We are proud to have this wonderful group support Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the Butterfly Ball as our 2019 Co-Chairs.
Mary van Praag
Mary van Praag serves as President, Intimates Group of Chico's FAS, which includes the Soma and TellTale brands. Ms. van Praag joined the Company in September 2017, bringing over 30 years of global, omnichannel leadership experience. She has a proven track record of developing brands and executing growth strategies. She is recognized as a passionate leader that has enabled the Soma organization to achieve excellence by inspiring capabilities for long-term success.
Prior to joining Chico’s FAS, she was Chief Executive Officer of Perricone MD where she led the prestige skincare brand through digital, broadcast and international expansion. Previously, she held international and domestic executive leadership roles at Coty, Inc., including serving as General Manager of OPI Products Inc., as well as corporate and regional positions at Johnson & Johnson.
In 2019, Ms. van Praag was named a Top Woman in Retail by Total Retail and Women in Retail Leadership.
She received a Bachelor of Science in Business, with a Marketing Major from Miami University, and completed the General Management Program at Harvard Business School.
Joni Berner & Edwin Hemwall
Edwin (Ed) Hemwall draws on over 35 years of global pharmaceutical R&D experience with Merck, Bayer, J&J and GSK in providing consulting services in nonprescription drug development. He centers on scientific and regulatory strategies, medical claims, and FDA interactions, is a regular conference speaker on these topics, and is active with worldwide industry trade associations. Dr. Hemwall also sits on the Management and Scientific Advisory Boards of FemmePharma Consumer, a company started by 2019 Founders Award honoree Gerianne DiPiano.
Joni Berner discovered as a young attorney that she likes helping people resolve their personal problems affordably and with dignity. She started her career as a litigator for a large Center City Philadelphia firm before founding her own family law firm in 1987, now called Berner Klaw & Watson. After handling many custody, divorce, support and protection from abuse cases throughout her career, she now focuses on peaceful resolution without litigation through collaborative law, mediation, and guiding self-represented individuals.
Sarah & Brannon Claytor, MD FACS
Learn more about Dr. Claytor here!
Nancy & Robert Phelan
Nancy Phelan is CEO, Adhera Therapeutics and serves on the boards of FemmePharma, Adhera Therapeutics, HATCH at Takeda and is an Advisor to Innate Biologics, LLC and Eved. She has over 25 years of experience in the life sciences and biopharma industries.
Robert Phelan is senior vice president of Clover Communications, the most trusted provider of next-generation technology infrastructure solutions. His career in business consulting in systems and telecommunications spans more than 25 years. He is also a passionate history buff and shares his love and knowledge of Philadelphia by giving history tours of Philadelphia in his “free” time.
Mrs. Phelan serves on the consumer healthcare board at FemmePharma, the company started by Founders Award honoree Gerianne DiPiano.
Deborah Spitalnik & John Weingart
Deborah M. Spitalnik, PhD, is a professor of pediatrics at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School; the founding executive director of The Boggs Center on Developmental Disabilities, New Jersey’s federally designated University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities Education, Research, and Service; and director of New Jersey's Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program.
John Weingart is associate director of the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. He previously served as Assistant Commissioner of the NJ Department of Environmental Protection and as the gubernatorally-appointed first chair of the NJ Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council. On Sunday evenings, he hosts NJ’s oldest folk music and bluegrass radio program, Music You Can’t Hear On The Radio, on WPRB-FM and WPRB.com,
Dr. Spitalnik and Mr. Weingart are the parents of Molly Weingart, who is receiving the Donna Noce Colaco Going Beyond Award.