ALS Ice Bucket Challenge Progress

 

Contact Us

If you would like more information about The ALS Association North Carolina Chapter and the services we provide, please use the contact information below.

Email:

info@alsnc.org

Phone:

919-755-9001
877-568-4347

By Mail:

4 N. Blount St., Suite 200, Raleigh, NC 27601

Our Staff

Jerry Dawson
President & CEO

Where I grew up: Fayetteville, NC
Where I live now: Clayton, NC
Joined the Chapter: March 2000

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always enjoyed helping others and my position with The ALS Association allows me to make a difference every day. This is by far the most rewarding work I have ever done.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family (wife Becky, daughters Samantha and Savannah) and friends, live music, travel, playing guitar, bad golf and grilling out.

Dave Shore
Chief Operating Officer

919-755-9001, ext. 234 or 919-861-1684

Where I grew up: Paxton, IL, 30 miles north of Champaign. To describe the plains of Central Illinois to people I say that the highest elevation in my town was the pitcher’s mound at the baseball field.
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: April 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: Lost my beloved mother Phyllis to ALS in 1992, and have tried to use my platforms in the media industry to help raise awareness and research funding. Served on the California board during my years in Los Angeles, and was incredibly excited for the opportunity to put my efforts full time into what we are doing here in North Carolina. It’s amazing to see what has been accomplished over the years, and I wake up every day knowing that what we do, and how we do it as a team, will create a life without ALS.

Hobbies: My wife Reenie and I spend time with our rescue dog Adi, and hit the hiking trails as often as we can. I’m a life-long sports nut, and will continue to consume as much as I can. Through my travels, I try to hit any and all independent coffee shops so I can sample java greatness.

Kara Cantoni OTR/L
Vice President of Care Services & Advocacy

704-412-3777

Where I grew up: Livonia, MI
Where I live now: Charlotte, NC
Joined the Chapter: November 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: In 2010 I was invited to fill in as an occupational therapist at a multidisciplinary ALS Clinic. It did not take me long to discover that this was a community of people that would inspire me. I have always experienced great joy when I can connect someone to the resources they need, find a way to instill hope during a challenging season, or use my creativity to find solutions to everyday challenges. Working with individuals impacted by ALS lets me use these skills and exposes me to people and stories that challenge me to grow as a person.

Hobbies: As someone who values beauty in nature and deep connection, during non-working hours I am usually researching my next exciting travel adventure, seeking a way to be outside soaking up nature with people I love, or volunteering my time in a variety of capacities.

Claudia Beirne
Director of Care Services Operations

919-390-0125 

Where I grew up: Linden, NJ
Where I live now: Apex, NC
Joined the Chapter: November 2007

Motivation for working with ALS: It is a wonderful feeling to know that every day I come to work I am in some way making a difference in the life of someone that needs help and support.

Hobbies: Spending time with my family, Reading, watching movies, going to the beach and watching Carolina Hurricanes Hockey.

 
 

Alex Adams
Care Services Social Worker

336-757-2000 

Where I grew up: Buffalo, NY
Where I live now: Clemmons, NC
Joined the Chapter: September 2021

Motivation for working with ALS: My career in social work has always fulfilled my heart’s love for helping/caring for others. Throughout my experience working in medical social work, I developed a special place in my heart for those living with ALS and their families.

Hobbies: Reading, knitting, watching true crime documentaries, watching superhero movies with my husband and son, and visiting my family’s favorite vacation spot in Emerald Isle, NC.

Joanna Nunez
Care Services Social Worker

910-390-0851 or 910-600-9796

Where I grew up: Fayetteville, NC
Where I live now: just outside of Fayetteville, NC
Joined the Chapter: June 2012

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always wanted to help people, and the need for a Support Group facilitator in my area was identified in 2012. I started with the Chapter facilitating that one support group and met many people with ALS and their caregivers that made me extremely passionate about ALS. My role with the Chapter has expanded, and I was thrilled to become part of the Care Services staff in February of 2020. This allows me to work even closer with people with ALS and their families.

Hobbies: In my previous spare time, I enjoy traveling with my husband, being a devoted "mom" to my cats, baking, writing, and paranormal investigating.

Lily Cola
Care Services Social Worker

919-390-0120

Where I grew up: Noblesville, IN
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: March 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: Working in the field of social work, there are different hats you wear. Each hat has one thing in common and that is simply providing a hand to hold through tough times and the motivation to keep going. Being part of this Chapter is a hat I am proud to represent so that one day a cure will finally be here.

Hobbies: Camping, checking out National Parks (so far I’ve been to 14 and worked at Yellowstone National Park), roller skating, spending time with my family/friends, watching movies, and eating at new restaurants.

Alicia Richardson, LCSW, MSW
Care Services Social Worker

919-390-0119

Where I grew up: Charlotte, NC
Where I live now: Charlotte, NC
Joined the Chapter: November 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: I have always enjoyed helping others even as a little girl.  I love to see people maximize their utmost potential and assisting them to get there in any way that I can warms my heart to the fullest!!

Hobbies: I enjoy spending time with my family, including my mother- Deborah and daughter- Alana and of course I must include my furbaby- Ziggy!  I also enjoy traveling, reading, listening to live music and volunteering at animal shelters and nursing homes when I can.

Rachel Kecy
Care Services Programs Coordinator

919-390-0126

Where I grew up: All Over (military)
Where I live now: Wake Forest, NC
Joined the Chapter: April 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: I have the desire to be a part of a team that makes a positive difference in people’s lives.

Hobbies: I enjoy furniture restoration, hiking, spending quality time with my family.

 

Gerald Talley
Director of Development (Greater Charlotte, Western Piedmont, Mountains)

919-755-9001, ext. 232 or 704-272-1121

Where I grew up: Willow Spring, NC
Where I live now: Greater Charlotte, NC area with my wife Abby and daughter Zaylee
Joined the Chapter: April 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: I have been working with the ALS community for over five years. During that time, I have met the most amazing people whose courage, strength and determination inspire me every day to do all I can do to end ALS.

Hobbies: Cooking Eastern NC BBQ, watching Andy Griffith episodes for daughter/daddy time and anything NC State

 
 

Deb Williams
Community Outreach Manager

919-390-0103

Where I grew up: Chesaning, MI
Where I live now: Washington, DC
Joined the Chapter:March 2019

Motivation for working with ALS: Deb lost her Dad to ALS in 1994. Her entire family vowed that they would carry the torch and raise funds and awareness until a cure is discovered. She has worked with several ALS communities and the inspiration from those who have walked this path continues to be her driving motivation.

Hobbies:Her hobbies include spending time with family and friends, traveling, cooking, and helping those in need.

Lauren Manfreda
Director of Development (Central)

919-390-0138

Where I grew up: Townson, MD
Where I live now: Wake Forest, NC
Joined the Chapter: August 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: Helping people and communities is where my heart is. I want to make a difference for families and their loved ones with ALS by providing them with the best possible care and support. I believe wholeheartedly in the strong communities we have in North Carolina and know that we can work together to find a cure for ALS.

Hobbies: I’m a gardener, dog lover and a mom of three girls. I love to travel, explore new cities, and spend as much time outside and on the water as possible.

 

Amy Gagner
Development & Events Manager

919-390-0121

Where I grew up: Centerville, OH
Where I live now: Wake Forest, NC
Joined the Chapter: March 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: My passion has always been helping others. I lost my Dad to lung cancer 6 years ago. He was dedicated to making our environment a safer and better place. Working for ALS is my way of continuing his legacy while also fulfilling my own dreams. I love working in Development and Events, it allows me to put all my skills to use in the best ways possible. At the end of the day, it is great to know that in some way I have helped someone. Working for ALS puts a smile on my face!

Hobbies:I love spending time and making memories with my 4 kids ( Sarah, Nate, Jake and Josie). Going to the beach, riding my paddleboard, weekend get aways, cooking (especially cajun) and cheering on the University of Kentucky….GO CATS!

Holly Zahn
She/Her or They/Them
Director of Finance and Operations
919-755-9001, ext. 223 or 919-390-0123

Where I grew up: Chapel Hill, NC
Where I live now: Raleigh, NC
Joined the Chapter: June 2012

Motivation for working with ALS: I spent five-plus years working and playing with the not-for-profit Carolina Rollergirls and I realized I would appreciate working in the not-for-profit sector not just in a volunteer capacity. I think I am naturally a caregiver and am pleased that I have found a way to utilize my skills to contribute to a better good on a daily basis.

Hobbies: Hanging out with my family in our backyard and playing ukulele.

Brendan Hardy
Administrative & Database Manager

919-390-0127

Where I grew up: Erie, PA
Where I live now: Cary, NC
Joined the Chapter: October 2022

Motivation for working with ALS: I lost my mom Nell in 2017 to ALS, so working with the ALS Association NC Chapter gives me a wonderful opportunity to honor her memory and contribute to the noble cause of finding a cure for ALS. 

Hobbies: In my free time, I enjoy hiking, running, playing soccer, reading, visiting new places, and spending quality time with friends and family.  

For a listing of our Outreach Professionals, click here.