Board of Directors

Leaders Committed to Improving Lives

Nothing heals people like other people, and we are fortunate to have the talent of many.  As people increasingly survive serious burn injuries, they require even more resources.

Our board is comprised of industry experts, visionaries, and business leaders, and includes survivors and family members of those with burn injuries - all of whom have commitment and drive to improve the lives of burn survivors everywhere.


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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Karen Colligan

Vice President

Burn Survivor

Founder, Principal


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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Jill Sproul, RN, MS


Burn Survivor

Chief Nursing Officer

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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Peg Paul



Peg Paul & Associates, Ltd.

Marketing Communications
Frankfort, IL

Peg began her career 30 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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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

Director of Undergraduate Initiatives, College of Health Sciences

Associate Professor, College of Health Sciences

Associate Professor (joint appointment), College of Social Work

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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Dean Elliot, JD

Chief Legal Officer


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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Jeff Gallinat

Burn Survivor

Senior Vice President, Manufacturing Operations

Cisco Systems

Los Gatos, CA

Jeff, a burn survivor, is Senior Vice President of Manufacturing Operations for Cisco Systems, responsible for leading Cisco’s manufacturing and logistics operations worldwide. He has more than 35 years of industry experience in operations in the technology sector. Prior to joining Cisco 7 years ago, he served as Vice President of Global Manufacturing at the Lenovo Group, and before that spent 23 years at IBM, in both the U.S. and China.

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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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Jim Maymon

Area General Manager - New England

Convergint Technologies

New England Institute of Technology

Boston, MA

Jim Maymon has worked in the life safety products and services industry for over 30 years. He is a performance-focused executive with demonstrated success in streamlining operations, driving growth, team building, increasing profitability, and improving customer satisfaction. He is a leader-coach with strong team building skills, and the proven ability to inspire, influence, empower, motivate and drive results. 

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John O'Leary

Burn Survivor

Author and Inspirational Speaker

St. Louis, MO

In 1987, John O’Leary was a curious nine-year-old boy. Playing with fire and gasoline, John created a massive explosion in his home and was burned on 100% of his body. He was given 1% chance to live. This epic story of survival was first showcased in his parents’ book, Overwhelming Odds, in 2006. It was this book that first invited John to embrace his miraculous recovery and share it with the world.

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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, a researcher, 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, JD

Burn Survivor

Chief External Relations Officer

Hennepin County Medical Center

Minneapolis, 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 scheduled to be awarded her Doctorate in Nursing Practice with a focus on health innovation and leadership with a minor in integrative therapies at the University of Minnesota.

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Mike Williams

Burn Survivor

Chief Deputy
NC Department of Insurance
Office of State Fire Marshal

Northwest Harnett Volunteer Fire Department

Fuquay Varina, NC

Mike was an investigator with the Harnett County Sheriff's Office for 12 years, Emergency Medical Technician, and has been in the Fire and Rescue field for over 25 years.  Mike was the Deputy Chief of Flat Branch Fire Department before moving to Fuquay-Varina to be closer to family.

Mike started his career in Emergency Services at the Coats Fire Department and then joined 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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