders and hearing instrument evaluations.
Andrea has witnessed of the benefits of the treatments discovered thus far for kids and adults with FD and is determined to sustain the FD research momentum.
Terri Finesmith Horwich, JD – Advisory Board
Terri is committed to ensuring that FD NOW continues its groundbreaking work, which has meaningfully improved the lives of FD children and adults.
Terri was a founding partner and is now Of Counsel to Ballard, Desai and Miller, the premiere Chicago law firm dedicated to family building through adoption and reproductive technologies. Terri was the principal drafter of the Illinois Family Building Act, which requires insurance coverage for medical treatment of infertility. She has served as a consultant to DCFS regarding foster care and adoption issues, was a noted speaker and leader in the field of reproductive technology law, and is a retired Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. In recent years she has shifted her focus to volunteer work on behalf of children with special needs.Terri completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with Distinction in the Major (Psychology) and was a Special Student in Social Policy Studies at Loyola University Chicago’s Graduate School of Social Work. She graduated cum laude from Northwestern University’s School of Law in 1984, where she served as Editor-in-Chief of the Northwestern Law Review. She began her legal career by serving as a law clerk for Judge Richard Cudahy of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Pat White – Advisory Board
Pat earned her B.A. in Journalism and started her career by writing for newspapers and magazines then working as public relations manager for various non-profit organizations. She is an award-winning screenwriter and novelist. “I’m amazed at the breakthroughs in FD treatments and I am excited to see how far the new treatments will go!”
Ruth Woodruff, JD – Advisory Board
Ruth supports FD NOW because she has seen the devastation of FD in the lives of dear friends and understands the urgent need for answers.She believes that fast-track research on treatments that address the underlying causes of the disease is ultimately the best way to achieve long-term success for FD patients.
Ruth is a professional writer and writing teacher who currently serves as an instructor at the College of Lake County and at National Louis University in Chicago. In addition, Ruth has a background in law, with an emphasis in legal and judicial ethics. Her past positions include National Lawyer Regulatory Data Bank Attorney in the American Bar Association’s Center for Professional Responsibility, Assistant Editor of the ABA/BNA Lawyer’s Manual of Professional Conduct, and Judicial Law Clerk to the Honorable Frank McGarr in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Ruth received her BA in English from Loyola University and her JD from Loyola University School of Law.
Carol Alterman, RDH – Florida Regional Representative
Carol’s son with FD, Eric, tragically died in 2015. He was 18. “In addition to the people Eric touched in his life, our son continues to make a positive impact in his death, as he was able to donate his kidneys. This is remarkable, given that the kidneys in those with FD are typically compromised. Eric’s kidney health is a testament to Drs. Rubin and Anderson at the FD Research Lab at Fordham University, NY; they have been providing innovative treatments since 2003.” Carol is the past board member of The Eric Alterman Foundation for FD Cure.
Tara D. Schimmel, MS.Ed. – New York Regional Representative
As the mother of a beautiful and bright youngster with FD who is otherwise a “normal” child, Tara sees the benefits of treatments discovered by Dr. Rubin and Dr. Anderson on a daily basis.
Tara graduated magna cum laude with a B.A. in psychology from Columbia University. She received her Masters of Science in Education and Professional Certificate in School Psychology from Queens College. She has worked successfully with students from preschool through high school in several districts on Long Island, NY. Currently, she is working as a school psychologist at the Hebrew Academy of Long Beach, New York.
She and her husband are truly grateful for the commitment that Dr. Rubin and Dr. Anderson have shown to the FD population and are honored to help ensure that their success continues at a speedy pace.