Chordoma Foundation

Staff

Our talented staff works with dedication and urgency to advance the Foundation’s mission and make a difference in the lives of chordoma patients.

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Josh Sommer

Executive Director

Josh was diagnosed with a skull-base chordoma in 2006. Unwilling to accept the limited treatment options available to chordoma patients, he joined the lab of Dr. Michael Kelley at Duke University, where he spent the next two years studying chordoma. There he experienced the very practical challenges faced by virtually all would-be chordoma researchers – insufficient funding; scarcity of tissue, cell lines and animal models needed for experiments; and isolation from others studying the disease. To solve these problems and proactively advance the search for a cure, Josh co-founded the Chordoma Foundation in 2007. Under his leadership, the Foundation has united and expanded the chordoma research community and vastly accelerated the pace of chordoma research. As Executive Director, Josh works with the Foundation’s research partners, advisors, and supporters to design, execute, and fund research initiatives focused on developing new treatments for chordoma.

Ask me about: Partnerships, media inquiries

email: josh@chordoma.org  |  ext: 102  |  twitter: @sommerjo

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Daniel Baroff

Development Coordinator

Daniel joined the Foundation in 2016 with four years of experience coordinating academic and scholarship programs at Duke University. There he developed a reputation for being the go-to person for developing efficient processes and managing large amounts of data – key requirements for a well-functioning development shop. Daniel is a native of Durham and a graduate of the University of Rochester. As the Foundation’s Development Coordinator, he is in charge of processing and acknowledging donations, providing great service to our donors, managing the Foundation’s database, and supporting community fundraisers. Daniel is inspired everyday by the Foundation’s mission to improve the lives of those affected by chordoma and lead the search for a cure.

Ask Daniel about: Community fundraising, champion pages, donation receipts, online gifts

email: daniel@chordoma.org | ext: 118

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Patty Cogswell

Manager of Research

Patty joined the Chordoma Foundation in the spring of 2012. Her career in cancer research spans 25 years, during which time she authored more than 25 research publications. Most recently, she served as a research scientist and lab manager at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) Lineberger Cancer Center. There she became involved in chordoma research through a collaboration between her lab at UNC, and Duke and the Chordoma Foundation. In addition to first-hand perspective as a scientist studying chordoma, Patty brings to the Foundation broad expertise in cell signaling pathways involved in cancer and extensive lab management experience. In her role at the Foundation, Patty manages the Foundation’s biobank, cell line and animal model repositories, prizes, and research grants. Patty is inspired by the innovative way in which the Foundation is addressing the need for research on this rare disease, and is excited to be a part of a dynamic team. She is committed to the Foundation’s ultimate goal of a cure, and hopes to finish her scientific career making a difference.

Ask me about: Cell lines and animal models, material transfer agreements, research collaborations, Biobank, prizes, grants

email: patty@chordoma.org  |  ext: 107

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Larry Gottschalk

Operations Coordinator

Larry joined the team in March 2015. He draws upon 20+ years of experience in operations and administration to assist the Foundation in multiple functional areas, including operations, accounting, customer service, and IT. Larry is committed to helping the Chordoma Foundation team operate as productively as possible, in service to the patients and community impacted by chordoma. Larry’s other passions are photography, cycling, and gourmet cooking.

Ask me about: Business process details

email: larry@chordoma.org  |  ext: 115

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Megan Hohenstein

Education and Outreach Coordinator

Megan came to the Foundation in December 2015 after several years of coordinating projects and events at universities — first at the University of Chicago and then at Duke University. She is passionate about connecting people in meaningful ways and enjoys planning the Chordoma Community Conferences that do just that. Megan became a Patient Navigator in August 2016, assisting patients and their families with understanding chordoma, learning about treatment options, and finding experienced doctors. As part of the Patient Services team, Megan also creates educational materials, manages the Foundation’s Facebook account, and coordinates outreach efforts to the chordoma patient and physician communities.

Ask me about: Patient Navigation, Chordoma Community Conferences, peer support, sharing your Uncommon Story, educational materials 

email: megan@chordoma.org  |  ext: 117

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Shannon Lozinsky

Patient Services Manager

Shannon joined the Chordoma Foundation at the end of 2014, and was pleased to take on the Patient Services Manager role officially in spring of 2015. Shannon has been in the fields of social work and education for over 15 years, and has a Master of Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has worked for a number of public and private social service organizations and spent time in private practice providing mental health services to children, adults, and families. Shannon is passionate about helping patients get the best possible care, educating the medical community about chordoma, and providing ways for the patient community to come together to support one another.

Ask me about: Patient Navigation, Chordoma Community Conferences, peer support, Doctor Directory, educational materials

email: shannon@chordoma.org  |  ext: 114

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Breanna McCormley

Director of Development

Breanna joined the Foundation in August 2016 with seven years of experience in development in healthcare and social service organizations. Most recently Brea was at WakeMed Health & Hospitals in Raleigh, where she served in a variety of capacities ranging from the annual fund to major gifts. As the Foundation’s Director of Development, she leads the Foundation’s efforts to provide sufficient funding for its ambitious plans. She is passionate about working with the Foundation’s supporters to make a tangible impact on the lives of those affected by chordoma. Brea has a BA in Communication Studies from the University of North Texas and an MBA from North Carolina State University.

Ask Brea about: Major gift and sponsorship opportunities, making estate gifts, perseverance pledges, corporate giving

email: breanna@chordoma.org  |  ext: 120

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Jennifer Roeder

Marketing and Communications Manager

Jennifer joined the Chordoma Foundation in November 2015 with nearly 10 years of experience in marketing for both non- and for-profit organizations. As the Foundation’s marketing and communications manager, she oversees various communications functions including the website, email marketing, and social media. She is a graduate of James Madison University’s School of Media Arts and Design and has a Master of Arts in Communication from Johns Hopkins University. She is inspired by the Foundation’s work to drive progress in research and provide patients with support.

Ask me about: Website, e-newsletter, social media

email: jennifer@chordoma.org  |  ext: 116  | twitter: @jenroeder

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Tammy Silverthorne

Director of Operations

Tammy joined the Chordoma Foundation in the spring of 2011, impressed with the energy, enthusiasm, and dedication of the staff, board, researchers, medical professionals, and patient community and their proven ability to produce results. A graduate of Duke University, she is happy to be back in Durham. As the Foundation’s Director of Operations, she manages business functions key to the Foundation’s success, including finance, regulatory compliance, vendor management, operations, and human resources. In addition to a passion for making a difference, Tammy brings to the Foundation over 17 years experience in corporate management, including oversight of finance, marketing, human resources, customer service, conferences, and executive-level planning. She is inspired daily by the opportunity to be part of a small group that thinks big.

Ask me about: Business processes, finances, employment opportunities

email: tammy@chordoma.org  |  ext: 106