Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.
Chad Merrell - Chair
Chad is a HealthCare sales executive with over 15 years of executive level sales experience. He has been a part of HD Reach from the beginning with his wife being the founding treasurer of the organization. Chad is a graduate of the University of North Carolina with degrees in biology and chemistry. Chad currently lives in Raleigh with his wife Christie Vann who is gene positive for HD. When asked why he accepted the role on the board for HD Reach he said, “I have seen the great value HD Reach provides to families affected by Huntington’s disease. Having seen the difference HD Reach has made in the lives of HD families, I wanted to assist in continuing the great mission of the organization.”
Terry Buehner - Vice Chair
Terry has a master's degree in history, and for 45 years she taught history at Burlington High School in Burlington, Vermont. As a teacher, she was active in fundraising for student field trips and to fund the International Student Award--an academic scholarship she established. As president of the Teachers’ Union for 12 years, she negotiated teacher contracts, served as grievance chair for 20 years, and worked with the local school board on budgets for schools in her district. She was awarded the Susan B. Anthony Award, the Making a Difference Award, and twice recognized as Teacher of the Year for Vermont by the Vermont History Day Contest.
Terry retired in 2015 and now has her own business designing jewelry. Terry generously donates all proceeds from sales of her jewelry to HD Reach. When asked her reason for wanting to participate on the HD Reach Board of Directors, Terry stated, "Throughout my career as a history teacher, my major focus was to make the world a better place. HD Reach offers me the opportunity to do just that for so many people.”
Jayne van Dusen - Secretary
Jayne is a communications and branding leader with expertise in helping organizations grow through strategic communications, thought leadership and brand development. For over 30 years, Jayne has partnered with leaders and teams to develop compelling communications to enhance reputation, manage change and engage with audiences, in companies like DowDuPont, Agfa-Gevaert and most currently ABB. She earned a B.S. in Journalism from University of Maryland, and she is a member of the Public Relations Society of America. Jayne loves connecting people with support and care resources and believes strongly in the mission of HDReach.
Chris Michalak - Treasurer
Chris has lived in Cary, NC since 1996 and is the newest board member of HD Reach, coming on board in 2018. Chris worked for IBM in various financial and management positions for thrity years in North Carolina and Colorado. He currently serves as the financial manager for Economy Exterminators. Chris was active in the Capital Area Soccer League as a coach for several years and served as the Committee Chairman for Boy Scout Troop 209. He has been treasurer for his HOA since 2014. Chris is excited to work with HD Reach to help those impacted by this condition.
Dr. Burton Scott
Burton L. Scott, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurology at Duke University is a member of the Duke Movement Disorders Clinic. After the completion of his residency at Duke University and fellowship training in movement disorders at Baylor College of Medicine, he joined the Duke faculty in 1995. Over his career, he has been very active in the care of HD patients and their families. He was instrumental in creating an opportunity to obtain Tetrabenazine for HD patients as the Principal Investigator of the clinical study “Compassionate Use of Tetrabenazine in Hyperkinetic Movement Disorders”. He has many years of experience in the use of this complicated drug, currently one of two FDA approved drugs for the treatment of the chorea associated with Huntington’s Disease. He has been very active in Parkinson’s Disease research and clinical care over his career. Recently, he has chosen to expand his work with HD patients and families and recruited many professionals to work in a dedicated Huntington’s Disease clinic.
Ann Lassiter is a lifelong advocate of families coping with Huntington’s disease, having lived with HD since she was 11 when her father began showing symptoms. Ann’s career included special education in the public schools and leading learning and development for a major automobile finance company. Upon retiring from corporate life, Ann joined HD Reach as its first executive director. Ann retired from HD Reach in 2019 and returned for her second stint on the HD Reach board. Ann is an lifelong volunteer, currently giving her time to a myriad of nonprofits and religious organizations. Ann remains deeply committed to all affected by Huntington’s disease.