Our Board

Barry Segal

Barry Segal

Barry’s successful entrepreneurial career began over 45 years ago with the simple principle of always doing the right thing. When Barry sold his company, Bradco, in 2008, it had 150 branches. Barry continued this mantra in philanthropy as the founder of the Segal Family Foundation, Focus Autism Foundation, and Focus for Health. Each organization and project has something very important in common, a goal to improve the quality of life of as many individuals as possible.
Learn more about our founders.
More About Our Founders

Martin Segal

Martin Segal

After graduating from the Kelley School of Business at Indiana University in 2004, Martin worked to become the Vice President of Operations for Bradco Supply. Bradco Supply is the nation’s third largest distributor of commercial and residential building materials.

From 2008-2010, he served as the Vice President of Acquisitions negotiating numerous strategic and financially important acquisitions for Bradco Supply.

In 2010, Martin joined the Segal Family Foundation full-time as a managing director. Martin focuses the Foundation on making efficient investments in projects that will make a lasting difference to help improve lives in Africa.

In addition to his role with the Segal Family Foundation, Martin is a real estate investor and manager of several real estate partnerships.

When Martin is not working or spending time with his lovely wife Kristen, he enjoys fishing, skiing, playing tennis, and spending time with family and friends. Martin and Kristen reside in Chatham, NJ.

Rich Segal

Richard Segal

Rich earned his Ph.D. in Computer Science from the University of Washington in 1997. Since then, he has been a member of the research staff at IBM’s T. J. Watson Research Center, where he researches the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques to real world business problems.

Rich and his wife Joanna are the parents of three girls. Rich is an avid bicyclist who has completed the 204-mile, Seattle-to-Portland bicycle classic eight times. He also enjoys skiing, softball, racquetball, archery, and is sometimes even seen on the tennis court. He is currently training for his first triathlon.

Rich’s charitable interests include Africa, epilepsy, children with special needs, and sustainable living. His oldest daughter has epilepsy. He is an active supporter of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, Blythedale Children’s Hospital, and the Miracle League of Westchester.

Robert Krakow, Esq.

Robert Krakow, Esq.

Robert is an attorney in private practice in New York. Bob started his legal career with the New York Public Interest Research Group, a consumer advocacy organization.

For nine years in the 1980s Bob was a prosecutor with the New York County (Manhattan) District Attorney’s office, serving as Bureau Chief of the special narcotics prosecution division. He founded his law firm in 1989, focusing on the trial of civil and criminal cases, and specializing in the representation of individuals injured by exposure to vaccines.

Bob represents families of children with autism in a variety of venues, including insurance coverage disputes, vaccine exemption issues, IDEA education disputes with school districts, and claims of educational and medical neglect.

Bea Pudelko

Bea Pudelko

Beata Pudelko, or “Bea” as she is better known, is the Business Management Administrator at B&D Holdings. She joined the team in early 2009 and is responsible for all phases of office operations, investments and administration as well as tenant relations.

Prior to joining B&D, Bea held a Sr. Client Services Representative position for a private wealth management company in Summit, NJ managing backoffice operations and before that she was an Assistant to VP and Manager of Research & Development/Technical Documentation at a privately owned Food Science Company in Central New Jersey.

Originally from Poland, Bea attended CUL University in Lublin. She continued her education in the US, holds a degree in Business Administration and is a Notary in the State of New Jersey. Bea resides in Springfield, NJ.

Advisory Board Members

Dolly Degal

Dolly Segal

Dolly, with 30 years in banking and accounting, pursued a second career in real estate. She also served on the Middlesex County Association of Realtors’ Community Service Committee in 2000, where she helped raise funds and provide services for children with terminal illness, disabled college students, and many others in need. Learn more about our founders.
More about our founders

Janis Simon

Janis Simon

Janis resides in Chevy Chase, Maryland and Vail, Colorado. She and her husband Ronny are blessed with five children and nine grandchildren.

Janis earned her Masters degree in art education in Connecticut. She is retired from a career of teaching in the public and private sector.

Janis is a founding board member of Segal Family Foundation and has been on the board for ten years. For eight years she was the Board Chair of Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project located in Uganda. She is a Rotarian and currently on the board of Soul Foundation in Uganda.

In 2015, Janis was certified by the American Academy of Pediatrics in Helping Babies Breathe. For the last four years, she has been teaching Helping Babies Breathe and organizing Helping Mother’s Survive trainings in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Susan Davis

Susan Davis

Susan Davis is the former president and CEO of BRAC USA, an organization that she co-founded to advance the global mission of BRAC, the world’s largest nonprofit.

She is an author, speaker, and thought leader in international development and civil society innovation. In 2010, she co-authored the book Social Entrepreneurship: What Everyone Needs to Know. She has appeared on CNN and ABC News discussing global poverty and health issues, and her work on microfinance and entrepreneurship creation in developing countries has appeared in Innovations, Harvard Business Review, and other publications.

She was a founding board member and past chair of the Grameen Foundation and currently serves on their Board Investment Committee. She is a senior advisor to New York University’s Reynolds Program on Social Entrepreneurship, is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. In addition to the Segal Family Foundation, she also serves on the board of United Nations Fund for International Partnership.

She was educated at Georgetown, Harvard, and Oxford Universities and is an adjunct professor at Columbia University.

Richard Deth

Richard Deth, Ph.D.

Richard Deth is a molecular neuroscientist and Professor of Pharmacology at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. From 1976 to 2014 he held a similar position at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. He currently serves as Director of the Center for Brain Research and Integrated Nutrition (B.R.A.I.N. Center) at Nova Southeastern University.

For the past 20 years Dr. Deth’s research interests have been focused on the regulation of metabolic pathways that influence the function and survival of neurons in the brain, and their contribution to brain disorders across the lifespan. This includes pathways providing antioxidant resources to offset the high level of oxidation in the brain, as well as pathways supporting methylation, the process by which single carbon atoms are added to molecules such as DNA. DNA methylation controls gene expression via epigenetic regulation, which is especially active during early brain development. Dr. Deth’s work has demonstrated that neurodevelopmental toxins, such as lead, mercury, aluminum and arsenic, exert potent effects on antioxidant status and methylation, showing that these same pathways are abnormal in autism and schizophrenia brain, in association with abnormally low levels of vitamin B12.

In 2014, Dr. Deth’s laboratory was first to demonstrate that opioid peptides, released during digestion of gluten and casein, act to restrict transport and absorption of the sulfur amino acid cysteine. These peptides decrease synthesis of the essential antioxidant glutathione (GSH), whose levels are lower in autism, and they also affect DNA methylation, with epigenetic consequences. Together, work from the Deth lab establishes a connection between environmental toxins and autism.

Dr. Brian Hooker

Brian Hooker

Brian S. Hooker, PhD, PE, is an Associate Professor of Biology at Simpson University in Redding, California, where he specializes in chemistry and biology coursework. Additionally, Hooker was a Senior Process Consultant at ARES Corporation until 2013, where he worked closely on process design for the environment restoration industry. His design efforts focus on industrial biotechnology and chemical engineering principles.

Brian dedicated over 15 years as a bioengineer and the team leader for the High Throughput Biology Team and Operations Manager of the DOE Genomics: Genomes to Life (GTL) Center for Molecular and Cellular Systems at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL). Dr. Hooker managed applied plant and fungal molecular biology research projects at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, where systems biology researchers are focused on understanding gene and protein networks involved in individual cell signaling, communication between cells in communities, and cellular metabolic pathways.

In 1985, Dr. Hooker earned his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering, from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, California. He earned his Masters of Science degree in 1988 and his doctorate in 1990, both in biochemical engineering, from Washington State University, in Pullman, Washington.

Brian Hooker has many accomplishments to his credit including: co-inventor for five patents, recipient of the Battelle Entrepreneurial Award in 2001, and a Federal Laboratory Consortium Recognition Award in 1999, for his work on “Reactive Transport in 3-Dimensions.” The breadth of Hooker’s 60 science and engineering papers have been published in internationally recognized, peer reviewed journals.

He has a teenage son with autism and has been active in the autism community since 2002.

michelle khatana

Michelle Khatana

Michelle Khatana is the Director of Philanthropy at Religions for Peace. She serves as liaison between the Secretary General and International Trustees. Michelle is charged with fundraising from private individuals and family foundations, and oversees Trustee communications.
Located in over 90 countries and accredited to the United Nations, Religions for Peace is the world’s largest multi-religious coalition, advancing consensus on peace as well as concrete actions to stop war, help eliminate extreme poverty, and protect the earth.

Prior to serving at Religions for Peace, Michelle worked in Business Development for real estate investment firms. Michelle oversaw the expansion of the investor base, streamlining communications, and increasing corporate visibility. Michelle bridged connections between high-level politicians, developers, and high net worth individuals, contributing to a number of large investments.

Michelle began her career as an artist, training at the internationally acclaimed School of American Ballet in New York City, and had performances with New York City Ballet, New York Dance Theatre, Pacific Northwest Ballet, and the United Nations.

Michelle attended Fairfield University for her undergraduate studies. She is passionate about the work of Focus for Health and helps guide others towards achieving wellness as a Certified Holistic Health Coach through Institute for Integrative Nutrition.

david lewis

David Lewis, Ph.D.

David Lewis is an internationally recognized research microbiologist whose work on public health and environmental issues, as a senior-level Research Microbiologist in EPA’s Office of Research & Development and member of the Graduate Faculty of the University of Georgia, has been reported in numerous news articles and documentaries from TIME magazine and Reader’s Digest to National Geographic.

His research on HIV transmission in dentistry published in Lancet and Nature Medicine prompted government health organizations worldwide to adopt the current heat-sterilization standard for dentistry in the 1990s. In 2000, the EPA Administrator awarded him the Science Achievement Award for his research published in Nature concerning the effects of climate change on risks posed by environmental pollutants. More recently, his research on heavy metals and other industrial chemicals in sewage sludge (biosolids) applied to land prompted two congressional hearings, a review by the National Academy of Sciences, and new guidelines issued by the CDC.

Currently, he is a Research Associate with the University of British Columbia’s Neural Dynamics Research Group, where he investigates the role aluminum adjuvants in vaccines may play in increasing risks of pre- and post- natal exposures to environmental pollutants linked to autism. In May 2014, Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. in NY released his book, Science for Sale: How the U.S. Government Uses Powerful Corporations and Leading Universities to Support Government Policies, Silence Top Scientists, Jeopardize Our Health, and Protect Corporate Profits.

bobbie manning

Bobbie Manning

For over 20 years, Bobbie has been an effective advocate for children with autism and other developmental disorders. As an outreach organizer, Bobbie has a successful track record of organizing grass roots advocates and coalition building in order to influence state and federal legislators to support policies focused on protecting human health – especially the health of children – and enhance the quality of life for individuals with autism and their families.

Prior to joining the Focus for Health team in 2014, Bobbie worked for six years as Environmental Health Outreach Coordinator for the Environmental Working Group based in Washington, DC., and was a consultant to The Deirdre Imus Environmental Health Center.

Sabha Abour DC

Dr. Sabha Abour

Dr. Sabha Abour joined the Focus for Health team in December of 2015. She led the joint collaboration initiative with Big Sean’s, Sean Anderson Foundation, Cleveland Brown’s Wide Receiver Andrew Hawkins and Comedian Hannibal Buress to raise $82,755 for the #HealFlintsKids campaign. The campaign led to the creation of a safety, health and wellness education campaign that Focus for Health fostered with the guidance of Dr. Mona Hanna-Attisha to distribute lead informational handouts and booklets to over 5, 000 residents in Flint, MI with action steps to take to protect their loved ones from lead exposure. While still actively working with Flint activists, she is currently in the process of starting a birthing center with a strong focus on serving low-income women of color. She is a recent Doctorate graduate and made history as the first Palestinian to graduate with a Doctorate degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic, the fountainhead of Chiropractic. While in graduate school, she continued her passion for writing was a staff writer for Emmy Award winning journalist Ben Swann’s Truth in Media along with being a health and political blogger for the largest, internationally recognized Muslim Woman Magazine in the world, muslimgirl.com. You can find her on Twitter @drsabhafierce.