Meet the ASAA’s Leadership Team


justine-amdur AWAKE Program Coordinator: Justine Amdur joined the ASAA in 2013 and serves as the A.W.A.K.E. Program Coordinator to support and grow the A.W.A.K.E. Network. She is a wife and mother to CPAP patients and when diagnosed with UARS started using a CPAP to manage her care. Justine’s 17 years as a human resource manger brings a vast skill set to the ASAA team.
Programs Manager: Valerie Danielson joined the ASAA in July of 2015. Val serves as a Team Leader for CAP (CPAP Assistance Program) and the A.W.A.K.E (Alert, Well, And Keeping Energetic) Coordinator at the ASAA fulfillment center located in Tracy, Minnesota. As a former small business owner, Valerie understands the importance of providing caring and timely customer service. She has a passion for helping others, which makes her a valuable addition to the CAP and A.W.A.K.E team assisting patients and medical professionals who utilize these important programs. She resides in Tracy, MN with her husband and four children.
CPAP Assistance Program Coordinator: Megan Gramstad joined the ASAA Team in April 2016. She is the Assistant Program Coordinator for the CAP program and works in the fulfillment center in Tracy, MN.  Megan comes to the team with a background in Insurance Sales and Customer Service. She enjoys working with the wide range of patients and feels that our program is making a difference. She lives in Tracy, MN with her family which includes her two children.
Joanna Lindstrom, Contract Grant Writer for American Sleep Apnea Association holds a bachelor’s degree in Technical Journalism from Colorado State University. Her education naturally lend itself to the research, writing, and reporting required for grants. She has nearly 10 years professional experience in development and fundraising, including two years in the Peace Corps. As a freelance grant writer, she successfully secures approximately $800,00 in funding annually for multiple nonprofit clients varying from human services, health care, to the arts. Joanna lives in colorful Colorado with her husband and daughter.

Christina Piazza: Community Operations & AnalysisChristina (aka Tina) is the spouse of a sleep apnea sufferer. She believes that not only does the patient suffer – the condition has far-reaching effects on the physical and emotional well-being of everyone in the family. She brings her talents from 20+ years in advertising & marketing, from Europe and the US to the American Sleep Apnea Association to try to make a difference in the lives of people with this under-diagnosed condition. “I truly believe, how this condition affects people, is drastically under-reported and the negative health effects underestimated.” Most recently Tina was employed by Birkenstock, where she could put her marketing talents & analytics with her enthusiasm for wellness together. Before that she honed her marketing skills in the high tech industries, making her way from London to San Francisco and now to St Petersburg FL.

Tania Zamora has 12+ years of experience managing multicenter clinical trials, local study sites and research staff.  She has worked with a diverse interdisciplinary group of investigators over the years on research projects related to sleep apnea, patient self-management, treatment adherence, telehealth, PTSD and Natural Language Processing. Tania has been involved with Dr. Stepnowsky’s research studies since 2006 working closely with Veterans with sleep apnea focusing on patient self-management of OSA and telemonitoring of adherence.  She is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in Psychology.

Officers and Board of Directors

Chair Emeritus: Will Headapohl, is board chair (emeritus) and a patient advocate, writer and consultant focused on the challenges of getting all undiagnosed apnea sufferers into treatment. He is co-author of the book Sleep or Die. Overcome Apnea Before It Overcomes You. Three Approaches. His work is aimed at mobilizing all touched by the disorder including partners, family members, loved ones, medical care providers, and victims. Headapohl’s resume includes Executive Vice President, Chief Information Officer, and Chief Operating Officer roles in the Internet/IT/Wireless industries. He resides in San Diego, CA.
Chief Patient Officer: Adam Amdur is a disruptive patient advocate. He was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) in 2008, more than thirty years after he first showed symptoms. As he struggled to learn how to manage his treatment he was able to successfully identify and get treatment for his then two-year-old daughter and wife as well as many others. He joined the ASAA in 2012, leading the association’s evolution from a twenty-five-year-old physician-run organization into an entrepreneurial patient-driven, public-health advocacy association. Adam helped lead the effort to launch ASAA’s new crowd-sourcing campaign, Sleeptember, which is designed to tackle long-term recruiting, retention, and sustainability efforts for patient-powered research activities utilizing all relevant channels of social media and technology. As the first Patient Principal Investigator and co-founder of the Sleep Apnea Patient-Centered Outcomes Network (SAPCON), a PCORnet PPRN, he worked to bring together patient leaders from each patient-powered research network (PPRN) and clinical data research network (CDRN) at a special patient retreat in order to discover a common patient voice as it relates to research best practices and collaboration with diverse stakeholders. Adam has given presentations at both community and professional conferences including the National Institutes of Health’s Workshop of the Precision Medicine Initiative and has appeared in many print and live news interviews presenting the patient’s perspective on research and advocacy. Adam is also currently writing a memoir, Asleep at the Wheel: Living with Sleep Apnea, in hopes of educating the public about apnea and promoting research. Follow Adam on Twitter: @sleepapneabook.
Treasurer: Andres Mendoza was diagnosed with severe obstructive sleep apnea in 2005. He is a Partner in the Corporate Group of the law firm of Akerman LLP.  He lives in Miami with his wife and 4 children.
Rich Bren, an obstructive sleep apnea patient, has more than 25 years of trucking industry risk and insurance experience. His father and sister have also been diagnosed and treated for OSA.  He is the vice president of transportation at International Excess Program Managers in Cleveland, OH.  Bren specializes in commercial auto (trucking related) insurance programs and coverage.  He brings to the ASAA board a keen awareness of sleep apnea issues and their implications for commercial truck drivers and their employers. He resides in Arizona.
Community Leader and Advocate for Patients: Theresa Shumard joined the ASAA in 2016. A speaker, writer, and education specialist, she worked clinically in the fields of Respiratory Care and Sleep Medicine Technology as well as the News Media since the 1970s. Designed for a patient audience, she wrote curriculum modules for the O2VERLAP Study when the ASAA partnered with the COPD Foundation to develop a patient-centered study to improve treatment adherence and outcomes for patients with Overlap COPD and Sleep Apnea via a large PCORnet collaboration. Theresa attended the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine, holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and mass communications and worked as a news reporter and medical writer for newspapers and radio, and was a television anchor and morning show host. She worked in sleep laboratories at the University of California at San Francisco, Stanford University, and the University Medical Center at Princeton. She provided sleep technician and sleep disorders patient support group presentations globally, and represented the American Association of Sleep Technologists (AAST) and National Patient Educators Network (NPEN) in the Allied Health Professions Network.  In 2005, she was selected for the Coalition for Allied Health and the National Sleep Foundation Humanitarian Award. She served on various organization committees and task forces, the AAST Board of Directors, was editor-in-chief for The A2Zzz Magazine, and contributed text book chapters and articles for publications within the sleep disorders arena.
Paul Jannace was diagnosed with moderate obstructive sleep apnea in 2013. He joined the Board of the American Sleep Apnea Association in November 2013. Paul is a sales management executive with’s healthcare organization specializing in transformational solutions to improve patient engagement and care coordination. Mr. Jannace also spent 16 years with Verizon where he helped to drive growth of mobility, connected machines and core network solutions in the healthcare and financial industries. He was the President of P.S. & W. Transportation, a licensed medical transportation company, and also the Vice President and Treasurer of the Medical Transporter’s Association. Mr. Jannace and his family have remained active helping the disabled community through the establishment of scholarships at New York Law School and Fordham University for students who have overcome disabilities and have been involved in caring for those who have overcome developmental challenges. Mr. Jannace has been a member of the adjunct faculty at NYU’s School of Professional Studies since 1998, where he has taught classes on marketing plan development. He has dedicated much of his free time to volunteer work at community programs for children. He also volunteered in Verizon’s Teach for America Program.
Bill Clark is Senior Director of Patient and Community Outreach for the COPD Foundation, which he helped start in 2005. He is a community liaison for the foundation and regularly oversees screening events across the country.  Bill is an accomplished patient advocate especially for people with chronic obstructive pulomonary disease, alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency, and sleep apnea. Bill is a retired special education teacher and Boy Scout leader.
Zack Miller is a new sleep patient and a proud wearer of a CPAP mask. A son of an MD, Zack has been positioned at the intersection of finance, technology, and new media for over 10 years. A builder of new financial business, Zack has been an investor, consultant, and employee at some of the most exciting financial businesses around, including Tearsheet, OurCrowd, LendingClub, SigFig, and Seeking Alpha. Zack received his AB in Economics from Harvard College and his MBA from the Kellogg School of Management.
A. Joseph Borelli, Jr., M.D. is Founder, President and Medical Director of 3T MRI at Belfair in Bluffton, SC. On behalf of the American College of Radiology, he chaired the committee that developed the current, national MRI accreditation standard enforced by Medicare. After suffering fatigue and severe cognitive decline for several years and two subsequent, false negative sleep studies, he was ultimately diagnosed with UARS at Stanford. On CPAP, he has recovered fully and is now dedicated to identifying and treating the millions of people suffering from undiagnosed sleep disorders. He was featured in an article on sleep in the April 2015 issue of Discover magazine. He invented the SleepMapper app on behalf of Philips Respironics.

Medical Scientific Advisory Council

Comprised of recognized clinical experts and thought leaders in the field of sleep medicine and related medical fields and sleep scientists, the MSAC advises the Board of Directors and the Executive Director on medical and scientific issues related to the work of the Corporation. The MSAC will help to guide the scientific direction of the Association’s educational, research and advocacy activities. The MSAC will ensure the scientific accuracy and integrity of all advocacy and public education materials developed by the Association. The MSAC will also advise the Association Board of Directors on important developments for the diagnosis, treatment and management of sleep disordered breathing and related conditions. The Chair of the MSAC will be the Chief Science Officer of the Association and serve on the Board of Directors.

Chief Science Officer: Carl Stepnowsky, Ph.D., is a research psychologist who specializes in behavioral sleep medicine. He saw a need to apply a behavioral science approach to sleep apnea diagnosis and management, given that sleep apnea is a chronic disease that needs to be managed over time. He has been the principal investigator and co-investigator on multiple research grants with funding from the VA, AHRQ, NIH, and PCORI among others. Suffering from insomnia for most of high school and his first year of college, Dr. Stepnowsky changed his sleep habits during his sophomore year after taking Dr. Mary Carskadon’s course called the Psychophysiology of Sleep and Dreams. Just by changing his bedtime, uptime, and sleep duration, his brain immediately went from “forgetful” to “sticky” and grades went from straight C’s to straight A’s. With the increase in age and weight, he was diagnosed with mild sleep apnea and now manages both his insomnia and sleep apnea.
Sairam “Sai” Parthasarathy, MD, is a NIH- and PCORI-funded researcher who serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine, Director of Center for Sleep Disorders, and Associate Director for Arizona Respiratory Center at the University of Arizona. Sai’s research focuses on the relationship between sleep, breathing, and inflammation in both ambulatory and critically ill patients. Additionally, he has been involved in clinical trials of novel modes of ventilatory assistance for patients with sleep-disordered breathing (such as servo-ventilation and volume-assured pressure support) as well as health services research aimed at improving healthcare delivery and promoting CPAP adherence in patients with sleep-disordered breathing. He serves as the program director for sleep medicine at the University of Arizona and is involved in training clinical and research fellows in sleep medicine. In the past he has served as Chairman of the Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board (SDRAB) to the National Center for Sleep Disorders Research (NIH/NHLBI), the Research Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the Young Investigator Forum conducted at the NIH.  He is on the Editorial board of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and serves as the Associate Editor for the journals SLEEP and Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine, and as an ad-hoc reviewer for NIH and PCORI review sections. He is Board Certified in Sleep Medicine as well as Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine and has published over 80 papers and book chapters on sleep and respiration-related topics.
John Sotos, M.D., Palo Alto, CA, is Chief Executive Officer of Apneos Corporation. He is a cardiologist and computer scientist with special interest in sleep apnea and sleep apnea diagnostics. He is adjunct professor of medicine at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine. He is the author of Zebra Cards: A Guide to Obscure Diagnosis.
Joy Moeller, BS, RDH is a dental hygienist who has worked as a myofunctional therapist for over 30 years. Myofunctional therapy is neuro-muscular re-education of the head and neck muscles. We teach people how to chew, breathe and swallow correctly and eliminate oral habits, Myofunctional therapy has now been proven to be effective in reducing AHI numbers by 50% in adults and 62% in children as well as lower oxygen saturation, snoring and sleepiness outcomes improve in adults. Joy wrote a children’s book called “Tucker the Tongue Finds His Spot” and is currently on the board of the AAPMD, a multi-disciplinary medical and dental group interested in airway problems where she received a life-time achievement award March of 2015 for leadership. She also wrote a chapter in Sleep Medicine Clinics, published June 2014 that is on Pediatric Sleep and Myofunctional Therapy.

Directors Emeritus

Kingman P. Strohl, M.D., is one of the founders of the ASAA. He is director of the Center for Sleep Education and Research at Case Western Reserve University and a professor of medicine in the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine. He is co-editor of the journal Sleep and Medicine. He is also a founding member of the National Sleep Foundation. Strohl stepped down from active service on the ASAA board and was named a director emeritus in 2010.
Elizabeth Johns is former chair of the board of the ASAA and an apnea patient. She also is the executive director of a nonprofit agency providing residential and employment services to adults with developmental and other disabilities. She served as patient advocate on the National Institutes of Health Sleep Disorders Research Advisory Board. Her interest includes increased awareness of the high incidence of sleep apnea in individuals with Down syndrome.