Staff, Board & Advisors

Meet the people behind the scenes.


VeDA's small but efficient staff understands the difficulties faced by people with vestibular disorders. We are here to help!


Cynthia has worked in non-profit management for over 15 years, and previously was General Manager and Vice President of a financial research firm. Cynthia's mother, Eileene, suffers from Meniere's Disease. Cynthia enjoys hiking, reading, and volunteering with local animal welfare organizations. She and her husband, Tod, are the proud caretakers of two cats and their loyal pooch, Fionn MacCool.

Shannon Yentzer, Communications Manager

Shannon has worked in higher education, nonprofits, and been a small business owner.  She has Master's and PhD degrees in Literature, was adjunct faculty, has taught yoga and practiced massage, and continues to perfect her handstand.


Ryan joined VeDA in the spring of 2020. He has worked in data management in the nonprofit world since 2012. Born and raised in the Portland area, he enjoys playing bass guitar, watching science videos, and pushing Excel as far as he can.



Karen IlariKaren works for VeDA part-time. She has worked in accounting for many years in both the profit and non-profit sectors. Karen spends the rest of her time on her other love - painting. She sells her paintings on her online store and teaches painting through online videos. She and her husband, Bill, are empty nesters with four children, three grandchildren (so far!) and one very spoiled kitty named Pooty.

Elizabeth Ladd, Development Coordinator

Elizabeth joined VeDA in March, 2021. She has been involved in the nonprofit sector for several years. Her favorite things to do include indoor gardening, reading a great book, and making music with her friends.



VeDA's board of directors is composed of people who have been diagnosed with one or more vestibular disorders, friends and family members of vestibular patients, and medical specialists in the vestibular field. Their focus is to expand awareness for vestibular disorders while improving care and treatment for patients suffering from vestibular dysfunction.

  • Kathleen Stross, DPT, CHC, President (Pearland, TX)
  • Holly Fisher, EdD, Past President (Coppell, TX)
  • Danielle Tate, DPT, Secretary (Savannah, GA)
  • Patricia Gerend, MS (San Francisco, CA)
  • Jordan Tucker, DPT (Troutville, VA)
  • Salvatore Gruttadauria, AuD, SLP (Kenmore, NY)
  • Delmar Bloem, MBA
  • Habib Rizk, MD (Mount Pleasant, SC)
  • Abbie Ross, PT, DPT, NCS (Pompano Beach, FL)
  • Louise Geib, M.Ed., Trustee (Atlantic Beach, FL)


VeDA's medical and scientific advisors represent the best and most well-respected professionals in the vestibular community. Our advisors hail from such notable institutions as Massachusettes Eye and Ear, Harvard Medical School, Vanderbilt University, Duke University, the Mayo Clinic, Northwestern University Medical School, Johns Hopkins Hospital, and Oregon Health Sciences University. With experience in direct patient care, research and teaching, our advisors provide oversight to VeDA's published materials, ensuring data that is accurate, timely and scientifically relevant.

  • P. Ashley Wackym, MD - Chair, President, Ear & Skull Base Center, Vice President of Research, Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick, NJ
  • Rick Clendaniel, PT, PhD, Doctor of Physical Therapy Division, Duke University of Medicine, Durham, NC
  • Joel A. Goebel, MD, FACS, Director, Vestibular & Oculomotor Laboratory, Department of Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery, Washington University School of Medicine, Saint Louis, MO
  • Timothy C. Hain, MD, Otoneurologist, Professor, Departments of Neurology, Physical Therapy, and Otolaryngology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, IL
  • Janet Helminski, PT, PhD, Professor, College of Health Science, Midwestern University, Chicago, Illinois
  • Gary Jacobson, PhD, Professor, Division of Audiology, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, Co-Director, Bill Wilkerson Center for Otolargyngology and Communication Services, Vanderbilt University, Nashville, TN
  • Jeffrey Kramer, MD, Neurologist, Clinical Co-Director, Comprehensive Dizziness Center, Chief, Section of Neurology, Mercy Hospital & Medical Center, Chicago, IL
  • David Newman-Toker, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Department of Neurology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine
  • James Phillips, PhD, Associate Professor, Director, Dizziness & Balance Center, Dept. Of Otolaryngology, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • Steven Rauch, MD, Professor and Vice Chair for Academic Affairs, Harvard Medical School, Department of Otology and Laryngology, Mass Eye and Ear Infirmary, Chief Vestibular Division, Otolargyngology Department, Boston, MA
  • Jay Rubinstein, MD, PhD, Professor, Otolaryngology & Bioengineering, University of Washington, Director of Virginia Merrill Bloedel Hearing Research Center, Seattle, Washington
  • Michael Schubert, PT, PhD, Associate Professor, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Dept. of Otolaryngology Head & Neck Surgery, Baltimore, MD
  • Alain Semont, PhD, Paris, France
  • Neil T. Shepard, PhD, Professor of Audiology, Director, Dizziness and Balance Disorders Program, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN
  • Hinrich Staecker, MD, PhD, Professor, Otolaryngology, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Kansas City, Kansas
  • Jack J. Wazen, MD, FACS, Neurotologist, Director of Research, Silverstein Institute, Sarasota, FL
  • Yuri Agrawal, MD, Professor of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD


  • Susan J. Herdman, PT, PhD, FAPTA
  • Conrad Wall III, PhD
  • Mohamed Hamid, MD, PhD, EE