ASCF Executive Board of Directors
ASCF Founder Tom Amschwand in Big Sur, California August 1998
Jane Amschwand graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Journalism after which she worked in New York in the industry. Since then, Ms. Amschwand has expanded her journalism and public relations experience to also include work in social services, non-profit organizations as well as real estate. Jane is a certified negotiations specialist, broker and founder of SALT HOMES in Austin, Texas. Jane has served as one of the organization's original board members.
Having lost both her brother and mother to sarcoma, she has up close and personal experiences with the disease. Her commitment to minimizing or preventing the challenges faced by families affected by sarcomas is unrelenting.
Lindley Arnoldy is a 7th generation Houstonian and a graduate from Loyola New Orleans. In 2007, Arnoldy founded Korcula, a line of jewelry and accessories whose name stems from a Croatian island she visited during her travels throughout Europe. Korcula received both local and national recognition, and has been photographed on a variety of celebrities, bloggers and television personalities. In 2010, she married her best friend, Jason Arnoldy, and together they have traveled the world, visiting exotic places like Brazil, Mumbai, Africa and Singapore to name a few.
In 2011, Lindley started the fashion column, Off the Cuff, for the growing online publication CultureMap. Attending and writing about fashion shows in both Paris and New York, Lindley has interviewed many influentials in the industry.
Lindley has a passion towards philanthropic involvement within her community. She is a founding member of both the Young Associates Council for the Houston Symphony as well PULSE, a group of young professionals providing leadership to CHI St Luke's hospital.
In 2014 Lindley received the Ovation Award from the Houston Grand Opera for her outstanding leadership and civic responsibility. She also joined the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with husband Jason and son Alec.
Former New Yorker Francine Ballard spent several years in fashion publishing with women's lifestyle magazines Lucky and InStyle. Shortly after moving to Houston (by way of New Orleans) in 2013 she was tapped to co-chair the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's Another Great Night benefit and in 2014 she co-chaired the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's Catwalk for a Cure gala with her husband Westy. Since then, Ballard has joined PaperCity Magazine as style editor, and was appointed to the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's Board of Directors. As a mother to daughters Sloane and Windsor, Ballard knows that 20% of all childhood cancers are sarcoma. As such, she remains committed to finding a cure.
Melissa Amschwand Bellinger
As one of the original board members, Melissa Amschwand Bellinger co-founded the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation with late husband Tom in 2001. Since then, Melissa has continued to serve as the Executive Director and President of the growing non-profit. In December 2004, Melissa resigned her position as Administrator of Patient and Public Affairs for the Harris County Hospital District to focus on ASCF as a full-time volunteer. In her previous role at the Hospital District, Melissa was responsible for the areas of Patient/Customer Relations, Interpretation and Translation Services, Spiritual Care, Volunteer Services, Hospital Auxiliary, Patient Satisfaction, Guest Transportation, Corporate Communications, Grants Management and Acquisition, Data Management, as well as Public Partnerships and Tangible Gifting. In addition, she provided executive oversight for the county’s Gateway to Care initiative.
Mrs. Bellinger continues to serve in an advisory capacity for a number of non-profit organizations. She holds a Master in Public Health with a specialty in Health Promotion/Health Education from the University of Texas Health Science Center School of Public Health - Houston and an undergraduate degree in Government from the University of Texas at Austin.
Melissa is a member of the Junior League of Houston, Inc. and volunteers regularly. She is a native Houstonian whose interests include a variety of outdoor activities as well as spending quality time with her husband James and daughters MaryAnna and Ava Rose.
Danetta Lyn Beaushaw’s service on the Board of Directors is fueled by the memory of her mother-in-law, the Rev. Carolyn Nave Pratt, who valiantly fought leiomyosarcoma over a 10-year period. Danetta explains, “It is one thing to be told that you have to face cancer; it is another thing altogether to be told that you have to battle such a rare form of cancer with so few resources at your disposal. And it is another to have the combined blessing and challenge of facing over five rounds of treatment. My husband Andy and I saw Carolyn face each round of financial, physical, logistical, emotional and spiritual challenges with raw spirit and iron determination -- knowing that these challenges were eased somewhat by the lucky fact that we lived close to a leading sarcoma center. We know others are not as lucky, and want to find ways to help patients without local resources to minimize the day-to-day difficulties of getting cutting-edge treatment for this rare disease.”
A native of rural south Louisiana and a first-generation college student, Danetta attended Mount Holyoke College and Dartmouth College and received her law degree from the University of Michigan. Currently, Ms. Beaushaw serves as Senior Counsel for Power Plant Operations at Calpine, Inc. She formerly served as the Corporate Counsel for the U.S. operations of Mexico-headquartered CEMEX, the world's second largest building materials company. Previously, she held legal positions at General Electric Company, El Paso Energy, Sonat and the firm of Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton. For years, Danetta has volunteered with The Junior League of Houston, Inc. where she has served in a number of administrative positions as well as community placements. She has pioneered pre-law mentoring initiatives at Mount Holyoke Holyoke, coached high school lacrosse and volunteered with animal rescue and zoological organizations. Danetta and Andy enjoy sprinting after their energetic twins, Brooke and Ripley, who appear to have inherited all of their Nana’s fearlessness and aplomb.
Jill Collins has served as a board member for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation almost since the organization's inception in 2001. Mrs. Collins graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1993 with a Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering. She worked in the natural gas industry in Houston, Texas and as an environmental consultant in Austin, Texas, Texas. In 1999 after the birth of her daughter, Jill retired to become a full time mother.
As the mother of three, Jill volunteers her time and talents with her children's schools and other charitable organizations including the Junior League of Houston, Inc.
Laura Dalton is a native of Houston, Texas and a graduate from the University of Texas in Austin. Ms. Dalton founded Laura S Mitchell Interior Design in 1999. Dalton's projects are known for their clean lines, sophisticated style and timeless rooms. She creates a "biography" for her clients by considering their everyday needs then transforming them into a livable, tailored environment. Ms. Dalton apprenticed in New York City under both Mariette Himes Gomez of Gomez Associates and John Rosselli of John Rosselli Associates. While most of her projects are in Houston, Texas, Dalton has traveled to London, Dallas and Aspen, Colorado, to work with clients.
After losing her father to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma in 1994, Ms. Dalton has been involved in various organizations to support cancer awareness and research. Ms. Dalton has served on numerous charitable boards including being a founding member of Young Texans Against Cancer. Some of the organizations Ms. Dalton has been involved with include Bo's Buddies, Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Catwalk for the Cure with the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation, Houston Area Parkinsons Society, Houston Pet Set, The March of Dimes, National Multiple Sclerosis Society and Susan G. Komen for the Cure Houston. Laura also serves on the board of the Chinquapin school.
Stephen Fadem, MD
Dr. Fadem is a practicing Houston nephrologist. He began practice in 1978 after completing a renal fellowship at The University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. He is a graduate of the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine, and did his internal medicine residency at The University of Texas and MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. He is a Clinical Professor of Medicine Baylor College of medicine. Formerly from Tulsa, Oklahoma, Oklahoma, Dr. Fadem is married and has three children.
He is also a Fellow of the American College of Physicians, Fellow of the American Society of Nephrology, diplomate of the American Board of Quality Assurance and Utilization Review Physicians, and a member of the International Society of Nephrology, Renal Physicians Association, the American Association of Kidney Patients and The National Kidney Foundation.
He is active in quality management, credentialing and peer review for his dialysis centers. He is also active in several civic and religious organizations and is a past Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board of the National Kidney Foundation of Southeast Texas.
On a national level, he is Vice-President of the Board of Directors for Chronic Kidney Disease and on the Medical Advisory Board of the American Association of Kidney Patients. He is a member of NKF cyberNephrology, the ISN Informatics Commission, and the ASN Renal Informatics committee. He is on the Laboratory Advisory Board for Davita. He is on two national RPA committees, the Government Affairs Committee and the Health Finance Committee, and active in the Forum of ESRD Networks as a member of the Clinical Performance Measures Committee. He has been a consultant to the computer industry in the development of CKD management software and is a business partner in Touchmed. He lectures frequently on dialysis management, preventive nephrology, vascular calcification, anemia, patient education, CKD education, computer technology and computer security.
Dr. Fadem has been nationally recognized by receiving the American Association of Kidney Patient's Nova Award, the National Kidney Foundation's Distinguished Service Award. He has also received the National Kidney Foundation's Presidents Award and the Myron L. Jenkins Award. He has been awarded the Peter Lundin Award for his contributions to patient education.
Dr. Fadem's hobby is photography.
Ms. Fields (Nachtigall) became acquainted with ASCF in 2005 through her role on the staff at PaperCity Magazine. With a background in public relations and print media, and a passion for the ASCF mission, Ms. Fields joined the ASCF Board of Directors in 2010. Losing a beloved aunt to breast cancer when Ms. Fields was just nine and years later, a cousin to sarcoma, Ms. Field's personal dedication to help those affected by sarcoma and other cancers is in part, fueled by such loss. Turning her family's personal experiences with cancer into a calling, Ms. Fields commitment to the war against cancer has been evidenced through her involvement in many Houston-based charities aimed at serving those affected by the disease. Such commitments have included serving as Chairman of the American Cancer Society's Cattle Baron's Ball Big Board, as well as in the past, serving as Publicity Chairman for Girls Night Out benefiting Bo's Place (a non-profit serving children grieving the loss of a loved one). Ms. Fields currently sits on the Executive Board for Victory (a branch of the American Cancer Society) and this year she will continue her support of Cattle Baron's by serving as Raffle Chairman.
When Ms. Fields is not focusing on her time helping others, she contributes as a freelance writer for publications such as CultureMap. In November 2011, her husband Jay Fields, her sister-in-law Greggory Burk and brother-in-law Pat Burk received the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's Commitment to the Cause award for outstanding commitment to the ASCF mission. Along with dear friends, Allie will co-chair ASCF's Catwalk for a Cure with her husband Jay in 2015.
J. Boyd Heath III
Boyd Heath serves as the Corporate Treasurer for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation. As Chief Financial Officer of Quantum Resources, he has eighteen years of experience in finance and strategic planning. Boyd joined Quantum Resources in 2011 from Liquidity Services, where he served as President of Network International, the leading online marketplace for surplus energy equipment. He joined Network International as Vice President of Finance and Business Development in 2000 and went on to serve as Chief Financial Officer, President, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman over a ten year period before the company was acquired by Liquidity Services.
Prior to joining Network International, Boyd was a Vice President at Encap Investments, where he structured and managed private equity investments in the upstream oil and gas sector. He also gained experience in the capital markets group of Koch Industries and the global oil and gas group of Chase Manhattan Bank.
Boyd is a member of several industry associations including the Independent Petroleum Association of America, Houston Producer’s Forum and Houston Energy Finance Group. He serves on the boards of several charitable foundations including Texas Children’s Cancer Center Carousel, ESCAPE Family Resource Center and The Children’s Fund. Boyd holds a B.B.A. in Business Administration from The University of Texas.
An associate with Simmons & Company (one of the largest investment banks specializing in the energy industry), Erin Holmes has served on the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation Board of Directors since 2011. Prior to joining the Simmons team, Holmes was employed by the Bank of New York Mellon’s Corporate Trust group where her specialties included asset valuation, financial waterfall modeling, and reporting of fixed income derivative investments.
Erin has a deep personal commitment to ASCF's mission, having lost her beloved mother to sarcoma. Sherry Holmes, Ms. Holmes' mother, was honored posthumously at the first ever Catwalk for a Cure. With a strong background in energy and finance, Ms. Holmes lends her talents to the Board in many regards.
Erin received a BS from the University of North Texas and an MBA from Rice University Jones School of Business. She acquired her solo pilot's license after years of interest in aviation. In addition, she enjoys reading, the outdoors, road biking and triathlons.
Luxury accessories and handbag designer Alexandra Knight has reason to celebrate much more than her business success. The former Conde’ Nast editor turned entrepreneur has graced the pages of Vogue, Vanity Fair, Bazaar, USA Today and more. Her list of clients includes Sandra Bullock, Hilary Swank, Michelle Williams as well as other red carpet royalty but recently, the wife and hands-on mother of two active boys is celebrating a new role, that of sarcoma survivor. After more than six years volunteering for the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation (ASCF), including chairing the organization’s Catwalk for a Cure After Dark gala in 2007, Alexandra was shocked when in 2011 she was diagnosed with sarcoma cancer.
Fortunately in 2012 at the Catwalk for a Cure event we were able to celebrate Alexandra’s return to health and bestowed upon her the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation’s Celebration of Survivorship Award. In addition to running a thriving business, you may find Alex on the sidelines with husband Brady during one of sons Thomson or Truett’s ball games. “I consider sarcoma to be the tap on my shoulder that reminds me of how precious life is and those in it,” she says.
Ms. Ling joined the ASCF Board of Directors in August 2005 and now serves as the Secretary of the organization's Board of Directors. Married with three children, she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor of music degree and received her law degree from South Texas College of Law. She is an Assistant Federal Public Defender for the Southern District of Texas.
Ms. Ling is a breast cancer survivor and has personal experience with sarcoma and the urgent need for finding effective treatments for these rare cancers. In May 1999, her twenty-three- year- old son Ben was diagnosed with chondrosarcoma. After surgery at M.D. Anderson and a year of remission, Ben’s cancer returned and was inoperable. With surgery no longer an option and no other treatments available, Ben lost his fight with the disease in March 2001.
Since losing her son to sarcoma, Ms. Ling’s most important mission has been supporting sarcoma research and promoting awareness of this cancer. She and her husband established a fund in honor of their son at the University of Iowa to support the University of Iowa Chondrosarcoma Research Program of Iowa Chondrosarcoma Research Program. She has spoken with members of Congress about the importance of funding for sarcoma research, and has been involved in counseling chondrosarcoma patients and their families at M.D. Anderson. Ms. Ling is a member of the West Houston chapter of the Compassionate Friends (a support group for bereaved parents), the Texas chapter of the Sarcoma Foundation of America, and an affiliate member of the American Association for Cancer Research.
In addition to her other activities, Ms. Ling enjoys playing her violin (including the occasional gig as fiddle player with her younger son’s band), riding her Arabian horse and best buddy Faaji and spending time with her grandchildren.
Keila Torres, MD
Dr. Keila Torres (a graduate from Albert Einstein College of Medicine, of Yeshiva University in New York) decided to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer after losing a loved one to sarcoma. As a surgeon at MD Anderson Cancer Center, Dr. Torres specializes in providing surgical care to patients with sarcoma. As a scientist, she also leads a laboratory whose primary goal is to understand how sarcomas grow & how they can be treated more effectively. Her efforts have culminated in several scientific publications, as well as clinical articles & book chapters that have advanced the standard of care for sarcoma patients. Dr. Torres has received numerous awards including the 2011 SARC Career Development Award, the National Cancer Institute Mentored Clinical Scientist Research Career Development Award (2012-2016), & the 2015 American Society or Clinical Investigation Young Physician-Scientist Award.
Dr. Torres' commitment to sarcoma patients does not stop at her professional calling. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation & actively supports the Sally M. Kingsbury Sarcoma Cancer Research Foundation. In fact, much of Keila's passion & charity work revolves around increasing sarcoma education & awareness. One of her most recent projects is a sarcoma awareness campaign using canine companions as advocates. In collaboration with photographer Kim Hartz, the duo aims to empower patients & their relatives to collaborate with the scientific community in search of a sarcoma cure. In 2015, Torres was the recipient of the Amschwand Sarcoma Cancer Foundation's Commitment to Care award. When she is not at the hospital, lab, authoring books or advocating for sarcoma patients, Dr. Keila Torres can be found treasuring her time with her beloved husband Jason and their cherished Labrador retrievers: Stanley, Albert & Emma.
Steph Veigel & his wife Joanna have experienced the true challenge of cancerʼs recovery. Joanna was diagnosed twice with Osteosarcoma over the span of twelve years, most recently experiencing cancer as a new wife and mother. As a support partner to his wifeʼs recovery, Mr. Veigel strives to advance the understanding of this rare form of cancer through his contributions to ASCF Board.
Mr. Veigel professionally assists firms in defining, implementing, and achieving strategic financial objectives for their firms. Currently Mr. Veigel is the Vice President of Global Solutions for Dresser-Rand a Siemens Business. Previously Veigel worked with GE Aero Energy as the Commercial Finance Leader, Citigroup Venture Capital company, as Worldspan's Director of Corporate Development, and as Senior Principal of Finance & Strategy at Sabre Inc. a former division of AMR Inc., parent company of American Airlines. Prior to Sabre, he worked to rebuild Continental Airlines as Director of Corporate Development and Senior Economist in the Finance Department. Mr. Veigel began his career in investment banking and capital markets analysis as an Economist with Fleet Financial Group. He holds advanced degrees in Economics & Financial Mathematics having studied at Trinity College, Texas Tech University, and Yale University. He resides in Houston with his wife and two children.