Board of Directors

national Board of Directors

Laurie MacCaskill
Chair
Los Angeles, CA

Jeanne Weaver Ruesch
Vice Chair
Chevy Chase, MD

Julie M. Fleshman, JD, MBA
President and CEO
Los Angeles

Hilarie Koplow-McAdams
San Francisco, CA

Michael A.G. Korengold
New York, NY

Peter Kovler
Immediate Past Chair
Washington, DC

Terrence Meck
New York, NY

Stuart Rickerson
Chair, Audit and Investment Committee
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Ambassador Cynthia Stroum
Founding Chair Emeritus
Seattle, WA


Laurie MacCaskill
Chair
Los Angeles
Since she was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in 2006, Laurie MacCaskill has served as a tireless volunteer and advocate for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. She and her husband, Paul, divide their time between Los Angeles and Aspen, Colorado. Passionate about furthering preventative health, wellness and nutrition causes, MacCaskill was one of the founding board members of the Aspen Center for Integral Health, volunteers with The Colleagues in Los Angeles, and has served on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for the Performing Arts with the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. MacCaskill has an extensive background in the field of advertising, working with major publications including Time, Newsweek, Sports Illustrated and USNews and World Report as well as the J. Walter Thompson advertising agency. She also has co-owned a commercial design firm, was employed as a residential real estate agent, worked in a fine art gallery specializing in modern and contemporary masters, and trained Fortune 500 company executives on honing their communication skills.
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Jeanne Weaver Ruesch
Vice Chair
Chevy Chase, MD

Jeanne Weaver Ruesch is Chair of the Ruesch Family Foundation, a charitable entity in the Washington region, founded in 2004 by she and her late husband, Otto J. Ruesch. Prior to the foundation’s founding, Ms. Ruesch served as the Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Ruesch International, an international financial services company with nine offices in the United States and Europe providing global payment solutions for corporations worldwide.

Ms. Ruesch was previously affiliated with the Westinghouse Electric Corporation in the corporate business planning and consulting sector. As a former federal employee, she helped craft provisions of the Youth Development and Delinquency Prevention Act and the Runaway Youth Act while at the U. S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. She ended her tenure with the Department acting in the capacity of Commissioner. At the U.S. Department of Labor, Ms. Ruesch worked with the Neighborhood Youth Corps Program. As an associate of the National Urban Coalition, she developed and managed programs focusing on the application of private sector methodologies to urban development problems.

Ms. Ruesch is President of the National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center, member of the Kennedy Center International Committee, and the Executive Committee of Georgetown Medical Center Doctors Speak Out. She is affiliated with two corporate boards, serving as Chair of the Board of Directors of AUI Imports and a member of the Bialek Environments Advisory Committee. She has previously served as a Trustee of Georgetown University, and chair of the Audit Committee, Chair of the Corcoran Museum + College of Art Board of Trustees, Vice Chair of Gonzaga College High School’s Board of Directors, Trustee of the Washington Performing Arts Society, Chair of the Advancement Committee of Catholic Charities, Chair of the Advancement Committee of the Washington Jesuit Academy, and member of the finance committee of Holy Trinity Catholic Church. She is also a member of The Committee of 200, a world-wide organization for entrepreneurial business women. With her late husband, she co-chaired the 2004 Catholic Charities Foundation’s 75th Anniversary Diamond Jubilee Gala and co-chaired the Kennedy Center’s 2001 Spring Gala. Both she and her husband were named Outstanding Volunteer Fundraisers in 1999 by the DC Chapter of Professional Fundraisers, were recipients of the 2001 SOAR! Elizabeth Ann Seton Award, the 2002 So Others Might Eat (SOME) Humanitarian Award, the 2005 Catholic Charities Voice of Hope Award, and the 2008 Providence Hospital Advocate Award.

Ms. Ruesch has two sons, Matthew and Christoph, and lives in Chevy Chase, Maryland.
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Julie M. Fleshman, JD, MBA
President and CEO
Los Angeles

Julie Fleshman serves as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s President and CEO.  In 1999, Julie lost her father to pancreatic cancer and is committed to change the course of this disease. She became the organization’s first full-time staff person and Executive Director in April 2000.  In July 2004, the Board of Directors appointed Julie as President and CEO of the organization.  The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has grown to a staff of over 50, with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C and is providing programs to people across the country.

Under Julie’s leadership, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has laid the groundwork to make true inroads on this disease. The organization’s advocacy and grassroots efforts have led to a 400% increase in federal funding for pancreatic cancer research and the organization has funded researchers from around the country. Over 35,000 patients and families have been served through the Patient and Liaison Services program. Its grassroots network has grown to 75 volunteer affiliates, and in 2006, its first international affiliate in Japan opened.

Julie graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law and Leavey School of Business in December 2000 with a JD/MBA degree. Julie graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997 with a B.A. in Law & Society and was awarded most outstanding graduating senior in the Law & Society program. She also studied abroad at Oxford University and in Tokyo, Japan.
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Hilarie Koplow-McAdams
San Francisco, CA

Hilarie Koplow-McAdams is chief revenue officer at New Relic and has previously served as salesforce.com’s president of worldwide sales, in sales and product marketing leadership roles at Oracle Corporation, and as vice president of direct sales and executive committee member at Intuit.

Her father was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in July 2010 and Koplow-McAdams watched him battle the disease with fortitude, living with the determination to accomplish many of his goals until his passing in May 2012. She has joined the National Board of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network to honor her father’s memory and to continue the fight against the disease.

Koplow-McAdams has a Master’s degree in public policy from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor’s degree from Mills College.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband Steve McAdams and their two daughters.
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Michael A.G. Korengold
New York, NY

Michael A.G. Korengold is a finance executive based in New York City. His commitment to fighting pancreatic cancer is rooted in the loss of his mother, Melanie Gainsley, to the disease in 1995.

Currently, Michael is President and Chief Executive Officer of Enhanced Capital, a national asset management firm focused on lending to businesses throughout the United States. He serves on the firm’s Investment Committees and Board of Directors. Prior to becoming president in 2003, Michael was the company’s Sr. Vice President and General Counsel. Earlier, he practiced law in Minneapolis and New Orleans, with an emphasis on corporate finance.

Michael has lectured extensively on capital formation programs and has testified before numerous state legislatures and other governmental institutions on related issues. He has also served on the boards of numerous civic, community and charitable organizations and is currently a co-chairman of the Young Presidents’ Organization, Gotham Chapter.

After receiving his bachelor’s degree from Vassar College in 1986, Michael graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School in 1993. There, he was a member of the Order of the Coif honor society and served as an editor of the Law Review.

Michael lives in Bronxville, New York, with his wife, Jonalie, and his two children, Ben and Gainsley, who is named after his mother.
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Peter Kovler
Immediate Past Chair
Washington, DC

Peter Kovler serves as the Director of the Marjorie Kovler Philanthropic Fund and as Chairman of the Board of the Blum-Kovler Foundation. He also serves as the Chairman of the Board of the Center for National Policy and is the founder of Chicago’s Kovler Center for Survivors of Torture. With an impressive background in government affairs, Kovler previously worked as an award-winning documentary producer, as well as an acclaimed editor, speech writer and reporter. In 1970, Kovler lost his mother to pancreatic cancer; he now serves as a committed advocate to advancing research into the disease. He lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Judy.
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Terrence Meck
New York, NY
Terrence Meck is the Executive Director of The Palette Fund, a private foundation that honors the legacy of his late partner Rand Harlan Skolnick through collaborative grant making and programs that value human rights and education. Since its inception in 2009, the Palette Fund has granted more than $2.5 million in the areas of Queer youth, Patient Navigation and Nutrition and Wellness. Terrence is also President of Intrinsic Capital, a real estate investment firm based in New York City. From 2003 to 2008, Terrence and Rand co-owned The Raven Resort Properties in New Hope, PA, providing a vibrant resource for the diverse community. Terrence currently serves on the boards of the Movement Advancement Project, the New York Zen Center for Contemplative Care, and the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute. He presently resides in New York City and received his B.A. in political science from Princeton University in 2000.
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Stuart Rickerson
Chair, Audit and Investment Committee
Rancho Santa Fe, CA

Stuart Rickerson, after 25 years experience as an executive and corporate legal officer, had his distinguished business career in the pharmaceutical and medical device industries cut short when he was diagnosed with pancreas cancer in January 2005. As a consequence, he was forced into retirement from the day-to-day management of complex international health care companies. He is recognized as a leader in board and corporate governance, performance-based executive compensation and using the legal process to achieve strategic business and competitive advantage. He has served on several publicly-traded NYSE and NASDAQ boards during his career.

His focus now is to increase research funding into identifying the causes, and improving the diagnosis, treatment and long-term care of patients with this disease. Although pancreas cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer death in America, it receives far less research funding than far less deadly diseases.

Rickerson helped lead the business, financial and cultural transformation of ALARIS Medical Systems, the leading innovator in medication management instruments to reduce medication errors, based in San Diego and England. Earlier in his career, he helped lead the strategic re-focus of Cardiac Pacemakers, Inc. based in Minneapolis, which was renamed Guidant after it pioneered the development of the implantable defibrillator, a device that now saves several hundred thousand lives each year. He began his business career in the 1980s with global pharmaceutical giant, Eli Lilly & Company, based in Indianapolis. He also served on the Board of Directors of mini-conglomerate, Keene Corporation, based in New York, in the 1990s. He also consulted with more than two dozen Fortune 500 companies. His work has been featured in business publications, including Forbes, Business Week, and The Wall Street Journal.

Rickerson is also a co-founder of two endowment boards associated with Princeton University, where both he and his spouse, Nancy, graduated. They live in Rancho Santa Fe, California and New York City. He took his law degree from Georgetown. In 2007, Princeton established a multi-million dollar athletic fields endowment for the “Rickerson Family Field,” for the work he and his wife have done for their alma mater. Due to his 40 years of support, New Jersey’s state intercollegiate rugby championship is named “The Rickerson Cup.”

Rickerson also serves on the board of a “no strings attached” memorial scholarship for graduating seniors who demonstrate their exceptional character and ability to maintain a positive attitude while overcoming significant adversity at Ridge High School in Basking Ridge, NJ, from which he graduated.
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Ambassador Cynthia Stroum
Founding Chair Emeritus
Seattle, WA

Ambassador Cynthia Stroum received her Bachelor of Arts degree in public relations/journalism cum laude from the University of Southern California. After graduation, Cynthia stayed in Los Angeles and worked in the film industry, eventually producing national television commercials. Returning home to Seattle, she became involved in community service, establishing two philanthropic foundations as well as handling her personal investments in start-up businesses (Starbuck’s being one of them). Cynthia was a Tony nominated producer for the 2004 Broadway production of A Raisin in the Sun.

After recently completing her maximum term as a trustee of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, she was appointed a member of the Senior Council. She has served on the boards of Pacific Northwest Ballet, Northwest School for Hearing-Impaired Children, Channel 9/KCTS (Public Television), the Jewish Television Network, University Prep (a private school in Seattle), The Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle, A Contemporary Theatre and The Shoah Foundation (founded by Steven Spielberg). She was a Washington State Arts Commissioner and also served on Senator Patty Murray’s (D-WA) and Senator Maria Cantwell’s (D-WA) executive finance and planning committees. Cynthia continues to be politically active and is on the Obama for America National Finance Committee.

Since her father’s diagnosis of pancreatic cancer in 2000 and subsequent death a year later, Cynthia has helped to bring greater visibility to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network as the founding Chairman of the Board. In addition to raising critical funding for research to fund a cure, she has played an important role in helping to move Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s legislative agenda through Congress. She also tirelessly speaks to families all over the country who are battling pancreatic cancer.
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