board of directors
Don Strasser, Chief Executive Officer
Don Strasser is a chemistry teacher at Northport High School. As a friend of David Deutsch, Don is the founder of A Midwinter Night’s Dream, Inc. As CEO, Don oversees all operations of AMND, Inc. and works directly with high school students in preparation for the annual AMND gala each January. Don teaches students fundraising techniques, professionalism and corporate knowledge. He assembles a group of high school students that have passion and drive to change the world.
Alyssa Knudsen, Director of Fundraising Development & Executive Board Member
Alyssa Knudsen is a graduate of Hofstra University with a bachelor’s degree in history. Alyssa works as a Special Events Manager at the American Cancer Society. Alyssa joined AMND in 2005 and is currently the Director of Fundraising Development. Alyssa works with a Fundraising Development Team made up of AMND alumni to plan extra fundraising & special events throughout the year.
Alison Irving, Director of Finances & Executive Board Member
Alison Irving graduated from Fordham University as a business administration/management major. She joined AMND in 2006 and is currently the Director of Finance, managing all financial operations. She is responsible for donations received, financial reporting and allocation of funding. Alison now works with the American Cancer Society as a Youth Initiative Recruiter.
Sarah Pattison, Director of Marketing & Executive Board Member
Sarah Pattison is a graduate of Villanova University with a bachelor’s degree in Chemistry. After joining AMND in 2006, Sarah performed ALS research at the University of California Santa Barbara and again at the Jenifer Estess Stem Cell Lab in 2007. She began an ALS Club at Villanova and also spent a summer working for the ALS Hope Foundation in Philadelphia. She now works as Field Coordinator at the Huntington’s Disease Society of America. As Director of Marketing, Sarah works with our AMND chapters, manages the Facebook, AMND website and creates all marketing materials.
Christopher Lynch, Director of School Outreach & Executive Board Member
Chris Lynch is a graduate of St. Joseph’s College, working as a kindergarten teacher in the Northport-East Northport School District. With a bachelor’s degree in elementary education/special education, Chris is in his first year of teaching at Dickinson Avenue Elementary School. In addition, Chris is working towards his master’s degree in literacy at Long Island University. Chris is a founding member of AMND and has been involved since 2004. As Director of School Outreach, Chris works with other school districts about AMND’s mission and possible partnerships.
Bryan Horan, Director of Philanthropy Center
Bryan Horan, a science teacher at Northport High School, serves as Director of Science Research and Director of the Philanthropy Center. Bryan communicates with all high school students interested in science research. He oversees all research placements and runs a year end symposium. Additionally, as Director of the Philanthropy Center, Bryan focuses on AMND’s mission to educate youth on the true meaning of helping others. Bryan oversees a committee of high school students who organize events for the Philanthropy Center.
Kate Macina, Director of Science Research Program & Executive Board Member
Kate Macina is a junior at New York University. A Sociology major, Italian and Communications minor, Kate has made a variety of contributions to A Midwinter Night’s Dream Inc. since she became involved in 2007. After spending two summers doing ALS research at Columbia University and Jackson Laboratory in Maine, Kate published her book A Midwinter Night’s Dream. As Director of Grants and Corporate Giving, Kate applies for all grant funding and completes sponsorship requests to major companies.
Jonathan Foster, Director of Governmental Affairs
Jonathan Foster, a graduate of Syracuse University and current graduate student at George Washington University is a founding member of AMND. Jonathan is currently an employee at John Dudinsky & Associates. While launching his career in politics, Jonathan serves as Director of Governmental Affairs. He is in charge of governmental affairs related to neurodegenerative diseases and hoping to launch an ALS Advocacy Day in the coming year.
Amalia Sirica, Director of Alumni Relations
Amalia Sirica is a graduate of Duke University with a degree in Psychology. Amalia is Director of Alumni Relations and organizes an annual alumni event each summer. She sends a monthly update email to keep all AMND alumni properly informed of current matters. Amalia has been involved with AMND since 2006 and is looking to pursue a career in social work after graduation.
Blair Ingraham & Brittany Pagnotta, Directors of Patient Services
Blair Ingraham is a sophomore at Wesleyan University. As a student-athlete, Blair continues her involvement with AMND as Co-Director of Patient Services. Brittany Pagnotta, a sophomore at University of Miami, works alongside Blair as Co-Director of Patient Services. Blair and Brittany coordinate with high school committee students to schedule patient visits, search for new patients and manage the money necessary for patient needs. Both girls have been involved with AMND since 2009.
Brendan Boyajian, Director of Public Relations
Brendan Boyajian is currently employed at John Hancock Financial Network within Human Resources as a Recruiting Coordinator. A graduate of Northeastern University, Brendan serves as Director of Public Relations on the AMND Board of Directors. He is in charge of all media contact and works closely with AMND Public Relations firms J. Roderick Inc., TCOPR and Harrington Communications. Brendan has been involved with AMND since 2005.
Al Lucia, Director of Outreach
Al Lucia, a University of Virginia alumni and current graduate student at Columbia University, serves as Director of Fundraising Development for AMND. As an employee of Momentum Worldwide, Al uses his employer’s tools to develop new fundraising initiatives by utilizing digital and mobile giving technologies.
Jessica Strasser, Honorary Director
Jess was a colleague and friend of David Deutsch at Northport High School in 2004. A science teacher at the time, Jess became involved in helping to organize Hoops for ALS. Currently, Jess works as a Registered Nurse at Huntington Hospital and serves as an Honorary Director for AMND.
David Storch, Honorary Director
David Storch is a teacher at Northport High School. As Director of the International Baccalaureate Program and the National Honor Society at the time, David became involved in AMND when Hoops for ALS was organized. He is currently an Honorary Director on the board.
AMND Accountant: Mr. Larry Beck
AMND Legal Counsel: Mr. Alfred Lucia, Sr
AMND Special Advisor: Mr. Fritz Garrecht
AMND Public Relations (year-round): J. Roderick, Inc.
AMND Public Relations (event): TCOPR Inc.