The HLC Team

Meet Our Dedicated
Staff and Board who make 
Hope Loves Company possible.

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Gary Bachrach

President

Gary is Executive Director of Business Development at The Joint Commission, the nation's oldest and largest accrediting body in healthcare. Gary’s first hands-on experience with Hope Loves Company was volunteering with his family at the first Chicago area Camp HLC in September 2019. Since then, Gary has worked to support the mission, raising awareness, fundraising, recruiting new Board Members and most recently serving as Vice President of the Board. Gary was elected President of the Board in November 2021, where he looks to lead the organization in its mission to serve as many families as possible impacted by ALS.

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Richard Sperry

Vice President

Richard is the Chief Executive Officer at AdheaRx, an innovative patient communications platform that keeps healthcare providers and patients connected between appointments. Richard first became involved with Hope Loves Company in 2019 when he was misdiagnosed with ALS. Though his diagnosis was corrected, Richard has stayed committed to the ALS community and joined the HLC Board in 2020. Richard also sits on the Board of the Latin American Legal Defense and Education Fund (LALDEF), a non-profit that supports immigrants in the greater Trenton, New Jersey area.

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Phil Calamia

Vice President

Phil is an independent consultant and brings a wealth of experience with him having been involved with technology organizations ranging from start-up to publicly traded companies throughout his career. Phil has extensive experience helping Boards, Investors and management teams navigate through transitions while determining and achieving desired results including raising capital, initial public offerings and numerous acquisitions and divestitures.

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Paul Grote

Treasurer

Paul Grote is a graduate of Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and is a retired Certified Public Accountant in New Jersey. He has over 40 years of accounting experience as a Manager, Controller and Director of Finance, mostly in non-profit accounting. Paul hopes that his accounting expertise will assist HLC in continuing its growth and its ongoing ability to meet its mission to provide services to the ALS community.

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Mackenzie Anderson

Human Capital Consultant

Mackenzie is a Human Capital Analyst at Deloitte Consulting, in which she primarily serves Health Care and Life Sciences clients. Her relationship with HLC began in 2014 when her mom was diagnosed with ALS during her junior year of high school. Since then, Mackenzie has dedicated herself to serving HLC through international advocacy, fundraising, and serving on the Board of Directors. She holds a bachelor's degree in Corporate Innovation and Entrepreneurship and a minor in Labor and Employment Relations from the Pennsylvania State University. Mackenzie lives in Chicago, IL with her Labrador Retriever puppy, Winston.

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Dr. Michael Palmer, PHD

Board Member

Dr. Palmer is a practicing clinician and director of Healthmark Counseling, LLC; a private outpatient mental health practice in Cinnaminson, New Jersey. Dr. Palmer is a lecturer, consultant, and educator. He has served on a number of committees and collaboratives, for the prevention and treatment of domestic violence. He hopes to contribute to the growth and expansion of HLC and its mission.

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Linda Osman

Board Member

Linda A. Osman, Esq. is an attorney with a private practice in Chesterfield, NJ since 1994. A general practitioner, she represents clients in real estate (commercial and residential), family law, estate matters, corporate, landlord/ tenant, land use, municipal court and more. She is hopeful this diverse background enables her to assist HLC achieve its goals.

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Craig and Kristen Colby

Board Members

Craig and Kristen Colby joined Hope Loves Company from Delaware! They've met with all the elected officials of their State, making ALS a top priority for Delaware. They've been part of the ALS community for the last 14 years. Craig was diagnosed in 2008 after 14 months of diagnosis. They've been fighting for ALS warriors and their families since! In 2017 Craig started his scholarship for children affected by ALS, Colby’s Crew 4 The Kids Scholarship.

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Jennifer Mizzone

Board Member

Jen Mizzone is a parent and lost her late husband, Mike, to ALS. Jen and Mike's story was featured in the documentary, Prescription for Peace of Mind: An Option for the Terminally Ill, which you can watch here.

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Tracey Vasile

Board Member

Tracey Vasile is the Senior Vice President of Client Engagement at Verisk Analytics. Prior to joining Verisk, she spent 16 years in sales and sales management positions at LexisNexis. Tracey earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MBA in Marketing from Sacred Heart University. She is a member of her town’s Planning and Personnel Boards and serves as the Chapter Advisor for the Alpha Chi Omega chapter at Brown University. She became involved with Hope Loves Company following the ALS diagnosis of her close friend, Susan Anderson, when she saw first-hand the effect that ALS had on Susan’s teenage children.

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Diane Smith

Board Member

Diane has over 30 years of global Human Resources executive leadership experience. She has been responsible for all facets of human resources. She has industry knowledge and experience in health care, banking, manufacturing and cybersecurity. Diane holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business with a concentration in Human Resources Management from the University of Baltimore. She resides in Harford County, Maryland with her husband and two adult children.

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Jodi O'Donnell Ames

Founder

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is a mental and physical wellness empowerment coach, speaker and tireless advocate for those affected by ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). She is also the founder of Hope Loves Company and author of, "The Stars that Shine" and "Someone I Love Has ALS." She lives with her husband, Benton in Titusville, NJ.

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Albert Cooper III

Board Member

Albert Cooper III succeeds his daughter Sara E.K. Cooper who was a long-time member of the Board of Directors of Hope Loves Company. In November 2018, Sara was diagnosed with ALS, albeit she had exhibited symptoms well before that diagnosis. During her illness, with the help of close friends, she created the ALS ROADMAP, which is a guide to help newly diagnosed patients navigate a path of preparation and care. Sara waged a courageous fight, but on June 21, 2021 she peacefully passed away in her home from complications associated with ALS.

Shortly after her death, Mr. Cooper joined the Board of Directors. He is acutely aware of the emotional impact this dreaded disease has on the family of one diagnosed and living with ALS.

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Sarah Trott

Board Member

Sarah is a journalist, podcaster, 'The Bachelor' contestant, and ALS advocate. Sarah's father, Tom, was diagnosed with ALS in 2016 and passed away on October 15, 2021 after an incredibly inspiring and courageous battle. Sarah shares her family's experiences, as well as her reflections and advice on her social media platforms, podcast, and Sarah's Caregiver Community Facebook group. Sarah leads weekly, virtual small groups for young, female caregivers, and she works with various local and national ALS organizations to advocate for research and caregiver support. Sarah is also an associate editor and contributor at Caregiving.com, an industry-leading, digital media platform for all things relating to caregiving support, wellness, and mental health resources.

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Ryan Matthews

Board Member

Ryan Matthews concurrently serves as the Vice President of Programs with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Connecticut and the Executive Director of The Susie Foundation. At Big Brothers Big Sisters, Ryan is charged with leading Connecticut’s largest one-to-one youth mentoring program, which serves well over 1,000 children each year with a program budget of more than $2.2M. He founded The Susie Foundation, following his mother’s death to support families struggling with ALS.

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