Board of Directors, Officers and Staff
Jim Kelly, President
Jim Kelly is a Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback who spent his entire NFL career as a Buffalo Bill. His hallmark as a player was his toughness. From growing up in East Brady, a small town in Pennsylvania, to facing a career threatening injury in his college days, to leading the Buffalo Bills team to an unprecedented four straight AFC championships, Jim’s toughness has been tested time and time again. After his retirement, not only did he lose his one and only son Hunter at the age of 8, to a disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy, Jim has also survived not one, but three battles with cancer. Jim speaks about the power of the four F’s – Faith, Friends, Family and Fans and what is really means to be “Kelly Tough.” His story is “A Journey of Perseverance”Click here to learn more
Jill Kelly, Board Chair
In September 1997, three months after their infant son, Hunter was diagnosed with a fatal, genetic disease called Krabbe Leukodystrophy, Jim and Jill established the Hunter’s Hope Foundation. As Chairman of the Board of Hunter’s Hope, Jill helps children with leukodystrophy and their families by extending them hope and comfort she has received through her relationship with Christ. Jill has written several books and is a NY Times Best Selling Author. She has been graciously invited to speak and share the Kelly Family story.Click here to learn more
Erin Kelly Bean, Board Secretary
Camryn Kelly, Board Member
Paul Boser, Treasurer
Paul is the Marketing Manager for Zoetis Reference Laboratories headquartered in Parsippany, NJ. There he develops strategies and marketing programs to support the growth of the Reference Lab Business Unit. He is a native of WNY and currently resides with his wife Kerry and their two daughters Evelyn and Grace in Clarence, NY. He joined the Hunter’s Hope Foundation as a Board Member in 2016 and now serves the additional role of Treasurer. He and his family have an avid passion for the mission of Hunter’s Hope. He is a fan of all WNY sports teams and loves supporting Buffalo
Phil May, Board Member
Since 2009, Phil has served first as Vice President and General Manager of Warner Chappell Music in Nashville and more recently, as Sr. Vice President, handling business operations and negotiating agreements with writers, artists and producers.
Previously, Phil was one of the founding partners of R2M Music Publishing, a company which acquired a number of music publishing catalogs in the US, UK and Germany. Phil also spent eleven years with Sony/ATV Music Publishing, ultimately serving as Vice President of Global Administration. He started his career as a CPA, working with the Price Waterhouse office in Nashville.
Phil is also the proud father of Dylan, who was born in 2004, diagnosed with Krabbe disease later that year, and went to heaven in 2009. Phil and his wife, Amy, live in Franklin TN and have three other children, Jackson, Conner and Sophie.
Greg Connors, Board Member
Greg is a co-founding and managing partner of Connors & Ferris, LLP, with offices in Buffalo, New York City, Rochester and Syracuse, exclusively representing injured workers before the Workers’ Compensation Board and Social Security Administration. He is a graduate of Alfred University with honors and Ohio Northern Law School.
Steven Schmitt, Board Member
Buffalo born and raised, blessed with a wonderful family and a large group of close friends. Since 2008 worked at Sherex Fastening Solutions in various roles in Marketing and Sales, currently leading the Inside Sales Team. Steven has Bachelor’s Degree in Business Marketing from the University at Buffalo and continues to stay involved in many activities surrounding UB. His passions are working to make a difference in the Western New York community, the Buffalo Bills and lifting other’s up through humor. His brother Jimmy passed away from ALD in July 2013, Steven has worked to honor him by supporting Hunter’s Hope families any way he can and working to make a difference in other’s lives through getting involved and building relationships.
Brad is Senior Vice President and Managing Director at Mower. He develops and implements public relations programs for global, national and regional clients across multiple industries. His experience includes strategic planning, message development, media and analyst relations, employee communications, trade show support, issues management and crisis communications, corporate social responsibility, and social media strategy. Brad joined Mower in 1997.
David Kern, Board Member
David Kern grew up in a family business and that is where he learned his strategic work ethic and knowledge of a successful entrepreneurship. David’s mother and three brothers are all very accomplished business owners. Due to David’s training, knowledge and experience working with car dealerships for over 30 years he has spearheaded Intrepid Automotive to be the leader amongst the companies that he represents. He is AFIP certified. David is a fan of the Buffalo Bills and Buffalo Sabres. He and his wife enjoy watching their children show horses and traveling.
Jacque Waggoner, CEO
Jacque helped lead the establishment of Hunter’s Hope in 1997. She served as chair of the board from the Foundation’s inception until 2007, when she became the CEO. Prior to 1997, she served in various Information Technology leadership positions. She has a BS in Mathematics from the University at Buffalo. Most notably, Jacque is Hunter Kelly’s grandmother with a personal passion for making a difference in the lives of those affected by Leukodystrophies.
Laura Schranz, Executive Assistant, Bookkeeper
Laura has been with Hunter’s Hope Foundation since 2013. Laura was excited to join the team to do the bookkeeping, process donations and much of the office duties. Over the years Laura has the pleasure of meeting many of our affected families through our events, but most of all our Family and Medical Symposium. Laura’s love for the families and support for Hunter’s Hope helps to make a difference for our Leukodystrophy families.
Melissa Jablonski, Executive Director
Melissa joined the Hunter’s Hope team in 2015. Melissa has had the unique opportunity of being involved in several Hunter’s Hope programs over the past 6 years including Development, Marketing, the LCN, Newborn Screening, and Family Programs. Melissa has a great passion for the mission and values of Hunter’s Hope and a love for the families we serve. She is honored to be a part of this foundation and help provide Leukodystrophy families with love, hope, and support through our programs.
Anna Grantham, LCN & NBS Director
Since joining the Hunter’s Hope team in 2011, her primary focus has centered around the foundation’s commitment to advancing Newborn Screening (NBS) for Krabbe Disease and other Leukodystrophies. Anna leads all advocacy efforts for expanded NBS at both the state and federal level as well as the foundation’s Krabbe Newborn Screening Taskforce. This taskforce formed in 2015 and is a partnership with leading NBS and Krabbe experts and has systematically made continuous improvements to NBS for Krabbe through various research efforts, writing workgroups, and the Krabbe NBS Council. Additionally, Anna serves as the director of the foundation’s Leukodystrophy Care Network, a cohort of centers of excellence and providers dedicated to providing proactive, multidisciplinary care to patients with Leukodystrophies.
Jessica Ohlson, Family Programs Manager
Jessica started volunteering for Hunter’s Hope at the birth of the foundation. She is Jill Kelly’s cousin and helped her take care of Hunter since he was a baby. Jessica has a passion to help our Hunter’s Hope families and give them encouragement, hope, prayer, and helpful resources. Jessica has a B.S. in Human Services and has Case Management experience. Jessica and her husband started a not-for-profit, at-risk youth outreach, which they have been doing for over 20 years. She also enjoys oil painting and horseback riding.