We’re delighted to announce the addition of three new members to our Board of Directors (BOD), each of whom brings expertise in an area of strategic importance to the Foundation. They join us at an exciting moment in our evolution as a community and as an organization, with the pipeline of chordoma-specific clinical trials continuing to grow and efforts to reach and support affected individuals (and survivors) around the world expanding.
New members include:
Recruited to help build and formalize international partnerships
Steven Golick is a retired partner of Osler Hoskin & Harcourt LLP, one of Canada’s leading law firms, where he led the firm’s insolvency and restructuring practice. Steven is a member of the Quality and the Patient Experience Committee of the board of Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre and was the founding Co-Chair of the Patient and Family Advisory Council at the Odette Cancer Centre in Toronto. He is also a member of the Chordoma Foundation’s Community Advisory Board and the founder of the Canadian Chordoma Network. Steven received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Award for his contributions to the community, including his role as a co-founder, director, and secretary of Kids Help Phone. Prior to his 30-year legal career, Steven was a professional musician and he continues to pursue his passion for music, playing jazz and recording.
Ed Les, MD
Recruited to focus on patient services and healthcare improvement strategy
Ed is a pediatric emergency medicine physician in Alberta, Canada, and a clival chordoma survivor. He served as an early Board member of the Foundation from 2009 to 2012, and, since 2016, has served as the Community Advisory Board’s (CAB) Medical Liaison, acting as a link between our Medical Advisory Board (MAB) and the CAB. In this role, Ed brings important questions, issues, and concerns of the chordoma patient community to the MAB and helps the staff relay insights and recommendations from the MAB to the patient community. In rejoining the Board, Ed will succeed Paula Song as chair of the Patient Services Committee.
Recruited to help shape strategy on intellectual property, technology licensing, and corporate partnerships
John Therien is a partner at the Smith Anderson law firm in Raleigh, North Carolina, focusing on commercial transactions in the biotech, agtech, and life sciences industries. He advises a broad range of clients on issues from intellectual property to research and development collaborations to patent and technology licensing. John served on the Chordoma Foundation Board of Directors from 2009 to 2015 and has been a member of the CF research committee since 2015. He succeeds Kerry Shad, also a partner at Smith Anderson, who served on the Board from 2015 to 2018.
Next Board Chair
We’re also happy to announce that the Board elected David Sandak, President and Co-Founder of Pattern.org and Senior Vice President, Strategy and Research at Accelerating Brain Cancer Cures, to serve as our next Board Chair. With extensive experience in venture philanthropy and building patient-driven research platforms to accelerate cancer research, David brings deep subject-matter expertise in areas pertinent to this stage in the Foundation’s lifecycle.
A member of the Board of Directors since 2016, David succeeds Andrew Schoelkopf, who has ably served as Board Chair since 2014, and under whose tenure the Foundation more than doubled in size, built a valuable suite of patient services, and helped bring five drugs into clinical trials. We are deeply grateful to Andy for his leadership during his five years as Chair and look forward to continuing to benefit from his wise counsel on the Board and Development committee.
Thank you to all of our Board members, past and present, for their dedication, guidance, and support. Our community is stronger because of you.
Related stories about new Board members:
- New initiative in Canada advances research, builds community (Steven Golick; Ed Les)
- Putting the “pro” in pro bono: Smith, Anderson, Blount, Dorsett, Mitchell & Jernigan, LLP (John Therien)
- Board expands to support growing research portfolio (David Sandak)