meet our team

Our Board

Board of Directors

board of directors

Elizabeth Buck

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Black Diamond Therapeutics

Elizabeth Buck

Co-Founder and Chief Scientific Officer, Black Diamond Therapeutics

Elizabeth serves as the Chief Scientific Officer of Black Diamond Therapeutics. She was instrumental in developing Black Diamond’s MAP platform through which she made critical discoveries leading to the understanding of the properties of allosteric mutations in oncogene activation.

She has more than 20 years of experience in oncology therapeutics in biotechnology and large pharmaceutical companies. Prior to co-founding Black Diamond and being named its Chief Scientific Officer, Liz was Assistant Director of AdvancedPreclinical Pharmacology at OSI Pharmaceuticals, where she led discovery and translational research to advance a series of oncology programs to clinical development. During her tenure at OSI, she managed multidisciplinary global teams and spearheaded major academic collaborations to progress programs to investigational new drug applications.

Liz earned aPh.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology from New York University/Mount SinaiSchool of Medicine and completed postdoctoral work with Jim Wells at Sunesis Pharmaceuticals. She received her undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of New Hampshire.

Dylan Crotty stachestrong gliobastoma gbm charity board member

board of directors

Dylan Crotty

President of the Instruments Division, Stryker

Dylan Crotty stachestrong gliobastoma gbm charity board member

Dylan Crotty

President, Stryker Instruments

Dylan is President of the Instruments Division at Stryker, one of the world’s leading medical technology companies. Dylan finds his energy surrounded by teams, building winning cultures and seeing talented individuals succeed. That’s what it’s always been about for him—the people. This extends outside the walls of Stryker as well, to the customers who rely on our people and products, along with the patients whose lives are impacted as a result. Over his 20-year Stryker career, Dylan has seen the human impact of medicine, science and research, which inspired his passion for StacheStrong. Dylan graduated from Hope College with a BA in Business Administration and has served on various Boards in southwest Michigan.

To me, StacheStrong is an invitation—to stand up and help defy the odds. To believe that our fight can be bigger than our fear. And a reminder to keep seeking solutions to provide hope to patients and their families for more tomorrows.

board of directors

Costas Hadjipanayis​

L. Dade Lunsford Professor of Neurological Surgery at UPMC

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Costas Hadjipanayis

M.D., Ph.D., L. Dade Lunsford Professor of Neurosurgery, Executive-Vice Chairman, Dept. of Neurological Surgery, Director, Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery, Co-Director, UPMC Brain Tumor Center, Director, Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory at the Hillman Cancer Center, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center

Dr. Hadjipanayis is a board-certified neurosurgeon who has devoted his entire career to the treatment of brain tumor patients. He completed his neurosurgical residency and graduate Ph.D. training at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine with additional neurosurgical oncology training at the University of California San Francisco. He is the L. Dade Lunsford Professor of Neurological Surgery at UPMC and serves as the Executive Vice-Chairman for the Dept. of Neurological Surgery. Dr. Hadjipanayis is the new Director of the UPMC Center for Image-Guided Neurosurgery also serves as Co-Director of the UPMC Brain Tumor Center. Dr. Hadjipanayis directs the Brain Tumor Nanotechnology Laboratory in the Hillman Cancer Center and has been the principal investigator of multiple clinical trials and university-, private foundation-, and NIH-funded grants focused on brain tumors. He was recently recruited back from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City where he served as the Chairman of Neurosurgery at Mount Sinai Union Square/Beth Israel and the Director of Neurosurgical Oncology for the Mount Sinai Health System.

Dr. Hadjipanayis has focused much of his career on innovation, translational research, and intraoperative technology development. In 2011, Dr. Hadjipanayis was the first to use 5-ALA (Gleolan) and perform fluorescence-guided surgery (FGS) in the US and helped lead the FDA approval of Gleolan for glioma surgery in June 2017. Dr. Hadjipanayis has been a tireless brain tumor advocate serving on the board of directors for the nonprofit StacheStrong since 2020.

Stache Strong means how we accept each other for how we are including our challenges but look to the future to find a cure for brain tumors.

lou mckercher

board of directors

Lou McKercher

Vice President – Consumer Experience at CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective

lou mckercher

Lou McKercher

Vice President - Consumer Experience at CANarchy Craft Brewery Collective

Lou is a restaurant industry veteran with over a decade of management experience. He is currently the General Manager of the Oskar Blues Brewery Taproom in Boulder, Colorado. He earned a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from Binghamton University in 2008.

He is a rabid NBA fan and loves playing basketball, drinking craft beer, and listening to live music. Lou is a native of Upstate New York and relocated to Colorado in 2011 in search of milder winters and bluer skies.

To me, Stache Strong is entirely about selflessness and positivity. The first reaction that GJ and the rest of the Gerner clan had to GJ’s diagnosis was to ask what they could do to help other people, which really exemplifies the amazing energy behind this movement. I’ve known GJ and Colin for years, and I’ve never seen either of them without a giant smile on their face.

The strength in the StacheStrong community stems directly from the Gerners and focuses on the knowledge that the only thing that we can have any control over in life is our own actions. The Gerners chose to keep their trademark smiles in the face of extreme adversity, and they have directed that positivity outwards in an effort to make the world a better place. That’s a team I want to be on, and every time I see a mustache it reminds me to take a moment to reassess the way I’m confronting the world. Every chance to act with empathy is a chance to stay #StacheStrong

Greg rose stachestrong gliobastoma gbm charity board member

board of directors

Greg Rose

StacheStrong CFO and Senior Manager, EY

Greg rose stachestrong gliobastoma gbm charity board member

Greg Rose

StacheStrong CFO and Senior Manager at EY

Greg is an avid sports fan who loves to compete, whether playing volleyball or hockey. As someone who loves to travel and try the foods of the world, Greg also loves to cook and brew his own beer. Greg earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from UAlbany in 2009 and a Master’s in Taxation from UAlbany in 2010. He is currently a Senior Manager at EY where he is the Global Life Sciences Tax Resident and serves a variety of public and private companies on corporate tax matters.

To me, StacheStrong is a movement. Like all movements, they are spawned by a challenge or an event experienced by one or many. By converting and focusing the energy of those challenges and events, you can find strength, purpose, and direction to achieve more than you thought possible. Collectively, StacheStrong will enable a movement to focus efforts to enable previously unthinkable achievements.

board of directors

Norman E. Snyder Jr

Chief Executive Officer at Reed’s, Inc.

Norman Snyder-stachestrong-gliobastoma-gbm-charity-board-member

Norman E. Snyder Jr.

Chief Executive Officer at Reed's, Inc.

Norm is currently the Chief Executive Officer for Reed’s, Inc., America’s # 1 name in Ginger and America’s best-selling Ginger Beer brand and innovator for decades. The Reed’s portfolio is sold in over 35,000 retail doors nationwide. He has successfully held various positions in senior/executive management during his 35-year career and holds a B.S. degree in Accounting from the University at Albany. He is on the Board of Trustees of River Hospital in Alexandria Bay, NY and has volunteered at several local charities throughout his career.

To me, StacheStrong is a mission. Key attributes of this mission are a combination of efforts, attitudes and beliefs that supports research, education, emotional strength and hope. Until GJ’s diagnosis, I knew nothing about GBM. Today I am committing myself to making a difference through #StacheStrong!

ben sorber board of directors stachestrong

board of directors

Ben Sorber

Attorney, DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder and Owner of Hermes Helpers

ben sorber board of directors stachestrong

Ben Sorber

Attorney, DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder LLC and CFO/Owner of Hermes Helpers, LLC

Ben Sorber grew up in Vestal, New York, in the same town as the Gerner family. Ben graduated high school with GJ and spent his summers in college going to Dave Matthews Band shows with GJ. They remained best friends until the end.

Ben is a practicing attorney in Akron, Ohio with the law firm of DiCaudo, Pitchford & Yoder. This past year, he was recognized as a Rising Star in the field of criminal defense by SuperLawyers, a designation awarded to less than 3% of practicing attorneys. Ben’s practice focuses on high-level felony criminal defense, as well as corporate litigation and defense of local municipalities. Prior to serving on the StacheStrong Board of Directors, Ben served on the Board of Directors for Broome–Tioga Special Olympics, New York.

To me, StacheStrong is about strength, perseverance, and the pursuit for a cure. My Uncle Tom battled GBM, and I’m honored to be part of this organization and raise funds for a cure. Recent advancements leave me very optimistic that we are close to a cure for GBM, and that is StacheStrong.

stacey stack board of directors

board of directors

Stacey Stack

Former Vice President of Northeastern Water Conditioning

stacey stack board of directors

Stacey Stack

Former Vice President of Northeastern Water Conditioning

Stacey is from Endicott, NY and currently resides in Jupiter, FL. She was Vice President of Northeastern Water Conditioning in Stuart, FL until 2008. Stacey enjoys golf, reading, boating and fishing. She volunteers her time in several organizations in Jupiter, FL. 

To me, StacheStrong is an organization that encourages strength, promotes courage and compassion in their endeavor to find a cure for GBM. I’m all too familiar with this horrible disease, as I lost my husband Marty to GBM in June of 2020. I believe in fighting for him and the countless others who lost their battle or are currently waging a war against GBM. 

colin stachestrong

board of directors

Colin Gerner

President and CEO
Co-Founder, StacheStrong

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Colin Gerner

President and Co-Founder

Colin is the founder and President of StacheStrong and is always thinking of the next event and strategy to continually grow StacheStrong. He is a partial Yankee season ticket holder, an avid runner and never turns down an adventure! Colin earned a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from UAlbany in 2014 and a Master’s in Taxation from UAlbany in 2015. 

He was a Manager at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as a Tax Consultant where he worked for 6 years with industry-leading Telecommunication companies, as well as a variety of cosmetic and retail companies. He has recently transitioned to be a Manager for the PwC Charitable Foundation, focused on Humanitarianism, Education and the People of PwC.

To me, StacheStrong is a lifestyle. It’s finding something within yourself to do the unthinkable and conquer your fears. It’s not only doing what’s expected of you but rising above in any way possible. You can be StacheStrong during the biggest moments of the day, week or month, but it’s just as important during the little moments too. If we all can implement being StacheStrong in our day-to-day lives, I truly think we can make a profound difference. GJ did every day and look at all the help we’re able to provide because of his mindset…

gj gerner board of directors

board of directors

GJ Gerner

Co-Founder, StacheStrong

gj gerner board of directors

GJ Gerner

Co-Founder

GJ Gerner is the inspiration behind StacheStrong. GJ was diagnosed with Glioblastoma Multiforme in September 2017 and fought courageously for 25 months. GJ was a manager at EY in the Tax Technology and Transformation group, where he had been since 2012 after completing his Master’s degree in Professional Accountancy at Albany. Before earning his Master’s degree, GJ earned a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting as well as a degree in Business Administration with a focus in Finance and Management. 

While at Albany he was a member of Delta Sigma Pi, serving as their President in the Fall 2010 semester. GJ lived through the joys of being an avid Mets, Jets and UNC Tarheel fan. He was the StacheStrong Treasurer for the first 2 years of our organization and has passed the torch to us to continue the fight against GBM. He gained his wings on September 17, 2019, but will live forever in the hearts of many.

kelly of stachestrong

board of directors

Kelly Gerner

Secretary, StacheStrong

Kelly Stachestrong gliobastoma charity board member

Kelly Gerner

Secretary

Kelly earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Finance from University at Buffalo in 2015 and a General Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from D’Youville College in 2017. She currently works at Chex Finer Foods as the Key Account Manager for The Fresh Market.

To me, StacheStrong is strength. It is finding your inner strength and letting it resonate and strengthen and encourage others. The power to be strong and overcome any and every obstacle that comes within your path of life. Most importantly, empowering strength in others to implement StacheStrong into their life and continuously pass it along.

Betsy stachestrong

board of directors

Betsy Gerner

Treasurer and Director of Community Relations, StacheStrong

Betsy stachestrong gliobastoma gbm charity board member

Betsy Gerner

Treasurer and Director of Community Relations

Betsy was a lead Financial Analyst with Lockheed Martin for most of her 41-year career before retiring in 2021. She is now actively involved with StacheStrong in her dual roles as Treasurer and Director of Community Relations. Betsy is passionate about making sure StacheStrong provides a beacon of hope to other families when someone they love is diagnosed with GBM. When we, as parents, needed support the most, we recognized more needed to be done. She is enjoying retired life with her husband, George, and they love to spend as much time as possible with Colin and Kelly.

When we first started StacheStrong, it was a way to shed light on the disease and the toll it takes on families. I never imagined it would grow into what it has! This is all thanks to our generous donors and our volunteers, ensuring the most dollars are available for research grants. I’m sorry for the reason why we’ve met so many other families diagnosed with this disease, but I’m grateful for so many friendships we’ve built. Additionally, I’m humbled by their appreciation that we provide a beacon of hope when they need it the most…that’s how I define ‘StacheStrong’. And to think, I originally thought, “I don’t think I can do this when the day comes that GBM takes my son’s life”. It wasn’t long after he passed, however, when I said, “How can I not?”

Medical Advisory Board

Chris Cifarelli Medical Board

medical advisory board

Chris Cifarelli

MD, West Virginia University

randy d'amico

medical advisory board

Randy D'Amico

Northwell Health

jan drappatz medical advisory board stachestrong

medical advisory board

Jan Drappatz

MD, UPMC

Dolores Hambardzumyan stachestrong medical advisory board

medical advisory board

Dolores Hambardzumyan

PhD, Mount Sinai

Kimberly Hoang

medical advisory board

Kimberly Hoang

MD, Emory University

Adilia Hormigo medical advisory board

medical advisory board

Adilia Hormigo

MD, PhD, Einstein Medical Center

Michael Ivan advisory board

medical advisory board

Michael Ivan

MD, University of Miami

Gary Kohanbash advisory board

medical advisory board

Gary Kohanbash

PhD, University of Pittsburgh

Dimitris Placantonakis advisory board

medical advisory board

Dimitris Placantonakis

MD, PhD, NYU

Praveen Raju advisory board

medical advisory board

Praveen Raju

MD, PhD, UC San Diego

Nader Sanai advisory board

medical advisory board

Nader Sanai

MD, Ivy Brain Tumor Center

Soma Sengupta advisory board

medical advisory board

Soma Sengupta

MD, University of North Carolina