Our Founders

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Chuck Saia

Chuck is a Senior Partner at Deloitte, the Author of You Got This, Kid! Words of Advice for Young Leaders, a Board Member at Quinnipiac University, an angel investor, the former Chief Executive Officer of Deloitte’s Risk and Financial Advisory business, former Chief Risk, Reputation and Regulatory Affairs Officer of Deloitte, a philanthropist focused on Lupus and environmental sustainability and a frequent author and contributor to publications, including Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and Fortune.

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Karin Wagner

Karin is the Founder and CEO of KW Marketing, a marketing services and consulting agency specializing in lead generation, located in St. Paul, Minnesota where she resides with her husband and two boys. She has been surviving and thriving with Lupus for 15 years and connected with Chuck Saia via LinkedIn about his book, YOU GOT THIS, KID! Words of Advice for Young Leaders proceeds benefiting lupus research and environmental sustainability. A few short months later, You Got This, Kid! Leadership Foundation was founded. We aim to develop well-rounded young leaders through immersive learning experiences, advance lupus research, and promote environmental sustainability as it relates to removing toxins from our environment.

Our Board Members

Joe Diskin

                        Joseph Diskin is in his 21st year as the Principal of Eisenhower                                                Intermediate School in the Bridgewater-Raritan Regional School District. He has 33 years of educational experience as a principal, assistant principal, supervisor, teacher, and coach. He lead his school's participation in the Marine Activities Resources and Education (MARE) program through Rutgers University. He was also on the original team that created the Essential Principles of Ocean Literacy for K-12 schools at the University of California at Berkeley.  Joe is the co-president of Principals Inspiration LLC which provides seminars and workshops for all types of businesses and organizations. He has recently joined the Krame Center's Mindful Awareness Practices program as an educational consultant and leads national trainer.

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Michelle Khan

                          Michelle is a seasoned Business Development Executive with over 15 years                            of Director-level experience, including in Fortune 200 companies. Most recently, she led the development, implementation, and management of strategic operational efforts for women’s leadership speaker and consultant, Selena Rezvani, and produced her LinkedIn Live show, Women + Work Culture. She is also an advisory board member for the You Matter Marathon, No Running Required, a non-profit organization creating and enriching positive connections between people and within communities by inviting people to share You Matter cards.

 

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Olamide Gbotosho

                             Olamide grew up in Westchester, New York where she attended Maria                                 Regina High School, to which she attributes her love for music and learning. In May 2021, Olamide will be earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Management and a minor in Integrated communications and advertising from Quinnipiac University. In her undergraduate experience, she has served as both class president and vice president of the student government association, captain of the club tennis team, and a photographer for Quinnipiac Athletics. Through her love of serving others, she has also been an orientation leader, resident assistant, and teaching assistant on campus. Some of Olamide’s favorite things include theatre, photography, the ukulele, and ice hockey.  

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Monica Lalani

                       Monica is a Principal with Deloitte and works with financial services clients                         in the areas of strategy, regulatory and risk management.  She is originally from Canada, where she received her MBA from the Richard Ivey School of Business, and then worked as a strategy consultant at Accenture and in the insurance industry before joining Deloitte.  She lives in New Jersey with her husband and two daughters.  Over the past year, she has done a lot of personal research on Lupus, given the potential impact on her own family and as a result, she is passionate about supporting efforts related to Lupus research and a cure.

Courtney McGinnis

                         Currently an Associate Professor of Biology and Medical Sciences at                                   Quinnipiac University.  She completed her Ph.D. in Physiology and Neurobiology at the University of Connecticut, where her thesis focused on understanding the molecular mechanism of action of tributyltin.  This broad interest in aquatic toxicology has been the focus of Dr. McGinnis’s research at Quinnipiac, where she has studied the molecular mechanisms of endocrine-disrupting chemicals and over the last five years examined the Quinnipiac River for the presence of phthalates and plasticizers.  As a trained toxicologist, Dr. McGinnis is also passionate about teaching the basic principles of toxicology to future toxicologists.

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Alexia Papavasilakis

                        Alexia is a New York-based artist who, in Spring 2021, will graduate from                              Parsons School of Design with a BFA in Illustration. “You Got This, Kid!: Words of Advice for Young Leaders” is the first full-length book that her work has been published in, but over the past couple of years she has done editorial for Slate Magazine and Bias Journal of Dress Practice. Aside from that Alexia works on commission and occasionally displays her work in gallery spaces across New York City. Sustainability is an issue that always struck her interest, so from being a conscious consumer to being a conscious producer of art, she is willing to lend a hand to the environment in any way she can. Check out her work here

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Allison Saia

                        Allison is a Cornell University graduate with a degree in Statistics and                          Biometry; Allison started her career doing technology integration work at Andersen Consulting (now Accenture) before moving to Deloitte.  At Deloitte, she had various roles in IT, before eventually taking a role leading Human Resources recruiting. After having her first child, she became engaged in volunteer roles and philanthropy while focusing on raising her and Chuck’s children Ethan and Matthew. She is currently a volunteer at St. Joseph’s Social Service Center and The Community Food Bank of New Jersey.  Allison's sister Amy suffers from Lupus, since being diagnosed over 20 years ago Allison has been very active in raising money for Lupus research.

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Amy Szoke

                         Amy is a SUNY Oswego graduate with a degree in Elementary                                       Education and Science.  Amy started her career in 1996 as an 8th-grade science teacher in Florida and then stayed home for several years to raise her two girls Traci (2001) and Ashley (2003).  Amy currently works as an administrator at Temple Emanuel-El of Palm Beach. While pregnant with her first daughter, Amy was diagnosed with Lupus and has struggled with the effects of the disease for over 20 years.  On top of countless doctors' appointments, medicine regimens, and daily joint pain and fatigue, Amy has suffered from two lupus-induced strokes, has had to endure two rounds of chemotherapy, and was recently diagnosed with lupus nephritis.  Through it all, she has worked full time and built a beautiful family.

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Dave Wagner

                       Dave is from St. Paul, MN, and is a Senior Manager with Deloitte &                               Touche LLP.  He has spent 13 years with the firm performing IT control and risk assessments within a wide range of industries but now focuses on Life Sciences specifically. Outside of work, his time is mostly spent with his wife and two young boys enjoying the outdoors.  He hopes to bring two of his passions together, solving complex problems and technology, to help drive awareness of the everyday challenges people with autoimmune diseases face
and ultimately support research efforts
to find a cure.

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