Board of Directors and Officers
Leslie L. Lake, Board President
Leslie Lake is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Invus Financial Advisors, LLC, an investment boutique based in New York City. Leslie co-founded the firm in 2006, with a specialty in long short equity strategies. Leslie has been managing assets within the hedge fund industry since 1995.
In 2018, Leslie suffered a bilateral pulmonary embolism (PE). Her quest to learn more about venous thromboembolism (VTE) lead her to the National Blood Clot Alliance via the organization’s online Stop the Clot® Support Group and Discussion Community, powered by Inspire. Despite living in New York City, Leslie was shocked by the lack of information available to her after her PE.
As Board President, Leslie is committed to raising public awareness so no person affected by blood clots is without the necessary information they need to prevent or successfully treat VTE, and that they also have the information they need to navigate the spectrum of lifestyle issues that can follow a blood clot diagnosis.
Leslie holds a BS in Economics from Simmons College, where she is also a Trustee, member of the Finance and Investment Committees, and Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees. An avid equestrian, Leslie resides in Manhattan.
Mimi MacKinnon, Board Vice President
Mimi MacKinnon is an Event Manager at the National Football League.
On May 10, 2013, Mimi suffered a near fatal pulmonary embolism at the age of 31 related to birth control. During her journey, she has searched for ways to become meaningfully involved in the cause to help raise awareness, especially about the dangerous side effects attributed to hormonal birth control. Mimi is a recent addition to the NBCA Board of Directors, and she is looking forward to contributing and raising awareness about this worthy cause.
Mimi is the daughter of Peter and Sue MacKinnon, and she has two wonderful sisters, Kelly and Christie. She has a BA in educational studies from Trinity College, where she played four years of varsity ice hockey. Mimi currently resides in Glen Cove, NY.
Teresa Bordeaux, Board Treasurer
Teresa Bordeaux is a Lead Technical Manager for the Governmental Audit Quality Center (GAQC) at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants where her primary responsibility is to assist with governmental auditing and accounting matters. She supports the activities of the GAQC and helps staff both the GAQC Executive Committee and the State and Local Government Expert Panel. Prior to joining the GAQC team in 2012, Teresa was a Technical Manager for both the AICPA Professional Ethics and Peer Review teams. 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 in 2006.
Teresa holds a bachelor’s of arts in accounting from North Carolina State University. She serves on the Government Accounting and Auditing Committee of the North Carolina Association of CPAs. Teresa is a frequent speaker at state and national conferences on governmental auditing including recent revisions to auditing standards for recipients of federal financial assistance (Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards at 2 CFR 200). Teresa is currently serving on the Steering Committee for the Medical University of South Carolina study, “Comparative Effectiveness of Pulmonary Embolism Prevention after Hip and Knee Replacement (PEPPER),” which is funded through a Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) award. The purpose of the study is to combine information about effectiveness in preventing blood clots in the lungs and legs with the opinions of patients about the safety of the most commonly employed blood thinners. This work will provide background information to help both patients and their surgeons in deciding which blood thinner would be best to use after hip and knee replacement.
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. Larry is a lifer on Coumadin and does home testing of his INR. Teresa wants to help NBCA spread awareness about all clotting issues including those like Larry’s that don’t involve the extremities.
Kay Holcombe, Board Secretary
Kay Holcombe serves as Senior Advisor to the Milken Institute Center for Public Health. She recently retired as Senior Vice President for Science Policy at BIO, the Biotechnology Innovation Organization. Prior to that, she was Vice President for Government Relations at Sanofi-Genzyme; Executive Vice President of Policy Directions Inc., a policy advisory and advocacy firm; professional health legislative staff and senior health policy advisor for the House of Representatives Committee on Energy and Commerce; professional health legislative staff for the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources; Deputy Associate Commissioner for Legislative Affairs, U.S. Food and Drug Administration; Executive Vice President of the Foundation for Biomedical Research; Associate Director for Public Health Legislation, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Legislation; Deputy Associate Administrator for Planning, Evaluation, and Legislation, Health Resources and Services Administration; Special Assistant to the Director, Division of Legislative Affairs, National Institutes of Health; Executive Secretary, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute National Advisory Council; and NHLBI researcher.
Kay is a member of the board of the Reagan-Udall Foundation for the FDA, the National Blood Clot Alliance, and the Critical Path Institute.
She received her B.S. in chemistry education from the University of Illinois and her M.S. in chemistry from the University of Virginia. She graduated with honors and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa, Phi Kappa Phi, and Iota Sigma Pi.
ALOK A. KHORANA, MD, F.A.C.P., F.A.S.C.O., PROFESSOR OF MEDICINE, CLEVELAND CLINIC LERNER COLLEGE OF MEDICINE, CASE WESTERN RESERVE UNIVERSITY, THE SONDRA AND STEPHEN HARDIS CHAIR IN ONCOLOGY RESEARCH, VICE-CHAIR FOR CLINICAL SERVICES OF THE TAUSSIG CANCER INSTITUTE (PART OF CASE COMPREHENSIVE CANCER CENTER) AND DIRECTOR OF THE GASTROINTESTINAL MALIGNANCIES PROGRAM AT THE CLEVELAND CLINIC, CLEVELAND, OHIO. NBCA MEDICAL AND SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY BOARD CHAIR.
Dr. Khorana’s clinical and translational research program focuses on predictive factors and drug development in cancer-associated thrombosis and gastrointestinal cancers and has been funded by grants from the National Cancer Institute, the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the Hardis Family, the Porter Family Fund, VeloSano, the Cleveland Clinic Center for Excellence, the Scott Hamilton CARES Initiative, Stand Up To Cancer (Colorectal Cancer “Dream Team”) and the V Foundation.
Dr. Khorana received his medical degree from Maharaja Sayajirao University’s Medical College in Baroda (now Vadodara, Gujarat), India. His postdoctoral training included a residency in internal medicine at the University at Buffalo in New York, and a fellowship in hematology/oncology at the University of Rochester, New York. He is a Fellow of the American College of Physicians and in 2018 was elected Fellow of the American Society of Clinical Oncology.
Dr. Khorana is Past Chair of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Clinical Practice Guidelines Panel (CPGC), Chair of ASCO CPGC’s Pancreas Cancer Working Group, Co-Chair of ASCO CPGC’s Multisite Advisory Group and Co-Chair of the ASCO Guidelines Panel on Resectable Pancreas Cancer. He has also served or serves on the ASCO Scientific Program Committee and multiple Guidelines/Guidance Panels including those of ASCO, American Society of Hematology (ASH), American Society for Radiation Oncology and International Society on Thrombosis and Haemostasis (ISTH) and as a member of the US Pharmacopoeia Oncology Expert Committee. He was previously Chair of the ISTH Scientific Subcommittee on Hemostasis and Malignancy in 2019, and Dr. Khorana was awarded the Cleveland Clinic’s Maria and Sam Miller Professional Excellence Award for Scientific Achievement in Clinical Research.
Dr. Khorana has been published in a variety of journals, including New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), Journal of Clinical Oncology, Blood, Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Clinical Cancer Research, PLoS One, and JAMA Internal Medicine. He has co-authored chapters in multiple textbooks including multiple editions of Cecil Essentials of Medicine and DeVita’s Cancer: Principles and Practice of Oncology. He is co-editor of the book Cancer-Associated Thrombosis: New Findings in Translational Science, Prevention and Treatment (Informa, 2007). Dr. Khorana’s fiction and creative nonfiction works have been published in the Bellevue Literary Review, Annals of Internal Medicine and Health Affairs and selected for Best American Medical Writing (Kaplan, 2009).
Evan Brovender is an Associate at a private equity firm in New York. He holds a BS degree in Applied Economics and Management from Cornell University, where he played four years of varsity football.
Evan’s involvement with NBCA began several years ago, after losing his sister to a pulmonary embolism shortly after she gave birth to her third daughter. Since then, Evan has been extremely dedicated to the organization’s efforts to advance the prevention, early diagnosis, and successful treatment of life-threatening blood clots. Evan has been an active volunteer with NBCA and has hosted a number of successful fundraising events, including several walks and workout classes. He also ran the 2017 NYC marathon — as a member of NBCA’s Team Stop the Clot® — to raise funding to support NBCA’s mission.
Joe Harouni is a digital strategy and eCommerce leader with Deloitte Digital.
During his junior year of college, Joe was hospitalized due to pain in his chest and fluid in his lungs. Joe recovered but the hospital was unable to determine the cause of the issue. It was not until months later, during a routine check-up, that a doctor was able to piece together the puzzle and determine that he had developed a clot in his leg weeks before suffering from a pulmonary embolism. Joe is committed to raising the awareness of clots among the public and among healthcare professionals.
Joe has a BS in Computer Science from Washington & Lee University and currently resides in Brooklyn, NY with his wife Dori and their daughter.
Elliott Richard Haut, MD, PhD, FACS
Elliott Richard Haut, MD, PhD, FACS is Vice Chair of Quality, Safety, & Service in the Department of Surgery at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and at The Johns Hopkins Hospital. He also has a faculty appointment in the Department of Health Policy & Management at The Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. He is certified in both General Surgery and Surgical Critical Care by the American Board of Surgery. Dr. Haut’s clinical practice at The Johns Hopkins Hospital covers all aspects of trauma and acute care surgery, as well as surgical critical care.
Dr. Haut’s research focuses on the diagnosis, prevention and reporting of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE). He was funded by a four-year K-award grant from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), titled “Does Screening Variability Make DVT an Unreliable Quality Measure of Trauma Care?” He is the principal investigator of multiple large-scale VTE focused projects: “Preventing Venous Thromboembolism (VTE): Empowering Patients and Enabling Patient-centered Care via Health Information Technology” funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) and “Individualized Performance Feedback on Venous Thromboembolism Prevention Practice” funded by an R01 grant from AHRQ. He is also co-Investigator on numerous projects funded by the NIH/NHLBI, AHRQ, PCORI, the Department of Defense (DOD), and the Henry M. Jackson Foundation.
Dr. Haut completed his PhD in the Graduate Training Program in Clinical Investigation at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where he completed a wide variety of coursework including epidemiology, biostatistics, comparative effectiveness research and clinical research design. His dissertation was titled “Preventable Harm from Venous Thromboembolism (VTE)—A New Metric for Quality of Care.” Dr. Haut is a core faculty member in the Armstrong Institute for Patient Safety and Quality at Johns Hopkins Medicine. He has authored more than 250 peer-reviewed articles, as well as dozens of invited editorials, books and chapters.
John Lasker is vice president of digital media programming for ESPN, and is responsible for leading efforts to maximize ESPN’s rights, audience reach and revenue opportunities on existing digital content offerings and platforms including ESPN+, the ESPN app, ESPN On Demand and DMVPD touch points. He works closely with the Ad Sales, Affiliate Sales & Marketing, Consumer Marketing, Digital & Print Media and Technology teams in identifying new content, audience and product opportunities to support ESPN’s global distribution and strategy efforts. He joined ESPN in 1999 as a supervisor of sales planning. He advanced to account sales executive in 2002 and manager of program planning just one year later, before assuming programming and acquisitions responsibility for digital media in 2006. Prior to ESPN, he worked at Zenith Media in New York as a media buyer.
A native of Brooklyn, N.Y., John graduated from Marist College in 1997 with a degree in psychology. He currently resides in Southington Connecticut with his wife, Denise, of 21 years and their four daughters Emma, Abigail, Delaney, and Kaelyn.
John suffered a blood clot and pulmonary embolism in July of 2020. As of May 2021, he is fully recovered and committed to driving awareness and prevention for those at risk.
Jessica McElroy works in the General Counsel office at Credit Suisse where she focuses on Global Markets regulations.
In her third year of law school, Jessica experienced chest pains and shortness of breath, followed shortly by hemoptysis. She was diagnosed with bilateral pulmonary emboli and spent a year on anticoagulant therapy. Years later, Jessica discovered that she is positive for the Factor 2 genetic mutation and was frustrated by the lack of support and information around her diagnosis. She is enthusiastic about the work NBCA does in educating patients, families and survivors, especially about the specific risks posed to women’s health by blood clots.
Born in Lafayette, Louisiana, Jessica has a BA from Emory University and a JD from New York Law School and is a member of the New York State Bar. She lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn with her husband, Peter.
Miriam Parel is a multilingual executive with extensive experience in organization strategy, management, program development and fundraising. Her experience ranges from domestic start-ups to large global organizations. She successfully established organizations and programs, managed large staff complements, obtained significant grants and donations.
For the past two years, Ms. Parel has consulted with nonprofits on strategic planning, fundraising and volunteer engagement. Clients include United Way Worldwide, Viva a Vida Brazil the Jeremiah Program and Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Gardens.
As the Chief Strategy and Development Officer for American Councils for International Education, Ms. Parel was responsible for the organization’s strategies for growth and sustainability. She prioritized targets, started new programs and income generating activities fundraising and outreach to 50,000+ alumni substantially increasing the diversity and amount of the organization’s fundraising. As the Vice President, Strategic Partnerships for the Points of Light Foundation, she managed a staff of nearly 50 employees working with different target audiences (government agencies, faith community, volunteer centers and other nonprofits). Ms. Parel also played a key role in the challenging merger of Points of Light with the HandsOn Network. Following the merger, Ms. Parel worked on integration efforts with the new CEO and distinguished board of directors which included President H.W. Bush, Fortune 500 CEOs, university presidents and other luminaries.
Ms. Parel also has extensive experience with start-ups. She played an important role at the inception of the Corporation for National and Community Service hiring its top echelon and later as program staff. She also set up and became the first Executive Director of the Partnership for National Service, a nonprofit organization established to support national and community service programs. In addition, she was responsible for establishing successful Ashoka offices in Brazil, Mexico, Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Ms. Parel holds a Civil Engineering degree from Universidade Mackenzie, Sao Paulo, Brazil and an MBA from the Asian Institute of Management, Manila, Philippines. She lives in McLean, Virginia, where she volunteers as an ESL teacher.
Charles Sano is a Sales Leader at Weatherby Healthcare, one of the top locum tenens agencies in the country. Charles previously spent over 20 years working in Major League Baseball and NCAA Division 1 Athletics.
On August 16, 2012, Charles was hospitalized with severe pain in his left leg and chest. That’s when he was finally diagnosed with a DVT and pulmonary embolism. But because this healthy 33-year old was active in the gym, an active runner and playing baseball on the weekends, for 6-weeks doctors kept misdiagnosing him as having strains and “overworking“ himself.
He joined the Board of the National Blood Clot Alliance to share his story in his quest to educate and create awareness that clots can happen to anyone including those fitness enthusiasts that live active and healthy lifestyles.
Charles and his wife Meaghan have two amazing children, Michael and Elizabeth, and reside in Davie, Florida. He earned a BS in Sport Management at Stetson University where he played baseball and ran cross country.
Traci Wilkes Smith, Esq.
Traci Wilkes Smith is the Senior Vice President of Broadcasters in the Client Representation group at CSE. At CSE, Traci built a dynamic news talent practice rich with experience, recognition and diversity.
As a talent agent, Traci has established extensive relationships in the media industry. Her keen eye in the media industry has helped her identify and represent a diverse array of journalists and executives in news, sports, weather and entertainment. Traci represents numerous anchors, correspondents, entertainment hosts, executives and political commentators at outlets including CNN, ABC News, CBS News, Fox News, The Weather Channel and ESPN and digital platforms.
Prior to working at CSE, Traci worked as a broadcast attorney/agent at WTA in New York. She is a member of several journalist organizations including NABJ and NYABJ. Traci is also a 2020 CUP Fellow (Council of Urban Professionals) in New York. She has served on boards such as the Association of Black Women Attorneys and the National Blood Clot Alliance and is an advocate for raising awareness of the signs and symptoms of blood clots after having survived a pulmonary embolism at the young age of 25. Born in New York, Traci is a graduate of Rutgers College and Rutgers University School of Law, Newark, and is a member of the New York and New Jersey state bars.
Todd Robertson is the Outreach Coordinator for River Programs at the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. He has served the public in the Outreach, Communication, and Marketing Bureau for the last twelve years. He is a certified American Canoe Association canoe and kayak instructor and loves teaching people how to paddle efficiently and how to stay safe on moving water. When not teaching, he loves paddle-boarding with his dog and best friend, Jett.
In 2011, Todd suffered the first of six blood clots and in 2017 experienced a close call with his first pulmonary embolism. He is a carrier of the inherited clotting disorder, factor V Leiden, and is homozygous, making him aggressive in the abnormal clotting department. He is a motivational speaker for blood clot trauma recovery and is a local patient advocate for new patients. He is working on his first book, “Blood Clots: A Road Map to Recovery”.
Todd runs several Facebook support groups and has developed a level of trust and friendship with thousands of patients over the years. He loves to road and mountain bike, white water canoe, and stays active all year round.
Todd received his education in radio broadcasting at San Francisco State in the ’80s and was a radio host and producer for twenty years in Northern California.
Sara Wassenaar, DDS
Dr. Sara Wassenaar practices general dentistry in Alma, Michigan, at Wassenaar, Frutiger, Moeggenborg DDS. She has been active in her community and on several boards. She is a past City Commissioner and Chamber of Commerce board member. Dr. Wassenaar currently serves on the Board of Directors for Mid-Michigan Medical System and is Past-President of the Mid-Michigan Medical Center-Gratiot Board of Directors. She is active in many of her local community organizations and in local, state and national dental organizations. Dr. Wassenaar has been honored with the Gratiot Co
Dr. Wassenaar received her B.A. from University of Michigan and her M.S. from University of Denver College of Law. She received her dental degree from University of Detroit and completed her General Practice Residency at Danbury Hospital, Danbury, Connecticut. She serves as a Visiting Faculty member of Spear Education.unty Athena Award for her community leadership and as a role model for women.
She is married to Dr. Richard Frutiger. Their son, John Frutiger, is also a volunteer and organizer of several Stop the Clot events. In 2010, they lost their 23-year-old daughter and sister, Anna, as a result of an undiagnosed deep vein thrombosis and subsequent fatal pulmonary embolism.
Michele Wilson is a Regional Quality Performance Improvement Coordinator at Sutter Health, a not-for-profit integrated healthcare system in Northern California. Working in quality management, Michele has a platform to make real changes when it comes to patient care and education. Her professional experience with Sutter Health has prepared her to be successful at helping to develop strategic ways in which to inspire conversations about blood clots.
Michele had a pulmonary embolism (PE, or blood clot in her lung) in January 2020 caused by a deep vein thrombosis (DVT, or blood clot in her leg) that developed after an elective ankle surgery. Her PE and subsequent hospitalization made her realize that there is a general lack of awareness on the subject of blood clots and what puts someone at risk for them. She also learned that community support is crucial to the healing process, and that public awareness and patient education are key in preventing thrombosis and its complications. This realization made her want to team up with the National Blood Clot Alliance (NBCA) to share her story and spread awareness.
She recently raised funds for NBCA by participating in the NBCA Sports & Wellness Institute’s Race to Stop the Clot® 5K. She is now working with NBCA’s Sports & Wellness Institute Advisory Committee on their next fundraiser, 100,000 Reasons Ride, a month long virtual cycling event during Blood Clot Awareness Month.
Michele is currently enrolled in the ADT program at Santa Rosa Junior College, majoring in Human Services – Advocacy, and plans to transfer to Sacramento State University to complete her BS. She lives with her son, Hunter, in Sonoma County, California.
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