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.”
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
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.
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.
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.
Anthony Martinez, PhD
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. His career has continued to focus on GTM strategy and commercial effectiveness – he is currently serving Blue Ridge Partners as a Principal Consultant and a leader of their healthcare practice, focused on outsourced pharmaceutical services (i.e., CRO, CMO, CDMO). Anthony is also life long gardener, a semi-professional chef and caterer, and a collector of East and South Asian art.