about us

Our Leadership

The leadership of the National Neutropenia Network includes two part-time staff and our board of directors.


Kate Bottiger, Executive Director

Kate has been the Executive Director for the National Neutropenia Network since 2017. Prior to her current role, she was involved as a Board Member and Peer Support Volunteer. Kate has been involved in non-profit organizations for over 25 years, leading areas of growth within program services, public advocacy, and volunteer engagement. During her free time, she enjoys swimming, gardening, movies, and hanging out with family and friends. Kate currently lives in Minnesota. 


Vic Lopez, Accountant

Vic is our Accountant at the National Neutropenia Network. He creates our monthly financial statements, yearly 990, and our yearly tax documents. During his free time, he loves boating, spending time in the sun, and sharing time with family and friends. Vic currently splits his time between Michigan and Florida.






Board of Directors

Raj Lakhia, Chair

Raj has been on the National Neutropenia Network board of directors for 8 years. He is currently our Board Chair. He is currently a physician at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio and is board certified in internal medicine, hospice care and palliative medicine.



Gretchen Long, Vice Chair
Gretchen graduated from Ohio University with a degree in magazine journalism and English and film specializations.  Gretchen and her husband Thad live in Medina, Ohio with their three children.  They enjoy spending time with extended family at Linwood Park on Lake Erie, which has inspired two self-published books and a card game.

A spontaneous mutation led to the Long’s first firstborn, Tate, having cyclic neutropenia.  They became actively involved in the neutropenia community within months of his diagnosis in August of 2011 at 16 months old. They dedicated time and energy to raising funds for neutropenia research through the Ella Jewell Foundation, attended Family Conferences to learn more and make friends with other neutropenia families. Gretchen joined the NNN board in January of 2017.

In her full-time work, Gretchen Long oversees strategic philanthropy initiatives and employee volunteerism at Westfield, a personal and commercial lines property and casualty insurance company headquartered in northeast Ohio.  Westfield’s aligns its philanthropic strategy with its core values, to distribute $3 million dollars to primarily support safety, disaster recovery and family stability programs.

In addition to the NNN, Gretchen is actively involved with several of the nonprofits Westfield partners with annually, Gretchen serves on the board of Habitat for Humanity of Ohio and the grant committee for the Insurance Industry Charitable Foundation’s Ohio Chapter.  She is a graduate of Leadership Medina County and has served as a loaned representative for United Way of Medina County.

Taylor Carlton, Treasurer

Taylor is the Treasurer for the National Neutropenia Network and has served on the board for 8 years. At the age of 14, Taylor was diagnosed with cyclic neutropenia and spent several of his teenage years working with doctors and the SCNIR to track and manage his neutrophil levels. In addition to serving on the board, Taylor also helps with the NNN’s Peer Support Program, a program aimed at providing those diagnosed with neutropenia as well as caregivers an opportunity to speak to others who have lived with the condition.



Tammy Loader, Secretary

Tammy Loader lives in Cambridge, Ohio with her husband Bill and their two daughters Katherine and Kara. The Loaders became involved with neutropenia in 2003 when their youngest daughter, Kara was born with the condition. They attended their first National Neutropenia Network Family Conference in 2007 as a way to continue to learn as much as possible about neutropenia. The conference proved to be an extremely valuable resource for the family.  Tammy and her family began raising funds for neutropenia research in 2011 and continue raising funds for both the NNN and the Ella Jewell Foundation with their annual Harvest A Cure for Neutropenia event.

Tammy graduated from West Virginia University with a Bachelor degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology. She earned her Master of Science in Rehabilitation Counseling. She holds credentials as a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor, Licensed Professional Counselor and Alcohol and Drug Counselor. She has worked as a Counselor in the fields of addictions and domestic violence.  Tammy worked as a Vocational Counselor assisting individuals with disabilities for over 20 years and currently serves as Chief Employee Experience Officer for Muskingum Valley Health Centers, a nonprofit community health center with the mission of ensuring all community members have access to high-quality affordable health care.

Tammy joined the NNN board in 2016. She has been a presenter at the conference and is honored to serve on the board and contribute to the success of the organization.

Tammy enjoys camping with family and friends, photography and outdoor activities including hiking and cycling.

Robert McGuinness

First and foremost, Bobby is the proud father of Ella Jewell, Alexa Noelle and Keira Ann McGuinness and husband / teammate / best friend of Kristin McGuinness.  The McGuinness family lives in Fairfield County CT where they’ve been since 2010, one year after their eldest, Ella, was born.  He and his family have been active in the Neutropenia Community since Ella’s birth and diagnosis in 2009.  They have attended several Family Conferences since then, starting with San Diego back in 2010, and have met some fantastic friends which they now share this life journey with.

Bobby is currently an Asset Manager and leads the Sustainability Program for Kite Realty Group, an Indianapolis-based Real Estate Investment Trust that specializes in Shopping Center ownership.  His office is in White Plains, NY but his work takes him around the US as Kite owns and operates properties most major US markets.

Bobby is thrilled to join the NNN Board and brings with him experience of co-founding and running a Neutropenia-focused non-profit, the Ella Jewell Foundation.  Bobby & Kristin founded the Ella Jewell Foundation shortly after Ella’s birth and with the help of several Neutropenia families they have since raised and donated over $500,000 to Neutropenia research and family support services.



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