standard-title Meet the Team

Meet the Team

Peter Buttler, CPA; Anitra Simmons, Patient Advocate; Riley Elliott, VP; Dellann Elliott Mydland, Founder & President; Claire Tinker, Program & Grant Management Support; Tina Emerson-Hoffman, “Direct Connect” Patient Liaison; Susan Kellner, Educational/Awareness/Outreach Social Media Specialist.

*Photo was taken at a 2017 EBCI Board Meeting and Annual Planning Meeting at Sahalee Country Club.

dellannbig-150x150Dellann Elliott Mydland | President & Board Chair

First a word from Dellann… “I’m an eternal optimist, love the beach, Adirondack chairs and am a passionate gardener, consumer of fine wine & cigars and love decorating for and throwing dinner parties for our friends as well as for awareness & fundraising events. I’m pretty sure in another life, I was a chef, event planner or caterer. I love hanging with my husband and kids on the patio around the fire pit and in our backyard, which we refer to as our park. Presently, I’m taking guitar lessons, and as the everlasting optimistic, I DO believe through my and others’ passion for a cure for brain cancer, we WILL find it. This belief and desire is what motivates me every day to be the best brain tumor patient advocate/educator and research facilitator that I can be!”

Dellann Elliott Mydland co-founded the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund with her late husband, Chris Elliott, shortly before he passed away in June of 2002. Working tirelessly on behalf of cancer & brain tumor patients and their families, Dellann is, at once, a patient advocate, entrepreneur, educator, mentor, visionary, and creator of a unique “Direct Connect” model. This model benefits patients and their families and the research community alike, in that it connects newly diagnosed, recurrent and metastatic brain cancer patients across the country with genomic profiling, MGMT status testing, advanced treatment/clinical trials, immunology/vaccines, and personalized medicine. Dellann views these actions as essential for improving patient outcomes, advancing research, creating survivors, and creating changes to the standard of care.

Dellann is a skilled public advocate, attending hearings in Washington, D.C., educating doctors/patients through multimedia educational campaigns while driving collaboration within the research and advocacy communities at all junctures. She is a regular contributor to leading brain tumor and oncology patient awareness and education publications and has been featured on Cure TV’s patient empowerment video series

Dellann has been honored by Harvard University as a National Glioblastoma Patient Advocate, and has also been nominated for membership in the National Cancer Institute’s Advocates in Research Council (ARWG). Dellann is the mother of two grown children. Prior to creating the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund, she served as an environmental regulator and as an early childhood educator at a local Washington state elementary school, specializing in educating Down syndrome children.

Dellann is a member of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO), Society for Neuro-oncologists (SNO), American Association of Neuroscience Nurses, American Association for Cancer Research, Life Science Washington, Fred Hutchinson’s Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research Goals of Patient Care Working Group, among other organizations.

rileyRiley Elliott | Vice President

From a young age, Riley has felt compelled to make a difference in the lives of brain tumor patients. She initially became involved with the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund when her father, Christopher Stewart Elliott, passed away in June of 2002 from a glioblastoma brain tumor. More recently, wishing to make a much larger impact in the brain tumor community, Riley became a Board Member, serving as Vice President since 2014.

Riley graduated in 2015 from Central Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and a double minor in Business Management and Non-Profit Administration, and currently works in advertising sales at Bonneville Seattle – home of KIRO Radio 97.3, 710 ESPN Seattle, 770 KTTH, and Going forward, Riley intends to bring community partnerships and funders on board. She remains personally committed to improving patient outcomes and advancing research, feeling it is her responsibility to bring HOPE to the next generation.

clairenewClaire Tinker | Secretary

An independent market research and business consultant, Claire brings her technology services and customer loyalty background to what she views as the most important work of her life and career – being part of an Initiative dedicated to improving outcomes and advancing research for brain tumor and other cancer patients.

Claire is energized by the challenges and opportunities that come with being part of a new venture and the need to do something radically different in order to create lasting change in the brain cancer landscape. Equally, as a survivor of another type of cancer, she is acutely aware of the need to get the most up-to-date and reliable information IMMEDIATELY into the hands of all cancer patients.

A Vermont native, Claire moved to Seattle from the NYC area in 2007, drawn by the mountains, seascapes, cycling trails, vibrant forward-looking culture, and outdoor lifestyle. Claire holds a MBA from Fordham University and a MA in Art History from Columbia University and also has a Diploma in French Civilization from the Sorbonne. She is honored to serve as a board member and give back to others in a meaningful way.

Amy-for-uploading-150x150Amy (Romer) Murray | Treasurer

A CPA with more than 25 years experience in the non-profit arena, Amy currently serves as Director of Finance/Controller for the Seattle Foundation. Amy has driven the financial management of organizations from 150K to 50M in not-for-profit and for-profit venues and managed staff up to 150.

Previous nonprofit experience includes Impact Washington (“Made in Washington” program) and the Senior Director of Finance at the Allen Institute for Brain Science. Amy holds a BBA in Accounting from Florida Atlantic University and is a licensed CPA in Washington & Florida. Amy has served as Board member with the Seattle Red Cross 2010-2014 and the Village Theatre (Issaquah, WA) 2009- present and the AJC.


mollyjudgeMolly Judge | Board Member – Development

Molly Judge brings her extensive knowledge of fundraising management to the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund and a decade of experience working with leaders in the nonprofit sector on transformative multi-million dollar fundraising campaigns. Formerly a Consultant at Campbell & Company, Molly worked with numerous health and human service organizations and brings big-picture thinking to the EndBrainCancer Initiative. Molly currently serves as Director of Philanthropy, West Coast for the National Wildlife Federation.

Molly’s professional experience includes engagements with The San Francisco General Hospital Foundation, Ronald McDonald House at Stanford and the YWCA of Silicon Valley. Previous to her current position with Campbell & Company, she worked for the ALS Association, Greater Bay Area Chapter, where her careful segmentation of the donor pool was integral to substantial Annual Fund growth.

Molly graduated from DePaul University in Chicago’s Honors Program with a Bachelor of Arts in English and a minor in Communications. She started her development career at FUND Consulting in Chicago, IL and as a development intern at the Chicago Children’s Museum.

tinaTina Emerson-Hoffman | Direct Connect Patient Support Services Liaison

I am a writer, a wife, and a mother, as well as being an enthusiastic if not very accomplished knitter, and baker of bread. I am also a breast cancer survivor, which gives me a unique perspective on our work here at the EndBrainCancer Initiative. I have learned so much about myself in the past two years, about all that I CAN do, and what breast cancer has taught me about joy and gratitude.

My love of and gift for patient advocacy has steadily developed over my professional career and came to a tipping point when I served as Communications Coordinator for Sarepta Therapeutics. There I had the good fortune to view first-hand how a single, determined individual can become a catalyst for change, a voice for patients and their families, and sound the call to action for the public and the medical community.

I have worked in the Washington State pharmaceutical and biotech industry since 2001. I started at Immunex, and from there went on to Berlex Oncology, Acucela, and Sarepta Therapeutics, in administrative and communications roles. Every experience in my past seems to have been all in preparation to support this vision, the EndBrainCancer Initiative, and I am delighted to be a part of it. The EndBrainCancer Initiative is my very first experience in the non-profit space, and I have to say I think I have found my niche!

meghaMegha Gupta, PhD | Patient Support Researcher

Megha, previously a post-doctoral fellow at Seattle Biomed, recently joined as a volunteer. Doctorate in Biotechnology, Megha has worked as a researcher for 8 years. She has been involved in several vaccine development projects against infectious disease of global significance. Megha has published her research in reputed journals and presented her work in various national and international conferences. She took a break from work for couple of years to devote her time to family. She is certified in Biotechnology Project Management from University of Washington and aspire to be in management roles in life science industry. Megha feels strongly for helping cancer patients as she lost her father to this deadly disease back in 2002. She works in patient support group and primarily helps in digging important information that is relevant to patients’ needs and keeping up with latest in brain cancer research.

samSSam Staatz – Survivorship Ambassador

An engineer by training who has also worked in project management, Sam was initially diagnosed with brain cancer in 1999. After undergoing extensive treatment and rehab for brain cancer, followed by more treatment and rehab for an unrelated cancer, Sam is thrilled to be cancer free.

Realizing that he wanted to have a more far-reaching impact beyond participating in support groups, Sam has recently expanded his focus to being the face of what all of us are striving to get to: life beyond treatment launching his “This is What Survivorship Looks Like” Campaign in conjunction with the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund.

Sam has also taken on the role of Survivorship Ambassador for the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund mentoring those just starting out on this journey particularly as it relates to connecting the newly-diagnosed with clinical trials to accelerate the discovery of new treatments. 

cesarCésar Astudillo | Spanish Language Advisor & Translator

A strategic designer with an eclectic background that encompasses software development, multimedia content creation, and psychology, César has turned his considerable talents to helping the EndBrainCancer Initiative | Chris Elliott Fund launch its Spanish language patient materials program.  César knows Chris’s Story only too well having lost his own wife to GBM after a 4 ½ year fight.

One of the true innovators in the strategic design space, César is a proud partner in Designit, Europe’s largest strategic design firm with offices in several countries, where he juggles between doing business development, practice innovation, and team leadership. César also teaches Strategic Design in several institutions, Designit’s own innovation school h2i among them.

susanSusan Kellner | Social Media

I’m a married mother of three, domestic engineer, blogger, foster parent, time-philanthropist and grateful child of God. I’m passionate about many things and a titch lazy about the rest. I love God, family, children, humor, epiphanies, cheese, handbags, shoes, Pacific Northwest rain, discounts, the UK, ideas, black licorice, photos, pinterest fails, sarcasm, lunch outings, and figuring out ways to make a difference in the world.

I spent the first 20 years of my career as an Affluent Risk Management Advisor for a large brokerage in the Seattle area. In January of 2013, I decided to quit my job to stay home with my children and I’ve never looked back. I am passionate about the work that the Chris Elliott Fund does because I found them as a patient and experienced firsthand what they can do for their patients and caregivers alike. I started volunteering with the Chris Elliott Fund in relation to their Social Media because I wanted to do something significant in efforts to get the word out about what they do. Since then, I’ve started a small social media company and work from home part time both in the paid and volunteer arena.  I am thrilled to be a part of the team and look forward to the day that the Chris Elliott Fund helps to End Brain Cancer!

danpeddieDan Peddie | Partnerships

Dan Peddie has 41 years of involvement in nonprofit organizations. He has worked at all levels of fundraising development – capital campaigns, planned giving, annual funds, special events, outreach programs, major gift solicitations (individuals, corporations, foundations), board and volunteer development, cause-related marketing, corporate and foundation grants. His work experience includes such well-known organizations as UCLA, World Vision, and Young Life. Dan is leading our broader partnership development and initiatives.

davidDavid Mitchell | Web Site

David Mitchell offers 25+ years in creative direction, marketing and web development. David has a B.A. in English from Bucknell University. He has worked with and supported the communication efforts of nonprofits throughout the northwest and other parts of the United States. David also offers writing, graphic design and other skills to the EndBrainCancer Initiative.

TamaraD-150x150Tamara Dohner | Ambassador

A long time supporter and former Board Member of the EndBrainCancer Initiative, Tamara graduated from Western Washington University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Theory. Originally from Bellingham WA, Tamara currently resides in Coupeville WA on Whidbey Island. Tamara spent 11 years working for Microsoft and 7 years as the Global Website Content Manager for Colliers International in downtown Seattle before moving to Whidbey Island full-time.

KylieS-150x150Kylie (Schluter) Rittereiser | Ambassador

Kylie has been involved with EndBrainCancer Initiative since 2006, serving the Golf Tournament co-chair for the annual event and more recently as a Board Member. Kylie graduated from Seattle University in 2007 in Marketing and Management, and has been working in Commercial Real Estate / Project Management with CBRE, Inc. and most recently as Project Manager with Pacific Project Management.

NesbyGlasgo-150x150Nesby Glasgow | Ambassador

Former professional football player with 14 National Football League seasons, Nesby Glasgow brings his many talents and his dedication to making a positive difference as a Board Member of the Chris Elliott Fund.  Nesby grew up in the inner-city of Los Angeles and moved to Seattle in 1975 to attend the University of Washington on a football scholarship.  While earning his BA from the University of Washington, Nesby was a four year starter, All American and played in the 1978 Rose Bowl.

Nesby was drafted by the Baltimore Colts in 1979 and played with them until 1987. In 1988 he moved back to Seattle and spent the next 5 years with the Seattle Seahawks.  He considers the northwest as “home” taking full advantage of all the amenities the area has to offer.

Since leaving his football career, Nesby has pursued a variety of business interests, currently serving as a Project Director at The Pacific Institute and with NW Real Estate Consultants.  Regarded as a leader at every level, Nesby is well-traveled and brings solid practical experience and his unique perspective to organizations seeking to make the world a better place.


DavidH-150x150David Heyting | Ambassador

David is an outdoorsman and adventure racer, husband and father of two boys, active in local nonprofits as a former board member of the Salvation Army Northwest Division, and a Senior Manager at a CPA firm.  Diagnosed at the age of 34 with an Oligodendroglioma Brain Tumor, David has used this experience to help others through speaking engagements and his own personal blog.

David’s tumor, which was mostly resected in 2011, was the size of a tennis ball, and aptly named “Goliath” by his children.  Thus, David’s personal mission is to “Defeat Goliath” and find a cure through advocacy, awareness and research.

As immediate past Treasurer, David brings invaluable financial expertise to the Chris Elliott Fund as well as his “adventurer” spirit.  As one for whom “survivorship” means a renewed focus and purpose in life, David was honored in the Spring of 2013 with CEF’s HOPE Award.

JeanS-150x150Jean Smart | Ambassador

A versatile and gifted actress, Jean Smart continues to exhibit her extraordinary talents in theater, television and film. She starred in the HBO drama series “Maximum Security” before starring in the popular sitcom “Designing Women”. In January, 2006 Smart received her fourth Emmy nomination, this time for her role as the troubled and medicated First Lady Martha Logan on the Fox Drama “24”. That same year the show won the Emmy for Best Drama, and received a Golden Globe nomination and a Screen Actor’s Guild nomination for Ensemble Cast. Smart was awarded her first Emmy for her hilarious recurring role on “Frasier” and she was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play for her starring role on Broadway opposite Nathan Lane in “The Man Who Came To Dinner”. Jean continues to be extremely involved in her community and passionate about assisting those in need.