Advisory Board

Our newly established Advisory Board is comprised of key stakeholders with specific industry expertise who have expressed interest in applying their skills to help incorporate best practices from a wide range of industries. AKBTC is fortunate to have identified the following individuals to actively embrace guiding the organization forward:


GelfandPhotoAdvisoryBdJeffrey A. Gelfand, Business Development Advisor

Jeff Gelfand is currently a Senior Managing Director and Chief Financial Officer at Centerbridge Partners, L.P., an investment management firm located in New York City.  He graduated with a business degree from the University of Michigan and resides in Westchester County, New York with his wife and their three sons.  Jeff became involved with the cause 7 years ago after his son was diagnosed with a medulloblastoma and he quickly learned two very important lessons: 1) it takes a cavalry of experts in the field to maneuver the world of pediatric brain tumors, and 2) there was a dire lack of funding to support the research needed to find novel, less devastating treatments, and ultimately a cure, for children battling brain tumors.  Jeff’s goal is to help AKBTC raise the necessary research dollars to fill in this funding gap.

kimgilmanheadshotKimberly Gilman, Director Development/Family Outreach

Kimberly Gilman earned an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Michigan and a JD from Brooklyn Law School. Kim’s commitment to this disease stems from the medulloblastoma diagnosis of her son, Samson, in 2008. Once Samson was in remission, Kim was instrumental in developing Think Fit For Kids, an annual Family Fitness fundraiser, which has raised over $1 million since its inception in 2011 and has significantly increased the awareness surrounding pediatric brain cancer. Kim is the mother of 3 boys (ages 13, 17 & 19) and is honored and humbled to “pay it forward” to those families on the post-brain tumor diagnosis journey.  Kim’s goal is to have Samson know a world where ALL children diagnosed with brain tumors have a fighting chance at a long, happy and limitless life.

evanheckerakbtcEvan Hecker, Ph.D, Drug Development Liason

Evan Hecker, Ph.D. is currently the Director of API Development at Spero Therapeutics where he leads all drug substance development and manufacturing for the growing antibiotics pipeline at Spero.  Prior to that he was Director of Process Chemistry at Karyopharm Therapeutics where he led the early clinical API development of their oncology portfolio.  Evan started his career in drug development at Cubist Pharmaceuticals after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University.  He received his B.S. in chemistry from The College of New Jersey and worked briefly in the pharmaceutical industry before returning to school to earn his Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin.  He and his wife Cara have three very active young boys and Evan has been supporting the mission of A Kids Brain Tumor Cure since his eldest son Nathan was diagnosed with a low grade tumor at 4 years old.  He is eager to help leverage his drug industry experience and network to accelerate any and all research the foundation supports and is committed to finding better drugs and outcomes for our kids battling brain tumors.

Kupperman HeadshotAdam Kupperman, Technology Liason

Adam Kupperman is currently the Vice President of Go-to-Market for ONESOURCE at Thomson Reuters, a leading technology and information company to financial institutions, corporations, law firms and accounting firms.  Adam holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School and an MBA from Cornell’s Johnson Graduate School of Management.  Adam currently resides in Chappaqua, New York with his wife and three children.  In October 2009, Adam’s life was forever changed when his daughter was diagnosed with medulloblastoma.  After his daughter made a successful recovery thanks to the incredible medical treatment she received in Boston and New York City, Adam was ready to step up and join the fight against children’s brain tumors.  With the inexplicable shortage in children’s brain tumor research funding, Adam’s goal is to help AKBTC raise as much money as possible to fund promising scientific research by optimizing its use of technology.

Risa Sherman, Cause Marketing

For more than 20 years Risa has provided marketing, communications and philanthropy counsel to business, nonprofit, and government. Today, she is a Senior Consultant at Boston-based Cause Consulting Group, a firm that integrates social issues into companies to strengthen business and impact society. Risa is a graduate of Boston University’s College of Communication and holds a Master’s Degree from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University. Risa and her husband, Dan Katcher are the parents of three young children. In May, 2006, their 2 year old daughter was diagnosed with an optic pathway Juvenile Pilocytic Astrocytoma. Risa and Dan were moved to action after realizing lack of effective treatments to help cure their daughter.


We thank the current Advisory Board members for their service and look forward to growing the overall Board as we move forward.