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Our Compassionate Crusaders.

At Hope Loves Company, we are proud to have a dedicated team whose combined years of experience, passion, and expertise make our mission possible. Get to know the people behind our organization who are committed to serving the ALS community and making a difference in the lives of families affected by this disease.

Meet our Leadership Team

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Gary Bachrach

President

Gary is the Chief Administrative Officer of Forbes Banister International, a subsidiary of Forbes. He has built and led high performance teams in business development and customer facing operations for over three decades. Gary’s passion is helping children, and he has worked tirelessly to support the mission of Hope Loves Company. He was elected President of the Board in Nov. 2021, and is focused on leading the organization to become a nationally recognized nonprofit with the resources to support its mission of serving all families impacted by ALS. HLC is a family affair, as he is proudly joined by his wife Jamie, an HLC advisory board member, daughter Sammi, a Certified Child Life Specialist and son Ryan, an undergraduate student, all who are dedicated volunteers.

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Mackenzie Anderson

Secretary

Mackenzie is a Human Capital Consultant 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, Winston.

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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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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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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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Jennifer Thompson, MSW

Executive Director

Jennifer is a social worker, organizer and passionate advocate for the community. A Kansas native, Jennifer holds her Bachelor of Social Work from Kansas State University and her Masters in Social Work and International Policy from Columbia University. Prior to joining HLC, Jennifer has worked in the nonprofit and public sector for more than a decade, serving in programmatic, advocacy and management roles. She developed programs funded by the CDC for young breast cancer survivors at Sharsheret, and served as the CMO for Girl Scouts, where she led advocacy initiatives that included a collaboration with the office of the First Lady, Michelle Obama, and her initiative, Let Girls Learn.

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Andrew Smith, Esq.

Board Member

Andrew is a New York based attorney having worked for Davis Polk & Wardwell and Sterlington over the course of his career. Outside of his work in the legal profession, he is an accomplished painter and photographer. He resides in New York with his family and children, and is an active advocate and coach.

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Sarah Trott

Board Member

Sarah Trott is a versatile professional, media personality, and ALS advocate with a strong background in journalism, digital marketing strategy, media production, and nonprofit work, particularly focused on ALS Lou Gehrig's Disease advocacy. She has experience as a former television news anchor and reporter for NBC and ABC affiliates, as well as in directing, producing, and acting in various media projects. Sarah excels in brand and content strategy, audience building, public speaking and event planning, and translating marketing strategies into compelling visual storytelling. She has directed marketing and development in the caregiving and healthcare spaces, leading brand launches, community activations, and merchandise campaigns. She is the founder of Sarah's Caregiver Community which hosts virtual support groups and in-person retreats for young adult female caregivers who have a loved one impacted by ALS. Sarah has a personal connection to ALS and caregiving with her father, Tom Trott, who courageously fought ALS for six years, instilling hope, humor, and optimism throughout his battle with the disease.

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Aleksandra Stein, PhD

Aleksandra is an experienced leader across multiple industries including banking, airlines and pharmaceuticals where her experience in finance, research and data analysis have driven innovation. She brings her passion in organizational development and growth to the organization. She currently resides in North Carolina.

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Jodi O'Donnell-Ames

Board Member, Founder

Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is a certified teacher, writer, massage therapist, member of Union Fire Co. and Rescue Squad and tireless advocate for those affected by ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis). She lives with her husband, Benton, and their three amazing children in Titusville, NJ.

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Teresa Celmer

Board Member

Teresa Celmer is the Chief Marketing Officer for BrightStar Care, a full-service healthcare staffing agency and franchising organization that provides medical and non-medical homecare. Her career spans brand, product, channel, and partnership marketing to build strong brand relevancy. Recognized as one of the 50 CMO Game Changers in the franchise industry by Entrepreneur, Teresa is among the most influential men and women in the franchising industry who are representative of the marketing role. Teresa is honored to be a board member. She is committed to HLC and inspired to make a difference because of a beautiful young woman named Lindsey Stoefen who was not only her daughter’s best friend but her ‘third’ daughter who lost her life to ALS at 17. Teresa is married to her husband John and has two grown daughters. They live in Bartlett, Illinois.

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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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Christie Hopkins Reagan

Christine Hopkins Reagan serves as the Visual and Performing Arts Director with Sarasota County Schools in Sarasota, FL. She earned her B.S. in Elementary Education from SUNY Oneonta and her M.A. in Educational Theatre in Colleges and Communities from New York University. Christine has previously served as Florida Studio Theatre’s Director of Education and has also worked in the education departments of Goodspeed Musicals, Hartford Stage, and Camp Broadway. Christine became involved with ALS Awareness and Advocacy at the age of 16 when her father was diagnosed with ALS. Since then, she has served on the Boards of the ALS Association Connecticut and Florida Chapters and is thrilled to join the Hope Loves Company Board of Directors.

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Jaramogi Adams

Jaramogi is an experienced c-suite leader with over a decade in operations, finance and technology in companies such as American Express and Twitter. He brings a passion for philanthropy and youth development to the role.

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