Executive Director & Staff

Harriet Edwards, MSW/MSG, Executive Director

Harriet has been an Executive Director in the Los Angeles area since 2003. She moved to Los Angeles in 1989 to get her Masters’ Degrees- a Masters in Social Work and a Masters in Gerontology from University of Southern California.

Her background includes working with Hospice, people with Alzheimer’s in a residential setting,  well Senior Citizens, people with End Stage Kidney Disease, and young adults with Autism. She has many years of working with caregivers and families of these people. She has served on Board of Directors for several local nonprofit organizations and on a National Board of Directors for the Forum of ESRD Networks. In her career as an Executive Director, she has trained, and led Boards of Directors through the process of creating and instituting a Strategic Plan and created and conducted community outreach projects. If she is not working, you will find her playing softball!

Emily Dame, M.Ed., Director of Education & Training

Emily has experience working with individuals with many different special needs including PWS and providing counseling services to individuals and families. Ms. Dame received a BA in Psychology in 2009 and earned High Honors when completing her M.Ed. in Applied Behavioral Studies with Professional Counseling in 2012. She is passionate about advocating for prevention, psychoeducation, and equality for those with disabilities. Emily looks forward to helping those with PWS learn the essential daily living, communication, and interpersonal skills they need to achieve their goals. She believes that “living with vulnerability gives us the ability to give and receive unconditional love.”

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Shannon Jacobson, Office Manager

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Leah Blalock, M.S., R.D., CSP, CDE, Nutritional Consultant

Leah is a Registered Dietitian with a Master’s Degree in Clinical Nutrition from University of Michigan. Leah has been providing pediatric nutrition counseling for over 18 years and is a Certified Specialist in Pediatrics. Leah is also a Certified Diabetes Educator and has been an active member of the Department of Endocrinology multidisciplinary team at CHOC Children’s Hospital since 2008. Leah provides nutritional counseling for children with multiple endocrine disorders and has a special interest in children with Type 1 and Type 2 Diabetes, Prader-Willi syndrome, Autism, and Down syndrome.

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Katherine Crawford, Graphic Designer

Katherine has over a decade of respite care experience working with United Cerebral Palsy and similar organizations. Her connections with Prader-Willi syndrome started early: when she was four years old, her brother was born with PWS. As a sibling, she brings a unique perspective to the Prader-Willi California Foundation team. Though she moved out of California, Katherine continues to serve PWCF and the PWS community as our Graphic Designer.

Volunteers

Julie Casey - Carmel

Julie Casey, Webmaster & Social Media Manager

Julie holds a Bachelor’s in Behavioral Sciences and a Masters in Organizational Management. She lives with her husband Dan and their son Ryan in Burbank.  Julie served on the PWCF Board of Directors from 2007 – 2015, serving as Secretary from 2008 – 2010 and then President from mid-2010 until the end of 2015 when she reached term limits and stepped off the board for a year before returning in 2017. Julie helped re-vamp the website in 2012 and worked with our new web host to redesign it again in November 2015.  In addition to making regular updates to keep the website information current, Julie started PWCF’s Facebook page in 2010 and our Twitter page in 2012 and continues to manage both.  Julie also chairs the Public Awareness Committee and the Finance Committee.

June-Anne Gold M.D, MRCPCH, DCH, RGN, RMN, Medical Adviser

Dr. Gold is the mother of four grown-up children and grandmother to three beautiful granddaughters and a new grandson. She is a clinical geneticist initially trained in the U.K at St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London hospital, London. Her specialist training is in pediatrics and genetics in London and Oxford. She moved to the USA with her husband Jon and two of her four children in 2004 for Jon’s work. She has an interest in rare diseases and their natural history. Her passion has been for individuals with Prader-Willi Syndrome and the challenges they and their families face. She completed my genetics training in USA at UC-Irvine and her research has all been in PWS. She won the WSPR David W. Smith Trainee Research award for PWS research which she presented in February 2010. She is currently working as an Associate Professor in Pediatrics, Division of Genetics at Loma Linda University Medical Center CA where she sees patients in clinical genetics and teaches genetics to medical students.  Additionally Dr. Gold works as an Associate Professor at University of California – Irvine, where she also leads the only PWS Adult Clinic in California.  Dr. Gold served on the PWCF board for 6 years, and still serves as a Board member for the International Prader-Willi Syndrome Association (IPWSO).

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Lisa Graziano, M.A., former Executive Director

Lisa served as PWCF’s Executive Director from 2003 – May of 2017.  She currently  supports PWCF with various projects including family advocacy and support, behavior management workshops, writing the newsletter, and chairing the HCBS Task Force. Ms. Graziano holds a Masters degree in Clinical Psychology and is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice. Her son with PWS is a Freshman at CSU Dominguez Hills.

Fran-Moss

Fran Moss, Former Executive Director; Board Member Emeritus

Fran served as PWCF’s Executive Director from 1992-2002. Since 2002 she has continued to actively volunteer on multiple projects including serving as Newsletter Editor, chairing the Residential Services Committee, and has helped organize WALK events and conferences. Only recently has Fran become less active though she continues to volunteer when possible. Fran has an adult daughter with PWS.