Though A2A3 was created as a response to one particular, personal community occurrence, A2A3 is now growing into a valuable member of the broader community of people everywhere aiming to help all families affected by ALS. The following individuals currently guide A2A3 forward – with a lot of help from much-appreciated volunteers and past board members.
Current A2A3 Board Members
Jackie Dalton received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan and M.S in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. Jackie currently works at Chelsea Community Hospital as an outpatient clinician and is the program coordinator of the multi-disciplinary Outpatient Neuro Rehab Program. Jackie’s (and Joel’s) daughters are close friends with the Schoeni girls and this led to a friendship with Bob and Gretchen through school activities, sports that Bob has coached, and social events.
Joel Dalton, president-elect of A2A3, earned his B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Michigan School of Engineering and an MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Joel and Jackie are race directors of the annual Burns Park Run each spring as well as committee chairs for the Big House Big Heart Run each fall.
Caren Goldberg, M.D., M.S. is an associate professor at the University of Michigan Medical School, where she has worked as a pediatric cardiologist at the University of Michigan CS Mott Children’s Hospital since 1997. After Bob Schoeni, a much admired and good friend, was diagnosed with ALS, Caren was happy to find a way to try to make a positive difference through A2A3.
Knut R. Hill earned his B.A. from Kalamazoo College, and his J.D. from Widener University School of Law (Wilmington, DE). He worked for seven years at Esperion Therapeutics in Ann Arbor before becoming an environmental attorney. He has long been committed to charity work through activities and community building. He has worked with Habitat for Humanity, and has run marathons, and skied across Michigan to raise support for individuals in need. Knut was introduced to A2A3 through his good friends and fellow board members, Dave Lowenschuss and Kristin McGuire.
David Lowenschuss received his J.D. from George Washington University, and has worked as an attorney in the pharmaceutical industry for the past nine years. When friend and neighbor Bob Schoeni was diagnosed with ALS in July 2008, David realized that the lack of investment from the pharmaceutical industry was holding back the research and development of a treatment or cure for ALS. He reached out to friends and colleagues of Bob’s to create a grass roots fundraising effort which would support cure based research – this effort turned into A2A3.
Kristin McGuire, secretary for A2A3, received her Ph.D. in history from the University of Michigan. A friend and neighbor of Bob Schoeni and Gretchen Spreitzer, she became involved in organizing community outreach soon after hearing about Bob’s diagnosis. She is also the liaison with the University of Michigan chapter of Lou Gehrig’s fraternity, Phi Delta Theta, with whom A2A3 co-sponsors some events.
Amanda Mercer received her B.A. from Michigan State University and J.D. from Wayne State University. She has previously worked as an Assistant Prosecuting Attorney in Washtenaw County and as an Enforcement Representative for the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Amanda currently has her own law practice. A neighbor of Bob and Gretchen, she was excited to join a group of such impassioned individuals working toward their goals with great thought and determination.
Susan R. Miller received her B.A. from the University of Rochester and her M.A. in Social Work from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration. She has many years of experience in direct service, program administration and human services systems building, with a focus on early childhood. As a friend and neighbor of the Schoeni-Spreitzer family, Susan joined with others to form A2A3.
Suzanne Ross, president of A2A3, received her BA from Kalamazoo College and her Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Michigan. After working as a medical social worker for many years, Suzanne has spent the last seven years being a volunteer board member for non-profits in the Ann Arbor area. When Bob Schoeni, friend and daughter’s coach, was diagnosed with ALS in the summer of 2008, Suzanne joined friends and neighbors in the founding of A2A3.
Cathy Shakespeare, treasurer of A2A3, received a Ph.D. in accounting from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign and is a fellow of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland. She is currently Associate Professor of Accounting at the University of Michigan. A friend of Bob Schoeni and Gretchen Spreitzer, she became involved with A2A3 as soon as she heard about the grass roots effort to raise funds to find a cure or treatment for the disease.
Laura Stidham has a B.A. in Elementary Education with a specialty in early childhood, and a M.A. in Educational Leadership from Eastern Michigan University. She currently is executive director for a nonprofit preschool. Having had six family members pass away from ALS, Laura has been searching for a way to become involved in efforts to raise awareness about ALS and raise funds to support research for a cause. After learning of Bob’s diagnosis and hearing about the initiatives of A2A3, Laura was inspired to join the board.
Kristen Freshley earned her B.A. in American Studies from the University of Notre Dame and M.S. in Journalism from the University of Illinois. She currently works at Greenhills School as Director of Publications. A former board-member, Kristen is still editor of the A2A3 newsletter, Run With It.