Staff and Board

 
MARTEL CATALANO Retinitis Pigmentosa, Executive Director, Co-Founder, Beyond My Battle.

Martel Catalano, MBA, RYT | Executive Director & Co-Founder

At age 13, Martel was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and spent over a decade in chronic depression and anxiety, distracting herself from the real problem of impending blindness. Today, she uses her voice to create awareness and educate. Martel writes and speaks publicly on the topics of mind-body wellness, stress management, and living mindfully with an illness/disability. She has studied with mindfulness teachers near and far, and has over 500 hours of yoga and meditation training. Martel is an undergraduate of Skidmore College and received her MBA from Green Mountain College. She lives in Upstate New York where she enjoys spending time outside – in her garden, hiking, bicycling –  or inside making artwork. You can contact Martel directly at martel@beyondmybattle.org.

NELL PRITCHARD Cystic Fibrosis. Lung Transplant. Beyond My Battle.

Nell Pritchard | Co-Founder & Board Vice President

Nell was diagnosed with Cystic Fibrosis at birth, and at age 21 received a life saving double lung transplant. Nell has been featured at New York-Presbyterian Hospital as well as Cosmopolitan magazine. She found her passion for helping others with chronic illness and disability through the co-creation of Beyond My Battle. Nell earned her Bachelors Degree from Siena College with a degree in Psychology and is focused on her continued education in the mental health field, where she is incorporating her studies with her desire to help others who are struggling to understand and cope with life-changing conditions. Nell currently lives in New York City where she is a masters student at Columbia University to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) with a concentration in mental health for individuals with disabilities.

CAROLINE QUANDT retinitis pigmentosa. beyond my battle. intern.

Caroline Quandt | Community Intern

Caroline is currently a student at Michigan State University. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology with minors in Youth Studies and Education. While she has always been passionate about helping others and impacting her community, she has discovered a new facet of that passion through interning with Beyond My Battle. Caroline was diagnosed with Retinits Pigmentosa at the age of 13 and has recently learned to accept her constantly evolving human condition, both physically and emotionally.  She loves to spend time playing ice hockey and treasures every moment she can spend outside, especially on her frequent trips to Montana.

Zoe Ousouljoglou Skidmore College Beyond My Battle

Zoe Ousouljoglou | Social Media Intern

Zoe is currently a undergraduate Senior at Skidmore College pursuing a Bachelors in History and Classics. Using her own curatorial experience on social media, Zoe serves as a social media intern spreading awareness about the organization and its mission. After being diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease during her college career, she became interested in learning about the connection between stress-management and gut-health. Now in remission, Zoe is committed to immersing herself within a culture of positivity and personal growth. 


CORINNE GAFFNEY CATALANO, PhD, Self-Reg. Early Childhood Autism Specialist, Beyond My Battle.

Corinne Gaffney Catalano, Ph.D. | Board President

As a school psychologist and Assistant Director for Consultation Services at the Montclair State University Center for Autism and Early Childhood Mental Health, Corinne supports families, teachers and other staff members in school districts and community settings. She provides statewide professional development/technical assistance in the areas of social and emotional development and inclusion of young children with disabilities in childcare and early learning programs. Corinne serves as faculty for Montclair State University’s Developmental Models of Autism Intervention Graduate Certificate Program. She has a Ph.D. in Teacher Education and Teacher Development from Montclair State University and is working with Dr. Stuart Shanker, author of Self-Reg® to support teachers and parents in their role of co-regulating children so that they can be calm, alert and actively engaged in learning.

JOEL GOODMAN EdD Med, Humor Project. Beyond My Battle.

Joel Goodman, Ed.D., M.Ed. | Board Secretary

Dr. Joel Goodman founded The HUMOR Project, Inc. in 1977. His pioneering work on the positive power of humor has appeared in 7,000 TV and radio shows, newspapers and magazines in 175 countries. Joel is the author of 10 books. His organization operates the HUMOResources online bookstore, publishes the free Laughing Matters e-zine, and sponsors its Speakers Bureau that has offered programs to millions of people in all kinds of organizations and associations. Joel has done hundreds of presentations for hospitals and health care organizations, was co-author of a $500,000 “Humor, Heart, and Hope” grant for the Cancer Support Community, and was a key figure in the “Humor, Hope, and Healing” national tour for wounded warriors. Recipient of the International Lifetime of Laughter Achievement Award, Joel has made presentations in all 50 states and on all seven continents. Family is most important to Joel. and he gets great joy being PopPop to his young grandson Jakobe. 

DAN KUMLANDER CPA Attorney Beyond my battle board member

Dan Kumlander, CPA | Board Treasurer

Dan is a Certified Public Accountant and Partner at Kumlander, Donofrio, Hay & Pehl CPAs, LLP. With over 29 years of experience in corporate and forensic accounting, he became affiliated with Beyond My Battle first as a pro-bono accountant and felt so passionate about their mission that he decided to come on Board. Dan is active in community-service and can often be found giving back. He is Vice President of the Saratoga Springs Lions Club, helps students learn accounting skills as part of the Saratoga Springs High School mentoring program, and serves on the Finance Committee at Saint Clements School. He is a former marathoner and running coach, and in his free time can be found coaching basketball or spending time with his family.

Pierre Zimmerman One Roof Meditation Beyond My Battle Board Member

Pierre Zimmerman, MS | Board Member

Pierre has been working in Behavioral and Elder Health Care for over 30 years. He was ordained as a Buddhist Chaplain from Upaya Zen Center in 2011 and received his mindfulness training at the University of Massachusetts Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society, where he trained with Jon Kabat-Zinn, Saki Santorelli, and Diana Kamila to teach Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. He has provided MBSR classes to physicians, cancer patients, patients with chronic illness, and more. Pierre has also led support groups for patients who have a catastrophic illness diagnosis — along with their caregivers. He has practiced body work, meditation, and yoga for decades, involving many techniques that integrate the body, mind, and spirit to reduce stress, maximize transformative health outcomes, and serve people so that they can be aware of the connection to themselves, others and the world they inhabit.

Meredith Woolford, Saratoga Hospital Foundation, Beyond my battle board member.

Meredith Woolford | Board Member

Meredith relocated to Saratoga Springs from Richmond, Virginia in 2014 with her husband Jim. Originally hailing from Montclair, NJ, Meredith first trekked north to study communications at the University of New Hampshire. After graduating in 2003, she embarked on a professional marketing career at Vogue Magazine in New York City. Two years later, she transitioned to Saks Fifth Avenue, which she proudly called her professional home for twelve years. In 2016, Meredith joined the Saratoga Hospital Foundation as the Manager of Institutional Advancement overseeing the hospital’s fundraising events. Meredith is currently the Executive Director of the Saratoga Hospital Foundation. Meeting both Martel and Nell at a grant writing class at Skidmore she was immediately drawn to the unique compassionate mission of Beyond My Battle.  She resides in town with her husband, two daughters, and black lab.

Megan Harris-Pero Legal Council Beyond My Battle Board Member

Megan Harris-Pero, Esq. | Board Member

Megan helps people plan and prepare for life transitions as the principal attorney of Harris-Pero Legal Counsel, PLLC, an estate and business planning law firm located in Saratoga Springs, New York.  Megan’s interest and attention to life transitions undoubtedly comes from her own early life circumstances when her older sister suffered a traumatic brain injury (TBI) from a car accident. Megan learned from a young age that life can be unpredictable and has since discovered that helping clients make decisions early can reduce stress. Megan attained her undergraduate degree at Duke University and graduated Summa Cum Laude from Duquesne University Law School. In her free time, Megan enjoys practicing yoga, mothering two amazing girls, and spending time in the Adirondacks with her family.

Bryce Kahler Accountant

Bryce Kahler | Accounting Advisor

Bryce is currently working as a Staff Accountant at Kumlander, Donofrio, Hay & Pehl, CPAs, LLP. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting from the University at Albany, State University of New York. He intends to continue his education at graduate school and eventually take the CPA Exam. As an undergrad student, Bryce was the Vice President of the Middle Earth Peer Assistance Program – a group that provides telephone hotline assistance and peer education to assist students coping with emotional, social, and other life issues. This experience created a passion to help other people live better lives and see the potential in themselves. He lives in Upstate New York and loves to go hiking. He hopes to someday become an Adirondack 46er.

Mary Brimmer, Skidmore College, Beyond My Battle

Mary Brimmer | Editorial Advisor

Mary Brimmer is a recent graduate from Skidmore College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and a minor in Media and Film Studies. Through her work in documentary filmmaking, Mary has discovered a love for storytelling, advocacy and education. With her family member’s chronic illness currently undiagnosed, Mary and her family have found support and strength in the stories of others. including through her interviewing for the “Beyond My Personal Battle” blog series. Mary is currently pursuing a career in social work and is employed at a residential school for adolescents with social-emotional and mental health needs. She hopes to one day use documentary film and photography for therapeutic use in her own practice.

Morgan McCarthy Cerebral Palsy Beyond My Battle

Morgan McCarthy | BMB Ambassador

At 2 years old, Morgan was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy caused by a brain injury known as Periventricular Leukomalacia (PVL) that she acquired at some point between 28 and 36 weeks of age. She also lives with a genetic condition called Brachydactyly, found in her hands and feet. although the two diagnoses are not affected by one another. Her Service dog Dewey II, is always by her side! Morgan is the first Ambassador to BMB, volunteering her time and representing the organizational values of living a healthy, mindful life while having a chronic illness.