ANAD Staff Members
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.
Omri Avraham (she/her)
Program Coordinator, Support Group Leader, Team Leader
Omri lives in the Bay Area (CA) and has been involved with ANAD's support groups since their days at Project HEAL. A proud transfer student and first generation college graduate, she completed her undergraduate degree at the University of California, Berkeley where she studied Sociology and was involved in the Alternative Breaks program. She spends her non-ANAD days as a worker/owner at a 100% employee owned bakery and cheese shop, and is also a Certified Yoga Teacher. Omri hopes to eventually pursue her MSW and work with Eating Disorders in a clinical capacity. In her spare time she likes to bake, hike, read, and explore new places/meet new people.
Brianna Smith (she/her)
Development and Marketing Coordinator
Brianna is a communications and development specialist who enjoys raising money for nonprofits. She has two dogs who are her pride and joy, and she enjoys living 10 minutes from the beach. Brianna’s favorite thing to do is sit by the beach when its warm.
Kathy Luan (she/her)
Kathy is currently an undergraduate student at the University of Michigan majoring in Economics with a minor in Asian Language and Cultures. With ANAD, she hopes to spread eating disorder awareness and learn more about eating disorder recovery. Outside of ANAD, Kathy is an active member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority and a figure skating coach.
Ashton Gerardi (she/her)
Capstone Experience Student
Ashton is a Doctor of Occupational Therapy student at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences in Austin, TX. She is completing her capstone project about the role of occupational therapy in eating disorder intervention. She is dedicated to helping people live their lives to the fullest in spite of what is limiting them. Ashton enjoys spending her spare time walking her dogs on Lady Bird Trail, hiking, spending time outside, and spending time with friends.
ANAD Board of Directors
Maria Rago, PhD (she/her)
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)
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)
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)
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.
Al Augustine, JD (ret.) (he/him)
Originally from Lithuania, Board Member, Al Augustine, quickly made Chicago his home when he immigrated there in 1947. After spending his early youth at St. Rita High School, Notre Dame University, and the Illinois Law School, he began work in a corporate and banking firm in 1969, then spent the following 5 years as the Chief Prosecuting Attorney for the Illinois agency that licenses and disciplines most professions in Illinois including: doctors, nurses, psychologists, accountants, and others. In 1979, Al began his firm and retired in October 2015.
Al still consults as a retired attorney and has represented professionals across the country especially those providing integrative medical and dental care. Al brings his decades of legal expertise within the medical community to ANAD and will co-chair ANAD’s Governance Committee.
Denise Hamburger, JD (she/her)
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)
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)
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..