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GMHC Expands Board Members and Senior Staff


EDGE Media Network Contributor

Wednesday February 18, 2015

Earlier this month, GMHC announced the addition of five new Board members and three new additions to its senior management team. These announcements follow the appointment of Kelsey Louie as CEO last year. The Board members include two experts on HIV and AIDS, a former professional football player and two officers at major New York City corporations.

"I am delighted that we are beginning 2015 by expanding our Board to include people like Wade Davis, Julie Fink, Tim Martin and Drs. Halkitis and Simard. One of my top goals since becoming Co-Chair of GMHC's Board has been to make sure that our Board better reflects the diversity of our community," said Roberta Kaplan, Board Co-Chair. "Additionally, we need to ensure that our Board has the expertise necessary to end HIV as an epidemic. These additions are an important step in accomplishing those goals."

The five new Board members include former NFL player Wade Davis, attorneys Julie Fink and Timothy Martin, scientist and HIV researchers Drs. Edgar P. Simard and Perry N. Halkitis.

Former NFL player Wade Davis is an advocate, writer, public speaker, and educator on gender, race, and sexual orientation. He is currently the Executive Director of the You Can Play Project, an organization dedicated to ending sexism and homophobia in sports. He is a former LGBT Surrogate for President Obama and is an acting U.S. State Department Speaker Specialist. Mr. Davis received an honorary doctorate in Public Health from Northeastern University and is an adjunct professor at New York University. He is also the former assistant director of academic enrichment and work readiness for the Hetrick-Martin Institute, where he taught "at-promise" LGBT youth how to define success.

Julie Fink is the Corporate Counsel in Pfizer's Civil Litigation Department. An outspoken LGBT advocate, Ms. Fink is one of the lawyers who represented Edie Windsor in the landmark Supreme Court ruling that held the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) unconstitutional. Ms. Fink received her BA in Economics from Emory University and her JD, magna cum laude, from New York University School of Law.

Perry N. Halkitis, PhD, MS, MPH is the Director of the Center for Health, Identity, Behavior & Prevention Studies (CHIBPS), and the inaugural Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at the Global Institute of Public Health at New York University. Dr. Halkitis' program of research examines the intersection between the HIV epidemic, drug abuse and mental health. Dr. Halkitis served as an elected member of the New York State End of AIDS Task Force and is a fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, American Psychological Association and Society of Behavioral Medicine.

Timothy S. Martin is the Senior Vice President of MacAndrews & Forbes Inc., where he focuses on complex litigation and regulatory matters for a diversified portfolio of public and private companies across a wide range of industries, from cosmetics and entertainment to biotechnology and gaming. Mr. Martin received his AB from Dartmouth College and his JD from the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Edgar P. Simard, MPH, PhD is a recognized expert in the epidemiology of HIV and HIV-associated malignancies. He has conducted research in these areas at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and the American Cancer Society. Dr. Simard received an MPH from Emory University and a PhD from Rutgers University (both in epidemiology) and completed fellowships at the National Institutes of Health and Columbia University. He is currently a Senior Clinical Data Scientist with Project Florida, Inc., a healthcare technology startup based in New York City and an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Emory University.

The new senior managers include a new Chief Program Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Director of Human Resources. They will join GMHC's senior team of Managing Directors which includes: Bruce Anderson, Development; Bill Bracker, Health Care & Business Strategies Development; Lynnette Ford, Program Services & Evaluation; Anthony Hayes, Public Affairs and Policy, and Dave Tainer, Information Systems and Operations.

"Our new senior staff and Board members bring important talents and skills to GMHC under Kelsey's leadership," said Michael Harwood, Board Co-Chair. "I look forward to all that we are going to accomplish together this year, as we embark on promising crossroads in the fight against HIV and AIDS."

Charles Eke is a senior business and accounting professional with over 15 years of experience in financial business management and operations. Mr. Eke was Vice President of Finance at Planned Parenthood NYC for ten years before joining Citicare, Inc., where he has been the Director of Finance and Operations since May 2014.

For the past two years, Rhonda Harris has served as Director of Human Resources at Harlem United where she transformed the HR department from a transactional unit into a strategic business unit and business partner for management in the agency.

Jeff Rindler had worked with GMHC for nearly two decades, most recently serving as Managing Director of Program Services and Evaluation from 2010 to 2014 and as Director of the Volunteer and Work Center from 2006 to 2010. To return to GMHC, he departs his position as Associate Executive Director at DOROT, Inc.

"After completing a comprehensive search process last year, I am excited to announce that we have recruited the best and brightest individuals to help lead GMHC's programs, finances and operations," said CEO Kelsey Louie. "I am so proud to welcome my new colleagues to GMHC. It will be both a privilege and a pleasure to work together to drive the organization's future success and growth."

Gay Men's Health Crisis (GMHC) is the nation's leading provider of HIV/AIDS care, prevention services and advocacy, serving nearly 9,000 people living with HIV/AIDS in New York City, the epidemic's largest U.S. epicenter. As the world's first HIV and AIDS service organization GMHC is an expert in providing services that every person affected by the epidemic deserves. GMHC is on the front lines caring for people who are both HIV negative and positive, including: testing, nutrition, legal, mental health and education services.

GMHC also advocates for stronger public policies at the local, state and federal level with the goal of ending AIDS as an epidemic in New York State by 2020. Most recently, GMHC and other HIV/AIDS organizations successfully persuaded the federal government to recommend widespread use of PrEP, a new daily treatment that is over 90% effective in preventing HIV infection.

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