The role of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations’ Budget and Finance Committee is responsible for reviewing the integrity of the organisation’s financial reporting and overseeing the independence of the external auditors.
Chair: David Ali, MND Australia
David says it is a real privilege to be elected to the Board of the International Alliance. He brings 25 years’ experience as an executive and non-executive Director on government and not-for-profit boards. Apart from MND, he is currently Treasurer of Communities That Care Australia. In his day job, he is the CEO of a not-for-profit membership-based professional peak association so he understands the importance of member-based organisations like the International Alliance. His professional background is in social policy (health, human services, justice) and corporate services. In his spare time David’s focus is on his family, keeping fit (ex long distance runner, now walker) and learning a new language.
David is passionate about helping to make a difference for people living with MND/ALS. For 18 years, he has volunteered his time and skills to the governance of two MND organisations in Australia, supported research, hosted and attended many events supporting MND/ALS, and participated at eight International Alliance meetings. David has been a Director of MND Australia since 2006 and was elected National President in November 2013. He has continued as a Director of MND Victoria since 2000 and was its State President from 2006 to 2013.
Gorrit-Jan Blonk, ALS Netherlands
I have been the CEO of ALS Netherlands for more than 4.5 years and a member of the Board of Directors of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations since December 2015. As an Alliance delegate and a Board member, I joined the worldwide fight against ALS/MND because I strongly believe in international collaboration in all the things we do. By working together, we will defeat ALS/MND faster than only working nationally. Sharing ideas and working together in the Alliance is key. That is why I am proud to serve as a Board member.
Andrea Pauls Backman, Les Turner ALS Foundation, USA
Andrea has been Chief Executive Officer of the Les Turner ALS Foundation since 2015. She brings both a professional and personal passion to ALS/MND having cared for and lost her mother, Sally, to the disease in 2010.
Andrea came to the ALS field following a 30 year career in business management as an institutional investment manager, including as a Managing Director at several investment firms. She also brings more than 15 years of nonprofit board management experience. She is honored to serve on the Board of Directors of the International Alliance of ALS/MND Associations.
Andrea holds a Master of Business Administration from DePaul University and a Bachelor of Business Administration from Loyola University of Chicago and is a certified public accountant. She also received a Professional Development Certificate in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations from the Northwestern School of Professional Studies. Outside of the office, Andrea enjoys spending time with with her family, cooking and biking.
“I am in the ALS/MND fight because I’ve never seen more courageous, determined and selfless individuals than those with this disease. I am committed to do all I can to make their lives better and help find the key to the cure.”
Evy Reviers, ALS Liga België
Evy Reviers is the daughter of a pALS which is her motivation to be an ALS patient representative at the National and International level. Since 2007, she is CEO of ALS Liga Belgium, focusing on stimulating and financing scientific research on ALS, contact with ALS researchers, collaborations with university hospitals and defending the rights of pALS at governmental institutions and agencies.
She is particularly involved in regulatory aspects of ALS clinical trials and its guidelines, advocating the same rights for access to trials and future medicines for all pALS worldwide. She graduated at the EURORDIS ExPRESS Summer School 2016 and is a patient representative in scientific advice procedures (CHMP committee) at the European Medicines Agency (EMA). Also, she is member of the European Patient Advocacy Group (ePAGs) for the Rare Neuromuscular ERN Groupings of EURORDIS, being active in the Patient Advisory Board of these ePAGs.
Furthermore, she is Chairwoman of the European Organization for Professionals and Patients with ALS (EUpALS), a member of the Board of Project MinE and member of the ALS Dream Team.
Evy previously served as a member of the Board of Directors of the International Alliance during 2 consecutive terms between 2010-2016. She was re-elected to begin a new term in December 2017.
Sheila has operated SME Interim, providing interim management services in the not-for-profit sector since 2014. Sheila started SME Interim after 15 years of working in a variety of not-for-profit organizations, including a national professional association, community based social service agency, animal welfare shelter and a national charity. She is a Chartered Professional Accountant with a degree in Economics from McMaster University.
Sheila is passionate about the importance of helping out wherever needed, and has volunteered on both the governance and programming level over the years. As a new member to the Budget and Finance Committee, she’s inspired by the collaborative nature at the International Alliance of ALS/MND Association and looking forward to contributing her financial expertise.
In her spare time Sheila loves spending time outdoors, either at her cottage or travelling abroad on a walking holiday. “It’s truly the best way to experience a new destination”.