The National Kidney Foundation has elected six new members to its board of directors. The NKF board consists of nephrologists, health care professionals, business executives, and individuals who have been affected by kidney disease. The board meets three times per year and is charged with fiduciary, fundraising, and governance responsibilities for the foundation. 

The new board members include:

Thomas Cassese — Cassese is the director of business development at Eriez Manufacturing, which specializes in the design and manufacture of separation, material handling and inspection equipment in the metalworking, food, chemical, mining, plastics and recycling industries. Cassese has served on the local board of directors for the South Carolina Division and chairing their annual golf tournament.

Michael Choi, MD —Choi is associate professor of medicine and clinical director of nephrology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He also serves as the editor of the Clinical Journal of the American Society of Nephrology (CJASN) and serves as the Vice Chairman of Education for the Kidney Disease Outcomes Quality Initiative (KDOQI). Choi has previously spearheaded many NKF educational efforts and will work to overcome barriers to CKD testing, detection and management in the primary care setting through NKF's recently-launched CKD Primary Care Initiative.

Matthew Cooper, MD —Cooper is professor of surgery at Georgetown School of Medicine and the Director of Kidney and Pancreas Transplantation at the Medstar Georgetown Transplant Institute, which operates centers at both Medstar Georgetown University Hospital and Medstar Washington Hospital Center in Washington, D.C. He also serves on the board of the United Network of Organ Sharing. Cooper has participated in many NKF transplant and public policy initiatives and seeks to address the national organ shortage through new NKF programming. He has also been active with the NKF in the local Baltimore and Washington areas for nearly a decade.

Charles “Chip” Fendell, JD —Chip Fendell is a partner at Thompson Coburn LLP, where he practices in the areas of technology and intellectual property law. A kidney transplant recipient, he is committed to working with the National Kidney Foundation to educate the public about kidney disease and ultimately increase the number of kidneys available for transplantation through new NKF initiatives promoting living donation. Chip has been active on the local level for many years and previously served on the board of directors for the NKF Serving Eastern Missouri and the Metro East region.

John Gerzema —Gerzema is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. He is the Chairman and CEO of Y&R's Brand Asset Valuator (BAV) Consulting, as well as an author, strategist, speaker and consultant. His three books have appeared on bestseller lists and his TED Talks have been viewed by hundreds of thousands of people. John is dedicated to using his marketing expertise to help the NKF build awareness surrounding kidney disease and to educate those at risk about the importance of early detection and leading a healthy lifestyle.

Jummy Olabanji —Olabanji is an Emmy Award-winning journalist and is the morning/noon anchor and reporter for WJLA-TV, the ABC News affiliate in Washington, D.C. She has a genetic kidney disease and is passionate about bringing the fight against kidney disease to the media forefront. Jummy has been actively involved with the NKF Serving the National Capital Area for more than three years, serving on the local board of directors and volunteering at area kidney disease screenings, health fairs, Kidney Walks, golf tournaments, and hosting large fundraising events on behalf of the organization. 

NKF board members serve a term of three years and may be elected for a second term. A complete list of the board of directors can be viewed at http://www.kidney.org/about/board.cfm