Our Leadership Team

Nothing heals people like other people, and we are fortunate to have the talent of many. Our leadership team is comprised of industry experts, visionaries, and business leaders, and includes survivors and family members of those with burn injuries. Each understands what it means to get back to living after a burn injury, and each is committed to making that process easier and more compassionate for burn survivors everywhere.

Meet our staff or contact us for more information about the Phoenix Society!

Our Board


Patrick C. Horan


Volunteer and Survivor

Sparta, NJ

Pat Horan, an electrical contractor, was injured and severely burned in an electrical explosion in 1996. Pat, who credits the Society for getting him started on the road to recovery, has been involved with The Phoenix Society since then. He describes the people he has met and the resulting friendships as "an important part of his life."

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Sarah Bazey, BA, OPM

Vice President

President & CEO

Simplex Construction Supplies, Inc.

Minneapolis, MN

Sarah attended Augsburg College, Minneapolis, MN, where she earned a B.A. in Psychology and then attended Harvard Business School of Owner President Management (OPM). She has been the President, CEO, and owner of Simplex Construction Supplies, Inc. since 1987. She has also been a director at Patriot Bank Minnesota since 1998. Sarah survived a helicopter crash in 1994, suffering severe burns to 40% of her body. She is a trained SOAR volunteer at Regions Hospital, St. Paul, MN.

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Vickie Pritchett

Secretary, Treasurer

Associate Director of Public Fire Protection

National Fire Sprinkler Association

Pleasant View, TN

Vickie Pritchett became involved in the fire service in 1997. Vickie currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Pleasant View Volunteer Fire Department. She is a Board member of Cumberland Region Tomorrow,  Board member of the Fire & Life Safety Section of IAFC, Steering Committee member of the HFSC and is a member of NFPA and ICC.

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Alan J. Breslau

Founder and Director, Emeritus

Half Moon Bay, Auckland, New Zealand

Alan Breslau is a graduate chemical engineer and plastics consultant, who was extensively burned in the crash of a commercial airliner in 1963. Following a visit to a child at a local burn center, Alan realized the importance of peer support and went on to establish one of the first burn support organizations in the United States. Alan is the founder of The Phoenix Society and served as its Executive Director for 25 years. Alan now serves on the board of trustees as an emeritus, non-voting member.

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Tony Burke

Chapter Support Officer

American Red Cross 

Des Moines, IA

Tony Burke grew up in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia where he completed high-school and finished a three-year Business Management diploma from Cape Breton University.  He has been an active in public service and volunteerism throughout his life.

Tony retired with almost 20 years in the fire service, 14 years as a career fire fighter in Coquitlam, British Columbia.  In June of 2012 he joined the American Red Cross in Iowa where he focused on Community Resiliency initiatives, regional AmeriCorps Program and chapter development. Currently he is serving as Executive Director of the American Red Cross Sioux Empire Chapter in Sioux Falls, SD.

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Lorraine Carli

Vice President - Outreach and Advocacy

National Fire Protection Association

Quincy, MA

Lorraine Carli is vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for the National Fire Protection Association where she oversees all media and public affairs activities, editorial content for NFPA’s Web sites, the organization’s magazine NFPA Journal,  NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations and Public Education Divisions.

Along with serving on the Board of Directors for the Phoenix Society, Carli serves as president of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition and is a member of the Board of Directors for  Electric Safety Foundation International (ESFI).

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Don Cheley

Cheley Colorado Camps

Denver, CO

Donald S. Cheley is the third generation owner/executive director of the Cheley Colorado Camps, in Estes Park Colorado. He served ACA in many roles, including the Chair of the American Camp Foundation for many years.

Currently, Cheley serves on the board of directors for the First National Bank of Estes Park, the board of the Rocky Mountain Nature Association, a United States Representative to the International Camping Fellowship, and as an international representative for ACA.

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Karen Colligan

Founder, Principal


San Fransisco, CA

Karen Colligan is the newest member of the Phoenix Society’s board of directors. Karen, who has been an active volunteer with the Society, is also a recognized expert in leadership, team effectiveness, and career development who partners with companies to develop and retain their personnel.

At age two, Karen received second and third degree scald burns from scalding bathroom tap water.  This experience has impacted her entire life and has inspired her to make a differnece for others.

She has a corporate background in creating and implementing innovative people solutions and is a founder and principal of PeopleThink, an organizational consulting and coaching firm. She is also the author of The Get Real Guide™ to Your Career, a career planning program. Karen is a popular keynote and motivational speaker at cross-industry venues, national sales meetings, and corporate conferences. She holds a BS in organizational behavior from the University of San Francisco, and is certified in a number of assessment tools.

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Billy Leahy


New York Firefighters Burn Center Foundation

New York, NY

William Leahy or "Billy" was appointed as a firefighter to The Fire Department City of New York in October of 1997. After completion of his training at the fire academy he was assigned to Ladder Co. 6 in the Chinatown section of Manhattan. It was there that his involvement with the New York Firefighter's Burn Center Foundation began. A fellow firefighter encouraged him to become active in the work of the foundation. The foundation has been in existence since 1975 and was instrumental in the creation of the burn center at New York Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.

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J.R. Martinez

U.S. Military/Actor

Studio City, CA

J.R. Martinez is a motivational speaker, actor and 2011 champion 'Dancing With the Stars'. In April 2003, J.R. was serving as a humvee driver for the United State Army in Iraq when his left front tire hit a landmine. He suffered smoke inhalation and severe burns to more than 40 percent of his body. He has traveled the country since 2004, spreading his message of resilience and optimism. Today J.R. is a sought-after motivational speaker, called on by a wide-range of groups, including large corporations, veterans groups, schools, and other organizations.

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Amar P. Patel, DHSc., MS, NRP

Director, Center for Innovative Learning     

WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Raleigh, NC

With more than 20 years of experience as a firefighter, paramedic, a hazardous materials technician, and an educator, Dr. Patel has been involved in all aspects of emergency services response, management, and education.  Today, he serves as the director of the Center for Innovative Learning at WakeMed Hospitals where he is responsible for integrating technology-based education.  He works closely with patient safety and risk management teams to make changes to processes in healthcare that will directly improve patient and provider safety. 

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Peg Paul


Peg Paul & Associates, Ltd.

Marketing Communications
Frankfort, IL

With more then 23 years experience in the marketing/communications industry, Peg has always been involved with consumer information and safety awareness programs.Her introduction to fire safety was on behalf of the water heater industry in 1992 when she developed and implemented a multi-million dollar consumer information and education program to prevent burn injuries and death caused by flammable vapor ignition and excessively hot tap water. Since then, she has worked on issues related to fire and burn prevention, carbon monoxide poisoning, propane safety and childhood injury prevention.

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Sheryl Ramstad, RN, PHN, MN, JD

Burn Survivor

Peer Support Representative

Saint Paul, MN

After nearly 40 years as a federal prosecutor, public defender, commercial litigator, trial judge, and Commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, Sheryl returned to school to attain her master of nursing degree in December 2013. She is currently working on her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus on health innovation and leadership at the Univeristy of Minnesota.

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Tim Sendelbach

TES2 Training and Education Services

Editor- in Chief, Firehouse

Las Vegas, NV

Tim is a 29- year student and educator of the fire & emergency services. He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief for Firehouse Magazine and is responsible for the content and editorial direction of Firehouse Magazine, Firehouse.com, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, and related products. He is also President of TES2 Training & Education Services in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tim is the immediate past president of the International Society of Fire Services Instructors (ISFSI) and has served as Chief of Training for Savannah (GA) Fire & Emergency Services, as Assistant Fire Chief in Missouri City, TX and as a Firefighter/Paramedic in Kansas City, KS. Tim has earned a Masters degree in Leadership from Bellevue University, B.S. degrees in Fire Administration and Arson, and an A.S. degree in Emergency Medical Care from Eastern Kentucky University.

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Jill Sproul, RN, MS

Nurse Manager

Santa Clara Valley Medical Center

San Jose, CA

Jill Sproul, RN, MS, has been working in burn care for the past 22 years. Currently, she is the nurse manager of the Regional Burn Center at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center in San Jose, California, a position she has held since 1997. Jill started her nursing career as a new-graduate nurse in the same burn center and worked at the bedside for 6 years. She then went to work in the burn center at University of California at San Diego as the assistant nurse manager. In addition to working clinically in burn care, Jill's passion has been outreach and aftercare.

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Mike Williams

Investigator, Harnett County Sheriff's Office

Volunteer Firefighter, Northwest Harnett Fire Department

Fuquay Varina, NC

Michael E. Williams Jr. is a lifelong resident of North Carolina, an investigator with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office, as well as a volunteer firefighter with the Northwest Harnett Fire Department. Mike is an Emergency Medical Technician and has been in the Fire and Rescue field for 20 years. Mike was the Deputy Chief of Flat Branch Fire Department before moving to Fuquay-Varina to be closer to his family. Prior to working with the Sheriff's Office, Mike worked with the NC Department of Insurance- Office of State Fire Marshal where he taught numerous firefighter courses and was responsible for conducting Line of Duty Deaths Benefits preparation.

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