Rebecca Cook is our Programs Coordinator for Research & Engagement. She is excited to rejoin the NephCure team and hop back into planning Symposia! Rebecca grew up in Maryland and graduated from Bryn Mawr College in 2015, with a double major in Sociology and International Studies. She loves most the parts of her job that enable patient families to participate in research education. In her free time, she can be found cooking up a storm of international vegetarian cuisine with local produce and taking pictures of her goofy tabby cat, Roland.
Lauren Eva is our Associate Director of Communications and Development. Affectionately known in the office as “Leva”, Lauren loves creating quality, concise pieces for NephCure and relishes every opportunity she gets to spend with NephCure families. Her favorite experience has to be Advocacy Day, where staff and patients from around the country speak directly with lawmakers about issues that are important to us—like increased research funding for FSGS and other kidney diseases. Lauren is a news junkie who just moved back to her beloved city of Detroit with her husband and their hound mix, Buster.
Chelsey Fix is our Manager of Research Engagement. Chelsey came to NKI in 2014 as an intern after earning a biology degree from Temple University. She quickly worked her way to full time employment and loves working with the patient community and learning about people. Chelsey is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Public Health with a concentration on Epidemiology. She spends her free time being walked by her bulldog, Moose.
Kelly Helm is a Patient Engagement Manager, also known as “she who knows all about Nephrotic Syndrome.” Kelly started with NephCure as a volunteer walk leader 7 years ago. After working as a regional coordinator, she was promoted to a full time employee in 2014. Kelly’s favorite thing is to help patients and their families feel less isolated and alone in their journey and to provide hope. Kelly is also known as “Macy’s mom.” Macy is 11 and has had FSGS since 2009.
Jill Kitchin recently joined NKI as a part time office Administrator. She recently retired from an enjoyable 40-plus year career in Administration. Although ready to retire from working full-time, she was not ready to retire from the workforce. Jill is thrilled that her skills are benefitting NephCure’s mission. Additionally, her part-time schedule at NephCure allows her to continue doing volunteer work for another nonprofit that assists families in crisis. The rest of Jill’s “retirement” time is spent reading, traveling and reluctantly going to the gym!
Allison Kostiuk returns to NephCure as one of our Patient Engagement Managers after previously serving as a Regional Director, working with volunteers to plan local events and raise funds. Allison lives in NJ with her husband Jack and their four children. When she’s not working, you will find her on a field or in a gym cheering on her sporty children. Allison has recently acquired a love for running and ran her first half marathon in Walt Disney World, the day after turning 40. She has since completed 8 half marathons, 6 Broad Street Runs and handful of charity 5k’s. Allison is happy to be back at NephCure to work alongside our community and because “there is more work to be done.”
Lauren Lee is the National Director of Research and Engagement. She has spent her career in a variety of corporate and nonprofit settings including a historic library, a university health system, political campaign and international credit card company. The one common theme in all of these roles is a shared sense of purpose that permeated the workplace. Working at NKI has taken this feeling of camaraderie and passion to a new level. From day one, Lauren has been inspired and touched by the families we serve – their strength, bravery and kindness is unmatched. The doctors and researchers in this field are equally invested and genuinely motivated by the patients impacted by Nephrotic Syndrome. Lauren travels frequently to meet with patients and doctors and we are sure she has lived in, or has relatives in, every state in the country! In her downtime, Lauren enjoys yoga, long walks and spending time with her husband and two kids, Mick (15) and Paige (12).
Lorraine Mackin is our Eastern Regional Manager, responsible for fundraising and events in the eastern side of the country. A native of New Jersey who has worked in the nonprofit arena for most of her career. Lorraine resides in Tinton Falls, NJ with her husband; they are the proud parents of 3 amazing young men. Focusing on bringing positive change to the community, Lorraine developed a strong sense of devotion to the nonprofit sector while working with organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Habitat for Humanity and most recently the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. This has given her a deep appreciation for how nonprofits seek to improve the quality of life for our region; one day at a time.
Jessica Martin is our Chief Operating Officer and has been with NephCure since 2013 in various roles. She has previously worked in a range of managerial positions in the IT industry with a focus in Project and Program Management. She holds a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre from West Chester University, where she specialized in Stage Management. Jessica and her husband have 3 girls under 10 and her whole life is very similar to herding cats.
Deb Pollock is our National Director or Advancement. Deb is so excited to join NephCure and work with such a positive team, working to find a treatments and a cure. Deb has over 22 years in fundraising and development with organizations including. The American Red Cross, The March of Dimes, The American Diabetes Association and The National MS Society. Deb is passionate about building relationships with individuals, families, corporate partners and bridging relationships through events and partnerships. Deb enjoys spending time with her family, hiking and traveling.
Lisa Rottler is our Central/Western Regional Manager, responsible for fundraising and events in the central and western part of the country. Lisa has over six years experience working in the non-profit sector. She loves meeting all of NephCure’s patients and their families. They are at the core of everything NephCure does.
Josh Tarnoff is our Chief Executive Officer. He came to NephCure in early 2018 when he fulfilled a long-held desire to more closely serve the rare disease patient community. Josh spent over 30 years working in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology community moving new therapies closer to reality. Personal contact with NephCure families drives his passion to achieve the goals of our mission and he always appreciates directly speaking with our community. Likely due to a snake bite, he also has personal insights into renal disease having been a patient. Josh lives in PA where he enjoys backpacking while also trying to avoid further contact with venomous snakes.
Ciara Trainor is our Operations Coordinator. Ciara has previously worked with different nonprofits in the Philadelphia area. She is inspired by the sense of purpose and passion of everyone at NKI. Ciara’s motto is “Cheese = Joy” and believes there nothing like a little cheddar to make any day grate. Sorry….that was a little cheesy.
Meredith Wilson is the National Events Manager. Meredith started at NKI in 2014 as an intern and it wasn’t long before we hired her full time. Meredith takes care of the massive logistics involved with running 40+ events throughout the year. Additionally, she is our resident skee ball pro and wedding coordinator.