Susan Linn has been serving nonprofit organizations for more than 25 years. Susan’s early career days as a direct service worker for struggling children and families continue to influence her leadership of programs and services today. Her leadership roles include two decades in upper management, fundraising leadership, and chief executive roles for schools, municipalities, higher education, and nonprofits. A graduate of Cornell University and San Diego State University, she has served on several Boards. Susan’s spouse has epilepsy, and they have been involved with epilepsy-related causes in a number of capacities for many years. When not at work, Susan values her time with her children, 2 dogs, and 4 cats, especially time in the outdoors. Susan has lived in Providence and Bristol, RI as well as Fall River, Watertown, Woburn, and Shirley MA and Nashua, NH: she and her family frequent Maine for surfing in the summer!
Dr. Elaine Kiriakopoulos is a neurologist. A graduate of McMaster Medical School and the University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada. Dr. Kiriakopoulos completed her neurology residency and her Epilepsy/EEG fellowship at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Her clinical and research career were based in the Department of Neurology at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard University. Dr. Kiriakopoulos's research interests have focused on advancing clinical imaging and EEG recording techniques to improve diagnosis, treatment, and patient outcomes. She has worked in the areas of localization in epilepsy and her work includes pre-operative brain mapping with functional magnetic resonance imaging and examining the use of high density electroencephalography in the ICU setting for early seizure detection and treatment. She has presented her research at the national and international level throughout her career. Dr. Kiriakopoulos serves as a member of the Editorial Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of America.
Dr. Kiriakopoulos has been a longstanding advocate of empowering patients with epilepsy through knowledge and accessibility to a comprehensive epilepsy care network of physicians, nurses, social workers and psychologists. Having joined the EFNE team, she hopes to continue to provide integral outreach to the epilepsy community of New England with valuable information, resources, and the vital support required to improve the lives of persons with epilepsy and their families. Dr. Kiriakopoulos resides in Winchester, Massachusetts with her husband and two children, and their mischievous West Highland terrier “Pearl”. Her free time is spent traveling with family and in the garden testing the limits of her green thumb!
Early in her career, Judy developed a passion for philanthropy working as a staff assistant for the Founder of Cambridge College. She served the college for almost two decades. Her greatest achievement at Cambridge was to lead its first ever Capital Campaign, having raised nearly $40M, the first endowment. Over the course of her career she has continued to work for non-profit organizations in order to serve the greater good. In her free-time Judy likes to garden and to spend time with her teenage daughter and her 2-year old rescue dog. Like any native New Englander, she cherishes the warm seasons and loves the Atlantic Ocean. Judy holds an M.Ed. from Cambridge College.
Susan has an Associate degree in Sociology from Bunker Hill Community College and attends Southern New Hampshire University where she will earn her degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Organizational Leadership in 2017. She became a volunteer mentor for Epilepsy Foundation of America in 2000. Since then, she has provided more than 400 presentations on epilepsy and related topics to a wide variety of audiences, having worked for EFNE since 2001. Susan’s involvement with EFNE began in 1996 as a volunteer and as the parent of a thirteen-year-old daughter with epilepsy. She and her daughter as well as their vast network of family and friends still participate as volunteers in dozens of EFNE walks, camps, and other programs every year.
Franky Descoteaux is a serial entrepreneur, who has dedicated her career to solving core challenges through the lens of innovation. In an effort to change the perception of Lowell, MA, she launched three retail businesses in downtown, which contributed to the City’s revitalization. She sat on the Lowell City Council where she focused on building bridges on issues ranging from public safety to union rights. She also fought to ensure that entrepreneurs in Gateway Cities have access to the same education, resources and mentoring as their counterparts in Boston as Executive Director of a local non-profit, EforAll.
Franky holds a B.S. in Management of Information Systems from UNLV and an M.S. in Innovation & Technical Entrepreneurship from UMass Lowell. She in a Trustee for the Greater Lowell Health Alliance and Innovation Academy Charter School and teaches Entrepreneurship and Small Business Management at Middlesex Community College.
Franky is a Female Founder Fellow at Founder’s Institute. She won the prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year award from Enterprise Bank as part of their Celebration of Excellence and is a recipient of the PepsiCo Diversity Award. Franky Descoteaux lives in Lowell, Massachusetts with her two talented children, two energetic dogs, and gifted artist/musician husband.
Bill has worked in the field of disability issues for over 45 years, starting his career as a special education teacher right after attending Syracuse University. In 1980, he became a founding member, and first Executive Director, of what was then called the Epilepsy Association of Greater Boston and is now EFNE. In 2005 Bill went to work for the national Epilepsy Foundation as Director of State Government Relations, until retiring in 2013. Retirement didn’t last long! In 2014 he “came full circle” and again is with our local Epilepsy Foundation affiliate serving as Director of Advocacy and Public Policy for EFNE. He returns to the National office each Spring to conduct their “Teens Speak Up” program; bringing teens from across the country who live with epilepsy to learn about advocating for epilepsy and to visit with their legislators on Capitol Hill. Now living in Newport, RI, Bill can often be found on the highway traveling to Boston, Providence, Concord or Augusta to promote public policies beneficial to people with epilepsy and their families.
Jenna Whitney has a background in development and event planning, and worked previously at The University of Texas at Austin and Tufts University. She attended Simmons College, and holds a BA in Communications. In 2009, she volunteered with C.A.R.E. in Cambridge, MA and from 2010 – 2016, she was a volunteer with Austin Pets Alive! in Austin, TX. In 2014, Austin Pets Alive! named her a Platinum Volunteer for her consistent service to Neonatal Kitten Program. Jenna lives in Cambridge, MA.
Prior to coming on board with the Foundation, Francesco acted as the Business Manager for his parent’s small business in Revere as well as running his own business for 10 years. He graduated from Suffolk University with a degree in Business. His personal experience with epilepsy comes from family members on his and his wife’s side who have been diagnosed with epilepsy. Outside of the Foundation, he is a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America as well as the Fraternal Order of Freemasons.
Rachel Buckley started her professional career in October 2016 with Epilepsy Foundation New England. Prior to working at EFNE, Rachel took part in an internship with the Walt Disney World Company in Orlando, Florida. She graduated from Westfield State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a minor in Business. Rachel lives in Melrose, Massachusetts.
Sarah Robinson has worked for the past five years as a consultant with small nonprofits. Prior to starting her consulting practice, she worked as a Major Gifts Officer for a national health care non-profit, Executive Director for a statewide network, and as an Office Manager for an emerging community organization. Sarah holds an MS in Nonprofit Management from Antioch New England. Sarah and her husband live in Portland with their two very active children. In her free time, she gardens, snowboards, and volunteers for the PTO and Girl Scouts.
Zach attended University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, where he studied Crime & Justice Studies and Political Science. Zach has been an avid volunteer for the Coalition for Social Justice, has participated in two cross-country bike rides to raise money for cancer causes, and has been a community organizer and activist. Zach’s personal experience with friends and loved ones with epilepsy and his desire to contribute to the nonprofit sector has led him to EFNE and the Matty Project.