David Carmel is co-founder of Carmel Asset Management, a private investment partnership in New York City. Previously, he worked on the California Stem Cell and Cure Initiative that was approved by voters for $3 billion in research funds. Subsequently, he advised Governors Spitzer and Paterson on the creation of the $600 million Empire State Stem Cell Trust which supports leading stem cell researchers in New York State. He is a founding board member of the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a former board member of the New York State Spinal Cord Injury Research Board, and a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. In 2002, Carmel was one of 13 non-partisan White House Fellows appointed by President George W. Bush and was awarded the Secretary's Honor Award, the Treasury Department's highest honor. He has been named one of Esquire magazine's "Best and Brightest."
Ron Cohen, M.D., is the founder, president and CEO of Acorda Therapeutics, Inc., a company dedicated to the development of therapies that could restore neurological function and improve the lives of people with multiple sclerosis, spinal cord injuries and other neurological damage. He is a member of the Executive Committee of the Board of the Biotechnology Industry Organization and chairman of its Emerging Company Section. Dr. Cohen has received numerous awards for his work including the NeuroInvestment's CEO of the Year Award, and has been inducted to the National Spinal Cord Injury Association's Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame. Last year, he was recognized by the New York Biotechnology Association as "The Cure Starts Here" Business Leader of the Year.
Lauren Manning is a 9/11 survivor who completed her rehabilitation at Burke after suffering catastrophic burns on more than 80 percent of her body during the Sept. 11 attacks. The story of her strength and battle for survival has been chronicled in the media and in her New York Times bestselling memoir, Unmeasured Strength, published in September 2011. Manning was chosen as one of Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year for 2002. She was selected as one of 15 Extraordinary Women of 2003 by Biography Magazine, and CNN named her one of the most intriguing newsmakers of the past 25 years.