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

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Lorraine Carli

President

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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Karen Colligan

Vice President

Burn Survivor

Founder, Principal

PeopleThink

San Fransisco, CA

Karen Colligan, founder and principal of PeopleThink, is a recognized expert in leadership, team effectiveness and organizational development. She partners with organizations in a variety of industries to develop and retain their most precious asset – their people.

An active volunteer with the Phoenix Society for many years, Karen is herself a burn survivor.  At age two, she received second and third degree burns from scalding bathroom tap water.  This experience has impacted her entire life, and inspired her to get involved in helping other burn survivors.

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Tony Burke

Treasurer

Volunteer

 

Sioux Falls, SD

Tony Burke is a senior executive, community-based leader with extensive and broad experience in public service and the charity field including business management, strategic planning, board, donor and fund development, program creation and enhancement, marketing, media and public relations.

Tony grew up in the French Acadian fishing village in River Bourgeois, Nova Scotia, Canada. Tony, his wife, Stacey Loen-Burke and daughter Ava Grace, moved to Sioux Falls in June 2013.  Stacey is a Nurse Practitioner at Sanford Health.  Tony, Stacey and Ava enjoy walking, running, reading and spending time with family and friends along with community work including their shared passion supporting the powerful work of the Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors. Tony has been an active in public service and volunteerism throughout his life.

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Peg Paul

Secretary

President 

Peg Paul & Associates, Ltd.

Marketing Communications
Frankfort, IL

Peg began her career 27 years ago as a copywriter at a Chicago-based advertising agency working with major pharmaceutical and healthcare companies. Her introduction to fire safety was on behalf of the water heater industry in 1992 when she developed and managed 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. Peg has been the communications manager for the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition since 1997 where she oversees the educational programs for consumers, members of the fire service, home building industry, real estate and insurance agents, water purveyors and other targeted groups. HFSC received the 2011 Senator Paul S. Sarbanes Fire Safety Leadership Award.

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Patrick C. Horan

Past President

Burn Survivor, Volunteer

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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Alan J. Breslau

Founder and Director, Emeritus

Burn Survivor

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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Karen Badger, PhD, MSW

Associate Professor of Social Work

Assistant Provost and Associate Dean, Undergraduate Education

University of Kentucky

Lexington, KY

Karen, who is a social worker with 25 years of experience, as well as an Associate Professor in the College of Social Work, an Associate Dean and Assistant Provost in Undergraduate Education at the University of Kentucky, brings the unique perspective of a researcher, mental health provider, and administrator to her work with the Phoenix Society.

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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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Dean Elliot, JD

Vice President, Corporate Compliance & General Counsel

Allosource

Centennial, CO

For more than 30 years, Dean Elliott has worked in the healthcare industry managing products, sales and distribution channels, regulatory matters, personnel and general business practices to maximize the P&L of corporations. He currently serves as Vice President of Corporate Compliance leading initiatives such as clinical research, regulatory policy, corporate compliance, litigation, contract management and a variety of business transactions requiring review or assessment of risk.

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Victor C. Joe, MD, FACS, FCCP

Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery

Director, UC Irvine Regional Burn Center

University of California, Irvine Medical Center

Orange, CA

Victor C. Joe, MD, FACS, FCCP is a Board-certified General Surgeon with added qualifications in Surgical Critical Care.  He is the Medical Director of the UC Irvine Regional Burn Center, and he is a practicing trauma, burn and general surgeon.  He is an Associate Clinical Professor of Surgery at the UC Irvine School of Medicine, where he was awarded the John E. Connelly Excellence in Teaching Award in 2014.  Dr. Joe is certified in ATLS and ABLS as both a provider and an instructor, and he has taught both courses throughout the country over the last eight years.  Before joining UCI in March 2013, he was the Medical Director of the Hirschman Burn Center and Associate Director of Trauma at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was awarded the “Golden Apple” teaching award for General Surgery.

 

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Billy Leahy

President

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

Burn Survivor

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, NREMT-P

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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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 University of Minnesota.

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Jill Sproul, RN, MS

Burn Survivor

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

Burn Survivor

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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