ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

 

Contact Us

If you would like more information about The ALS Association North Carolina Chapter and the services we provide, please use the contact information below.

Email:

info@alsnc.org

Phone:

919-755-9001
877-568-4347

By Mail:

4 N. Blount St., Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27601

Our Staff

Jerry Dawson
President & CEO

Where I grew up: Fayetteville, NC
Where I live now: Clayton, NC
Joined the Chapter: March 2000

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always enjoyed helping others and my position with The ALS Association allows me to make a difference every day. This is by far the most rewarding work I have ever done.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family (wife Becky, daughters Samantha and Savannah) and friends, live music, travel, playing guitar, bad golf and grilling out.

Dave Shore
Chief Operating Officer

919-755-9001, ext. 234 or 919-861-1684

Where I grew up: Paxton, IL, 30 miles north of Champaign. To describe the plains of Central Illinois to people I say that the highest elevation in my town was the pitcher’s mound at the baseball field.
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: April 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: Lost my beloved mother Phyllis to ALS in 1992, and have tried to use my platforms in the media industry to help raise awareness and research funding. Served on the California board during my years in Los Angeles, and was incredibly excited for the opportunity to put my efforts full time into what we are doing here in North Carolina. It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished over the years, and I wake up every day knowing that what we do, and how we do it as a team, will create a life without ALS.

Hobbies: My wife Reenie and I spend time with our rescue dog Adi, and hit the hiking trails as often as we can. I’m a life-long sports nut, and will continue to consume as much as I can. Through my travels, I try to hit any and all independent coffee shops so I can sample java greatness.

Desiree Hodges, MBA, RN, CCRN, NE-BC
Vice President of Care Services

919-390-0126 or 704-995-5678

Where I grew up: I grew up in a small town called Goldston, NC
Where I live now: Charlotte, NC
Joined the Chapter: August 2021

Motivation for working with ALS: I just lost my mother in January and the impact of that changed my life. Yes, there is a huge void in our family, but l have a different view on what my purpose is in life. Being part of the ALS Chapter has made me realize that I can use all of my skills, life experiences and my passion for nursing to make a difference in the lives of these patients and their families.

Hobbies: My husband Craig and I love traveling, eating in local restaurants (we are huge foodies), and cooking new recipes. I also love spending time with our 2 girls Paige and Camryn, and I do love a good book!

Claudia Beirne
Senior Care Services Programs Manager

919-390-0125 or 919-618-5879

Where I grew up: Linden, NJ
Where I live now: Apex, NC
Joined the Chapter: November 2007

Motivation for working with ALS: It is a wonderful feeling to know that every day I come to work I am in some way making a difference in the life of someone that needs help and support.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, Reading, watching movies, going to the beach and watching Carolina Hurricanes Hockey.

E Belleau, MSW, LCSW
They/Them/Theirs
Care Services Social Worker
919-390-0120 or 919-618-7703

Where I grew up: Warren, PA
Where I live now: Durham, NC
Joined the Chapter: June 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: I came to The ALS Association after working in hospice for several years where I had the honor of journeying with those at the end of life. During this time, I was able to counsel and offer support on end of life issues and aide patients and families in living their best lives with dignity and often a bit of humor. I found that patients and families affected by ALS experienced unique challenges that provided opportunity for improvement in resources available, education and awareness. I am honored to join a team that is passionate about serving this community.

Hobbies: I am a compulsive reader. When not reading, I can be found exploring new trails with my sweet pup, picking up a new musical instrument, or searching for a great new vegetarian recipe.

Meg Whitaker, MSW
Senior Care Services Social Worker

919-390-0119 or 919-339-3714

Where I grew up: Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: October 2018

Motivation for working with ALS: I have experience in various medical social work positions. l've always been drawn to helping families through support and advocacy. Through my social work career, as well as with my personal family experience, I have learned to give and utilize support. I feel honored to now be in a position where I can give encouragement and education to families facing challenges of ALS.

Hobbies: Exploring the Triangle with my family, trying to finish books for my monthly book club, and dance parties with my kids.

Alex Adams
Care Services Social Worker

336-757-2000 or 336-757-1653

Where I grew up: Buffalo, NY
Where I live now: Clemmons, NC
Joined the Chapter: September 2021

Motivation for working with ALS: My career in social work has always fulfilled my heart’s love for helping/caring for others. Throughout my experience working in medical social work, I developed a special place in my heart for those living with ALS and their families.

Hobbies: Reading, knitting, watching true crime documentaries, watching superhero movies with my husband and son, and visiting my family’s favorite vacation spot in Emerald Isle, NC.

Joanna Nunez
Care Services Social Worker

910-390-0851 or 910-600-9796

Where I grew up: Fayetteville, NC
Where I live now: just outside of Fayetteville, NC
Joined the Chapter: June 2012

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always wanted to help people, and the need for a Support Group facilitator in my area was identified in 2012. I started with the Chapter facilitating that one support group and met many people with ALS and their caregivers that made me extremely passionate about ALS. My role with the Chapter has expanded, and I was thrilled to become part of the Care Services staff in February of 2020. This allows me to work even closer with people with ALS and their families.

Hobbies: In my previous spare time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, being a devoted "mom" to my cats, baking, writing, and paranormal investigating.

Jackie Suarez
Director of Philanthropy

919-755-9001, ext. 240 or 919-390-0129

Where I grew up: Toledo, OH
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: July 2014

Motivation for working with ALS:The motivation for working for ALS can be found in my desire to put the patient and their families first in everything I do. I want to use my skills in a way that contributes to the fight to defeat ALS.

Hobbies: Cooking, writing, playing with my dog Lucca and traveling.

Gerald Talley
Director of Development (Greater Charlotte, Western Piedmont, Mountains)

919-755-9001, ext. 232 or 704-272-1121

Where I grew up: Willow Spring, NC
Where I live now: Greater Charlotte, NC area with my wife Abby and daughter Zaylee
Joined the Chapter: April 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: I have been working with the ALS community for over five years. During that time, I have met the most amazing people whose courage, strength and determination inspire me every day to do all I can do to end ALS.

Hobbies: Cooking Eastern NC BBQ, watching Andy Griffith episodes for daughter/daddy time and anything NC State

Christine Duque
Director of Development (Greater Triangle, Eastern Piedmont)

919-755-9001, ext. 231 or 919-390-0138

Where I grew up: I was born in Corpus Christi, TX, but lived mostly in Lafayette, LA, San Diego and Houston as a child.
Where I live now: Cary, NC
Joined the Chapter: January 2015

Motivation for working with ALS: I am moved to work with ALS to help fund the research that will find a cure for ALS after hearing stories of committed volunteers whose families have dealt with ALS.

Hobbies: I love group fitness classes of all kinds, especially the hip-shaking of Zumba. I feel that my need to work out goes hand-in-hand with the joy of baking. My husband and I enjoy traveling in North Carolina to discover places we’ve never been and sights unseen. We also feel incredibly fortunate to have all of our immediate family in state, allowing us plenty of time to hang out with our seven nieces and nephews.

Kari Parker
Director of Development (Greater Wilmington, Greenville, Coastal)

910-218-1100

Where I grew up: Sacramento, CA
Where I live now: Wilmington, NC
Joined the Chapter: September 2021

Motivation for working with ALS: Kari's best friend and god-daughter lost their husband and father to ALS several years ago. Her mission statement is " Do What You Love for Good" and she has a relentless focus on the significance of human connections. You'll find her in the community meeting with non-profit organizational leaders, volunteering and sharing her passion for philanthropic causes. Her committee and volunteer work in the community has encompassed Leadership Wilmington, Wilmington's Women to Watch, The Diversity/Inclusion 21 Day Challenge, Chair of the Resiliency Task Force, Vice Chair of Stand Against Racism, The Coalition on Cape Fear Food Insecurity, and The Cape Fear Affordable Housing Commission. Kari raised her kids in Tennessee where she received Masters' degrees in Education: Leadership & Supervision and Business Administration from Tennessee Technological University.

Hobbies: Kari is the mother to 5 adult children and 11 grandchildren who live all over the United States. Her best buddy is a rescue mutt named Bella. In her spare time, she enjoys sunsets over the river, sunrises over the Atlantic, helping with the Carolina Beach Turtle Project, growing flowers and farmers markets.

Danielle Carlson
Database Manager

919-755-9001, ext. 221 or 919-390-0127

Where I grew up: Danvers, MA and Durham, NH
Where I live now: Morrisville, NC
Joined the Chapter: October 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always wanted to work in a role where I can use my skills to help others. Growing up with many family members in the medical community and my social service aspirations, I am proud to work for such an amazing organization.

Hobbies: Cooking, travelling, musicals, and talking too much about my cats.

Holly Zahn
She/Her or They/Them
Director of Finance and Operations
919-755-9001, ext. 223 or 919-390-0123

Where I grew up: Chapel Hill, NC
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: June 2012

Motivation for working with ALS: I really enjoy people. I spent five-plus years working and playing with the Carolina Rollergirls (also a not-for-profit) and I realized I would appreciate working in the not-for-profit sector not just in a volunteer capacity. I think I am naturally a caregiver and am pleased that I have found a way to utilize my skills to contribute to a better good on a daily basis.

Hobbies: Hanging out with my twin daughters, hula hooping, dancing, and playing ukulele.

For a listing of our Outreach Professionals, click here.