From just a couple staff members and a doctor with a vision, we have grown to be the largest PKD patient advocacy organization in the world. Located in Kansas City, Mo., we are run by a dedicated staff, all of whom have had their lives impacted by PKD. We are proud to be the voice for the millions of people affected by polycystic kidney disease.
Andy Betts, Chief Executive Officer
Andy Betts has been an executive for over 15 years, with extensive experience leading health and human service institutions, managing development, marketing, board relations and volunteer functions for non-profit organizations in the United States and Europe.
Betts comes to the Foundation from The Salvation Army, where he was the Executive Director of Development for one of the largest divisions in the US, raising over $50 million annually. He has also held leadership roles for Outreach International in Kansas City, MO, and UCB broadcasting in England. Betts is accustomed to growing existing and new revenue stream while eliminating deficits at every organization he has led. As a volunteer, Andy served as Board Chair and fundraiser for Camp Quality U.K., a British national cancer charity, and volunteers for Autism Speaks.
Betts has a Bachelor of Arts in marketing and management from Coventry University, England. He has a general national vocations qualification in business studies from Worksop College, England, and post-graduate training in managing capital campaigns from the University of Indiana, Purdue University.
David Baron, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer
David Baron’s background in biomedical sciences and drug development will keep us moving forward with progress in research. Baron is particularly interested in the Foundation’s work as he has PKD, along with several family members. Baron received a kidney transplant in 2009. Also, his main research focus has been the movement of electrolytes and water across normal and abnormal epithelia. Baron joins us out of retirement from Takeda Global Research and Development (Deerfield, Ill.) in 2013. During his retirement, he traveled and served as a legal and regulatory expert witness in toxicology and pharmacology, which he has done since 1989. Baron was with Takeda since 2001, where he began as their first U.S. Director of Toxicology and most recently was Vice President, Nonclinical Safety and Risk Evaluation for the U.S. and European Union. Other roles he had prior to Takeda include Senior Science Fellow for Global Toxicology with Pharmacia (Skokie, Ill.), and increasing positions of responsibility with Searle/Monsanto (Skokie), becoming a Monsanto Science Fellow in Metabolism and Safety Evaluation. At Searle, he was head of quantitative light and electron microscopy. He also represented Safety Assessment on drug development teams. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.). With an NIH grant, he founded the Core Structure-Function Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology. Baron received his B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Anatomy from The University of Chicago. His did his postdoctoral fellowship in pathology and pharmacology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been a grant reviewer for the National Cancer Institute, given invited seminars and has served on several national scientific boards.
Amanda Hanova, Chief Operating Officer
Amanda is an accomplished leader with over 15 years’ experience partnering with executives, boards, staff at all levels, internal and external partners, and volunteers to align organizational strategy with operational excellence. Before joining the PKD Foundation team, Hanova served as operations director for the American Academy of Family Physicians and chief operating officer for the Association of Family Medicine Residency Directors. Prior to that, Hanova was an associate director for marketing and development at Missouri State University, as well as a senior manager for the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. Hanova holds a master of science in management from Baker University and a bachelor of science in political science from Missouri State University. Hanova is Lean Six Sigma Green Belt certified through the University of Kansas.
Stephanie Sullens, Chief Advancement Officer
Stephanie Sullens is a skilled fundraiser with 15 years of experience, primarily in academic medical fundraising, where she partnered with leadership to successfully develop and cultivate support for multiple research and patient care initiatives. Sullens served as the Senior Director of Development at the University of Illinois College of Medicine Peoria, where she lead all advancement operations. Earlier in her tenure at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, Sullens held the same title on its Chicago campus and focused on innovation and research activity. Prior to that, Sullens was the Senior Director of Advancement and Chief Development Officer at the University of Missouri Trulaske College of Business. She also served on the KU Endowment development team during the Far Above campaign and quest for National Cancer Institute designated. Sullens holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration with emphasis in finance and real estate from the University of Missouri. She also completed an Innovation Fellowship from the University of Missouri System and Washington University.