The Board of Directors, working in partnership with the Chief Executive Officer and Staff, defines the vision, mission and values for the organization and establishes plans and policies.
Stan Adler (New York)
Stan is the founder and creative director for Stan Adler Associates, a full-service marketing communications firm, based in New York City, established in 1979. After being successfully treated for Stage IV metastatic melanoma with high dose IL-2 in 2005, he discovered the Melanoma Research Foundation (MRF) and became an active participant on the bulletin board and in the chat room to try and help melanoma patients make informed decisions about their treatment. As a patient advocate, Stan speaks frequently around the country to groups of doctors, nurses, patients and caregivers about his experiences battling metastatic melanoma. Stan and his wife Aviva live in New Rochelle, NY and have three married children and three grandchildren.
Manuel Amezcua (Michigan)
Manuel Amezcua is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, public speaker, and executive in the insurance and financial services industry. He currently serves as President, CEO for MassMutual Great Lakes. MassMutual Great Lakes is one of the leading brands in creating financial security, stability and success on behalf of the individuals, business owners, and institutions it serves in the United States. Manuel is also the co-founder of One Life Advisory, a national planning practice focused on serving entrepreneurs, executives, and professional athletes. Manuel was recognized with MassMutual’s Community Service Award in 2015, appointed to the Sales Manager Advisory Board in 2015, and invited to join the Field Leadership Development program in 2016. Manuel has spoken at MassMutual Academy, Summit, NAIFA Chicago’s Taste of MDRT, GAMA’s global LAMP conference, NAIFA Illinois’s annual conference, FUND Conference, is a consistent contributor to Hoopis Performance Network’s Firm Foundations program, and various other sales and financial services programs.
At the forefront of Manuel’s personal life are his wife, Samantha, and two children, Ava and Atlas. They share a passion for community involvement and maintain a commitment to the Israel Idonije Foundation and NFL Alumni Association. Manuel was recently appointed to the Board of Directors for the Delta Tau Delta Educational Foundation. He also provides service to POSSE Chicago’s Leadership Council, and has served as Chair of the Melanoma Research Foundation’s Wings of Hope Gala (Chicago) in 2015, 2016 and 2017. He has provided previous board service to NAIFA Chicago, the Center for Economic Progress, and the Reilly C. Bush Foundation.
Michael B. Atkins, MD (Washington, DC)
Michael B. Atkins, MD, is Deputy Director of the Georgetown-Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center in Washington, D.C. and Professor of Oncology and Medicine (Hematology/Oncology) at Georgetown University School of Medicine. Prior to his move to Georgetown, Dr. Atkins was Deputy Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology, Director of the Cancer Clinical Trials Office, Director of the Cutaneous Oncology Program, and Director of the Biologic Therapy Program at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC). In addition, he was the leader of the Kidney Cancer Program at the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center and Professor of Medicine at the Harvard Medical School. He served as Director of the DF/HCC Kidney Cancer Specialized Program of Research Excellence (SPORE) grant and co–principal investigator of the DF/HCC Skin Cancer SPORE since their inceptions in 2003 and 2001, respectively.
Dr. Atkins completed his medical education at Tufts University School of Medicine, and postgraduate training at Tufts New England Medical Center Hospital. Dr. Atkins’ major research interests are cancer immunotherapy, treatment of melanoma and renal cell carcinoma, predictive markers for response to biologic therapy, and antiangiogenic and targeted therapies. His research work has been funded by the National Cancer Institute, various foundations, and several pharmaceutical companies.
Doug Brodman, Acting Board Secretary (Florida)
Doug is an accomplished senior executive with 35 years of experience in leading international businesses in the beverage industry. Working with Miller Brewing Company and SABMiller for the past 17 years, he led commercial sales, strategy and marketing efforts in multiple business units across the United States, Europe and Latin America. He is an effective role model, leader and mentor with a reputation for enhancing team effectiveness, developing senior talent, and affecting organizational change.
In his most recent position as Vice President, Strategy for Latin America, Doug led strategy development for SABMiller’s largest and most profitable region. Previously, Doug spent 5 years in Europe where he was Commercial Director, Europe, developing commercial sales and marketing strategy across 10 independent business units. Prior to this, Doug served as Chief Executive and Chairman of the Board of Plzensky Prazdroj, the largest brewer in the Czech Republic.
A stage 4 melanoma survivor, having been successfully treated with immunotherapy in a clinical trial, Doug became actively involved with the Melanoma Research Foundation leading to his current role as Board member.
Doug is also currently serving on the Board of a start-up company in the healthcare technology sector, VitalVio, located in Troy, NY and is a Board member of Revibe Technologies, located in Raleigh, NC. Doug earned a Bachelor of Science in Management from St. John’s University and has an MBA from Hofstra University. He lives in Bonita Springs, Florida, with his wife Terry.
Rebecca Dreman (Colorado)
Jeffrey Harris (California)
Anthony T. Hendrickson (California)
George P. Jameson, Board Treasurer (Illinois)
Alison Martin, MD (Washington, DC)
Alison Martin, a medical oncologist, has over 25 years of multisector experience in drug development and clinical trials – at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), Food and Drug Administration (FDA), Clinical Research Organizations and Foundations. Dr. Martin is currently the Chief Medical Officer of the Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC), a national network of 18 centers of excellence in melanoma.
Prior to joining the MRF, Dr. Martin was Head of Melanoma and GU Therapeutics at NCI’s national clinical trial division (CTEP), where she also served on Data Safety Review Committees, international peer-review grant committees and NCI’s Central IRB. As a team leader for the current head of Oncology at the FDA, she has experience working with companies to develop drug approval strategies, has presented to ODAC, and represented the Commissioner to the National Cancer Advisory Committee. Dr. Martin has been a Board member of the Society for Melanoma Research and served on multiple ASCO committees, including the annual meeting’s Education Program, Public Relations and Board of Directors’ Nominating Committees.
Dr. Martin currently is a member of the NCI’s Adult Oncology Treatment Board for PDQ. She received her undergraduate degree from New York University, her medical degree from George Washington University, completed internship, residency and chief residency at University of Pittsburgh and a medical oncology fellowship at the NCI in Bethesda, Maryland.
Glenn Merlino, PhD (Maryland)
Glenn Merlino’s career research contributions include the areas of receptor tyrosine kinase signaling, oncogenic transformation, transcriptional regulation, cell cycle regulation, multiple drug resistance, genomic instability, and genetically engineering mice to generate models to study human cancer. Dr. Merlino was the first to report the amplification/rearrangement of the Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor gene in human cancer and was among the first to show that growth factors could function in vivo as oncogenes. Dr. Merlino and his colleagues are seeking to elucidate the complex molecular/genetic programs governing melanoma genesis and progression through development and analysis of genetically engineered mouse models. Using such models Dr. Merlino provided the first experimental evidence supporting the notion that childhood sunburn is a critical melanoma risk factor. His aim is to continue to uncover mechanisms associated with UV-mediated induction of melanoma and its progression to the metastatic state. Currently, a particular emphasis is on modeling melanoma responses to clinically-relevant pathway-targeted and immune-based therapies. Preclinical models have now been developed that are anticipated to help uncover mechanisms by which melanomas survive and develop resistance to immune checkpoint inhibitors, in order to devise improved clinical strategies to more effectively treat patient melanomas and prevent their recurrence.
William G. Reilly (Virginia)
Steve Silverstein, Chair of the Board (New Jersey)
Cheryl Stratos, Vice Chair of the Board (Virginia)
Mark Weinzierl (Texas)
Tom Westdyk (New Jersey)
Tom Westdyk is a Managing Director and Group Head of CIT’s Technology Media and Telecom Group. In this role, he is responsible for the Bank’s leveraged finance origination and advisory efforts for client relationships in the Technology, Entertainment, Media and Communications Infrastructure industries. These sectors include cable television, wireline, wireless, communications towers, software, film entertainment, gaming, broadcasting, data centers and related industries. From 1998 to 2003, Tom was the leader of the group’s syndications and structuring efforts, providing underwriting, senior debt sales and advisory services to various communications and media clients throughout North America for the group’s $1.5 billion portfolio.
From 1994 to 1998, Tom was a member of Toronto Dominion’s Communications and Media Group and was involved in the analysis, structuring, negotiation, credit approval and documentation of transactions in the wireline, wireless, cable and broadcasting industries, which totaled commitments of more than $3 billion. He also worked closely with the firm’s high yield, mergers & acquisitions and merchant banking teams to deliver products at all levels of the capital structure. Before joining Toronto Dominion, Tom was with Westpac Banking Corporation for four years and First Fidelity Bank, where he completed its credit and management training program.
Tom, his wife Cathie and their three daughters live in Summit, New Jersey. Tom and Cathie arrived in Summit 23 years ago. The Westdyks have been involved with the MRF since 2014, a year after their oldest child Christopher was diagnosed with melanoma at the age of 16. Chris was honored with a Courage Award at the 2017 MRF New York Gala. Cathie was the Chairwomen of the 2018 New York Gala. Sadly, Chris’ six year battle with melanoma ended in June of 2019. He fought valiantly and lived a very full life despite ongoing treatment and several surgeries.
Over the past 20 years, Tom has been active in coaching and other volunteer opportunities. He served on the Finance Committee of the Summit YMCA from 2010-2014, is an active member of Bergen Catholic High School’s Alumni Association, and participates in Fordham University’s Alumni mentoring program. Tom holds a bachelor’s degree in finance from Lehigh University and an MBA in international finance from Fordham University.
In Memoriam: C. Randy Lomax, MA, MFT (California)
Randy Lomax served on the MRF Board of Directors for 14 years before his passing July 2016. The Randy Lomax Memorial Research Fund was established in his honor.
Randy was a Stage III melanoma survivor. he served as Chairman of the MRF Board for 10 years. He was also the President and CEO of the Melanoma Research Foundation Breakthrough Consortium (MRFBC), whose mission is to accelerate the research and development of the most promising therapeutics for melanoma in order to deliver curative options to patients. Randy held a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree in Psychology and was a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. He taught and worked in the counceling center of De Anza College for 38 years, retiring in June of 2009. His expertise included Human Sexuality and Drug and Alcohol Abuse. Randy was nationally recognized for his teaching excellence.