Rick Labuda, Executive Director & Secretary (not on Board of Directors)

Mr. Labuda is the Founder of Conquer Chiari. As a Chiari patient himself, he knows firsthand the pain and frustration of dealing with this disease. He has written hundreds of articles on Chiari and related topics; is the author of "Conquer Chiari: A Patients Guide to Chiari Malformation" and is co-author of several peer reviewed scientific publications. Mr. Labuda holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon and has over 20 years of business experience across a range of industries and disciplines.

Rich Kushner, President & Director

Mr. Kushner is Vice President, Sales & Marketing for Modern Transportation Systems and has over 25 years of business and marketing experience in industries ranging from aerospace to telecommunication/Internet to software and logistics.  Mr. Kushner is active in the non-profit sector and is a Director of the American Respiratory Alliance. He holds a Master's in Management and Policy Analysis from Carnegie Mellon University.

David Lee, Vice President & Director

Mr. Lee is a business and high technology professional with 25 years of experience across a variety of industries and vocations. Currently he is a Product Manager at Dynavox, a manufacturer of communications products which assist individuals in overcoming speech, language and learning challenges. He is an expert in the application of cutting edge technology to innovative business practices. Mr. Lee holds a degree in Business from Boston University.

Mark Tomczak, Treasurer & Director

Mr. Tomczak is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) with over 25 years of world-wide, financial management experience, including 6 years at Price Waterhouse. Mr. Tomczak is currently Chief Financial Officer at Inmedius, a Boeing Company a global leader in delivering innovative, performance-oriented applications and services that capture, create, manage and deploy technical information assets.

Dr. Diane Mueller, Director

Dr. Mueller achieved her Doctorate in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and has over 25 years of neurosurgical nursing experience. She is currently working with Dr Oro at the Chiari Care Center in Aurora Colorado. During her career has treated hundreds of Chiari and syringomyelia patients. Dr Mueller has authored multiple publications in peer reviewed journals and is currently active in several research projects.

Melissa Neff, Program Manager

Melissa has done extensive work for Conquer Chiari since 2004 as both a volunteer and contract graphic designer, seen in the original shield logo, our newly designed logo and website, as well as the layout and graphics for Conquer Chiari: A Patient's Guide.  Along with her Design and Marketing skills, Melissa is also a Chiari and Syringomyelia patient and can sympathize with the everyday struggles of patients facing these diseases.

Scientific Advisors

In order to remain independent, and adhere to our policy of not aligning with a specific doctor or hospital, Conquer Chiari does not have a formal medical or scientific advisory board.  However, Conquer Chiari has built an extensive network of contacts with the medical and scientific leaders in the world wide Chiari community, and consults with these experts on an ongoing, as needed basis.  Since we provide significant research funding, we believe that it is important to maintain a constructive, but arms length, relationship with the medical and scientific community in order to avoid conflicts of interest.