The American Diabetes Association Welcomes 2023 Principal Officers and New Members to the National Board of Directors
The American Diabetes Association® (ADA) welcomes the 2023 Principal Officers and Board of Directors. The 13-member board is comprised of forward-thinking, innovative medical, scientific, education, and executive business professionals, who will strategically lead and focus efforts to ensure the ADA continues to uphold the mission upon which it was founded.
"We are so excited to announce our 2023 Board of Directors,” said Charles Henderson, CEO of the ADA. “We look forward to the insight and skills that each of these thought leaders will provide to help move the needle and improve the lives of all people living with diabetes. We are also thankful for the service and commitment of our outgoing Principal Officers and Board Members, as they will remain dedicated to our mission at the national and local levels. We are very appreciative of their hard work, dedication, and commitment to fighting for all people affected by diabetes.”
The Principal Officers of the Board of Directors who will start their terms of service beginning this month are:
Rone Luczynski, Chair of the Board
- Rone Luczynski has spent most of his career helping major corporations manage and reengineer their supply chains to operate more efficiently and profitably. Currently, Mr. Luczynski is the chief vision officer at Revurbia Consulting. Revurbia is an environmental, social, governance, and supply chain optimization firm.
Mr. Luczynski was formerly the vice president of Supply Chain Management at Service Corporation International, Inc. (SCI), North America’s largest single provider of funeral, cremation, and cemetery services. He also held the title of president of SCI Shared Resources, LLC, which is SCI’s procurement corporation. SCI has ~2,000 locations and 25,000 employees in 44 states, eight Canadian provinces, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico. Mr. Luczynski was responsible for all procurement and supply chain activities at SCI.
Mr. Luczynski has been involved with the ADA for 15 years, having served as chair-elect, chairman of the ADA’s initial Fundraising Committee, the Board & Talent Development and Compensation Committee, as well as served on the Finance Committee for the National Board. Mr. Luczynski was previously chairman of the Houston and South Texas Community Leadership Boards and a leading fund raiser for both the Houston Tour de Cure® and Step Out Walk®.
Todd F. Brown, PMP, Secretary/Treasurer
- Todd F. Brown is the founder and chief executive officer of Urban Edge Network, LLC, a Black-owned media company focused on serving 101 Historically Black Colleges or Universities (HBCUs).
Prior to starting his firm, Mr. Brown was the chief executive officer of TheGrio, a former division of NBC News and the largest online media company geared toward African American audiences. He also held executive and management board-level positions at Johnson Publishing Company, where he increased the digital footprint of Ebony, Jet, and Fashion Fair Cosmetics by investing in technology to increase sales and audience engagement. He helped revitalize the public’s perception of the publications by building an experiential marketing division for the business.
Earlier in his career, Mr. Brown held senior executive leadership roles at Fortune 500 companies, including Comcast, Viacom, GE Capital, Comdisco, Capgemini, Dell, and HP, where he streamlined processes and drove tangible financial results. He is an expert in the development and implementation of corporate strategy and cultural transformation initiatives, management operations, and technology disruption.
Mr. Brown was recognized by Cable Fax magazine as a key executive in cable for several years during his tenure at Viacom, Comcast, and NBC. Mr. Brown holds a Bachelor of Science degree in accounting from Oklahoma State University. He completed executive management programs at Harvard Business School and UCLA’s Anderson School of Management. Mr. Brown is the ADA’s 2023 secretary/treasurer and serves on the finance, investment, and board development committees.
As a diverse executive, Mr. Brown founded the Diversity Special Interest Group at the Project Management Institute, which now has seven chapters at historically Black colleges and universities. He has served on nonprofit boards at Boulder Special Transit, Oklahoma University, and the University of Texas and is an active member of the National Association of Corporate Directors. He is also a long-term member of the Executive Leadership Council. Mr. Brown is a member of the National Association for Child Development and BoardProspects. He was also an honored participant in the early two rounds of Deloitte’s Executive Leadership Council (ELC) CEO and Board Cohorts seminars.
Rodica Pop-Busui, MD, PhD, President, Medicine & Science
- Dr. Rodica Busui is the Larry D. Soderquist professor of diabetes and a recognized national and international leader in the field of diabetes and diabetes complications. She is the vice chair for Clinical & Health Outcomes Research in the Department of Internal Medicine, and director of Clinical Research, Mentoring, and Development of the Caswell Diabetes Institute at the University of Michigan.
Her research interests involve chronic complications of diabetes, particularly diabetic neuropathy, diabetic foot complications, diabetic kidney disease and cardiovascular disease, and novel technologies for treating type 1 diabetes. She has been a Principal Investigator and member of the Steering Committee in many landmark diabetes clinical trials funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or Pharma, including:
o Action to Control Cardiovascular Risk in Diabetes trial
o The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications
o Preventing Early Renal Loss in Type 1 Diabetes
o Bypass Angioplasty Revascularization Diabetes 2
o Glycemia Reduction Approaches in Type 2 Diabetes-A Comparative Effectiveness Study
o DEVOTE, REPLACE-BG, WISDM, and MOBILE
In addition, she designed and leads several investigator-initiated studies to unveil disease-modifying agents for diabetic complications, and the use of diabetes technologies to improve patients’ outcomes and diabetes care delivery funded by NIDDK and Pharma.
She is the chair of the Steering Committee of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Diabetes Foot Consortium. Dr. Busui has published more than 275 peer-reviewed manuscripts and book chapters and received awards from the Fulbright Foundation, ADA, and the University of Michigan. She has been an elected member of the ADA Clinical Practice Committee, chaired the 2017 ADA position statement on diabetic neuropathy, chaired the ADA Scientific Research Review Clinical, the ADA Diabetes & Cardiovascular Disease Interest Group, the ADA/ACC Heart Failure in Diabetes Consensus, and chairs the Precision Prognostic in Type 1 Diabetes Working Group of the ADA/European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD).
Janet Brown-Friday, RN, MSN, MPH, President, Health Care & Education
- Janet Brown-Friday, RN, MSN, MPH, has been a registered nurse for more than 40 years and is most recently the project director of the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) / Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS) Combined Cohort Study Bronx site at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine under the Division of General and Internal Medicine.
Mrs. Brown-Friday has previously served on the National Board of the ADA from January 2017 to December 2019. She remains a current member of the NYC Community Leadership Board for the ADA. Mrs. Brown-Friday has also served on the ADA’s African American Committee from 1995 to 1998 in NYC.
From 2002 to 2009, Mrs. Brown-Friday served as a committee member for the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP) and was her workgroup’s vice chair and chair during that period. From 2009 to 2013 Mrs. Brown-Friday served on the Operations Committee for NDEP.
From 2005 to 2008, she served as a special government employee and council member for the National Institutes of Health (NIH) - National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Advisory Council. She is also a volunteer with her church in Spring Valley, NY.
Mrs. Brown-Friday is married to Clement E. Friday Jr. and has one son, Vahn J. Friday attends Stonehill College. Mrs. Brown-Friday holds and MPH in community health education and an MSN in community health nursing from Hunter College in New York, NY.
The Elect Officers for 2023 are:
Rhodes B. Ritenour, JD, Chair-elect
- Rhodes B. Ritenour is a native of New Market, Virginia, and is the vice president for External and Regulatory Affairs with Bon Secours Health System. He represents the system before local, state, and federal governments; in communities it serves; and to corporations. He also provides regulatory legal counsel and manages governance, serving as the corporate secretary of the Richmond Market Board.
Prior to joining Bon Secours, Mr. Ritenour served as the Deputy Attorney General of Virginia for civil litigation. Before joining the office of the attorney general, he was a partner in the Richmond office of LeClairRyan, where he focused on intellectual property litigation, regulated industries, and counseling campaigns and elected officials. He served as the firm’s Hospitality and Tourism Industry team leader and was a member of the Energy Industry team.
Preceding his time in private practice, Mr. Ritenour clerked for U.S. District Judge Jackson L. Kiser in the Western District of Virginia, served in the policy office of Virginia Governor Mark R. Warner, and worked in the press office of Vice President Al Gore.
Mr. Ritenour earned his undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Virginia. He serves on the Virginia Business Council, and the Boards of the Virginia Chamber of Commerce, Longwood University, Lead Virginia (chairman), ChamberRVA, The Richmond Forum, and project:Homes.
Having type 1 diabetes since the age of five, he has served the diabetes community as chairman of the ADA board in Central Virginia, a member of the ADA National Advocacy Committee, a member of the ADA Legal Advocacy Network, Fund-A-Cure co-chair for the 2019 JDRF Richmond Gala, and now serves on the National ADA Board of Directors.
Mr. Ritenour and his wife Alana are co-founders of TheDiabetesSupportGroup.org, a national online diabetes community, and have published their first children’s book in a series, The Adventures of Rhodes and Alana: School Bus Secret. He lives in Henrico County, Virginia, with his wife and two spirited children.
James Tai, Secretary/Treasurer-elect
- Mr. Tai’s broad health care experience spans a wide array of outpatient provider services for chronic diseases, and he is a managing partner for a life sciences venture capital fund. He sits on the Board of Directors for a variety of innovative health care companies, including ARViE, a virtual exam platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to conduct asynchronous orthopedic exams to improve health equity and access for underserved communities.
Mr. Tai is an advocate for combining innovations in health care technology with updates to public health policy in order to transform health care. He actively engages in the health care community, speaking at tech and digital health care conferences and volunteering on non-profit boards such as the Asian Pacific Exchange (APEX) and the ADA’s Audit and Governance Committee.
Mandeep Bajaj, MBBS, President-elect, Medicine & Science
- Dr. Mandeep Bajaj is the vice chair for Clinical Affairs in the Department of Medicine and a professor of medicine and molecular and cellular biology at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston. He is the chief of the Section of Endocrinology at Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center, as well as the medical director of the Baylor St. Luke's Medical Center Diabetes Program and Baylor Medicine Endocrinology and Diabetes.
Dr. Bajaj is a medical graduate of the All-India Institute of Medical Sciences in New Delhi and received his fellowship training in endocrinology and diabetes at the Joslin Diabetes Center in Boston. Dr. Bajaj is a reputed clinical and translational researcher in obesity and type 2 diabetes and has over one hundred publications.
His patient-oriented research work has delineated the metabolic and molecular mechanisms of insulin resistance in the pathogenesis of type 2 diabetes. He is currently the editor-in-chief of British Medical Journal (BMJ), Open Diabetes Research and Care, published jointly by the ADA and the BMJ Group.
He has served on the ADA Scientific Sessions Meeting Planning Committee, Finance Committee, and the Research Grant Review Committee. He has been awarded the Master Clinician Lifetime Award as well as the Fulbright & Jaworski Faculty Excellence Teaching Award by Baylor College of Medicine.
Patti Urbanski, MEd, RD, LD, CDCES, President-elect, Health Care & Education
- Mrs. Urbanski is a certified diabetes care and education specialist and registered dietitian, currently working as diabetes staff development coordinator at St. Luke’s Hospital Diabetes Care Program in Duluth, Minnesota.
Mrs. Urbanski was a member of the ADA Nutrition Science Review Committee and the writing committee for the 2019 ADA nutrition consensus statement. She currently serves on the ADA Scientific Sessions Committee and the Science and Health Care Executive Council and has served on the ADA Professional Practice Committee. She is a past chair of the Diabetes Dietetic Practice Group of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and is a frequent author and international speaker on nutrition and diabetes education topics.
Mrs. Urbanski has a master’s degree in adult education from the University of Minnesota, a Bachelor of Science degree in applied nutrition from the Pennsylvania State University, and completed her dietetic internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital and Clinics.
She lives in Cloquet, Minnesota, with her husband Tom. In her free time, she enjoys traveling with Tom, gardening, cross-country skiing, and road biking.
New At-Large Board Members are:
Francisco Pietro, MD
- Francisco Prieto was born in Chicago, IL as one of nine children of Jorge and Luz Maria Prieto. He has a Bachelor of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and received his MD from the University of Minnesota in 1980. He trained in family medicine at the University of Arizona, serving as chief resident in 1983 before serving three years in the National Health Service Corps. He has practiced in Sacramento, California, since 1986.
Dr. Prieto has been a longtime volunteer for the ADA, including serving as president of the Sacramento Community Leadership Board. An avid bicyclist, he also chaired the Tour de Cure committee and currently serves as the chair of the ADA’s National Advocacy Committee.
In 2004, when California passed a citizen-led initiative to fund stem cell research, State Treasurer Phil Angelides named him to serve as a patient advocate member of the Independent Citizens Organizing Committee, the governing board of the new state agency created by the initiative, The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Dr. Prieto served two eight-year terms at CIRM, where he was a member of the Scientific and Medical Accountability Standards Working Group, and the Grants Evaluation Working Group, and chaired the Evaluation Subcommittee.
Dr. Prieto and his wife, Yolanda Valle, MD, have two wonderful children, Miguel, and Marisol.
Madi Rajulapalli, MD, MBA
- Dr. Rajulapalli is the regional medical director for Medicare Case Management, CVS Health®, and served as chief medical officer for Aetna Better Health of Louisiana prior to this role. She has held several leadership roles as chief medical officer for provider-based health plans and population health, as well as chief medical officer for Community Health Care Center.
Dr. Rajulapalli has extensive experience in health plan clinical operations, complex case management, quality and outcome-based strategy execution, value-based care modelling, digital health technology implementation, and integrating physical and behavioral health. She created synergies between health plans, provider groups, ACOs, and hospital systems to maximize patient experience, quality, and offset the cost of care.
Dr. Rajulapalli is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine and American Board of Quality and Utilization review physicians. She earned her Master’s in Business Administration from Texas Woman’s University and executive education from Harvard Business School.
Dr. Rajulapalli serves as president of the ADA board, Louisiana-Mississippi chapter, and serves on the Value Based Care Council—Executive Leadership Advisory Committee for the National Association of Managed Care Physicians. She enjoys reading, traveling, and has an avid interest in exploring different cultures’ lifestyles and longevity.
- An ardent cyclist, Mr. Richardson sets a healthy living standard for his colleagues by regularly traveling on two wheels. His daily commute takes him across the mighty Columbia River, and to and from his home in Washington state.
As a senior vice president at Moda, Mr. Richardson leads the organization’s key Medicare and Medicaid departments, as well as the Eastern Oregon Coordinated Care Organization, the Portland metropolitan region’s Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU IDS), and all strategic Systems of Care initiatives. He is also the key relationship manager for major state accounts, including the Oregon Educators Benefit Board (OEBB), State of Oregon Public Employees Retirement System (PERS), and Oregon/Washington Prescription Drug Program (OPDP/WPDP).
Among his many innovations at Moda, Mr. Richardson established the NW Prescription Drug Consortium, pooling prescription drug purchasing and lowering costs, especially for the uninsured and underinsured, throughout Oregon and Washington. Mr. Richardson recently completed a landmark term as national chairman of ADA, capping his 17 years of service. A pharmacy graduate of Oregon State University, Mr. Richardson is also a proud citizen of the Cherokee Nation.
We are thankful for the years of service, dedication, and commitment the following members of the Board whose terms ended on December 31, 2022:
- Marshall Case
- Amparo Gonzalez
- Guillermo Umpierrez, MD, CDCES
- Ruth Weinstock, MD, PhD
“This talented group of individuals have tremendous experience in a variety of areas in science, medicine, health care, and business,” said Rone Luczynski, 2023 ADA board chairman. “They bring a great wealth of expertise and innovative ideas to the ADA, and we look forward to collaboration and their leadership as we continue to help people living with diabetes thrive.”
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About the American Diabetes Association
The American Diabetes Association (ADA) is the nation’s leading voluntary health organization fighting to bend the curve on the diabetes epidemic and help people living with diabetes thrive. For 82 years, the ADA has driven discovery and research to treat, manage, and prevent diabetes while working relentlessly for a cure. Through advocacy, program development, and education we aim to improve the quality of life for the over 133 million Americans living with diabetes or prediabetes. Diabetes has brought us together. What we do next will make us Connected for Life. To learn more or to get involved, visit us at diabetes.org or call 1-800-DIABETES (1-800-342-2383). Join the fight with us on Facebook (American Diabetes Association), Spanish Facebook (Asociación Americana de la Diabetes), LinkedIn (American Diabetes Association), Twitter (@AmDiabetesAssn), and Instagram (@AmDiabetesAssn).