Board and Staff
ANAD Staff Members
Kristen Portland, MA
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 graduated from Columbia University School of Social Work with her Masters in Social Work and has worked in the non-profit sector since. With over seven years in the eating disorders field, 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, youth education, and community building. In her spare time, Jenn loves to spend time in nature, practice yoga, and hang out with her kids and dog.
Marketing & Communications Manager
Jason graduated from University of Maryland Global Campus with his bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. Following his eating disorder diagnosis in 2020, Jason turned his battle into a mission to raise awareness. He has since spoken with a variety of audiences across the country and published his memoir in hopes of helping others get the help they deserve. Jason lives in Colorado with his husband and two pups, Arnie and Walter. He is an avid sports fan and also enjoys climbing, hiking, and playing tennis.
Junior Program Coordinator
Neha is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree in Human Biology at UCSD, where she has also gained experience with eating disorder research. In the future, she hopes to one day become a psychiatrist and use her knowledge of the body and mind to improve the lives of those suffering from mental illness. In her free time, she loves any opportunity to travel, explore new cities, and spend time by the beach.
Jessica is a graduate student from Adler University. She is interning with ANAD for her social just practicum, which focuses on giving outreach and assistance to non-profits. She is currently assisting ANAD with data collection and analysis in order to use the information to research, identify and begin submitting grants to expand services. Jessica intends to get her PHD in counseling psychology with a focus in trauma informed practice, harm reduction, and psychedelic assisted psychotherapies. She is immensely passionate about advocacy and outreach for underprivileged communities and hopes to dedicate much of her clinical work to populations who need it the most. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys traveling, hiking, going to concerts, and spending time with her friends, family, and partner.
Reagan is a graduate student at Adler University and is obtaining a Master of Arts in Counseling: Art Therapy. Reagan is interning at ANAD for her social justice practicum. Reagan’s responsibilities include working on ANAD’s helpline and to assist in the development of new training programs. Reagan hopes to be able to apply the knowledge gained from working at ANAD to her own counseling and art therapy practice one day. Outside of ANAD, Reagan enjoys reading, playing with her cats, cooking, and going on walks.
ANAD Board of Directors
Maria Rago, PhD
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
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®
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 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
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 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
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
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 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 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.