Dr. Sundaram is a pediatric hepatologist at Children’s Hospital Colorado and does translational work in NASH from a research perspective. She runs a NASH clinic and has been extensively involved in NASH work clinically on the national level. Dr. Sundaram is a member of NASPGHAN and the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD). She has been a presenter at AASLD educational sessions.
Dr. Mary Ayers Board Member
Dr. Ayers specializes in pediatric hepatology at UPMC’s Children’s Hospital in Pittsburgh. She is also an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh Medical School. Dr. Ayers is active in both the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) and the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Dr. David Garcia Board Member
David Garcia, PhD, FACSM
Dr. Garcia is an Associate Professor in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health at the University of Arizona. He is also the Director and Founder of “Nosotros Comprometidos a Su Salud (Committed to Your Health)”, a program developed to foster community-engaged research collaborations, service, and education to advance health equity in Southern Arizona. He has extensive experience in short and long-term intervention trials in the areas of physical activity, diet, and weight management. Dr. Garcia is among the first to develop a gender and culturally-sensitive weight loss interventions for Hispanic males.
Charles Kelly Board Member
Mr. Kelly is an attorney and partner at Saul Ewing Arnstein and Lehr LLP in Pittsburgh. He has extensive legal experience across a broad spectrum, including healthcare issues. Mr. Kelly also serves on the Board of Directors of Heritage Valley Health System.
Dr. Maya Balakrishnan Board Member
Dr. Balakrishan is Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Section of Gastroenterology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX. She is the Director of Hepatology and staff physician at Ben Taub Hospital. Her research focuses on common liver diseases that disproportionately affect vulnerable populations.
Dr. Mazen Noureddin Board Member
Dr. Noureddin is the founding Director of Cedars-Sinai’s Fatty Liver Program in Los Angeles, California.
His research focuses on the underlying mechanisms of non- alcoholic fatty
liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), new imaging modalities, non-invasive
biomarkers, and exploring new treatments. He has conducted several original studies that have been featured
in publications in Gastroenterology, Journal of Hepatology, Gut, Hepatology, The American Journal of
Gastroenterology, and many others. The Fatty Liver Program at Cedars- Sinai is conducting a number of
breakthrough studies and clinical trials targeting new therapies in patients NAFLD and NASH, including those
with advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis.
Dr. Anthony Martinez Board Member
Dr. Martinez is an Associate Professor in the University of Buffalo’s Jacob School of Medicine & Biomedical Sciences. He is the Medical Director – Hepatology at the Erie County Medical Center. He is active in the AASLD and the Chronic Liver Disease Foundation. Dr. Martinez was recently elected to the AASLD’s HCV special interest group steering committee.
Dr. Karen Jerome-Zapadka Board Member
Dr. Karen Jerome-Zapadka is a Gastroenterology and Obesity Medicine specialist with over 32 years of diverse experience currently practicing at Valley Gastroenterology Associates. She is affiliated with Heritage Valley Health System, where she serves on the Board of Directors. Dr. Jerome-Zapadka has been at the forefront of developing programs and partnerships to raise more awareness and provide better education to patients and healthcare providers about fatty liver disease. She has implemented a comprehensive obesity program in her practice, has developed a multi-disciplinary nutrition committee through Heritage Valley and took a lead role in the Pediatric Symposium, an event to raise awareness of pediatric liver disease.
Gerald Jones Board Member
Gerald Jones is Vice President, Partnerships and Activation at REVELxp and is the founder of 5G Sports & Entertainment, a boutique sales & marketing firm located in Bradenton, Florida. Jones has 20 years of experience in marketing, media sales and corporate partnerships in the sports and entertainment industry most recently as Minor League Baseball’s Vice President of Business Development. Prior to that he was Senior Director of Global Partnerships at Feld Entertainment; General Manager of Pitt IMG Sports Marketing; Manager of Business Development for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and served in Account Executive, Client Services Manager and Guest Relations Manager roles for the Pittsburgh Pirates.
Shawn Bannon Board Member
Shawn Bannon is the Senior Vice President, Executive Communicatons for Truist Financial. He was previously founder of Bannon Leadership Consulting and Bannon Communications. Bannon served as Senior Vice President and Director of Executive, Employee and HR Communications for The PNC Financial Services Group from 2012-2020. Prior to that he managed communications for the Pittsburgh G-20 Partnership ( the regional host committee for the 2009 Pittsburgh G-20 Summit of global heads of state); served as Vice President of Communications for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and was Assistant Vice President of Corporate Communications with Mellon Financial Corporation (now BNY Mellon).
Tony Villiotti FOUNDER AND BOARD CHAIR
Following a confusing and frustrating experience from his initial fatty liver diagnosis up until his life-saving liver transplant, Villiotti founded NASH kNOWledge to help others avoid a similar fate, serving as President of NASH kNOWledge as well as a member of the Board. Villiotti is retired and spent most of his career with Duquesne Light Company and its subsidiaries in various management positions and served on the Board of Directors of two publicly traded companies. Previously he worked in public accounting at Haskins & Sells (now Deloitte). Villiotti is also involved in local high school baseball as one of the organizers of a showcase for high school players.
Gina Villiotti Madison Executive Director and Board Member
With nearly twenty years of business experience, Gina Villiotti Madison has successfully led teams in a variety of roles including marketing, public relations, event planning, product development, customer segmentation, investor relations and community development. In 2015 she was deemed one of Pittsburgh Magazine’s 40 Under 40. She has always been active in the community and also helped create and lead an intergenerational employee business resource group (iGen EBRG) at PNC Bank, where she built a progressively successful career for 11 years. Madison resigned from PNC to become Executive Director of NASH kNOWledge, a role she assumed on June 1, 2019. She is a Penn State graduate.
Dr. Cristina S. Strahotin, M.D. Board Member
A triple board certified in Internal Medicine, Gastroenterology and Transplant Hepatology. Dr. Strahotin is currently a Transplant Hepatologist and Gastroenterologist for the Allegheny Health Network. She works closely with all specialists and services including liver transplant surgeons, critical care physicians, case managers and social works to provide exceptional patient care.
David Villiotti Assistant Treasurer and Board Member
David Villiotti is the founder and sole owner of Good Steward Accounting (www.goodstewardaccounting.com). He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business MBA program, University of Pittsburgh’s Accounting program, and Penn State University’s Business program. Villiotti has previously held roles in accounting in the non-profit, healthcare, and oil and gas business segments. He also has experience in sports and entertainment. Prior to starting Good Steward Accounting, Villiotti worked for PriceWaterhouseCoopers a big four accounting firm, CONSOL energy which at the time was a Fortune 500 company, and Allegheny Health Network.
Betsy Villiotti Vice President
Betsy Villiotti is Vice President and is heavily involved in the daily activities of NASH kNOWledge. She is the organizer and administrator for our Liver Support Group. Villiotti brings the important caregiver perspective, as she quickly became Tony’s caregiver during his journey. She is a retired school teacher who still occasionally substitutes in the Chartiers Valley School District. Villiotti also volunteers for the Center for Organ Recovery & Education (CORE). She is a graduate of Slippery Rock University.