Board and Staff

ANAD Staff Members

Kristen Portland, MA

(she/her)

Executive Director, Support Group Leader

Kristen graduated from the University of Pittsburgh before moving to Chicago. Once there, she began her professional career in marketing management before transitioning to her passion: the world of nonprofits. She worked for the YMCA and volunteered with a variety of organizations including the Anti-Cruelty Society, the National Abortion Rights Action League, Girls on the Run, the Chicago Area Runners Association, and community libraries. Kristen began working for ANAD in 2018. As part of a two person team, Kristen ran programming, helped with conference planning and execution, organized webinars, managed the website, and so much more. Kristen stepped away to care for her growing family, but is thrilled to return to ANAD. When she has time, Kristen loves to bake, read, run, and play with her baby, dog, and cat.

Jenn Carroll

(she/her)

Programs Director

Jenn graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work with her Masters in Social Work and has worked in the eating disorders field for nearly a decade. Jenn has managed helplines, run prevention programming for kids, high schoolers, and college students, and created professional development curriculum and trainings. Jenn is passionate about justice work, mental health awareness, and community building. In her spare time, Jenn loves to spend time in nature, practice yoga, and hang out with her kids and dog.

Jason Wood

(he/him)

Director of Community Engagement

Jason turned his battle with orthorexia into a mission to break the stigma around men’s mental health by publishing his memoir Starving for Survival. He is proud to serve on the board for two eating disorder recovery organizations, Running in Silence and SoulPaws Recovery Project.  Through speaking engagements, his writing, and his work, Jason strives to start an important conversation that encourages everyone–especially men–to speak up, share their stories, and get the help they deserve. Jason lives in Michigan with his husband and their two pups, Arnie and Walter. He is an avid sports fan and also enjoys climbing, hiking, and playing tennis.

Liron Cohen

(she/her)

Program Coordinator

Liron was born and raised in Israel and moved to the US in 2010. She graduated from the City University of New York’s unique and interdisciplinary program with a BA in Journalism and US Media and Culture. She then worked mainly as a TV and film critic, with an emphasis on promoting quality media representation for women and the LGBTQ+ community. She is a proud member of the Women Film Critics Circle. Liron has been passionate about promoting the role and benefits of mentorship and lived experience in eating disorder recovery for the last twenty years, and is now working to take ANAD’s model to the rest of the world, starting with her home country of Israel. Some of her favorite things are spending time with her wife and two cats, reading autobiographies and psychology books, singing along to her favorite musicals, and visiting her family and friends in Israel.

Leela Hauze

(she/her)

Program Coordinator

Leela received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Women and Gender Studies from the Macaulay Honors College at Hunter College. During her time in college, she joined the eating disorder field as a volunteer worker, as her own experience with loved ones showed her how essential a strong support system is for individuals struggling with eating disorders. Following her time in college, she began working directly in the field at an eating disorder helpline. She is excited to continue her work in the eating disorder field at ANAD. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and family, reading, cooking, and trying new restaurants.

Athena McDowall

(she/her)

Program Coordinator

Athena received her Master’s in Social Work degree from Rutgers University following a time in which she served in the New Jersey Army National Guard. During her time in college, Athena became involved with the National Eating Disorders Association as the Philadelphia Walk Coordinator and became an Ambassador for the Eating Disorder Coalition. Athena currently works as a counselor at Symmetry of Self Counseling Center, located in West Deptford, NJ. Most recently, Athena became the vice president of the board of directors for a new nonprofit organization called SEA WAVES, which aims to increase awareness around eating disorders in the military and provide military personnel with the treatment resources that they need in order to pursue recovery. Athena is excited to continue to raise awareness of eating disorders in the military and continue in her counseling and nonprofit work. During her free time Athena enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering at her church as a Sunday School Teacher.

Maddy Petti

(she/her)

Adler Intern

Maddy is an art therapy and counseling graduate student from Adler University Chicago interning with ANAD for her Social Justice Practicum. She is super passionate about eating disorder advocacy. Maddy earned her BA in psychology from the University of Alabama and is an alumni member of Delta Gamma. In her free time, she loves painting, seeing her friends, hanging out with her pet maincoon cat, Paisley, and watching Bama football. Roll tide!

Kate Magnacca

(she/her)

Marketing & Communications Intern

Kate is an undergraduate student at Oberlin College. She is majoring in psychology and minoring in gender, sexuality, and feminist studies. She aspires to earn a masters degree in social work and become a therapist specializing in adolescents with eating disorders and OCD. In her free time, Kate loves to cuddle with her calico cat, Mabel; she is also an avid knitter, crocheter, reader, and dancer.

Caroline Meis

(she/her)

Adler Intern

Caroline Meis is a graduate student at Adler University studying to earn her master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and Sport & Human Performance. She is originally from Cincinnati, Ohio. Previous to her time at Adler, Caroline earned my bachelor’s degree in psychology from Loyola University Chicago. At Loyola, she had the opportunity to work for two nonprofits, helping LGBTQ+ community members find safe resources, as well as serving those in need within the Chicagoland community. In addition to this, Caroline was involved in research studying children in the foster care system in Chicago. She is extremely passionate about the intersection of mental health and sport, and hopes to work with female youth athletes in the future. Eating disorders and disordered eating are not uncommon experiences among athletes, and Caroline is excited to use her time at ANAD to learn more about the experiences of those who struggle with eating disorders as well as the resources available to them. 

Nicole Gross

(she/her)

Community Engagement Intern

Nicole graduated from the University of California, Davis with a dual Bachelor’s Degree in Art Studio and English. Nicole is a serial solo entrepreneur who currently runs a virtual assistant business along with being a professional photographer. She came to ANAD through the fat liberation movement and she intends to continue learning about eating disorders and sharing what she learns through ANAD with the rest of the world. In her downtime, Nicole enjoys writing poetry, writing short stories, and working on personal photography projects.

Danielle Mather

(she/her)

Partnership & Development Intern

Danielle is a fourth-year undergraduate student at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) majoring in Human Development and Family Studies and minoring in Sociology. At Penn State, Danielle serves as the Vice President of Public Relations for Greeks CARE, a collaboration between the Penn State Gender Equity Center and the Penn State Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life, which seeks to eliminate sexual assault and violence on college campuses. She has previously served as Panhellenic Delegate and Vice President of Programming for the Delta Pi Chapter of Delta Phi Epsilon, where she oversaw and managed fundraising efforts for the sorority’s partnership with ANAD. She is excited to continue efforts supporting ANAD through her internship. In her free time, Danielle enjoys writing poetry, traveling, and playing with her bunny, Chocco

Bella Stuart

(she/her)

Programs Intern

Bio Coming Soon!

ANAD Board of Directors

Maria Rago, PhD

(she/her)

President

Maria is the clinical director and founder of Rago & Associates. She has extensive experience in individual, marital, and family therapy, eating disorders, supervision, and professional consultation. Maria’s leadership has been important across inpatient, outpatient, and residential settings. She was instrumental in founding the eating disorders program at Linden Oaks in Naperville, Illinois.

In 2012, Maria was awarded ANAD’s Vivian Meehan Lifetime Achievement Award for excellence in her service and her commitment to helping people with eating disorders and their loved ones.  She helped start some of ANAD’s most memorable programming, such as candlelight vigils and Recovery Night meetings. Maria has been a passionate and outspoken leader on the topics of eating disorders, obesity, and body image, and has spoken across the country and in Europe to help change people’s views and assumptions on those topics. Her book, Shut Up, Skinny Bitches (2010), encourages readers to love food and their bodies.

Patricia Santucci, MD, FAED, FAPA

(she/her)

Vice President, Education Director

Patricia Santucci received her medical degree from Loyola Stritch School of Medicine. She is a board certified psychiatrist and practiced in the western suburbs of Chicago focusing on women’s issues, adolescents and eating disorders. In addition to her private practice, she served as an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatric at Stritch School of Medicine.  She was recognized as a Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association, founding member and Fellow of the Academy for Eating Disorders and board member and past Volunteer Medical Director for Our Children’s Homestead, a non-profit organization based on the Boy’s Town model for traumatized foster children. Her hospital based activities included medical directorships of adolescent units and development of eating disorder programs. After serving as Director of Mercy Center and later the Linden Oaks Eating Disorder Program she became Medical Director of Edwards- Linden Oaks Hospital in Naperville, Illinois.

Her interest in ANAD began soon after the organization was launched. She has served as a Board Member since 1977 and held office as Executive VP and President.  Much of her career has been devoted to developing curriculum and training for medical and mental health professionals. As an active advocate for the field, she has testified before Congress and the National Institute for Mental Health on several occasions. Additional contributions include the initiation and launching of the Academy for Eating Disorders and the Coalition for Eating Disorders, Harvard Eating Disorder Task Force, Editorial Board Eating Disorder: Journal of Treatment and Prevention, National Eating Disorder Screening Program and APA Guidelines for Eating Disorders.

Matt DeBoer, CFP®

(he/him)

Treasurer

After earning his degree in Accounting from Illinois State University in 2014, Matt began working as a Corporate Accountant for a mutual fund company in the suburbs of Chicago. Pursuing his dreams, to work directly with people, Matt was promoted to the sales desk where he worked closely with other financial professionals. Still feeling that he could make a greater impact in people’s lives he made the switch in 2017 to work directly with a select group of clients and joined DeNardo Financial Group, of Wells Fargo Advisors. In this role, as a financial advisor, he is able to work directly with individuals and families and focuses on creating solid investment plans to assist them in reaching their goals.

Matt joined ANAD to further his dream of making a real difference in people’s lives. He works closely with the ANAD board to create annual financial documents and conducts financial reviews to ensure the longevity of ANAD so that the organization can continue to effect positive change in the world.

Wells Fargo Advisors is a trade name used by Wells Fargo Clearing Services, LLC. Member SIPC.

Kristen Gehrig

(she/her)

Secretary 

Kristen comes to ANAD with over 20 years of experience as an international business leader focused on Sales, Marketing, Brand Management and Product Development.

Having a passion for healthy eating as well as helping women succeed, Kristen has been active with the Fox Valley Food for Health organization in St Charles, IL. This organization prepares healthy meals for families who are recovering from a health crisis such as cancer. Kristen also devoted 3 years as an English Language Tutor at the Dominican Literacy Center which serves immigrant women in the Aurora, IL area.

Kristen is an avid runner who has completed five marathons and numerous half marathons and 5Ks. Kristen also enjoys reading, gardening and spending time with her husband, Walter, and her pets Lucky (Jack Russell Terrier mix) and Mimi (tabby cat).

Stephanie Covington Armstrong

(she/her)

Board Member

A Brooklyn native, Stephanie is an author, playwright, screenwriter, eating disorder recovery advocate and speaker. In 2009, Stephanie became the first African-American to detail her experience with an eating disorder with the release of her memoir, Not All Black Girls Know How to Eat: A Story of Bulimia. Since then, she has become a sought-after speaker and lecturer, helping to bring attention to eating disorders in marginalized communities. She has collaborated with NEDA, presented at ICED, is a regular keynote speaker, and is a member of the steering committee formed to create World Eating Disorders Day in 2016 to bring global awareness to those who struggle. Using her voice to raise awareness about eating disorders, Stephanie continues to use her platform to raise awareness about eating disorders and is regularly featured in magazines and on television, radio, and podcasts.

Ashley Podzius

(she/her)

Board Member

Ashley joins ANAD with nearly a decade of professional experience in behavioral health, most of which has been working with clients recovering from eating disorders, or providers needing to refer clients to a higher level of care. Through her own recovery journey, Ashley has developed a passion for eating disorder advocacy. She has worked with Dr. Maria Rago for over 6 years, providing 1-1 outpatient yoga for individuals recovering from eating disorders out of client’s homes. This allows clients to create a safe and sacred space for healing under their own roof, and supports a healthy, empowered, and meaningful life. Ashley is the Midwest Clinical Resource Advisor for Integrative Life Network (ILN), a small and mighty family of trauma focused treatment centers in Nashville, Chattanooga, Boulder and Oxford. She works closely with providers in the Midwest, educating them on treatment options for trauma, substance use, and intimacy disorders. Ashley credits her success to her amazing mentors that led her to this place in her life and professional career. She would like to thank Maria Rago, Julie Holland, Dave Cook, and Debra Cooper for their infinite wisdom and guidance. Ashley studied Broadcast and Electronic Communications at Marquette University, and graduated from Governors State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Fine Art. In her free time, Ashley enjoys life in Milwaukee and all the city has to offer with her boyfriend and her cats. She has a love for travel and exploring new places, meeting new people, practicing yoga, and walking along the lakefront. She is looking forward to supporting ANAD’s growth and support for individuals nationwide.

Denise Hamburger, JD

(she/her)

Board Member

Denise is the founder and executive director of BE REAL a nonprofit that focuses on providing body confidence resources to educators and parents all over the country. Denise teaches the body image unit in health classes in Chicago-area middle and high schools. She created Body Confident Schools, a professional development workshop for educators. She has delivered this training to over 850 teachers, counselors, social workers and school administrators all over the country. In the last 25 years she has been an active social advocate for children, sitting on over a dozen local and national children’s charity boards. She is a 1988 graduate of the University of Michigan Law School, practicing as an environmental attorney in her first career.

Anna K. Orland, DDS

(she/her)

Board Member

Anna K Orland D.D.S. is a practicing dentist in Wheaton Illinois for the last 27 years. She graduated from Loyola University where she was awarded the Public Health Award for volunteerism. She has been interested in Eating Disorder complication in Dentistry and has been an advocate for diagnosis of Eating Disorders in dental patients. She has lectured in this area at National Louis University and local schools. She is the program dinner chair for the West Suburban Dental Society and course chair for the Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting. Anna had volunteered for the Oak Park Infant Welfare for 7 years. She has provided educational programs for Head Start and volunteers for the Chicago Dental Society Foundation Dental Clinical Wheaton. Being fluent in various Slavic Languages, she enjoys travel and physical fitness. She lives with her husband in Wheaton and has three grown children.

Minerva Calatayud

(she/her)

Board Member

Minerva joined ANAD because she is an experienced entrepreneur with a strategic mindset with a passion for helping people grow, find their full potential, and live a better life. She has 30 years of experience developing international business and marketing strategies that enable global companies to expand and grow their markets. Most of her experience has been in the food and beverage industry due to her passion for food and technology. Additionally, she had her own international strategic marketing consultant business and worked as a substitute teacher at the public school District. Today, she works at the Women Business Development Center as an Associate Director for Entrepreneurial services. She advises women entrepreneurs and minorities that want to start or grow their businesses. She also develops and imparts training and educational business programs. Minerva holds a bachelors in Food Engineering from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico, an M.B.A..from the Instituto Tecnologico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey, Mexico, and an Executive Master in International Business from St Louis University in St Louis Missouri. She is passionate about family, wellness, food, diversity, and inclusion.

Omri Avraham

(she/her)

Board Member

Omri has been involved with ANAD in many capacities: volunteer, staff member, and now board member. She is the first person in her family to graduate from college and is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work at California State University, Fullerton. She hopes to eventually work with eating disorders in a clinical capacity. Prior to returning to school, she worked as a cheese buyer and baker at a 100% worker-owned collective in Berkeley, CA. In her spare time she likes to bake, hike, watch TV, meet new people, and explore new places.

Dr. Tiffany Rush-Wilson

(she/her)

Board Member

Dr. Tiffany Rush-Wilson is a licensed professional counselor-supervisor and psychologist in Ohio. She is board certified in TeleMental Health (BC-TMH), and Dialectical Behavioral Therapy (DBT). She is an Eating Disorder Specialist (CEDS), a Canadian Counsellor (CCC) and Sports Counseling. With 20+ years of clinical and academic experience, she serves at the Associate Department Chair at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology-Online Campus. Her clinical practice focuses on diversity, disordered eating and elite athletics. Dr. Rush-Wilson has published and presented at the local, state, national and international level. She lives in both Toronto, ON and Cleveland, OH and enjoys studying languages, distance running and, above all, spending time with her family.