Board of Directors and Officers
Kathleen M. Smith, MLA, NBCA Board President
Kathy Smith is the Chief Executive Officer for the Center for the Arts, a regional visual and performing arts center in Maryland. She is the Principal and Founder of Smith Associates, a boutique consulting firm specializing in non-profits, strategic planning, governance, and executive coaching. She was the Executive Director of United Marriage Encounter, an international nonprofit, where she was responsible for an $11.5 M endowment. As the Executive Director of the Maryland Home Improvement Commission, she was responsible for 23,000+ licensees. She was the President and CEO of the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce, Chief of Staff for the Catholic Health Association, adjunct faculty in Nonprofit Management for Goucher College, and a hospital administrator at St. Agnes Hospital. Earlier in her career, she served in various roles at the American Red Cross Blood Services in Baltimore.
In addition to her extensive executive level employment history, Kathy has also Chaired and served on numerous Boards of Directors. She is the President of the Board of Directors of the National Blood Clot Alliance and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Thrombosis and Hemostasis Summit of North America (THSNA). She is a past Chair of the Boards of Directors of Community Health Charities of Maryland and Non Profit Services and Solutions, Inc. While a member of the St. Agnes Employee Federal Credit Union Board of Directors, she was the recipient of the Plantholt Pursuit of Excellence award. Kathy has served on many other Boards, and has earned esteemed recognition for her governance work. Community Health Charities of Maryland presented her with their highest award, the 2011 Joseph Forni award, in recognition of her quest for “…excellence, integrity and empowerment”. She serves on the Little Sisters of the Poor’s St. Martin’s Home’s Capital Campaign Committee which is charged with raising $25M. She is a member of the American College of HealthCare Executives and was nominated to and welcomed as a member in the élite Women Business Leaders of the U.S. Health Care Industry Foundation (WBL).
Kathy earned a Master in Liberal Arts (MLA) from The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A from Notre Dame of Maryland University. She was elected to Kappa Gamma Pi, the National Catholic College Graduate Honor Society.
Sara Wassenaar, DDS, Board Vice President
Dr. Sara Wassenaar is a dentist with 28 years of experience practicing in Central Michigan in the practice Wassenaar, Frutiger, Moeggenborg D.D.S. Dr Wassenaar received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Michigan, a Master of Science in Justice Administration from the University of Denver College of Law and a Doctorate of Dental Surgery from University of Detroit. After completing a general practice residency at Danbury Hospital in Danbury, Connecticut, she returned to her hometown, Alma, Michigan, to practice dentistry.
Dr. Wassenaar prides herself on her involvement in the community in which she grew up and has worked as a dentist. She serves as the President of Keep Alma Beautiful and is on the Board of the Mid-Michigan Medical Center and the Women’s Resource Center of Mid-Michigan. She is a United Way Volunteer and is active in Athena’s of Gratiot County and the First Presbyterian Church of Alma.
She has been married to Dr. Frutiger for 28 years and they have raised two wonderful children, Anna and John and a chocolate lab, Toby. Dr. Wassenaar lost a daughter, who was in dental school, to a blood clot.
Teresa Bordeaux, Board Treasurer
Teresa Bordeaux, CPA is a Technical Manager with the Peer Review Program of the AICPA (American Institute of Certified Public Accountants) in Durham, North Carolina. Prior to joining the Peer Review Team, Teresa was a Technical Manager for the AICPA Professional Ethics team. She began her career in public accounting and later worked with the North Carolina Local Government Commission and the City of Raleigh before joining the AICPA.
Teresa holds a Bachelor’s of Arts in Accounting from North Carolina State University. She also serves on the Government Accounting and Auditing Committee of the North Carolina Association of CPAs. Teresa and her husband Larry, have two sons and live in Cary, NC. Larry developed portal vein thrombosis in 2007 and in 2009 the clot extended into his superior mesenteric vein and he began treatment with Coumadin. Teresa wants to help NBCA spread awareness about all clotting issues including those like Larry’s that don’t involve the extremities.
Shawna Russo Baffone, Board Secretary
Shawna Russo Baffone is a regional human resources business partner for Take Care Health Systems a Walgreens Health and Wellness Company. She has over 15 years HR experience in the banking and health care industry. Shawna is an active member of Society of Human Resource Management. Shawna is a graduate of New England Institute. Shawna survived several pulmonary embolisms while in her twenties and is committed to increasing awareness of thrombosis and thrombophilia.
Gary Raskob, PhD, MSc. Chair, Medical & Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Gary Raskob is Dean of the College of Public Health, and a Professor of Epidemiology and Medicine, at the University of Oklahoma Health Science Center in Oklahoma City, OK. He specializes in research and treatment of blood clotting disorders and the development of antithrombotic drugs. He also serves as a consultant in clinical research and drug development for the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industry and has played a critical role in developing clinical practice guidelines for numerous specialty organizations.
In addition, he has authored or coauthored over 200 publications on the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of thromboembolic disease, including 14 articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. His expertise in the field of thrombotic disorders and diagnosis, his educational background, and his experience in dealing with government and pharmaceutical institutions make him a valuable asset to every facet of our organization. Gary has a Ph.D. in pharmaceutical sciences from the University of Oklahoma and a M.Sc. in clinical from epidemiology from McMaster University in Hamilton, Canada, and currently resides in Oklahoma City, OK.
Steve Hartley is currently a national field director for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, where he provides supervision, guidance, and management to a network of employees and volunteers. In addition to this, Hartley has also served as an independent consultant, providing professional consultation services to nonprofit organizations.
His extensive background in the nonprofit sector extends 38 years into the past, when he started his first position as Program Director for the Western Maryland area with the American Cancer Society. Between 1975 and today he has held twelve leadership positions within eight nonprofit organizations. He places a strong emphasis on the importance of efficient organization within a nonprofit organization, and is responsible for increased productivity everywhere he has worked.
He brings valuable experience and an emphasis on organizational change to NBCA. Steve received his BS with departmental honors in Political Science from Frostburg State University and currently lives in a suburb of Washington D.C.
Kay Holcombe is a Senior Policy Advisor at the Genzyme Corporation, a subsidiary of the Sanofi Healthcare Company. From their Washington D.C. government relations office, she develops and implements corporate policies and responses to government regulatory and policy initiatives. Her background as a lobbyist extends beyond her current position. Previously she was Vice President of Policy Directions Inc., a government relations firm specializing in strategic planning and legislative and regulatory advocacy regarding healthcare and related issues.
In addition to this she has held leadership positions on a long list of federal healthcare committees. Given her background, she will play a critical role in our government and pharmaceutical relations. Kay received her MS in chemistry from Virginia and currently resides in Washington D.C.
Maury L. Lieberman, MSW, MURP is a community services planner and organizational consultant based in Washington, DC. He has been treated for DVT. For more than 20 years at the National Institute of Mental Health, Mr. Lieberman developed and administered extramural research programs involving urban and social problems, work and mental health, mental health services and training, and prevention/intervention research. He later headed the state mental health planning program, and was responsible for developing a federal mental health response to such concerns as workplace violence, suicide, and trauma. Mr. Lieberman’s early career focused on community organization and housing development for immigrant populations, including Mobilization for Youth in New York, whose experiences formed the basis for the national anti-poverty program.
Since retiring from the federal government, he has been active in local, regional and national organizations, as well as consulting and serving as adjunct faculty member and lecturer in graduate schools of social work and city planning. He currently serves on the Board of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. He has also served on the Board of the Green Door in Washington, DC, which helps people recovering from mental illness to live and work in the community, as well as active volunteer roles with the American Councils for International Education and Children International. Mr. Lieberman holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin, a MSW from Rutgers University, and a Master of Urban and Regional Planning (MURP) from the University of Pittsburgh School of Public and International Affairs, and completed doctoral studies (ABD) in City and Regional Planning at Cornell University.
Eric O’Connor is a family man, marathon runner and the successful owner of a wedding photography company. By looking at him, you could never tell that in 2011 he survived a nearly fatal dance with pulmonary embolisms. But Eric is no stranger to deadly diseases. At a young age he contracted and beat hepatitis C, and at 17 traveled the country speaking to physicians and lawmakers on behalf of the American Liver Foundation.
As a volunteer he has provided leadership for NBCA in developing a highly dynamic new website and the strategic direction for social media outreach to advance NBCA’s educational mission. Eric has a BA in marketing from Drake University and currently resides in Chicago, IL, where he continues to run his photography business and help his wife raise their three young sons.
Charles Sano is the Manager of Group Sales & Special Events for the Miami Marlins where he has been employed for the past nine years. In 2013, he coordinated the inaugural Miami Marlins Blood Clot Awareness Day which included a pregame recognition ceremony for NBCA donors & volunteers, a video message from a Marlins player and a guest appearance by Sponge Bob Square Pants. A portion of the proceeds from each ticket benefitted the NBCA.
Prior to working for the Marlins, Charles was the Assistant Director of Development for Athletics at the University of Miami. At The U, he was responsible for securing endowment scholarships and major gifts for a number of athletic facility projects during the University’s $1 billion Capital Campaign.
He became active with the NBCA in 2012 after he was hospitalized with a DVT and a PE, both of which had previously been misdiagnosed six weeks prior as muscle strains in the calf and back/shoulders. Doctors and nurses were very surprised to learn that this healthy, active 33 year not only had a blood clot but was nearly killed by the PE. It turns out that there is a family history. Charles has made it a personal crusade to spread awareness of the signs, symptoms, and dangers of blood clots.
His experience with strategic planning will be a valuable asset to NBCA. Charles graduated with a B.S. in Sport Administration from Stetson University in DeLand, Florida and currently lives in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida with his wife Meaghan and son Michael.
Traci Wilkes Smith
Traci Wilkes Smith is the Vice President of Broadcasters, News and Entertainment in the Client Representation group at CSE. Traci previously worked as a broadcast talent agent at WTA where she represented numerous anchors, reporters and entertainment hosts at various networks throughout the United States. Her eye for talent has helped her to identify and represent the best upcoming on-air talent in news, sports, weather and entertainment from around the country and work to place journalists in networks such as CNN, Fox News, Al Jazeera America, ABC, NBC and CBS News, ESPN and Discovery. Traci has also developed the careers of journalists in top 30 local stations around the country and is passionate about their success.
Traci serves as Vice President of the Board of Directors of the National Blood Clot Alliance and is a member of several journalist organizations such as NABJ, AAJA and NAHJ. She obtained her Juris Doctorate from Rutgers School of Law. She is a member of the New York and New Jersey state bars and began her legal career as an associate at the law firm of Arent Fox, LLC in New York. Traci enjoys spending time with her husband Charles and their two children.