Board of Directors

Whitney Bras

I live in Placentia, CA with my husband, Keith, 4 year old son, Bradley and my new baby girl, Sadie. My 16 year old son, Ryan, was diagnosed with PWS when he was 3 years old. I have an AA degree from Santiago Canyon College and an Esthetician license.  I worked in skin care therapy at Salon Vivase for 5 years. After having my second child, I began working part time in order to focus my time on both of my children’s needs.  I am at a point in my life where I can truly commit to serving PWCF.

Jamie Burns

I am married to my best friend Justin and together we are raising our three beautiful children in Ripon, CA. Our oldest is Eli (5), Sydney (3) and our youngest, Hope (1) who has PWS. I am a stay at home mom with a passion for all that is mothering!


Rodney Dong

Rodney is a Board Certified Music Therapist and proud dad of Kiran Dong (4yrs, PWS). Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, he currently lives in sunny Valencia, CA together with his wife Gail and with Kiran. He has served as co-chair of the Board of Touched by an Angel, a non-profit dedicated to providing resources and support to families of children with special needs, and has worked with children with developmental disabilities as a Music Therapist, social skills therapist, and developmental play therapist for over 12 years. Currently he spends most of his days chauffeuring and coaching his son Kiran through his incomprehensibly busy days of school, therapy, and extra-curricular activities. Rodney is (thanks to PWCF) an avid runner and loves to train for half and full marathons, and also enjoys tennis, Badminton, hiking, and every form of winter sport. Rodney feels strongly that it is important to help educate others about PWS and its challenges, and to pay forward the support and guidance that he and his family received from wonderful organizations such as PWCF.

Roger Goatcher

I live in Northern California between Stockton and Modesto.  My wife and I have three children ages 17, 15, and 10.  My first and last child has Prader-Willi Syndrome.  I have worked in education for the past 19 years as a teacher and administrator.  I am currently the Director of Special Education.  This position has provided me the great opportunity to work with teachers, parents and students in an effort to create programs and services for the special needs children in my school district.  We have truly done some wonderful things for kids!  I am excited about serving on the PWCF Board and working with others to help our families and children.

Diane Kavrell

I live in Davis, California with my husband Brandon and 3 children. Jackson is 16, Haley is 15 and Quinn is 11.  I have been involved with PWCF for the past 11 years since my daughter Haley was diagnosed at 4. It’s taken this long for me to feel like I have my family in a good space so that I now have enough time to give back to an organization that has given me so much. Prior to children and after graduating from UMASS/Amherst I ran my own print/broker business in San Francisco for 15 years.  Since moving to Davis and for the last 12 years I have been on the board and most recently President for Northern California Children’s Therapy Center, a non-profit in Woodland, California that serves children with special needs through early their early intervention program. I hope to work on raising awareness.

Nisha Mehta

I live in Redondo Beach, California, with my husband, Minesh, and three incredible kids, Siena (PWS), Melina, and Jaiden. I have spent the majority of my career working in Strategic Planning and Strategy Consulting positions, and have an MBA from the Wharton School of Business. I am very excited to work with the Board to achieve its Strategic Objectives and to help our kids and families reach their fullest potential. I have been a stay-at-home Mom since Siena was born. I am extremely grateful to the PWS community for all of its support and I am pleased to share my knowledge and experience in every way that I can.

Venkat Paruchuru

I live in Monterey, California with my wife Mayuri and two kids, my eldest son Vivek (10) has PWS.  Presently, I am working for California State University-Monterey Bay as Manager of Business Applications. My son is an amazing little man, he changes my perspective on everything as he grows and learns, overall, I want to have a positive impact on the people around me both personally and professionally.  I’m so thankful for all the support we have received from PWCF community. It is with great passion and enthusiasm that I submit my entry to serve on PWCF board.  Coming from culturally and linguistically diverse background, I bring to you my background, along with my professional experience and skills to serve the board to the best of my abilities.

Chris Patay

Chris is a former member of the Board of Prader-Willi California Foundation. He has a son Ryan (age 13), with Prader-Willi syndrome. His wife, Jessica, was also a member of the PWCF Board.  In addition to Ryan, they have two other children, Luke (age 15) and Kate (age 11). The Patays live in Palos Verdes, California. Chris is partner at the international law firm Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and leader of the firm’s Corporate & Securities practice in Los Angeles. His practice focuses on mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic alliances, financings and corporate matters for companies ranging from start-ups to public companies. Mr. Patay also represents both issuers and investors in venture capital transactions involving debt and equity securities, including dozens of start-up companies in their angel and venture capital investment rounds. Chris has substantial experience in advising companies with respect to corporate governance, commercial transactions, technology license and development arrangements and product distribution. He serves as general outside counsel to a number of venture-backed and other start-up and emerging growth companies, where he advises boards of directors on strategic business matters and corporate and commercial legal matters. He also represents several regional and national retail clients in the grocery and restaurant, food and beverage industry with respect to their commercial and corporate matters. He has advised a number of non-profit corporations on corporate matters, too. Chris attended U.C. Berkeley and received bachelor degrees in Economics and Political Science. He received his law degree from UCLA Law School.

Daniela Rubin, Ph.D.

I am a native of Argentina and moved to the U.S. in 1999 to do my master degree in Exercise Physiology at the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. I moved to CA shortly after obtaining my Ph.D. from UNC to work at California State University Fullerton in the Department of Kinesiology. I have been in CA since then. My husband Ricky Garcia and I live in Buena Park, CA. We enjoy so much being physically active, we spend our weekends (when not in the laboratory at CSUF) being outdoors and occasionally dancing tango. My professional interests are the promotion of an active lifestyle in children and adolescents and understanding metabolism and hormones.  I have conducted research studies in children who have Prader-Willi syndrome since 2008. I hope that my professional experiences can contribute to the mission of the Prader-Willi California Foundation, as well as my enthusiasm and my joy when I see children and adults playing, moving and thriving.

Board Member Emeritus

Effective January 2015, there is a category of Board member known as Board Member Emeritus who are nominated and elected by the Board of Directors. Board Members Emeritus shall be selected from those board members who have served on the Board of Directors with distinction and excellence. Emeritus members shall receive a lifetime designation. Emeritus member candidates will have served the board with distinction and considered deserving of same for outstanding service.

In order to be considered for designation as a Board Member Emeritus, a person must be a current or former member of the Prader-Willi California Foundation Board of Directors who 1)  has served the Prader-Willi California Foundation Board of Directors with distinction; and 2) has held an important leadership role and made, or continues to make, significant contributions.

Board Member Emeritus Members

  • Bud Bush
  • Toni Campoy-Waggoner
  • Carl Martens
  • Fran Moss
  • Janice Shimmin
  • John Shimmin
  • Anne Scott
  • Bob Scott
  • Renee Tarica
Board Member Service:


Board Members are elected by the PWCF membership to serve a 3-year term. Board Members can serve up to 3 consecutive terms; after 3 terms they must step down from the Board of Directors for at least a year before becoming eligible to run again.

If you are interested in being a candidate for the Board of Directors please email the office.