Board of Directors
Bonnie Strauss established The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia & Parkinson Foundation in 1995, together with her father, Louis Bachmann. A native of Rye, New York, and a graduate of Elmira College, Bonnie has devoted more than 20 years to supporting her never-ending search for better treatments for dystonia and Parkinson's disease, while raising awareness for these two disorders. As founder and president, Bonnie is grateful to generous funders who have helped the Foundation raise $35 million and fund 235 grants, enabling researchers to explore their most promising hypotheses. Additionally, the Foundation established four Centers of Excellence at leading dystonia and Parkinson's disease research institution across the country to help provide one-stop specialized patient-centered care for the dystonia and Parkinson's community. Bonnie is a member of the board of The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research, The New York City Ballet and formerly served on the Board of the American Folk Art Museum.
Tom Strauss, a founder of Ramius LLC and the President and Chief Executive Officer of both Ramius and Ramius Alternative Solutions LLC, served as the President of Salomon Brothers and Vice Chairman of Salomon Inc. He was a former board member of The Governors of the American Stock Exchange, The Chicago Mercantile Exchange, The Public Securities Industry Association, and the Federal Reserve. Capital Markets Advisory Committee. He is a member of the Executive Committee and Board of Trustees of The Mount Sinai Medical Center, The Mount Sinai Hospital and the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, and a member of the board of the U.S. Japan Foundation.
Mrs. Rackoff is a partner/shareholder of the law firm of Tener, Van Kirk, Wolf & Moore, P.C., where her practice focuses on advising individuals in the development and implementation of strategies for estate planning, wealth transfer, and charitable giving, as well as in the administration and taxation of estates and trusts and business succession matters.
Ms. Axelrod is a consultant to Bloomberg, providing special project and management services to both corporate and nonprofit entities, including fundraising and event production. From 2000-2008, she was the senior vice president for Corporate Events and Protocol for Lehman Brothers in New York. Prior to joining Lehman, she was an assistant to the President and Director of Special Events for Mount Sinai NYU Health, as well as for the Mount Sinai and NYU Schools of Medicine. Ms. Axelrod is on the board of the Brooklyn Academy of Music and the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center.
Dr. Brin is a physician neurologist with extensive patient care and clinical development experience with 28 years of pharmacology, experimental therapeutics, small molecule and neurotoxin (including Oculinum® / BOTOX® / Myobloc® / Dysport®) research on a background of extensive patient care. In 2007, he became Senior Vice President, Global Drug Development and Chief Scientific Officer BOTOX®, Allergan, LLC. In this capacity, he provides strategic cross-functional support of the neurotoxin and next generation biologics program. This includes global scientific support and clinical expertise across the continuum of all BOTOX® therapy (cosmetic and therapeutic) product research, development, regulatory, drug safety, safety pharmacology, formulation, medical affairs and corporate strategy.
Dr. Dawson is the Leonard and Madlyn Abramson Professor in Neurodegenerative Diseases, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and served as director of the Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center. He founded the Neuroregeneration Program in the Institute for Cell Engineering, and became the director of the Institute for Cell Engineering, and on the Medical Advisory Board of the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy. Dr. Dawson is a member of the Faculty of 1000 Biology Neurobiology of Disease and Regeneration Section of the Neuroscience. He is world-renowned for his novel contributions on the role of nitric oxide in neuronal injury, and has published over 400 publications.
Judith Ann Eisenberg, a graduate of Skidmore College, serves on the Boards of Monmouth University, CPC Behavioral Healthcare, the Advisory Board of the Cancer Center of Monmouth Medical Center, and the Visiting Nurse Association of Central Jersey. Mrs. Eisenberg also was a Commissioner of the New Jersey Highway Authority and a member of the PNC Bank Arts Center Foundation (formerly the Garden State Arts Center). In 2005, Mrs. Eisenberg was named a Life Trustee of Monmouth University. She is also a member of the Board of the New York Service for the Handicapped, and she has served on the National Committee for the Kennedy Center of Performing Arts.
Ron Hersh, a graduate of The Johns Hopkins University, is retired President of Authenticity Lighting, LLC and member of the Lighting Board of Governors. A dedicated and determined Board member, Ron is especially interested in seeking a cure for dystonia since his daughter, Allison, was diagnosed in 2010. Allison serves as a member of the board of directors and is chair of the Young Leadership Council.
Masahiko Kasuga is the President and CEO of Tokyo-based Japan Green Stamp Co. Ltd., Japan’s oldest and largest point-based loyalty program provider, serving more than 24,000 stores with more than 17 million active members throughout Japan, continuing the noble traditions established by his late father more than fifty years ago. Mr. Kasuga’s philanthropic activities include cancer research, AIDS research and summer camps for children with life threatening diseases. Mr. Kasuga holds a Masters in Business Administration from Columbia University in New York City and a Degree in Law from Japan’s Keio University.
Attorney Allison London serves the Foundation as a Board Member and as chair of its Young Leadership Council, where she plans and organizes events targeted to young professionals. Since being diagnosed with dystonia four years ago, she has worked tirelessly to support the Foundation and promote its mission.
James Marlas heads the private equity firm, Union Capital, which he founded in 1968. Over the years, the firm has held controlling business interests in advertising, marketing services, printing, food manufacturing and strategic equity positions in selected public companies. James was Vice Chairman of the New York City Opera for over 30 years and was a founding member of the Chairman’s Council of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and of the Council of Fellows of the Art Museums at Harvard.
Mr. Pomerantz, President of JJP Advisory, LLC, is former chairman and chief executive officer of Leslie Fay Company, Inc. He retired from Leslie Fay in 2000. A founder and second-generation supporter of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Mr. Pomerantz serves on its Board of Overseers, has been named a Fellow of Brandeis University, and is a former chairman of the Wharton Undergraduate Executive Board. He is also a trustee emeritus of the Fashion Institute of Technology, and served as co-chair of the Educational Foundation for the Fashion Industries. Mr. Pomerantz is involved in community service, including the boy scouts.
Jeffrey Silverman, a Partner / Executive Vice President of Allied Beverage Group, LLC, New Jersey’s largest wine and spirits wholesale distributor. Prior to the beverage alcohol business, he founded the Newmarket Co., an East Coast specialty food distributorship. Mr. Silverman has devoted much of his energies raising awareness of and research funding for dystonia since his son Jake was diagnosed with the disorder in 2006. Together with The Bachmann-Strauss Foundation the Silverman Family founded Jake's Ride for Dystonia Research in 2008. The ride has helped raise more than $2 million to fund 23 research grants and four movement disorder fellowships. Jeff's additional philanthropy includes service as Vice Chair of the Newark Academy Board of Trustees. Mr. Silverman is a graduate of Lehigh University.
Mr. Mark A. Standish formerly served as Co-Group Head of Capital Markets and Investor & Treasury Services at Royal Bank of Canada from October 31, 2012 to January 2014. Mr. Standish served Co-Chief Executive of Capital Markets of Royal Bank of Canada since September 2008 and served as its President of Capital Markets and Co-Group Head of Capital Markets. Mr. Standish has been President of RBC Capital Markets Corporation at RBC Capital Markets Real Estate Group, Inc. since February 7, 2007. He was responsible for sales and trading, financing and balance sheet management. He served as Co-Chief Executive Officer of RBC Capital Markets Corporation and RBC Capital Markets LLC. Mr. Standish served as Co-President and Chief Executive Officer of RBC Capital Markets Inc. He served as an Executive Vice President of Royal Bank Financial Group. He served as Managing Director and Head of Global Markets of RBC Capital Markets. His tenure with RBC began in 1995 as Head of Proprietary and Structured Trading within the Global Equity Derivatives group of RBC Dominion Securities. From 1993 to 1995, he served as Managing Director of Kidder Peabody & Company. Preceding Kidder Peabody, he was at Lehman Brothers in New York responsible for equity derivatives, commodity derivatives and commodity financing. During the 1980's, Mr. Standish was with Bankers Trust in London involved with fixed income derivatives and proprietary arbitrage trading. He started his career in retail banking with National Westminster Bank in 1977. He is actively involved with numerous charities in both New York and New Jersey, including The Bachmann-Strauss Dystonia and Parkinson Foundation Inc. Mr. Standish attended Croydon College in banking and finance in England where he studied for his Associates Institute Bankers (AIB).
Chris Von Der Ahe is a Senior Client Partner in Korn/Ferry International’s Los Angeles office, and a leading member of the firm’s Global Consumer Market. He has distinguished himself by adhering to the highest standards of client service and has built a strong specialty practice recruiting senior level executives for consumer and marketing-driven organizations. Mr. Von Der Ahe also serves as a member of Korn/Ferry’s Financial Officers Center of Expertise. He is an active participant in community affairs and serves on the Board of Regents of Santa Clara University. Mr. Von Der Ahe earned a BA and his MBA in business administration from Santa Clara University.
Jonathan Zames is a partner and Co-CIO at Sontag Advisory, an investment advisory firm founded in 1995, focusing on individuals, businesses, non-profit organizations and foundation. Before moving to the advisory side of the finance industry, Mr. Zames spent eight years in the hedge fund arena where he was a ‘macro’ portfolio manager for several firms, including Tudor Investment Corporation and Black River Asset Management, where he spent seven years running institutional mortgage trading desks for several investment banks. A graduate of Columbia University, he holds an MBA from Harvard Business School.