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Who We Are

Meet Our Board

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.


  • Anthony Martinez, PhD - Chair
    Anthony Martinez, PhD - Chair

    Anthony Martinez holds his doctorate degree in organic chemistry and cancer biology from the University of Chicago, where he primarily focused on the development of novel drug candidates for cellular energy metabolism. After completing his graduate work, Anthony joined the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) as a member of their healthcare practice, focused on developing and launching innovative go-to-market (GTM) strategies for new products and services. After BCG, he continued to focus on GTM strategy and commercial effectiveness, serving Blue Ridge Partners as a Principal Consultant and a leader of their healthcare practice. Anthony is now a member of the Strategic Resources Group at Thomas H. Lee Partners, a Boston-based private equity firm, where he serves as an Operating Principal focused on Growth Equity. Anthony is life-long gardener, a semi-professional chef and caterer, and a collector of East and South Asian art.

  • Chad Merrell - Vice Chair
    Chad Merrell - Vice 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.”

  • Chris Michalak - Treasurer
    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 - Secretary
    Dr. Burton Scott - Secretary

    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.

  • Terry Buehner
    Terry Buehner

    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.”

  • Marlene Civis
    Marlene Civis

    Marlene Civis is proud to call Wake Forest, NC her home for the last 14 years. She is a small business owner, recent MBA graduate, and a Staff Auditor for the North Carolina Office of the State Auditor. She previously served on the Board and Finance Committee at the Wade Edward Learning Lab (WELL). This is where she had the pleasure and opportunity to work with HD Reach’s Executive Director, Betsey McFarland. Service in the community has been a lifelong joy and commitment for Marlene. She is excited to utilize her business and accounting skills to assist the HD Reach organization and families. She loves exploring the beach and mountain towns of North Carolina with her husband and two adult children.

  • Alease Daniel
    Alease Daniel

    Alease graduated from NC State University in 2018 with a degree in Genetics and minor in Biotechnology. Since then she has worked in the IVF lab and is currently an Embryologist. She has a strong passion for women's and reproductive health and enjoys educating on these topics through TikTok. Alease and her husband have two rescue pups, named Pippa and Murphy and she enjoys painting and baking in her free time.

  • Rick Giurlando
    Rick Giurlando

    Over the past two decades, Rick Giurlando has worked in marketing, managed technology, and platform solutions. He is currently a manager on the Eisneramper Outsourced IT Services team. Rick has fostered an enthusiasm for opportunity sharing and is devoted to the firms four expert standards of Responsive, Responsible, Principled and Relationship-Situated. Before EisnerAmper, Rick led an entertainment direct mail agencies production team. For clients DirecTV and Comcast, he managed multimillion-dollar direct mail programs. Rick is a member of Hillsborough Rotary Club and Eisner Cares NJ. He looks forward to supporting families in need.

  • Lauren Haught
    Lauren Haught

    Lauren Haught is originally from Kent,Ohio and currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina with her fiance Edgar. She is a graduate of Johnson and Wales University in Charlotte, North Carolina, and is now the Executive Sous Chef at Northridge Country Club. She enjoys fundraising and giving back to the community. HD Reach became a special organization to her, as she lost her mother in 2017 after her long and courageous battle with Huntington’s Disease. Lauren is excited to join the HD Reach board and to advocate in the HD community!

  • Shane Herring
    Shane Herring

    Shane, his wife Kristen, and two children Colbie and Quinn live in Waynesville, NC. He has been employed with Duke Energy for the last 15 years in various roles from Cyber Compliance to now working in the renewable energy sector. Huntington’s has been a part of his life since he was old enough to understand it. Shane’s Great grandmother was the first known case in his family and his father and half-sister as well as multiple extended family have been diagnosed. Shane was tested in 2019 and was gene negative. Shane and his family are excited to contribute in any way to the growth and impact of HD Reach and meeting families where they are in the ongoing journey with Huntington’s.

  • Julia Lutz
    Julia Lutz

    Julia Lutz serves as the Innovate Carolina Junction Community Manager. With a solid background in marketing and community management at Orangetheory Fitness, Julia brings her expertise to foster a vibrant and engaged community. Originally from Milwaukee, she embarked on an educational journey at Iowa State University, earning her B.S. in Advertising with a minor in English.

    Julia hasactively fundraised for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA), a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting individuals and families affected by Huntington’s disease. With her fundraising efforts she has raised over $25,000 collectively. In her pursuit of making a difference, Julia has taken on extraordinary challenges like climbing Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania to raise funds and awareness for HDSA. Additionally, she has orchestrated and led a 24-hour walk-a-thon, showcasing her commitment and organizational skills. With Julia at the helm, the Innovate Carolina Junction community can expect a passionate and community-oriented approach that fosters collaboration, growth, and innovation.

    Julia now resides in Durham, NC with her Fiance Jason and their three pets. Arya the Blue Heeler, (same dog as Bluey) and their two cats Grayson and Birch.