CureSearch for Children's Cancer funds and supportstargeted and innovative children's cancer research with measurableresults, and is the authoritative source of information and resourcesfor all those affected by children's cancer.
President and CEO
Laura S. Thrall began her role as President and CEO of CureSearch for Children's Cancer in September, 2012.
Prior to coming to CureSearch, Thrall was President and Chief Executive Officer of United Way of Metropolitan Chicago. There, she lead the region's largest non-governmental funder of health and human services and focused on improving the organization's fundraising strategies, increasing year-over-year earned revenue for the first time in two decades. She spearheaded the development and launch of Live United 20/20, United Way's decade long strategy to serve people in Metro Chicago's neediest communities.
Dedicated to advancing the broad interests of the health and human services sector, Thrall served as an appointed member on Governor Quinn's Human Services Commission, chaired the Chicago Alliance for Collaborative Effort ("CACE"), and led the Donor's Forum Public/Nonprofit Partnership Initiative Policy Forum. Thrall was a founding member of Illinois Partners for Human Services and served as an appointed member of the City of Chicago's Volunteerism Advisory Board.
Ms. Thrall joined United Way in 2009 after serving as Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, a human service agency with 160 employees serving over 130,000 people annually through economic empowerment programs, early childhood services and rape crisis services. As CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, she led its transformation, developing the concept for the "Model YWCA," opening the first of three new centers, launching its first capital campaign in 40 years and creating an infrastructure for sustained legislative advocacy.
Prior to joining the YWCA, Thrall was a division director of Campbell & Company, a leading national consulting firm specializing in providing counsel to large nonprofits. There she worked with clients such as the University of Notre Dame, National PTA in Chicago, National Children's Museum, and Children's National Medical Center, both in Washington, D.C., among others. Before that she served as senior director at Los Angeles-based Starlight Children's Foundation International.
Passionate about advancing healthcare through the provision of cutting edge medical care, Thrall was a three-term appointed member of the Visiting Committee for the Biological Sciences Division and Pritzker School of Medicine at the University of Chicago. Most recently she was selected to serve on the Advisory Council for Northwestern University Medical Center's Cerebrovascular Institute.
Laura holds a Master's degree with distinction in Public Service Management from DePaul University in Chicago. A 29-year resident of Chicago, she has just relocated to the Annapolis, Maryland region. She and her partner Kevin Booth have five adult children between them, residing in New York, Chicago, Atlanta and Kansas City.
Chief Development Officer
Christine Bork is the Chief Development Officer of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Bork is responsible for all fundraising initiatives including donor stewardship, special gifts, grants and sponsorship. She oversees CureSearch Walks in sixty communities across the country. While most dread asking for donations, Christine believes, as phrased by fundraising pioneer Hank Rosso, that "fundraising is the gentle art of teaching people the joy of giving."
Christine Bork is the former CEO of the YWCA Metropolitan Chicago, the oldest and largest women’s organization in Chicago. She led the YWCA’s completion of a $5.4 million campaign in the worst recession in fifty years. Christine is a sought-after speaker on leadership, bringing her twenty years of nonprofit fundraising and management experience with the YWCA, American Red Cross, Easter Seals, and Provena Mercy Hospital Foundation to leaders in Chicago and across the country.
A graduate of the University of Chicago and Benedictine University, Christine is a member of the Economics Club of Chicago and The Chicago Network. Christine was recently named one of Today’s Chicago Woman’s “100 Women Making a Difference.” Christine loves watching movies with her children, and, in her limited free time, enjoys riding her motorcycle.
Vice President of Human Resources and Administration
Ruth Dineros is the Vice President of Human Resources and Administration of CureSearch for Children’s Cancer. Dineros is responsible for all Human Resource functions for the organization including compensation and benefits, employee relations, training and development and talent acquisition.
Prior to joining CureSearch, Dineros was the President of Ardent Ventures, Inc., a Human Resources solutions firm with clients in various industries including Healthcare, Legal, Entertainment, Finance, Aerospace and IT. Prior to Ardent Ventures, Inc., Dineros was the Director of Administration at SupplyEdge, Inc., a software development company specializing in component obsolescence management. Previously, Dineros was the Regional Director of Administration at Heidrick & Struggles, Inc., an international executive search firm where she had oversight of the administration for the Latin America and Southern California offices. Her career in Human Resources began at Morgan, Wenzel & McNicholas, as the Legal Administrator where she directed the human resources, finance and facilities divisions. Dineros attended Pepperdine University for her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management and is certified by the American Bar Association as a Litigation Specialist.
Vice President of Communications, Education, and Advocacy
Erica L. Neufeld is Vice President of Communications, Education, and Advocacy at CureSearch for Children's Cancer where she is responsible for the creation and implementation of a strategic, multi-faceted communications program which includes constituent communications, social media, reputation management, and support for national fundraising and advocacy activities. She also oversees development of the organization's educational resources for patients and families. Neufeld brings more than 15 years of health care public relations and marketing experience to CureSearch.
Before joining CureSearch, Neufeld was the Director of Communications for Cardiac Vascular and Thoracic Surgery Associates (CVTSA), a private practice group of 17 surgeons in Falls Church, Virginia. There, she created the communications function, and held business development and operational responsibilities.
Prior to CVTSA, Neufeld was the Senior Marketing Manager at Inova Fairfax Hospital for nearly 6 years where she developed and executed consumer and physician strategies to increase patient volume while building awareness and preference for the hospital. In addition, Neufeld executed the public relations for the opening of the region's first cardiac hospital and worked on crisis communications issues which included September 11, anthrax attacks, and the death of a patient after receiving a mismatched blood transfusion.
Before joining Inova, Neufeld worked in public relations at the American Heart Association where she managed a tri-state team of communications professionals. Neufeld began her career in health communications at the March of Dimes.
Neufeld's work has garnered numerous awards, including the Healthcare Provider Standard of Excellence Award from the Web Marketing Association, Silver Anvil from the Public Relations Society of America, and the IABC's Silver Inkwell.
Neufeld has Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Public Communications from American University, where she is an Adjunct Faculty member.
Vice President, Operations & Research Programs
Albert Roy is the Vice President of Operations of CureSearch for Children's Cancer. In this capacity, he provides the overall direction and leadership in all operational facets of CureSearch. Additionally, Roy is responsible CureSearch’s Research Program from both a strategic and tactical perspective.
Roy brings more than a decade of healthcare and non-profit experience to CureSearch. During his 11 year tenure at CureSearch, Roy has served in multiple capacities. He began his career at CureSearch as the Administrator to the Group Chair of the Children's Oncology Group (COG) and then served as the COG's Director of Finance and Planning, Sr. Director, Office of Grants & Contracts Management before becoming Vice President of Operations in 2011.
In 1999, Roy began his professional career at Children's National Medical Center in Washington DC working within the Division of Hematology/Oncology as the Lead Clinical Research Associate.
Roy holds his Bachelor's degree from Ithaca College and Master's degree from Johns Hopkins University. Roy is married to his wife Michelle and has two children, Caden and Noelle.
National Director of Leadership Gifts
Over the past sixteen years, Kelley has served public and non-profit organizations in politics, education, international development and social services. After graduating from the University of Washington in Seattle, she started a career in political fundraising which took her to San Francisco to work for a small consulting firm. She continued her descent South back to Orange County, CA to work for a political action committee. When an opportunity to join the University of California, Irvine presented itself she made the move and enjoyed a five-year career at the School of Social Ecology.
In 2004, Kelley took a leap of faith to join a small start-up international organization where she established a development program from the ground up and discovered a passion for taking an organization to the next level. As the economy changed, Kelley chose to focus on organizations with a local impact and worked with Second Harvest Food Bank and, more recently, Orange County United Way.
Kelley lives in Southern California with her two kids, Zach and Sydney.
National Director of Community Development
Matthew Sousa joined CureSearch in June of 2012 as a Director of Community Development. In April 2013 Matthew took on the role of National Director of Community Development, he leads a team of eight Community Development Managers across the country who work directly with local communities to develop and execute our signature fundraiser, CureSearch Walk. Matthew also cultivates major donor relationships, corporate partnerships, and new third-party fundraising opportunities.
Matthew has over a decade of experience in fundraising and volunteer engagement. Prior to joining the team at CureSearch, Matthew was the Executive Director of the Muscular Dystrophy Association for the Greater Philadelphia Region and a Community Representative with the American Cancer Society in Orlando, FL. Outside of his non-profit roles, Matthew has worked in sales and marketing for the Walt Disney Company and several major media outlets. Matthew is currently based in Washington DC.
Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships
Kelli Very, Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships, manages CureSearch’s grant program to support CureSearch’s innovative research programs and portfolios, the national CureSearch Walk and Ultimate Hike sponsorship program, as well as the national cause marketing program. Very started with CureSearch as a manager planning CureSearch Walks in the Northeast. She has organized and/or attended over 30 CureSearch Walks.
Prior to CureSearch, Very worked as the Development Director for her local New Jersey Boys & Girls Club. In this role, she planned and oversaw all aspects of development and special events fundraising, spearheading new fundraising events as well as the opening of a new branch of the Club.
As the sibling of a childhood cancer survivor, Very is extremely tied to the mission and knows the importance of raising dollars to fund life-saving children’s cancer research. Very holds a Bachelor’s degree from Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania.
Shelby GosnellCommunications Manager Email Shelby(240) 235-2205