Mrs. Crutcher-Marin is a retired healthcare professional, President for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) San Francisco Bay Area Chapter published author and Huntington’s disease (HD) advocate. Therese has a Masters in Healthcare Administration and the last 10 years of her career was in hospice care. In January 2020, Therese and a team of local HD advocates established the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate to serve SF Bay Area families struggling with Huntington’s Disease (HD). The San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate was awarded the HDSA Affiliate of the year in 2021. Therese penned a memoir and published in 2017, Watching Their Dance: Three Sisters, a Genetic Disease and Marrying into a Family At Risk For Huntington’s and donated over $16,000.00, from book sale profit, to the nonprofit, HDSA, in memory of her three (3) sisters-in-law who died of HD complications. In 2019, she received the HDSA Woody Guthrie Advocacy Award. Her husband, John, and Therese live in Petaluma California, the San Francisco North Bay where their two children, their spouses and grand children live. Therese and her family are forever grateful that John tested negative for HD in 2016.
Mrs. Uma Thontakudi is an educator and Co-Chair for the Huntington’s Disease Society of America (HDSA) San Francisco Bay Area Affiliate. She has a master’s in mathematics, master’s in software engineering and a bachelor’s degree in Indian Classical Music (Hindustani style, vocal). After pursuing a career as a teacher and software engineer, she decided to own and run an educational franchise to help lay a strong foundation in mathematics and English for children in the age group that spans preschoolers through high school. Community service and volunteering has always been a passion for Uma. After her children moved away to college, she decided to devote her time to volunteering. In January 2020 she was introduced to Mrs. Therese Crutcher-Marin, Chair for HDSA SF Bay Area Affiliate. She joined Mrs. Crutcher-Marin’s team as a fundraising volunteer. Under the guidance of Mrs. Crutcher-Marin, Uma learned the ropes of volunteering and understood the mission of HDSA. It has now become the mission of Uma and her husband Jaykumar Thontakudi to support HDSA in their mission and help the HD community. Uma lives in Cupertino, California.
Jay Denhart-Lillard is a 25-year marketing veteran, who has designed brands, strategies, and campaigns for international clients and Fortune 500 companies. He joined the local HDSA affiliate in 2019, having only recently discovered a string of cousins in his spouse’s family with the mutant Huntington gene. Jay serves on the board as the Chapter Secretary and leads the Web/Communications Committee, where he designs campaigns for community outreach and education. When he is not experimenting with new technology, platforms, and social networks, he likes to cook, go to the theatre, or make music. He has a B.A. from Indiana University and works at Genentech as a Marketing Director in Neurological Rare Disease.
Keith Marin currently hold the role as the Senior Financial Analyst for Vintage Wine Estates. Keith has had an extensive career as a financial professional and data analyst. Keith’s financial acumen stems from seeking to understand, scrupulous attention to detail, and enjoys being a data junkie. Keith’s family has been directly affected by HD with his three aunts and biological Grandmother on his fathers side. This has been an underlining passing to live life to the fullest and raise awareness of HD. Keith currently holds the role of treasure on the Bay Area Chapter. Keith resides in the Novato in the North Bay with his wife (Frances), and daughter (Marlena). Keith enjoys spending time with his family, Bike riding, going on hikes with his wife, and always trying to find the perfect beer (which he continuously keeps trying to find).
Brad Bechtel is a former QA engineer with Apple and currently retired. He volunteers at SFO and plays steel guitar in his spare time. He joined the board in 2021 and has become the chapter’s chief designer for educational and fundraising materials, ensuring that we communicate clearly with our community, maintaining visual impact while remaining compliant with HDSA national branding guidelines.
Daniel Denhart-Lillard is a retired Executive Assistant, and has worked on numerous domestic and international boards, committees, and teams helping them with facilitation, event planning, fundraising, record keeping, and process improvement. Most recently he worked with the Board of the Louisville Pride Foundation for 2 years as Secretary, Treasurer, and Administrative Consultant. Daniel’s aunt-by-marriage was afflicted with HD, as well as her sister, and her sister’s 4 children, some of whom were his friends and classmates. Daniel has a B.A. in music performance, and, In addition to his work with nonprofits, he collects coins, Depression and Heisey glassware, antiques, and enjoys cooking and food preservation. Daniel and Jay live in San Mateo with their cat, Violet
Hayley, a compassionate and dedicated board member, who made the move from Singapore to California in 2023. With a background in employee engagement and events management, she now devotes her time by offering fundraising support to the chapter. Hayley's commitment to making a difference extends beyond HDSA, as she also volunteers with One Bread Foundation Inc. In her leisure, she delights in reading, exploring thrift shops, and savoring a delightful cup of boba.
Ragheb Ashar is an undergraduate student at UC Berkeley. He hails from Folsom, California and has volunteered with various organizations throughout California–such as Best Buddies and Code for America. He tutors students from his community on differing topics, such as math, English, and science, and during his free time, he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, and playing basketball.
Dr. McConoughey studied Huntington's Disease during his graduate work at Cornell Medical College. Since completing his PhD, he held several leadership roles in the scientific and educational non-profit sector. He is excited to be involved in raising awareness and supporting HD patients and families through the work of the HDSA.