Chairman of the Board
Beyond founders Steve and Michel, Paul is the original Team Gleason member. He is also Steve’s father-in-law and the former Executive Director of the Foundation. After 11 years of building Team Gleason, we would not have made the impact, nor would we have helped as many people as we have, without Paul’s steadfast leadership, insight, dedication, and patience.
Paul is a life-long resident of New Orleans, a long-time business owner, lead singer of a band, and a restauranteur. His talents include managing a group of intensely passionate people trying to help those living with ALS. Paul works endlessly to raise funds for Team Gleason while creatively implementing the organization’s mission. Most importantly, he knows everyone’s birthday.
Steve Gleason played for The New Orleans Saints from 2000-2008. As a counter-culture athlete who spent his off-season adventuring in third world countries, he will always be remembered for his blocked punt on the night the Louisiana Superdome reopened for the first time after Hurricane Katrina.
In January, 2011 Steve was diagnosed with ALS, considered a terminal neuromuscular disease. Beyond his faith that there is a solution to heal, it is his mission to show that people can not only live but thrive after this diagnosis. In doing so, he intends to inspire others to do the same. With that in mind, Steve and his wife, Michel, formed “Team Gleason” to help him accomplish those goals and more.
Steve has helped pass 2 laws, innovated for and helped create new technologies for people with ALS and other disabilities, is a Congressional Gold Medal Winner, and most importantly, the father of two amazing children.
Co-founder & Merchandise
In her original role as Co-Founder of Team Gleason and also as Steve’s wife, Michel had a crash course in ALS and all that implies. In the film, ‘Gleason’, she and Steve shared their story with the world, creating enormous awareness for the disease and Team Gleason. Her official roles are as an advisor and also managing merchandise for the organization, but she remains a pillar or maybe two. And, every good idea is always attributed to Michel.
David joins Team Gleason as Managing Director, overseeing day to day operations and optimizing organizational structures. After a tenured career leading food manufacturing and marketing companies, David felt the call to pivot to a more mission-driven organization. David feels energized while working closely with and supporting the growth of his team members. He is excited by the bold goals of Team Gleason and the work they do to empower those living with ALS.
David originally learned about ALS through Lou Gehrig and draws inspiration from both him and Steve to work toward making positive changes in people’s lives. David was born and raised in Cincinnati and lived in a few different cities before settling in New Orleans in 1998 after meeting his wife. They now raise two children together.
Casey currently serves as the Chair of the Innovation and Technology Council (ITAC) for The International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations. Casey chairs Team Gleason’s Technology Advisory Committee and has spearheaded partnerships with technology companies like Comcast, Google, Microsoft, and more. These relationships have allowed Team Gleason to continue innovating technology that provides people with ALS the latest in accessibility functions.
Blair was named on Gambit’s 2022 40 Under 40 list for his work and dedication to advocating for the ALS community through technological innovations.
Chief of Staff
On Sally’s first day as a Team Gleason Intern, former Executive Director Paul Varisco said, “Stand up and give me a hug, you’re family now.” From that moment, Sally committed herself to Team Gleason’s mission of helping people living with ALS.
Sally believes she has the most exciting job at Team Gleason. Sally now helps lead strategic planning as well as organizational growth and development. She is our Chief Smile Officer.
Finance and Operations Officer
Kenny is integral to the fundamental day-to-day financial and operational aspects within Team Gleason. His background in business and finance has been an asset to Team Gleason’s primary focus of helping people with ALS each and every day. The role Kenny plays ensures the Foundation can continue to say “yes” to thousands of requests each year.
Although Kenny did not know much about ALS, he joined Steve’s care team in 2016 and now has a rich understanding of not only the disease, but a valued understanding of the complexities of caring for someone with the disease. Kenny’s first-hand knowledge has made him a go-to resource for troubleshooting and problem solving for our team.
Director of Development
Katherine O’Hagan joins Team Gleason as the Director of Development. Formerly with LSU Health Foundation, Katherine has experience leading major gift fundraising efforts. Overall, her track record of fundraising leadership spans over 20 years across both the investment banking and non profit industries.
A graduate of Siena College in Albany, New York, Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance. She went on to pursue her interest in global business development at major investment banks and hedge funds including UBS (NYC) , Merrill Lynch (NYC) and KBC (NYC/London). After 12 years on wall street, Katherine transitioned into non-profit fundraising and development to follow her passion for broadened accessibility in both academics and health care.
As a native of NYC, Katherine fell in love with New Orleans as a regular attendee of Jazz Fest. Since 2019, she is a proud resident that enjoys taking advantage of the rich and unique culture of this city especially live music.
Strategic Advisor - Marketing & Advertising
Everything in Suzanne’s life directed her perfectly to Team Gleason. She’s been friends with Michel since the 9th grade, was in Steve and Michel’s wedding, and is a leader in advertising and marketing. When Team Gleason was founded, Suzanne jumped in with both feet to assist with all things creative.
When Steve declared there will be “no white flags” when founding Team Gleason, Suzanne seemed to make that her personal mantra when approaching any project for the group or for people with ALS.
Emily Kornman, MCD CCC-SLP
Emily joined Team Gleason after obtaining experience as a Speech-Language Pathologist in an ALS multidisciplinary clinic, and neurorehabilitation outpatient clinic. Her value among the team is immeasurable and brings a critical depth of knowledge to help Team Gleason meet its goals of assisting and educating more people living with ALS.
In her time at Team Gleason, Emily has said, “It feels unreal to be able to help the amount of people each day in the way that we do. This was a big change from working in a clinic where you have a certain amount of time to work with each patient and have to see so many per day, to being able to actually listen and assist each person no matter the time or insurance.
A New Orleans native, Emily was a longtime fan of Team Gleason and has always been passionate about working with people living with ALS. Despite her fears of watching the film, ‘Gleason,’ because she felt she would cry for hours, she said it only made her more passionate to join the team and make an impact. We’re glad she did!
Brad Duos, MCD, CCC-SLP
As a member of Team Gleason’s Innovation Team, Brad is dedicated to enhancing the lives of individuals living with ALS and their caregivers. His work as a Speech-Language Pathologist involves research, innovation, and the delivery of cutting-edge services and resources to people across the country. Brad’s commitment to utilizing Assistive Technology to enhance quality of life is a crucial component of his role.
Brad’s life experiences and interest in technology are what drive him. Beyond his professional dedication, Brad is a die-hard Saints fan, a loving pet parent to a Frenchie named Beaux, and a passionate concert-goer.
Adina Bradshaw, MS CCC-SLP, ATP
Innovation and Partnerships Project Manager
Adina joins Team Gleason as Innovation and Partnerships Project Manager most recently from the Accessibility Center of Excellence at Twitter. Adina is a Speech-Language Pathologist with over 20 years of experience evaluating and implementing Assistive Technology solutions at the Shepherd Center Assistive Technology Lab and United Spinal’s tech access committee. Adina is dedicated to ensuring tech accessibility, awareness, and impact for those with mobility disabilities. She is licensed by Georgia, North Carolina, and South Carolina Boards of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, has a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, and holds a Georgia educator certificate. Adina is a RESNA certified Assistive Technology Professional and an IAAP Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies.
Jeff joined Team Gleason on the simple premise that if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. A native New Orleanian, he grew up with a sense of community, compassion for helping people, and to make the world a better place. Having an uncle who had ALS and being impassioned by the work of Team Gleason, Jeff is a perfect fit for advancing that mission.
Technology & Equipment Team Lead
Louisiana native Michael Holoway is a perfect addition to the Team Gleason Technology program. His experience in leadership, management and customer service is incredibly valuable for Team Gleason’s mission, but also critically important to the ALS community.
In joining Team Gleason, Michael said, “the ability to bring positive change into people’s lives is the most rewarding thing I have ever had the pleasure of doing in my professional career.”
Michael is a life-long Saints fan and that kind of fighting spirit is a job requirement at Team Gleason.
Technology & Equipment Project Lead
As the Technology & Equipment Project Lead, Yutha plays a critical role in planning and implementing processes across various projects and events. Yutha has years of experience communicating with people and families living with ALS about the benefits of the equipment or technology they may need. She pulls from this wealth of knowledge to ensure the best methods are put in place.
Yutha’s path from Boston to New Orleans came through interning at the State Department, working for a law firm, and on a Congressional campaign. But her overwhelming passion for life is in public service and humanitarian work. Yutha credits her drive to work for a non-profit with being raised by a family who dedicated their lives to helping others. Team Gleason and the ALS community are grateful.
Technology & Equipment Associate
Inspired by Steve’s story and the work Team Gleason does, Mollie is thrilled to join Team Gleason as a Technology and Equipment Associate. With previous experience as a certified nursing assistant and as a caregiver, Mollie is passionate about working each day to ease the stress of people living with ALS and their families. “I’ve witnessed first hand people struggling to live productive and independent lives because of the lack of resources provided to them. The programs Team Gleason provides for people living with ALS are exceptional.”
Mollie is excited to expand her knowledge of accessible solutions and looks forward to forming lifelong connections within the foundation.
Mary’s experience as a special education teacher led her to develop a deep interest in promoting accessibility for others. Working with students with limited verbal communication and motor skills helped guide her to Team Gleason. As the Logistics Associate, Mary oversees shipping and receiving, including updating technology as they are received. Mary provides outstanding customer support by answering and processing incoming requests for equipment donations and returns in a timely and helpful fashion.
Building relationships with the ALS community is important to Mary. She enjoys assisting those living with ALS and their caregivers, especially learning and understanding their unique needs and finding accessible solutions. Mary believes that everyone has the right to independence, and she is proud that her work with Team Gleason truly enhances the quality of life for others.
Mary grew up in Hattiesburg, Mississippi and attended college in Jackson before moving to New Orleans. As a diehard Saints fan, she was a natural fit. Mary brings a unique and valuable perspective to Team Gleason through her past experience and we are lucky to have her on the team.
Technology & Equipment Associate
With a degree in Computer Science from the University of New Orleans, Jarrett’s ability to troubleshoot equipment and eagerness to learn about assistive technology makes him the perfect fit for Team Gleason. As part of the Technology and Equipment team, Jarrett draws from his past experience working in IT to assist people living with ALS. Educating pALS on assistive solutions and helping them navigate available options for equipment are just two of the daily tasks Jarrett takes on.
Working within the non-profit world comes easy to Jarrett as he was raised by a parent with a tenure in non-profit fundraising. As a native New Orleanian, he understands the importance of Team Gleason and felt called to serve his city. You can find Jarrett all over the Greater New Orleans area exploring restaurants and the newest pop-ups. He’ll tell you all about his bobblehead collection or chat about the Saints, Pelicans, or St. Louis Cardinals.
Technology & Equipment Associate
Coming from a background of in-home care and customer service, “Shon” is a perfect fit for not only Team Gleason, but for the ALS community. As the Logistics Coordinator, Shon oversees all inventory, including updating and troubleshooting devices, shipping and prepping equipment, and processing donations and returns. She loves working with and learning about assistive technology. Her focus is always to make the lives of those with ALS more manageable with added independence while supporting those who care for them.
There is a consistent theme with all who work at Team Gleason to make life better for those living with ALS and Shon is no exception. She chose to join Team Gleason in her path to help make an impact on the lives of others. Shon said, “The work I do brings me so much joy. I help provide needed equipment to maintain a degree of independence for pALS and take the stress off of caregivers and families. It gives me a sense of gratitude and humbleness.” And we are so grateful Shon is here to help the ALS community continue to do those special things.
Technology & Equipment Associate
Travis credits his experience as both a journalist and a nursing assistant to his ability to connect with others. His time working in hospice care taught him the value of feeling comfortable as a patient, the impact of disease management and education, and the importance of caring for the caregiver. Disappointed by the gaps left in the healthcare system, Travis felt a calling to work for a non-profit that delivers real and tangible support to people in need.
Travis brings his Southern charm with him wherever he goes. Originally from Texas, Travis has lived all over, including Memphis, the Northeast, and Baton Rouge, before falling in love with Louisiana and calling it home. Travis studied Anthropology and Sociology at Rhodes College and graduated in 2012. When he isn’t petting every dog he sees or cooking a new batch of soup, you can find Travis fixing up his houseboat in the Louisiana swamp!
Emily’s love of travel is the perfect prerequisite to create and coordinate Team Gleason Adventures for people living with ALS. She’s traveled extensively and understands not only the joy and anticipation of travel, but also the preparation for a successful adventure. She says it best, “traveling changes you and informs you. If I can help anyone travel, especially those facing barriers they shouldn’t have to, I’ll be happy.”
If her travel background wasn’t enough, Emily has worked in disability rights and in journalism. She first learned about ALS through the Ice Bucket Challenge and then saw Steve and Team Gleason in a Mardi Gras parade. Once she became more familiar with team Gleason’s mission, she joined the Team in an effort to return to helping people. We are thrilled to have her, but we especially hope she brings some of her Scottish folk dancing skills to the team.
Steve once said, “through adversity we find our heroes,” and our very own Content Strategist, Kacie Banegas, is a living example of that statement. Kacie is a Type One diabetic, who like the ALS community we help, is empowered through the use of technology. Every day, Kacie uses innovative technology to manage her Diabetes, so she knows all too well how the power of technology can give back some of what diseases take away.
Kacie is the consummate “message-bringer.” She uses her natural writing abilities to share inspiring stories about the ALS community and the work Team Gleason does as community partners. Kacie was born and raised in New Orleans and we are glad she calls Team Gleason “home.”
Support Services Coordinator
If there was ever a real-life superhero, the ALS community would tell you it’s Liz. Working directly with families living with ALS, Liz navigates insurance benefits and helps locate additional resources as needed. Longtime friend of Steve and Michel, Liz jumped right into supporting Team Gleason. “Following Steve’s diagnosis, I sought out families living with ALS, all of whom welcomed me and were eager to share their hard-earned knowledge and experiences,” she says. “If it can be said that there is a silver lining to this awful disease, it is the community. I’ve never met a more intelligent, respectful, and generous group of people and I continue to learn from them every day.”
Drawing from personal experiences with rare diseases, Liz hopes that her work with Team Gleason helps make someone else’s ALS journey just a little easier.
Support Services Coordinator
As the founder of the Louisiana/Mississippi Chapter of the ALS Association who led the organization for 12 years, Kelly has a deep understanding of the needs of the ALS community. After losing her mother to the disease in 2001, she’s been committed to learning and teaching about ALS, while comforting and supporting the community.
As Team Gleason’s Respite Care Coordinator, Kelly is not only focused on supporting families who need respite relief, but she also connects directly with families after a recent diagnosis or ALS families who have unique questions or needs.
Although Kelly has a specific role with Team Gleason, her purpose is best described in her own words, “I want to help bring light to their darkness, and hope to their despair. I only want to help as many families as I can.”
As an IT Specialist, Corey brings a wealth of technical expertise and leadership to Team Gleason. With a background in Enterprise and Start-up environments, he seeks to tackle the technical challenges faced by Team Gleason. Through management of technical partnerships critical to organizational IT, Corey will seek to partner with Team Gleason leadership as we continually build upon and improve our support experience for pALS. Corey thrives on the complexities and uniqueness of the role with genuine interest to drive impactful change. Corey is grateful for the support Team Gleason has provided to the ALS community as he has witnessed firsthand many of the challenges families face.
CRM and Development Associate
As the Customer Relationship Management and Development Associate, Abby Muirhead is fueled by a unique combination of professional expertise and personal dedication. Coming from a non-profit background and having served as a caregiver for a family member with ALS, Abby aspires to merge her skills and insights for a meaningful impact. In her role, Abby formulates and implements strategies to grow philanthropic support of Team Gleason.
Abby graduated from The University of Texas with a degree in Management Information Systems. Hailing from Houston, Abby warmly embraces the lively culture of New Orleans, finding joy in the city’s dynamic atmosphere and welcoming attitude. Beyond her professional commitments, Abby treasures moments with her family and shares a passion for Texas Longhorn sports.
Despite not knowing much about ALS when Steve was diagnosed, Rian dug in and began helping in every way. She’s been instrumental in the growth of Team Gleason in Steve’s hometown of Spokane through Gleason Fest, the Gleason Classic Golf Tournament, and other events, while creating many more key programs that benefit people living with ALS.