CHAIRPERSON OF THE BOARD
Linda Martin has been a serial entrepreneur, corporate executive, consultant, and board member for more than 30 years. She has launched, managed and advised dozens of companies in the mobile telecom and “Internet of Things” industries.
Linda is the founder and president of Martin Strategic Solutions helping early and growth stage companies with corporate/business development, creating and implementing new strategies and making introductions to strategic partners and customers in the US and abroad. She has also conceived and coordinated a successful impact investment in innovative cancer research and therapies.
In mid-2017, Linda’s daughter was diagnosed with Chronic Pancreatitis and Linda began researching available treatments and cures. She quickly discovered that pancreatitis is not widely understood and that there is a need for new approaches and models to discover more effective treatments with better outcomes. Linda also saw an urgent need for advocacy, funding, research, education and collaboration in the mission to find a cure to enable pancreatitis patients to live better, healthier lives.
Dr. Bruce Bloom is Chief Collaboration Officer at Healx, which brings sensibly-priced repurposed therapies to rare disease patient communities using artificial and human intelligence in new ways.
Until 2019, he was Chief Executive Officer of Cures Within Reach, a nonprofit saving lives by repurposing human approved drugs, devices, diagnostics and nutraceuticals to quickly deliver safe and affordable treatments and cures for diseases that have no currently effective therapy. Cures Within Reach uses CureAccelerator™, the only global online repurposing research collaboration platform, to bring together clinicians, researchers, funders, and industry to create and conduct pilot clinical trials that drive more treatments to more patients more quickly.
Dr. Bloom became an Ashoka Social Entrepreneur Fellow for his system-changing solutions to finding new treatments for unsolved diseases. He is the Patient Advisory Board Chair for the Institute for Translational Medicine, Board member of the Drug Discovery Center at the University of Illinois, the Director of Scientific Affairs for Vision for Tomorrow, on the Science Advisory Boards of Rediscovery Life Sciences, the GARROD AKU Consortium, the Dr. Ralph and Marian Falk Medical Research Trust Awards Programs, the Findacure Fundamental Disease Charity, and Healx, LTD, is the Chair of the Governance Committee of the Kendall College Charitable Trust, is a member of the Board of Councilors of Midwestern University, and a member of the editorial board of ASSAY and Drug Development Technologies. Dr. Bloom holds a Juris Doctor degree from the IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law, a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from University of Illinois Medical Center, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from University of Illinois. He is an adjunct faculty member at Kendall College, has been a lecturer at the University of Illinois Chicago since 1990, and was a senior lecturer at Northwestern University Dental School for 6 years.
Mickey Levitan is currently serving as a Visiting Fellow at the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, where he is conducting R&D for an innovative program to enable promising nonprofits to tackle perennial organizational development and financial challenges that limit broader impact and sustainability.
Before joining the School of Philanthropy, Mickey was Founder and CEO of an educational technology company undertaking a major system change effort to shape the way digital course materials are used in higher education.
Mickey has served as Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer for Emmis Communications, Director of Human Resources for Apple, and Executive Director for Organizational Effectiveness at Cummins Inc., building world-class workplaces recognized in numerous “Best Places to Work” awards. Mickey’s early career was spent with Peace Corps in Africa and directing the Save the Children program in Thailand. Returning from overseas, Mickey served as a White House Fellow, working in the office of the Vice President.
Mickey received his Bachelor of Arts with high distinction from Dartmouth College. He attended Stanford University and earned an MBA from the Graduate School of Business, an MA from the Stanford Food Research Institute and was selected by his MBA classmates as the Arbuckle Award winner for outstanding contribution. In addition to speaking a wee bit of English, Mickey has gained fluency in four other languages: French, Thai, Bengali, and Wolof.
Jim Medsker is the owner and president of Keystone Solutions Group, a turn-key medical device development and contract manufacturing company located in Kalamazoo, MI. The Keystone journey began in 1998 and over the last 24+ years the company has helped launch a wide range of Class I and Class II devices in wound care, imaging, diagnostics, and many other areas.
Jim also serves as an advisor and board member for a number of companies and non-profit organizations and holds a Master of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Western Michigan University.
Sam Shrauger is the Vice President of Global Payments for Airbnb, and the CEO and Chairman of Airbnb Payments, Inc., a regulated payments company held by Airbnb. In this role, Shrauger is responsible for all aspects of payments for Airbnb globally, including payments strategy, products, technology, operations, regulatory compliance, and payment risk management.
Prior to joining Airbnb in 2019, Shrauger held positions as Senior Vice President of Global Consumer and Digital Products at Visa, Inc. and Vice President of Product and Design at PayPal. Shrauger holds a BA in Economics from the University of California, Berkeley and an MBA from the Darden Graduate School of Management at the University of Virginia.
In 1980, Shrauger was diagnosed with chronic, acute pancreatitis, which was later determined to be a result of the PRSS-1 R122H gene mutation. This mutation affects not only him but also many other members of his family spanning at least 3 generations. This includes his 18-year-old son who has been burdened by the disease since birth. Sam believes that acute, chronic pancreatitis of hereditary origin is underdiagnosed in the general population and that historical beliefs about pancreatitis are often misplaced. He is committed to working with the medical and pharmaceutical communities to increase understanding of pancreatitis and its causes and to identify and develop therapies for this debilitating disease.