Meet The Board of Directors
Kacie Gahr, Founder, President
Kacie is the granddaughter of Ellie Reynolds. She promised Ellie before she passed away that she would continue the fight against ALS and do all she could to make sure others didn’t go through what Ellie went through. Kacie founded the Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation to help patients to get the things they need to live a higher quality of life.
Aside from being the founder and president of the Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation, Kacie is the Sr. Finance Manager at RevHealth, a pharmaceutical advertising agency. She is also the mother of a 9 year old daughter, Danika, and wife of 12 years to Mike.
Kacie attended William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ, graduating with a BA in Business Administration, Marketing in 2000. Kacie grew up in Budd Lake, NJ and moved to Norristown, PA in 2004.
Shawn Potillo, Founder, Vice President
Shawn and his wife Nicole have been married for 8 years and they have a 8 year old daughter, Isabella. The three of them enjoy outdoor activities such as playing in the backyard, going for walks, boating, and anything else that brings them outdoors.
Shawn knew Ellie, or “Grandma” as everyone called her, for most of his life. Shawn’s wife didn’t know her the way he did and unfortunately his daughter never got a chance to meet her but he often tells them how kind and friendly she was.
“She had a smile that would change the mood of a room in an instant. She gave the warmest hugs and always had something nice to say. It was a sad day when I was told she had ALS. But she stayed strong while we tried to help her. It was my honor to rebuild things in her house to make her life a little easier.”
This foundation is important to Shawn because ALS has directly touched him. Ellie was very fortunate to have people in her life who wanted, could, and did help her to make her life a little easier. There are too many people who do not have the same situation.
“If I know we helped at least one person then the Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation is a success to me. And Grandma can look down and smile at the people she taught to help others.”
Shannon Psensky, Treasurer
Shannon is one of several granddaughters of Ellie Reynolds. She is married to Tom and has two children Tanner and Dakota. She currently resides in Lake Hopatcong, NJ with her family.
Shannon graduated from Ramapo College of New Jersey with a BA in History and Education. She also studied at Centenary College where she received her Special Education certification. Shannon also received an MS in the area of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment from Walden University. Currently she is studying School Administration at the University of Scranton. She has been a teacher for 16 years.
Adam K. Phelps, Founder, Secretary
Adam, an attorney specializing in management-side labor and employment law at Fox Rothschild, LLP, has been active on ALS issues since 2000, when he worked on federal legislation, which was enacted, giving patients living with ALS early access to Medicare benefits. His interest in ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, dates back to watching "Pride of the Yankees" as a young baseball fan.
Adam graduated from Rutgers University with a BA in Political Science and History in 1999, and graduated from Rutgers University School of Law in 2005. From 2005 to 2014, he served as a Deputy Attorney General for the State of New Jersey, representing several state agencies in commercial, employment and environmental litigation. He currently resides in Livingston, NJ, with his wife Shanna, and two lovely children, Duncan, 9, and Sadie, 7.
Bruce Medd, Founder, Member
Bruce is a Managing Partner at RevHealth, a pharmaceutical advertising agency located in Morristown, NJ. He has known Kacie Gahr for over 10 years and is privileged to serve on the board of the Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation. He is dedicated to help Kacie make a difference in the lives of those fighting against ALS.
Bruce grew up in Mountain Lakes, NJ and attended the Lawrenceville School in Lawrenceville, NJ. He then attended the University of New Hampshire and graduated in 1990 with a Bachelor of Science.
Bruce currently resides in Morris Township, NJ with his wife Heather and his four children. He enjoys training for triathalons and spending time with his family.
Brian J. Dolan, Member
Brian has known Kacie Gahr for many years and joined the Foundation's Board of Directors in 2013. Brian was honored to join the board of such a worth while Foundation. Brian became an RN in 1997 and went on to earn his BSN from Felician College in Lodi, NJ and his MSN and MBA from the University of Phoenix. He is currently serving as the Senior Associate Director of the Emergency Department of Lincoln Hospital and Mental Health Center in Bronx, NY, as well as working as a per diem Flight Nurse for Northstar. Brian currently lives in Flanders, NJ with his fiancé and son.
Tricia Maguire, Member
Tricia, a project manager in the audiovisual industry, had volunteered and participated in Ellie Reynolds ALS Foundation events for several years prior to joining the Foundation's Board of Directors in 2016. A longtime friend of Shawn Potillo’s, Tricia saw the efforts of the Foundation and the long reaching impact of Ellie Reynolds' legacy and wanted to contribute. Tricia is honored to be a part of this organization and its mission of helping those afflicted with ALS achieve a better quality of life. Tricia lives in Roxbury with her wife, Cathy.
Gerald Stevens, Sr., Founder (October 4, 1958 - December 20, 2015)
Better known as Jerry, he was the son-in-law of Ellie Reynolds, married to her youngest daughter Patti. They have one son Jerry, Jr. and three grandchildren and was been disabled himself for the last 12 years.
Jerry married into this family but Ellie and he had a bond as strong as any mother and son. When his niece, Kacie, asked if he would serve on the board of the Ellie Reynolds Foundation he didn’t hesitate to accept. “I was honored and more than willing to help with the fight against this debilitating disease.”
“As one of Ellie’s primary caregivers and being disabled myself, I feel we had a very special relationship.”
They understood each other and the challenges that they faced each day. “Ellie herself was one who always gave to others, and in her memory we would like to continue this tradition by giving to others through this foundation.”
It is this firsthand experience with this disease that motivates Jerry to help people with ALS. Until a cure can be found, he hopes that this foundation can help other families sustain the quality of life of their loved ones.
“If our misfortune can in anyway help others in their fight against ALS, we will have succeeded.”
Eric M. Friggle, Founder
Eric currently serves as Vice President of Operations at Computershare in Louisville, KY. His primary responsibility is as Financial Manager of Operations. Before taking on that role, he was a manager of the contact center. Prior to joining Computershare in 1999, Eric held similar roles in the contact centers for both Prudential and Merrill Lynch.
Eric attended Rutgers University in Piscataway NJ, graduating with a BA in Mathematics in 1994. Eric grew up in Toms River, NJ, and has always made his home in “The Garden State”. He currently resides in Louisville, KY, with his wife Pamela, and their three sons, Richard, Nicholas, and Owen.
Eric has been friends with the Reynolds family for over a decade and looks forward to helping the foundation achieve their goals of aiding people stricken with ALS.