The Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS) Foundation, which the only organization in the country dedicated to CdLS, and is headquartered in Avon, CT, is pleased and proud to announce the election of five new outstanding members to its prestigious Board of Directors.

Cornelia de Lange Syndrome (CdLS), a little-known genetic syndrome that occurs in one in 10,000 live births, causes a range of medical, physical and developmental challenges. To further enhance the important mission of the CdLS Foundation to support individuals with CdLS and their families nationwide, the CdLS Foundation Board of Directors has voted unanimously to bring these new members onboard for 2021:

Mary Anne Ehlert, Lincolnshire, IL, is the CEO and Founder of Ehlert Financial Group and Protected Tomorrows, an advocacy firm that enhances the lives of people with special needs through a comprehensive life planning process, and a Partner of Forum Financial Management. She is a financial professional and sister to an individual with disabilities. Highly regarded as a specialist in working with families of individuals with disabilities, Ms. Ehlert has served on the Board of Directors of Special Olympics Illinois; Gateway to Learning School for Special Needs, Illinois St. Coletta; as well as Vice-Chair for the National Disability Institute in Washington, DC. She currently serves on Special Olympics Illinois Foundation Board, The Advisory Board of Tails for Life and The Advisory Counsel of Integrative Touch for Kids.

Nick Jackson, Salt Lake City, UT, grew up with a younger sister with CdLS. As an attorney, he has worked at the Disability Law Center in Salt Lake City, where his practice is focused on preventing the abuse and neglect of people with disabilities in Utah institutions, as well as addressing individual and systemic housing discrimination.

Paul Villani, Hartford, CT, is an accomplished technology leader, executive partner, and transformation catalyst, with broad industry experience across healthcare, pharmaceuticals, industrials, aerospace, and defense. He is an active member, speaker, and contributor in professional organizations such as The Executive Forum, Society for Information Management (SIM), and Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI).

Yvonne Alston, Newington, CT, is the Founder and Principal of Indelible Impressions Consulting. As a DEI (Diversity, Equity & Inclusion) strategist and advocate, Alston combines her passion for DEI and 20+ years in corporate marketing and communications expertise to offer organizations critical DEI, brand and communication strategies.

Tricia Wise, New York City, is Vice-President of Citibank’s Global Talent Management Division. Wise brings her considerable HR Management experience and great interest in being of service to the Foundation’s mission to support those living with CdLS.

“As we face the challenges and opportunities of 2021, we are thrilled and inspired by the depth and breadth of talent and expertise our five new Board members bring to help drive our decisions and prioritize our projects and initiatives,” commented Bonnie Royster, Executive Director of the CdLS Foundation.

“The election of these new board members adds specialized skills and abilities that will allow the Foundation team the ability to enhance support for the individuals and families we serve,” added Mike Christie, CdLS Foundation Board President. “I am thrilled to have their interest and the alignment of the entire current board to confirm their election. We are looking forward to 2021 to gain more momentum on our focus of increasing awareness and services to the CdLS community.”

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