One Team. One Mission. One World Without ALS – A Letter to our ALS Community

To our beloved ALS Community –

Our Chapter Staff and Board of Directors are pleased to inform you of some exciting changes happening within The ALS Association. In May of 2021, all 39 Chapters of The ALS Association and the National Home Office of the Association launched a new strategic plan that set forth a bold goal – to make ALS a livable disease as we continue to work towards a cure.

As we looked internally and asked ourselves, “what changes do we need to make in order to reach this milestone?” a decision was made to modify our organizational structure in order to better coordinate the delivery of care and resources across our Association network.

Effective today, The ALS Association Western Pennsylvania Chapter has joined the unified ALS Association, moving from a federated chapter to join one single organization. One team with one mission. To support our team, we are now part of a Territory, one of ten nationwide.

This new unified structure is centered around local mission delivery, meaning our services will still be operating at the community level, just as they are today. We will be strategically aligned, fiscally efficient, and community-based. We will stay connected to our community by maintaining our office, staff, clinics, and volunteer networks, while continuing to build upon them.

Please rest assured that no changes will be made to what our Chapter provides, and the transformations we are making are in place to increase efficiency and coordination so that those living with ALS across the country can have access to the same level of care, no matter their zip code.


The ALS Association Staff (National Office)

Our Executive Director, Ryan Reczek, is now Senior Vice President, Development and will lead fundraising strategy nationwide for the organization.

Our Director of Marketing and Advocacy, Kelsey Moschetta, is now the Director of Territory Marketing & Communications. Kelsey will oversee and help strengthen all marketing and communications efforts in territories across the Association.

Territory Staff

Our new Territory Executive is a familiar face. Merritt Spier is the former Executive Director of our Chapter and is coming out of retirement to lead our Territory.

Our Director of Care Services, Marie Folino, MSW, LSW, has moved into the role of Managing Director of Care Services overseeing all care management for the Territory.

Our Chapter Director of Development, Kristi Marsili, has transitioned into the role of Managing Director of Development to lead the Territory’s fundraising efforts.

John Coyne, who comes from the Northern Ohio Chapter, will work alongside Territory staff and Chapter staff as Managing Director of Volunteer Engagement to provide an inclusive volunteer program that will engage volunteers in a more meaningful way. 

Alex Meixner, Managing Director of Advocacy, is also joining the Territory team. He brings years of public policy experience, most recently from The American Heart Association.

Rest assured, Marie and Kristi will remain an integral part of our local work and you will be in good hands with the familiar faces filling their shoes.

Western Pennsylvania Chapter Staff

Former Chapter Social Worker, Jill Kerr, MSW, has moved into the role of Director of Care Services for our Chapter service area.

Former Associate Director of Development, Amie Olson, has moved into the role of Director of Development for our Service area.

Jena McEwen, Sr. Development Manager

Danielle LaBruzzo, Marketing Manager

Kristin Keefe, MSW, LSW, Chapter Social Worker

Kate Karlovits, SLP, Chapter Speech-Language Pathologist

April Smith, Care Services Associate

Jim Gallagher, Administrative Manager


Brittany McCall, MSW, Chapter Social Worker

Anna Patsch, Development Associate

We know that this is a lot of change. However, it is change that will help us accomplish our bold goal of making ALS a livable disease. This is a turning point for our Association. One that will help us grow our support for the community that is so near and dear to each of us.

Please visit our FAQ PAGE or contact our Territory Executive, Merritt Spier, with any questions or concerns.

Together we will make ALS a livable disease,

The Western Pennsylvania Chapter Staff & Board of Directors

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