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Media Room July 27, 2020

FARE Announces Advocacy Advisory Committee

Committee will utilize member expertise, counsel on food allergy policy, legislation and funding

McLean, Va. (July 27, 2020)—FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education), the world’s leading food allergy advocacy organization and largest private funder of food allergy research, today announced the members of its Advocacy Advisory Committee

The committee is comprised of professionals across sectors and from across the nation who will work closely with FARE’s public affairs team to support the organization’s advocacy program and its collaboration with federal government agencies and legislative leaders, and to counsel the organization on all outreach efforts and events. 

“We are thrilled to welcome these key leaders into the food allergy community as part of our Advocacy Advisory Committee,” said Lisa Gable, chief executive officer of FARE. “We are grateful for the support and participation of our esteemed members whose expertise will play a key role in driving FARE’s advocacy activities forward, building on the great success we have seen in particular as it relates to our accelerated efforts to gain support for the incredibly important Food Allergy Safety, Treatment, Education, and Research (FASTER) Act (H.R. 2117, S.3451).”

The FARE Advocacy Advisory Committee will also provide strategic guidance on a variety of important issues including access, choice and affordability to safe food and medical care and the impact of food allergies in WIC (Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants, and Children), SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), and other federally funded nutrition programs.

Members of the committee include:

he FARE Advocacy Advisory Committee:
Kaye W. Cole, PhD, Michael Frazier, Priscilla Hernandez, Jill Mindlin, Stacey Saiontz, Anesha Santhanam and Buck Wong
  • Kaye W. Cole, PhD - Cole earned her PhD in Counselor Education and Supervision specializing in K-12 School Counseling with a cognate in Sports Psychology from the University of Iowa in 2006. She co-founded The Cole Group, LLC - a consultation practice that addresses mental health and programming gaps in services for the athlete population. She also holds an adjunct lecturer appointment in the Department of Rehabilitation and Counselor Education at the University of Iowa. Additionally, Cole is licensed as a therapist and school counselor and serves on several advisory and accountability boards, including FARE’s National Board of Ambassadors.
  • Michael Frazier - Frazier is the Executive Vice President and Deputy Director for External Affairs at the 9/11 Memorial & Museum. Before joining the organization, he was a journalist at publications including Newsday, the Associated Press, and the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. Frazier was part of a team that won the Arkansas Press Association Award in 2002 for special election coverage. He was also a 2007 Deadline Club Award finalist and was nominated for the National Association of Black Journalists' Salute to Excellence Award.
  • Priscilla Hernandez - Hernandez is the Vice President of the Hollenbeck Police Business Council. A nationally recognized organization, the Hollenbeck Police Business Council is a five-decade dedicated provider of safe and quality after-school programming and, most notably, the founding agency of the Inner-City Games (now known as After-School All-Stars). Prior to her current role, Hernandez served as a Deputy Director under Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger in Los Angeles and Sacramento. She serves as a FARE National Ambassador and has developed, initiated, and sponsored state legislation presented by the California Assembly, AB-3064 Pupil Health: Food Allergies: Guidelines, commonly referred to as the Zacky Bill. Inspired by her son Zacky who suffers from life-threatening food allergies, the bill aims to establish uniformed food allergy guidelines and best practices within local education agencies. The bill seeks to help parents whose children suffer from life-threatening food allergies navigate through often complex systems.
  • Jill Mindlin - Mindlin is an attorney who resides in Port Washington, New York and practices in the area of commercial finance. She received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Pennsylvania and a Juris Doctor from Brooklyn Law School. Mindlin has been a member of the FARE Outcomes Research Advisory Board and the FARE Advisory Council. She has been involved in drafting legislation and school guidelines for caring for students with food allergies on a county, state and national level; most recently working on the “Voluntary Guidelines for Managing Food Allergies in Schools and Early Care and Education Programs” published by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). Mindlin co-founded the Food Allergy Support and Education (FASE) group of Long Island over 18 years ago and has remained a co-leader ever since. She participated annually on the committee that ran the Food Allergy Walk for a Cure. Jill received the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI) Food Allergy Leadership Award for 2008 and honorable mention for FAAN's Mariel C. Furlong Award for Making a Difference in 2008. She was also a Food Allergy Coordinator for a sleep-away camp in Massachusetts for six years.
  • Stacey Saiontz - Saiontz is an advocate for food allergy awareness.  Her youngest son has life-threatening allergies to dairy, wheat, egg, oat, rye, barley, tree nuts, sesame, sorghum, millet, teff, quinoa, buckwheat, chia, flax and sunflower seed.  Saiontz was the recipient of FARE’s 2018 Excellence in Advocacy Award and has spearheaded the passage of several pieces of legislation in New York State, including a bill that allows school bus drivers to administer epinephrine, a self-carry law, and a law that allows schools to stock epinephrine.  In addition to her work in food allergy, she has served as a founding member of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s (USHMM) Next Generation Board. In 2019, she was appointed to serve on the USHMM’s Education Committee. She was the recipient of the USHMM Northeast Region Leadership Award in 2017 and the recipient of the National Leadership Award at the 2019 New York Tribute Dinner. Saiontz serves on the Board of Trustees for the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust. She is a Board Member of the Auschwitz Jewish Center Foundation (AJCF) and, along with her husband, Marc Saiontz, was the 2014 honoree at the annual AJCF Gala. She shares this passion with her children, who were featured in the HBO documentary The Number on Great Grandpa’s Arm. Saiontz’s newest initiatives as the Co-Chair of the New Castle Holocaust and Human Rights Committee, one of the Founders of the Horace Greeley Student Club E.N.O.U.G.H. (Educate Now on Understanding Genocide and Hate) and the Memorial in town have allowed her to share her passion for Holocaust education and remembrance with her local community.
  • Anesha Santhanam - Santhanam is the founder of Likeable STEM, an educational company that offers onsite and online technology training. She developed an iOS app for food allergy management and met with legislators on Capitol Hill to advocate for the FASTER Act (H.R. 2117). She received the NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) Aspirations in Computing National Honorable Mention Award and the U.S. Congressional Award for her work in STEM. Santhanam will pursue a degree in Information Systems at Carnegie Mellon University this fall.
  • Buck Wong – Wong is a microbiologist currently working as a health science policy analyst at the National Institutes of Health. As a teenager, Wong discovered he had an exercise-induced, food allergy to shellfish after eating shrimp at dinner and then going for a jog. Fortunately, antihistamines were able to relieve his hives and itching. With another family member also living with food allergies, he became involved with FARE including the organization’s Walks for Food Allergies.  He looks forward to continuing to support FARE’s mission and to raise awareness on behalf of the millions of Americans with food allergies.

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About FARE

FARE (Food Allergy Research & Education) is the nation’s leading non-profit engaged in food allergy advocacy as well as the largest private funder of food allergy research. FARE’s innovative education, advocacy and research initiatives transform the future of food allergy through new and improved treatments and prevention strategies, effective policies and legislation, and novel approaches to managing the disease. To learn more, visit: foodallergy.org.

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