Board of Directors
Frank Davis, President
Frank is a retired businessman. Before his retirement, Frank was President of Pittman and Davis, a direct marketing catalog company specializing in the sale of gift packages of fresh fruit and other perishable gift food items. From 2005 to 2011, Frank served as secretary for the Board of Directors. He was elected President in January of 2012. He holds a bachelor’s degree in both business administration and sociology from Trinity University and a Masters degree from Southern Methodist University. He has HSP and lives in San Antonio.
Linda Gentner, Vice President
Linda was installed as a member of the SPF Board of Directors in 2003 and co-chaired the Program Committee. She is a graduate of Southern Ohio College and was a purchasing agent. She has volunteered for more than a decade for several community organizations including the area’s leading hospital, where she has held leadership and board positions. When Linda developed PLS, she became involved with the PLS online patient community and served the UCSF ALS Research Center as a contact for PLS patients. Thanks in large part to her efforts with the online patient community, several PLS research grants were awarded and the NORD PLS Physician’s Guide was developed. She lives in Fremont, California with her husband. In addition to serving as SPF Vice President, she continues to chair the Program Committee and oversee other special programs including co-chairing the TeamWalk Committee.
David Lewis, Treasurer
David is an SPF incorporating board member, served on the Foundation Steering Committee and has been the SPF Treasurer since inception. He is the Chief Financial Officer for Pezold Companies and has over 25 years of business management experience. David has served his community in a variety of leadership and membership roles including president of Columbus Kiwanis Club. David holds a BS in Accounting from the University of Alabama and earned a CPA license in 1982. David has childhood-onset HSP, lives in Columbus, Georgia and has one daughter . David also chairs the SPF Financial Committee.
Mark Weber, Esq,. Legal Counsel
Mark Weber is one of the co-founders of the SPF, and was its first president. He serves as the SPF’s legal counsel, and chairs its research grant committee. Mark also started and maintains the PLS-Friends email group. He is an attorney and served for eleven years as a prosecutor in Massachusetts. Currently he is in private practice in Connecticut concentrating in child abuse and neglect cases, and criminal defense. Mark holds a BA in economics and psychology from Boston College, and a doctor of laws degree from Suffolk University Law School. He has been diagnosed with HSP. He lives with his wife Andrea in Sherman, Connecticut.
Hank Chiuppi, Secretary
Hank has been part of the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation team since 2011. He is currently Co-Ambassador for Illinois where he and Sid Clark hold support “connections” three times a year. He is maintaining the webpage, Facebook pages, and co-producing the Spastic World e-newsletter with Norma Pruitt. Hank is retired and looking forward to promoting the foundation's goals. He is a graduate of DeVry University with a BS in Electrical Engineering. Hank has PLS.
Corey Braastad, PhD
Corey joined the SPF Board in October 2008. He is a Scientist and Vice President and General Manager Genomics, Covance Drug Discovery in Springfield, Massachusetts. Corey received his PhD in Molecular, Cellular Biology and Biochemistry at Brown University for work in the field of DNA repair. He was a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the field of cell cycle control of gene transcription. His professional interests are to research appropriate reliable clinical diagnostic testing as well as cures for genetic diseases. His other interests include coaching soccer and softball teams.
Jean Chambers, R.N.
Jean is a retired Registered Nurse who spent the final 20 years of her career as the Head Nurse/Manager of a private plastic surgery clinic in Vancouver. She joined the board in 2005. Jean has organized several connections in the Vancouver area and spent 6 years on the local municipal Advisory Committee on Disability Issues. She lives in West Vancouver, BC, Canada, close to her 2 sons and 2 granddaughters. Jean has HSP and was fortunate to be essentially symptom free until the early 1990’s.
John was elected to the SPF Board in May of 2013. He is from Alexandria, VA and graduated from the College of Charleston in 2009 with a Bachelor of Science in Economics before entering the Financial Services Industry. After three years with Morgan Stanley he transitioned to Edelman Financial Services, a financial planning firm headquartered in Fairfax, VA. He was diagnosed with HSP in early 2003 and is the second in his family with the condition.
Tina is a retired teacher who still stands by the motto that greeted each student as they entered her classroom—“What we learn with pleasure, we never will forget.” Tina uses her performance and people skills to inform, advocate and fundraise for the Spastic Paraplegia Foundation. Tina has HSP and was clinically diagnosed in late 2002 and received a genetic diagnosis of SPG7 in 2014. Tina became a member of the SPF Board in 2012 and continues her efforts in finding a cure for HSP & PLS.
Dina is the newest member of the SPF Board. Dina graduated from Iowa State University with a Bachelor of Architecture. She became a licensed Architect in 2002 and took early retirement after 25 years. Dina lives in Adel, Iowa with her husband and two boys. She was diagnosed with HSP in 2013. Dina is Co-Ambassador of Iowa and chairs the SPF Education Committee.
Greg Pruitt has served 26 years as Hickman County Judge Executive, administering all facets of county government in his home county. While functioning in this capacity, he has served on and chaired a number of local, regional, state, federal, and multi-state organizations involving many areas such as tourism, health and social services, transportation, and economic development. He has been dealing with adult onset HSP since 2002. About a dozen members of his family tree over the past three generations have dealt with HSP. Greg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Business Administration from Murray State University and a Juris Doctorate Degree from the University of Kentucky. He lives in Clinton, Kentucky, with his wife, Norma. They have 3 children and 4 beautiful grandchildren.
Jim was a pharmaceutical sales representative for Daiichi Sankyo. He holds a bachelor’s of science degree in marketing from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. He has HSP and lives with his family in Brentwood, Tennessee.
Carina is the Founder and CEO of The Maddi Foundation, a UK based Charity that focuses on medical research for SPG15. She began this work after her teenage daughter, Maddi, was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia. Since the beginning Carina has dedicated her time to learn more about the condition, and with her strong fundraising drive has been able to help finance appropriate research projects; One of which is The Maddi Foundation partnering with SITraN at Sheffield University England, both The Maddi Foundation and SITraN are pleased to have SPF on board with us.
Previously Carina was a successful businesswoman and a commercial florist working in some of London’s Top Hotels including the world renowned Claridge’s. She lives in Essex, England some 30 miles North East of London with her family, 2 daughters Madeleine and Alexandra and husband Paul.
Jackie worked as a Medical Assistant until she was diagnosed with Hereditary Spastic Paraplegia in 1997. When diagnosed she opened her own business. She has volunteered in many ways, including a civil rights march in Georgia, working at a no-kill animal sanctuary in Utah, being a Big Sister, and worked on several political campaigns. She is currently the SPF Ambassador for Iowa. Her first book, Spiritual Clarity was published in 2005. Jackie spends many hours a week studying reports on medical research, communicating with others who are similarly involved, and looking for ways to raise money for SPF. She was named to the board in 2013. Jackie lives in Des Moines, Iowa with her husband, son, and two dogs.
Annette Lockwood is an SPF incorporating board member and served on the foundation steering committee. She retired from ExxonMobil in 2006 after twenty-six years in a variety of positions. She is active in the SPF community organizing various fundraising initiatives including the ExxonMobil Employees Favorite Charities Campaign. Annette obtained a Mechanical Engineering Degree from Marquette University. She has adult-onset HSP, which also affects many individuals in her family. She has two children and lives with her husband in Fairfax Station, Virginia.