Welcome to The Purple Society Board of Directors and Advisory Committee page. Our leaders take an unorthodox approach to helping families and patients. We have recruited a world class group of entrepreneurs and members of the philanthropic community, who will regularly blog, and create a smart, ongoing conversation not found anywhere else. The Advisory Committee helps The Purple Society with law, regulations, and standards. They give guidance in their field of expertise and make recommendations based on our Purple policies.

 

Anthony Conti

Anthony Conti

Founder and Chair, The Purple Society

Anthony is the founder of The Purple Society and a 24 hour a day cancer warrior — Anthony and his wife Suzann created The Purple Society in honor of their daughter Nitalia, who battled a rare brain tumor for over 3+ years. She went to live with the Lord on January 28, 2011. He is hyper-focused on helping families that are facing the same enemy as his family faced. His 19 year career in design, development, and interactive advertising has won him many awards and national recognition. He has been a part of many successful branding projects as well as several nationally recognized interactive projects. :: Nitalia’s Site ::

Suzann Conti

Suzann Conti

Founder and President, The Purple Society

Suzann is a jewelry designer by trade, supermom by love. An exceptional wife and mother, Suzann dedicated her life early on to raising and taking care of her family. After her daughters diagnosis in 2008, she spent 3+ years giving unprecedented care to Nitalia. Sharing her experience with other families became second nature to her. Her caregiving experience helps navigate others through the hazy and often difficult hospital environment. Her dedication and strong Faith have guided her family through the hardest times in their lives. Suzann looks to share that dedication with all the members of The Purple Society. She is always available to talk, or email any member needing advice or assistance. :: Nitalia’s Site ::

Lori Birk

Lori Birk, Esq. | Lead Purple Society Counsel

Attorney, Mountain States Employers Council, Inc.

Lorie joined Mountain States Employers Council in 2011 as an employment law attorney.  She has over fifteen years of experience in providing in-house general and employment law support to multi-location technology companies and human services organizations.  In addition to providing in-house legal support, she has over eight years of experience in leading human resources departments.  She began her career in Silicon Valley, California and relocated to Arizona in 2006. During her career, Lorie has provided council as part of the executive management team.  Lorie has dealt with all facets of HR including internal investigations, employment litigation and administrative charges, mergers and acquisitions, executive and sales compensation plans, and international employment matters. She obtained in B.A. in International Relations from the University of San Diego and her law degree from McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific. Bar Admissions/Professional Certifications:  California, 1992; SPHR, 2011. Volunteer/Board Participation:  Chair, West Valley Chapter, Valley of the Sun Human Resources Association. :: Mountain States Employers Council ::

Jessica Galindo

Jessica Galindo | The Purple Society Volunteer Coordinator

Health Chair, Wells Fargo Bank

Jessica has been with Wells Fargo Bank for ten plus years. During this period, at her company’s encouragement, she began to volunteer for many different charities. This involvement with the non-profit community sparked her love for volunteering. She is currently the Health Chair for the Wells Fargo Volunteer Chapter. Jessica met the Conti’s when she worked at their store in Tempe, AZ while Suzann was pregnant with Nitalia. After being out of touch for several years they reconnected and Jessica has been an active volunteer since. She is very passionate about Nitalia’s dream and excited to help grow our volunteer base. Jessica resides in Phoenix with her husband and two dogs. :: Wells Fargo ::

Dr. Beverly Lange

Dr. Beverly J. Lange, MD | The Purple Society Scientific Advisory Board Director

Medical Director, Oncology Clinical Services and Clinical Research, Attending physician, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), Professor of Pediatrics, University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine

Dr. Lange became a part of the Conti family when she started treating Nitalia. They shared an instant connection that ran much deeper then the Dr./Patient relationship. Nitalia loved her dearly. Dr. Lange’s determination and love for Nitalia was evident in the exceptional care she gave to her. Uncompromising and focused, Dr. Lange gives her all in treating her patients. Her career in pediatric oncology began 35 years ago in the exhilarating times when we were just beginning to learn how to use combinations of anti-cancer drugs to prevent recurrence of childhood cancer and death from cancer. The enduring theme of her work has been to improve cure rate through better chemotherapy while reducing side effects. Her personal goal is for cancer patients to emerge from cancer treatment as least as good as they were before their therapy. Central to the goal of reducing side effects has been reducing the amount of radiation therapy needed to cure a tumor by replacing radiation with chemotherapy. Dr. Lange has had the opportunity to direct many clinical trials at Children’s Hospital or in the major national pediatric oncology research group, the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) — and at the same time to collaborate with scientists to discover better treatments with less serious side effects. She is one of a growing group of investigators committed to reshaping the field of cognitive impairment. There is emerging evidence that cancer survivors with established cognitive problems also can benefit from systematic cognitive re-education. This re-education can be accomplished with computer-based cognitive remediation programs that involve parent and child participation at home or in the outpatient clinic, with oversight by a trained coach. We are currently developing supervised computer-based trials for children known to have problems. This can be done with relatively low cost and can be made available to almost all children. We are also planning trials to use computer-based programs to diagnose cognitive problems earlier — allowing us an opportunity to train young minds before the problem occurs. :: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia :: :: Dr. Lange’s Medical Publications ::

Lisa Nicita

Lisa Nicita | The Purple Society Public Relations Director

PR Director, Knoodle

Lisa has worked in the Phoenix media market for more than a decade and currently serves as a Public Relations Director at Phoenix ad agency Knoodle. Lisa is married to Joe Nicita, a long time friend of the Conti’s. Lisa was asked to use her talents to fight childhood cancer when Nitalia was first diagnose beck in 2008. She is a prolific writer and an experienced Public relations expert. Together Joe and Lisa corral and love their three young children who constantly keep them guessing. Give her a call. She’ll give you the good word on The Purple Society. :: Knoodle ::

Advisory Committee

Brian Baumunk

Brian “Charlie” Baumunk

Marketing Director, CBS

Brian has been in the radio industry for 26+ years. His career started in La Crosse, Wisconsin and has taken him to much of the country. He met his wife Sandra during his time in San Diego, CA. They have 2 children; Mia 12 and Sofia 7. Brian has worked in many areas of the radio business… on-air, the programming department, and Marketing and Promotions. He has served on the board of the Save The Family organization, as well as overseeing marketing and promotions for charitable events with the Boys & Girls Club, Special Olympics, and St. Jude’s. Brian and family are long time friends with the Conti’s.

Randy Brick

Randy Brick

CEO, Brick Print

Randy has been in the graphic arts industry for over 30 years. He has worked with many large companies such as Harkins Theaters, Shamrock Farms, Deutsche Banck, and MLB. He takes great pride by knowing that he is helping others by donating his time and services to many charitable causes such as the Doug Davis foundation, Royce Clayton Family Foundation, and the David N. Simon Scholarship Fund. Randy met the Conti Family after his daughter Jori became friends with Nitalia when the girls were in 4th grade. From the time Nitalia became ill, he has felt the faith and love that Nitalia and her family brought to everyone who has met them. Randy is honored to be part of the Purple Society. :: Brick Print ::

Dave Gilbertson

Dave Gilbertson, APR

President, Communication Links

A Phoenix resident for 30 years, Dave is a partner and co-founder of Communication Links, a Scottsdale-based advertising and public relations agency. He volunteers his time regularly to many worthwhile charitable causes, mostly youth-related – the majority through an organization called The Thunderbirds. Recognized as the hosts of the PGA TOUR’s annual Phoenix stop (Waste Management Phoenix Open), The Thunderbirds consists of nearly 300 community leaders who donate their time and resources to benefit Valley charities contributing over $70 million to date. The proud father of Kendall, 14, and Jack, 11, Dave’s dedication to The Purple Society is evident upon entering his home every wall is purple. He first met the Contis 11 years ago when Kendall and Nitalia started school together. :: Communication Links ::

Kristin Mancuso

Kristin Mancuso, PT, DPT

Chief Executive Officer, Therapy for Developmental Disabilities, LLC

Kristin is a Pediatric Physical Therapist at the top of her field. She was Nitalia’s PT when she returned home to Phoenix. Kristin and Nitalia had an instant bond which showed in the success that Nitalia achieved during her recovery. Kristen graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northern Arizona University in 2005. Kristin’s passion has always been working with children. She has experience working with children with neurological deficits as well as developmental delays. She is very involved in the pediatric therapy community and always seeks opportunities to continue her education and keep up with current research. She is currently the CEO of a pediatric therapy clinic offering both clinic and home based therapies. When not working, Kristin enjoys spending time with her family. :: Therapy for Developmental Disabilities ::

Cindy Owens

Cindy Owens

Owner, Girly Girlz Boutique

Cindy is a very successful and well respected Arizona business woman. She has been featured in numerous business magazines for her business savvy and her unprecedented likeability… there isn’t a person alive that doesn’t fall in love with her bubbly personality. Cindy has been a close family friend with the Conti’s for many years, and was lovingly nicknamed “Ms. Fab” by Nitalia. She has been there every step of Nitalia’s journey, and continues to support all that Nitalia stood for. Cindy also sits on the board of the Brain Injury Foundation and is very active in the community. :: Girly Girlz ::

June Solod

June Solod

Counselor for Students, Cocopah Middle School

June was a large part of Nitalia’s journey through treatment. She facilitated many of the school requests and helped the family with Nitalia’s re-entry into school life after her treatments. June has a Masters of Science in education / school counseling and has been counseling students since 1991. :: Scottsdale Unified School District ::

 

John Valentino

John Valentino

Music & Sound Designer, Accomplished Jazz Guitarist

John studied music composition at Rutgers University. In the late 70′s Johnnie was doing local club dates and recording sessions at Alpha recording studio for Philly World Records. In 1984 he relocated to Los Angeles where he has been working in the music and post production business in Hollywood for over 28 years. He has contributed to over a thousand episodes of TV, 20 films and dozens of recordings, including soundtracks. At the 2000 International Monitor Awards in LA, He was awarded the Best Sound Design Award for the TV series Digimon. He has worked with many of today’s leading entertainment companies such as Fox Kids, Disney, A&E, Lifetime, ESPN, CBS, Comedy Channel, ABC, NBC, FOX, HBO, etc….Currently Johnnie is in full swing at the Mattel corporation doing music and sound design for children while continuing to compose & recorded new music independently. In addition to being a musical authority, John is also Nitalia’s uncle, and has always been very close to the Conti family.

 

Scientific Advisory Board

 

Dr. Timothy Bates

Dr. Timothy E. Bates : Senior Adviser . Senior Lecturer

Senior Lecturer in Biomedical Sciences University of Lincoln, U.K., Chief Scientific Officer, New-Use Therapeutics Limited, BioCity Nottingham, U.K., External Assessor, National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE), U.K.

Dr. Bates has a B.Sc. in Physiology from the University of Sheffield, U.K. and a Ph.D. from the Royal College of Surgeons of England, University of London, U.K., and has held research fellowships in Sweden, the USA and Italy, as well as being a Midlands Medici Fellow, and a consultant for several multi-national pharmaceutical companies. He has 30 years experience in biomedical research with ongoing research projects in: cancer pharmacology, mitochondrial drug targets, mitochondrial toxicity, stem cell metabolism and bacterial meningitis. Dr. Bates has 76 papers published on the PUBMED database. These papers have been cited over 2,800 times by his peers in other scientific publications. Dr. Bates is also an active member of the British Pharmacological Society and the British Neuroscience Association and has spoken at many international scientific conferences in the UK, USA, Italy, France, Germany, Holland, and China. Dr. Bates has been a member of the Medical Research Council (MRC) U.K. “College of Experts”and is a regular grant reviewer for many USA, U.K., and European research charities/organizations. He currently is the Chief Scientific Officer of New-Use Therapeutics, a company he founded in 2007, specifically to develop novel small molecules with mitochondrial targets for use in the treatment of cancer and other diseases. He and his wife Helen of 25 years have two children: Rachel Lois (aged 18) and Peter William Bryan (aged 10). :: School of Natural & Applied Sciences . University of Lincoln ::

Susan Ecker

Susan Ecker, RN, CSN, BA

Senior Nursing Expert – Specializing in Home Care
Susan started her pediatric nursing career in 1983 at St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children in Philadelphia. A decade later she joined Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, focusing on neonatal intensive care. Working with sick children for so many years, Susan began to see an important need in the nursing home care arena. She joined Bayada Nurses and in 2007 was the first recipient for the Ann Baida Award for Excellence in Clinical Leadership. She became Bayada’s clinical manager and then their clinical liaison. She was selected to present to Johnson and Johnson for their “Promise of Nursing” campaign in 2010. Susan was Nitalia’s home care specialist, and worked tirelessly to give her the best of everything. She continues to be a close friend of the Conti family. Read Susan’s Speech for the Johnson and Johnson Promise of Nursing campaign in 2010 :: Bayada Nurses ::

Maureen Ginda

Maureen Ginda, RRT, NPS

Pediatric Critical Care Respiratory Specialist
Maureen is a graduate of the Medical College of Georgia, Augusta, and Northeastern University, Boston. She has worked at New England Medical Center Children’s Floating Hospital (Boston), St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children (Philadelphia), and The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She was a Project Hope volunteer helping to establish pediatric ICU’s in Poland, Costa Rica, and China. Maureen is currently a pediatric critical care respiratory specialist at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. She was Nitalia’s lead respiratory therapist at CHOP. Always going beyond the call of duty, Maureen had a extraordinary connection with Nitalia that continues even after her passing. She holds a very special place in the Conti family’s heart. :: The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia ::

Andrea Solari

Andrea Solari, RN, BSN, CCRN, MS

Pediatric Nursing Expert
Andrea has been a pediatric critical care nurse for 19 years. She is currently the Clinical Supervisor for Maxim Pediatric Home Care. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia and subsequently earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice, Certificate in Forensic Nursing and is presently working on her Masters in Nursing Administration. Andrea was Nitalia’s nurse while she was in the Children’s Hospital PICU. She had an instant bond with the Conti family and has become a close family friend. Andrea holds many certifications in the area of nursing such as legal nurse consulting, pediatric sexual assault nurse examiner, pre-hospital RN, and CPR/First Aid instructor. Andrea currently resides in New Jersey with her three children and is a strong advocate for her son who has autism.

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