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Alice Lara, RN

President and CEO

I’m Alice Lara and I am President and CEO of the SADS Foundation. I’ve been with SADS for 22 years and have enjoyed meeting so many of you–hearing your stories, answering your questions, and, I hope, helping many of you on your journey living and thriving with a SADS condition.

I love reading (and, surprisingly to me, listening to) books–mainly mysteries. I’ve really enjoyed the “old” authors and also authors from different countries.

My 11-month-old puppy, Emilie, is a part of my family and my house might never be the same. I always say I don’t “exercise”–I just walk the dog.

Genevie Echols

Family Support Director

Hi, I’m Genevie, the Family Support Director with the SADS Foundation. I’ve been in this role for about a year now, but I’m a longtime volunteer with SADS since I was diagnosed with Long QT Syndrome at 16 years old. I also have four kids who have Long QT.

Some of the things I’m in charge of at SADS are helping families with physician referrals, connecting families with each other, and answering questions that come up along the family’s SADS journey. I frequently talk to families to provide these resources one on one.

Three interesting things about me are I was once attacked by a giraffe, I live in Minnesota and I love to read historical fiction novels.

If you have any questions about your condition, you need a referral to an expert or would like to connect with somebody with your same condition, please contact me at Genevie@SADS.org.

Marcia Baker, MS Ed

Program Director

I’m Marcia Baker! I joined the SADS Foundation staff team in October 2018 as the Program Director, following a 30+ year career in association management with two other heart-related nonprofit national organizations – American Heart Association and Mended Hearts.

At SADS, I develop and implement educational programs (in-person conferences and webinars) for both healthcare professionals and families impacted by one of the SADS genetic heart arrhythmias. If you participated in or viewed any of our webinars, you saw my face introducing the speakers or moderating questions! Erin, our Tech Manager refers to me as “The Face of SADS.”

I’m honored to do this meaningful work with an incredible small staff team, along with academic and industry partners to further the SADS mission – dedicated to saving the lives of young people and their families genetically predisposed to sudden death arrhythmias.

I spend my leisure time sailing and singing or playing piano or guitar with my nonprofit women’s ensemble in Dallas. In 2016, I earned my USCG Master Captain’s license and teach sailing on my boat, “Two-Part Harmony” at Lake Whitney, Texas on weekends. I’m also part of a sailing race crew for a J30 sailboat – racing most Saturdays – year-round. I love the outdoors and spending time with my two rescue dogs, Willie and Waylon.

If you have a webinar topic suggestion, or want to be connected to a physician or another family affected with a SADS condition, please email me at Marcia@SADS.org.

Jan Schiller

Director of Development & Marketing

Hi, my name is Jan and I’m the Development Director for the SADS Foundation. I’ve been here for 10 years and my job is to bring in the funding to make certain we can perform our mission of supporting families and saving young lives. This involves working with foundations, corporations, individuals, and volunteer fundraisers. I’m so blessed to be able to work with and for our SADS families!

Three things you might not know about me – I’m the only cat person on staff (but I love everyone’s dogs), I’m an avid hiker mountains or red rocks, and love to cook with herbs and vegetables from my garden.

If you’d like to give a gift or do a fundraiser, just reach out to me at jan@sads.org.

Erin Waite

Administrative & Technology Director

I’m Erin Waite. I started at the SADS Foundation in 2018 as the Office Manager and have grown into the Technology and Administrative Director. I like to wear lots of hats here. I help the team organize our online programs, update our new website, mail out materials, and also arranged the SADS Live Programs. You may have talked to me when you call our support line too!

I am a nerd at heart and I love Marvel, Harry Potter, and anything Disney. I have two giant dogs (a lab and great dane) that I love to take on adventures on the weekend like fishing or camping with my husband.

If you have questions about our website, SADS Live, or want to order awareness materials you can email me at erin@sads.org.

Anna Goodson

Communications Director

Hi, my name is Anna, and I’m the Communications Director for the SADS Foundation. I’ve been here for a little over two years, and I’m in charge of our social media, email, and direct mail communications.

Three things you might not know about me: I’m originally from the Midwest, I have a Border Collie named Bentley (who you sometimes will see on our social media!), and I love to do crosswords.

If you’d like to help us spread awareness, reach out to your local media, or tell your story, contact me at Anna@SADS.org!

Tia Hansen

Family Support Coordinator

My name’s Tia. I am the Communications Assistant at the SADS Foundation. I’ve only been working with SADS for a few months, but I have known about the Foundation for many, many years. I was diagnosed with Long QT when I was just 11 years old. And fast forward to many years later and I have three children and they also have Long QT.

I worked in cardiology for about eight years and I have always had a passion for cardiology. And it’s so wonderful meeting everybody who has a SADS condition as well – to listen to and relate to.
Three fun things about me are that I love mountain biking, Hawaii, and going to concerts.

If anyone wants to share their SADS journey with us at SADS, please contact me at Tia@SADS.org.

Jennifer Berko

SADS Community Engagement Coordinator

In January 2023 We got the shocking news that our 10-year-old son had passed away four years earlier due to CPVT and that our older son and I have CPVT. We would never have learned of our rare genetic heart condition had it not been for one simple test – a rapid DNA sequencing test. This news came shortly after our 16-year-old son suffered a sudden cardiac arrest, received CPR for over two hours, was pronounced dead, and then came back to life five minutes later. Today, he is battling incomplete paraplegia and is in a wheelchair due to a lack of oxygen to his spine during CPR. Our son’s cardiology team is one of the few in the country that specialize in treating CPVT. They were first to tell us about SADS. Before long, I volunteered for SADS and shortly thereafter became an employee. This is not a job for me, but a passion to get others like me and my family the information, testing, and treatment they need before it’s too late. I’m committed to our SADS families and look forward to engaging with the community to understand your needs and wants for the future.

Allie Hoth

Communications and Awareness Intern

Hi! My name is Allie. In December of 2023, my family’s world was turned upside down when my 16 year old brother went into cardiac arrest. This led to him being diagnosed with CPVT as well as three other members of my family being diagnosed, myself included. During this time I relied heavily on the SADS social media platforms to understand this new condition that we were coming to terms with.  I am so happy to be a part of this foundation and the Communications team. The work of the SADS foundation and team are near and dear to my heart because of my own experiences.

If you feel the need to share your story or spread awareness you can contact me at allie@sads.org.