Who We Are

Photos and professional summaries of our Leaders, ROW Foundation Board, and Staff

Meet our Board, Advisers and Staff

Scott Boyer

Board Chair

Scott has almost three decades of experience in the pharmaceutical industry and has led the sales and marketing efforts for numerous branded drugs for Abbott and Bristol-Myers Squibb. Scott has a passion for creating a pharmaceutical model that provides medications to all patients. His education includes a B.S. in Business Administration and Management from Morningside College.

Ruth Boyer, RN


Ruth has worked as a registered nurse for thirty-five years, serving in oncology, emergency room, surgery, and home health capacities. She’s an active member of Willow Creek Community Church and does volunteer work with the Willow Creek Care Center, Northern Illinois Food Bank, and Feed My Starving Children ministry.

Bruce Duncan, JD, CPA


Bruce has more than thirty years of experience at the C-level in accounting and tax management, including a decade at a Big 4 accounting firm and a decade managing the tax department of a Fortune 500 company. Bruce was also the Sr. Vice President of Finance at a capital management firm that grew to more than $50 billion in assets during his tenure. He is a Certified Public Accountant and has a law degree from Case Western.

Patricia A. Gibson, MSSW, DHL, ACSW


Patricia is an Associate Professor in the Department of Neurology at Wake Forest University School of Medicine. She also serves as Director of the Epilepsy Information Service, a nationwide telephone information line for patients and their family members established in 1979, and as volunteer Executive Director of the Epilepsy Foundation of North Carolina.

Ms. Gibson has organized and conducted numerous state, regional, and more than 40 national and international conferences on epilepsy. She set up the Epilepsy Medication Fund for the state of North Carolina in 1987, and has received national and international awards for her work to improve the care of those with epilepsy.

Mark Petersen, MBA

Vice Chair

Mark has more than twenty years of experience in pharmaceutical sales and management. He is involved in charitable volunteer work and serves on the Board of Directors of a nonprofit organization serving at-risk youth in the inner city of Chicago. His education includes an M.B.A. in Pharmaceutical Marketing from St. Joseph’s University.

Marvin A. Rossi, MD, PhD


Dr. Rossi serves as Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Multimodality Neuroimaging & Neuroengineering Laboratory, and as Associate Director of Translational Research, of the Rush Epilepsy Center at Rush University Medical Center.

A board-certified neurologist and epileptologist with a doctorate in molecular biophysics, he has over 25 years of experience within regional NAEC-affiliated specialized epilepsy centers as a translational neuroscience researcher and subspecialist clinician.


Kurt Florian, JD


With a law degree from Duke University and an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Chicago, Kurt was previously a partner at Lord, Bissell & Brook and Katten Muchin Rosenman law firms in Chicago before moving to Vanderbilt Capital Advisors, where he served as Chief Operating Officer, Chief Compliance Officer, and Counsel. He became President/CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago in 2012, where he served through 2017.

A native of Wheaton, Illinois, Kurt lives there still with wife Linda, daughter Jennifer and son Kyle. His childhood experiences with seizures, as well has his daughter’s epilepsy, led him to serve for over twenty years on the Board of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago, of which he was Chairman for several years. When his daughter began to suffer from seizures, his commitment to the epilepsy community was reaffirmed.

Samuel O. Okpaku, MD, PhD


Dr.Okpaku is the President and Founder of the Center for Health, Culture and Society in Nashville TN. He is a graduate of Edinburgh University Medical School, Scotland and holds a Ph.D. in Social Research and Welfare from Brandeis University, Waltham, MA. He has been on the faculties of the University of Pennsylvania Medical School and Yale University. He was Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University Medical School and a Senior Fellow at the Vanderbilt University Institute for Public Police Studies. He was also Professor and Chairman, Department of Psychiatry, Meharry Medical School Nashville.

He has training and background in Internal Medicine, Psychiatry and Social Research. He is a Fellow of the College of Surgeons and Physicians Canada and a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association where he is a member of the Council for International Psychiatry.

His research interests have included Lithium Transport, Psychotherapy, Disability Reconciliation and Cultural Psychiatry. He has published in these areas. He is also the author of Sex, Orgasm and Depression: Their Inter-Relationship in a Changing Society. He is the editor of Mental Health in Africa and the Americas Today, Clinical Methods in Transcultural Psychiatry (American Psychiatric Association), and Essentials of Global Mental Health (Cambridge University Press). He is currently editing a volume on Innovations in Global Mental Health (Springer Publishing).

Emilio Perucca, MD, PhD


Dr. Perucca has a long record of interest and action with regards to epilepsy research and treatment. After serving six years as President, he currently serves as Past-President of the International League Against Epilepsy (ILAE), a major international organization dedicated to the welfare of persons around the world living with epilepsy. Prior to assuming the role of President, Emilio served in a variety of other roles at ILAE, including Treasurer and First Vice-President.

He is a Full Professor of Pharmacology at University of Pavia Medical School and Director of the Clinical Trial Centre at IRCCS C. Mondino Foundation’s National Institute of Neurology in Pavia, Italy. He earned his medical degree and a specialization in neurology from University of Pavia Medical School in Pavia, Italy and his PhD in clinical pharmacology from the University of London in London, UK.

Aashit Shah, MD


Dr. Shah is a highly experienced medical professional who has dedicated a great deal of his professional life to the research, diagnosis, and treatment of epilepsy. He is now a Professor of Neurology at Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he currently serves as Associate Chair of the Department of Neurology. Additionally, Aashit is Director of the Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at Wayne State University School of Medicine and Detroit Medical Center and Chief of Neurology at Harper University Hospital.

He earned his medical degree from Smt. NHL Municipal Medical College at Gujarat University in India, interned at Interfaith Medical Center in Brooklyn, NY, and completed both his residency and a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology at Wayne State University and Detroit Medical Center in Detroit, MI.


Paul Regan, EdD


Paul has thirty years of experience in nonprofit leadership, with a majority of that in philanthropy and international relief. He has served as CEO, CFO and COO of various nonprofits, and earned his Ed.D. in nonprofit leadership from the University of Massachusetts at Lowell.

For Paul, epilepsy is both a personal and humanitarian concern. His sister-in-law, a niece and a nephew have all wrestled with the disorder, which gives it a personal face. And the inequities in how epilepsy is diagnosed and treated around the globe make it a humanitarian and justice issue for him.

Lori Hairrell

Program Developer

As Program Developer, Lori is involved with all facets of the foundation, and focused in particular on grant making, organizational relations, and social media communications. She earned her degree in Applied Psychology/Business from North Central College (Illinois), and built a professional history in adult education, community education, social services and refugee relief. Her great passion in working with others is equipping them to overcome obstacles and gain self-sufficiency.

Mike Hamel


Mike has been a full-time writer since 1996 and has authored more than twenty books as well as hundreds of online and print articles on a wide variety of topics. Genres include business, faith, juvenile fiction, and autobiography. He has been involved with writing and editing for the ROW Foundation since its inception, as well as with coordinating communications.

In addition to writing, Mike is an avid reader, amateur winemaker, aspiring ballroom dancer and five-time cancer survivor who tries to make the most of every day.

Michael Stanley

Student Intern

Michael is a senior at Wheaton College (IL) majoring in Applied Health Science with a minor in Military Studies. Michael is in the ROTC program and upon graduation, will commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army. Following his undergraduate work, he plans to pursue a medical degree and serve as an Army physician.

Michael recently worked as an intern with Denver Health in Colorado where he spent time working in the OR and clinic as an assistant to various doctors and physician assistants, particularly with note taking and material acquisition. He spent additional time in various clinics and hospitals across the Denver front range.

Make Your Mark!