BALTIMORE, October 29, 2019 – Kennedy Krieger Institute, an internationally renowned organization with the mission of improving the lives of children, adolescents, and adults with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, announces the appointment of five new members to its board of directors. Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP, Beth McGinn, Wendy Morris, George Petrocheilos and Adam Zarren officially joined the board on Sept. 25, 2019. Each will serve a three-year term. Nancy Grasmick, EdD, will continue her role as board chair and Richard “Dick” Cass, president of the Baltimore Ravens, will continue to serve as vice chair.
“We are so very pleased and honored to welcome these five distinguished, committed, passionate individuals to our board of directors. Each is accomplished in their professional life and personally committed to Kennedy Krieger’s mission. They bring fresh perspectives and ideas and complement our current slate of members perfectly. And, we are grateful for Dr. Nancy Grasmick’s and Dick Cass’s continued board leadership as we together plan and implement a vision that improves the lives of our patients, students, their families, and our community,” said Dr. Bradley Schlaggar, president and CEO of Kennedy Krieger Institute.
Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP:
Renee Jenkins, MD, FAAP, is a professor and chair emerita in the Department of Pediatrics and Child Health at Howard University, and an adjunct professor of Pediatrics at George Washington University. After completing her fellowship in Adolescent Medicine at Montefiore Hospital in N.Y., Jenkins started an adolescent medicine program at Howard University and was eventually appointed department chair of Pediatrics. From 2007-2008, Jenkins served as national president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She has provided her expertise and advice to national committees and councils serving as a member of the Advisory Committee to the Director of the National Institutes of Health, a member of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practice (ACIP), and a member of the National Advisory Child Health and Human Development Council of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Jenkins is also the past chair of the Pediatric Section of the National Medical Association and a national past-president of the Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine (SAHM). She is a member of the Institute of Medicine and served on the Board on Children, Youth and Families of the National Academy of Sciences.
Jenkins graduated from Wayne State University School of Medicine and completed her residency at Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Jacobi Hospital in New York City. She lives in Derwood, Md.
Although new to the board, Beth McGinn’s connection to Kennedy Krieger is expansive. McGinn serves as co-founder and executive director of the non-profit organization, A Cure for Ellie, which is named for her daughter, Ellie McGinn, who was diagnosed with a progressive and very rare genetic disorder, Leukoencephalopathy with Brainstem and Spinal Cord Involvement and Lactate Elevation (LBSL), in 2011 at age three. Through A Cure for Ellie, the McGinn’s have been integral in raising funds for LBSL research at Kennedy Krieger, where her daughter receives treatment. Since 2013, A Cure for Ellie has raised $500,000 for the Institute to fund the work of Ali Fatemi, MD, chief medical officer at the Institute and director of the Moser Center for Leukodystrophies, and his team to lead research to develop and test novel drug therapies and interventions that could lead to a cure for LBSL.
McGinn has more than 15 years of communications, public affairs and legislative policy experience. Prior to A Cure for Ellie, McGinn worked on Capitol Hill as a communications director and spokesperson for several members of the U.S. House of Representatives and the House Judiciary Committee. She served four years as director of public affairs at the American Road and Transportation Builders Association in Washington, DC and later provided media and communications strategy to College Steps, a nonprofit that offers customized support for students with learning and social challenges such as autism and executive functioning deficits. A resident of Arlington, Va., McGinn has a bachelor’s degree in political science from Rollins College, Fla.
Wendy Morris is a retired attorney and active member of the autism community. With the goal of continuing to support her son who has autism, Morris has dedicated her time to not only caring and advocating for her son but also supporting organizations serving the special needs community. She has served on several committees and online advocacy groups including Kennedy Krieger Institute’s CORE Foundations Quality Assurance Committee and the Kennedy Krieger Schools Bright Future Improvements Committee. Additionally, the Bethesda, Md. resident has supported Community Services for Autistic Adults and Children and Autism Speaks.
Morris’ more than 11 years of law experience spans the banking and finance industry and includes positions at Muldoon, Murphy & Faucette and Mayer, Brown & Platt where she negotiated merger transactional agreements, researched and advised on regulatory matters and prepared corporate and compliance documents for financial institutions. Morris has a Bachelor of Arts from George Washington University and a Juris Doctorate from American University, Washington College of Law.
George Petrocheilos is a partner at Camden Partners Holdings, LLC and the co-founder of Camden Partners Nexus, the firm’s venture capital strategy. He currently sits on the board of Sisu Global Health, Inc., WindMIL Therapeutics, Ashvattha Therapeutics, Cage Pharmaceuticals and eNeura, Inc. in addition to the family-owned PETKA S.A., a construction and development company headquartered in Athens, Greece. He also serves on the board of trustees of The Baltimore School for the Arts, The Johns Hopkins Center for Financial Economics, The Johns Hopkins Medicine Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences Advisory Board and the Director’s Circle of the Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance (GBCA). Petrocheilos was named to the Baltimore Business Journal’s 2013 “40 Under 40 Business Leaders,” The Hill’s 2013 “Washington D.C. Rising Stars,” and The Daily Record’s 2014 “20 in Their Twenties,” among other recognitions.
Petrocheilos earned a bachelor’s degree in financial economics from Johns Hopkins University and completed the Political Science SSP Executive Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government. He currently resides in Baltimore.
Adam Zarren is the founder and managing partner of the Zarren Law Group, LLC (ZLG) where he serves as an M&A/Business/Corporate/Transactional attorney who advises businesses, C-level executives, business owners and their families, and other entrepreneurs on legal matters that take into consideration both their business goals and personal wealth targets. Prior to founding ZLG, he was a partner at Saul Ewing LLP and a partner at Neuberger, Quinn, Gielen, Rubin and Gibber, P.A. He has also authored many publications on business law and M&A locally, nationally and internationally. Zarren has also received various awards and recognitions over the years and currently serves as an advisory member of Betamore, a Baltimore-based technology incubator and has served in various board and advisory roles previously.
A resident of Baltimore, Zarren received his Juris Doctorate from University of Baltimore School of Law and his MBA from University of Baltimore Merrick School of Business. He received a Bachelor of Science from Towson University.
About Kennedy Krieger Institute:
Internationally recognized for improving the lives of children and adolescents with disorders and injuries of the brain, spinal cord and musculoskeletal system, Kennedy Krieger Institute in the greater Baltimore/Washington, D.C. region serves 24,000 individuals a year through inpatient and outpatient clinics, home and community services, and school-based programs. Kennedy Krieger provides a wide range of services for children with neurological issues, from mild to severe, and is home to a team of investigators who are contributing to the understanding of how disorders develop, while at the same time pioneering new interventions and methods of early diagnosis.