Our Board and Staff

The National President

Ralph Colasanti

Ralph Colasanti is proud to be the first person with thalassemia to serve as the National President of CAF.  Ralph has been married to Carlene for 30 years and is the father of two children, Jessica and Ryan, and grandfather to Blair.   Ralph followed a career in IT for over 30 years before becoming a financial coach, studying how money works, and obtaining a license in insurance and securities.  Ralph helps others by teaching them how to make their money work harder for their families.  He has been providing people with a solid financial education for over 10 years.

The National Executive Director


Craig Butler is the National Executive Director of the Cooley’s Anemia Foundation, which has been leading the fight against thalassemia for over half a century. Mr. Butler himself has been an active participant in that fight for over a decade, starting with the Foundation as National Communications Director in 2001.  In addition to directing all communications-related activities in that capacity, he also served as the Principal Investigator on the Foundation’s collaborative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to help educate the thalassemia community about effective prevention strategies that can contribute to better outcomes for those with thalassemia.

In addition to advocating on behalf of individuals with severe forms of thalassemia, Mr. Butler directs Cooley’s Anemia Foundation efforts aimed at informing both the general public and specific at-risk populations about thalassemia trait. He also oversees programs to encourage all members of the public to donate blood, as treatment for thalassemia involves frequent lifelong transfusions. Mr. Butler is proud to be the author of “The Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Storybook,” a publication for children with thalassemia.

Mr. Butler received a BFA from Syracuse University and an MA from New York University.

National Office Staff

National Executive Director: Craig Butler
Patient Outreach Director: Steve Hemraj
Patient Services Manager: Eileen Scott
Social Worker: Kathleen Durst
Marketing & Communications Manager: Paris Booker
Finance Manager: Zofia Buczynski
Office Manager/Finance Assistant: Jonathan Dacuag

CAF National Board of Directors


Ralph Colasanti – President; Executive Committee Chairmen
Financial Services Consultant
Member since 1998

Joseph Vigliotti, Esq. – Vice President; Executive Committee Member; Alternate Representative to TIF
Counsel, Murphy Schiller & Wilkes LLP
Member since 2012

Janet Kwiatkowski, MD, MSCE – Medical Advisory Board Chair; Executive Committee Member
Director of the Thalassemia Program at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Member since 2017

Maria Hadjidemetriou – Secretary; Executive Committee Member
Real Estate Sales Agent; Writer for Architecture + Lifestyle
Member since 1995

Janice Cenzoprano – Treasurer; Executive Committee Member
Office Manager, The Physical Rehabilitation Center
Member since 1998


Carmine Abruzzo
General Manager, BMW of Brooklyn
Member since 2002

Tracy Antonelli
Patient/Parent Advocate
Member since 2018

Josephine Bila, MSW
Producer, CNBC; Wellness Consultant
Member since 2016

Cammie Brandofino – Executive Committee Member
Benefits Coordinator, Safeharbor Healthcare Svcs.; Ret’d. Admin. Asst. and Constituent Liaison to State Sen. John Marchi
Member since 1985

Shirley Cammilleri – Rochester Chapter Representative
Day Care Provider
Member since 1985

Amy Joan Celento – Executive Committee Member
Owner/Director, Brain Body Vitality Center
Member since 2001

Julia Cenzoprano
Assurance Manager, EY
Member since 2014

Mary Ann Cervoni-Iaia – Executive Committee Member; Suffolk Chapter Representative
Patient Advocate
Member since 1986

Thomas Cheng – California Chapter Representative
Adjunct Professor – West Los Angeles College
Member since 1996

Peter Chieco – Executive Committee Member
Managing Director – Morgan Stanley
Member since 1988

Alan Cohen, MD – Medical Advisory Board Member
Hematologist, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
Member since 1992

Sarah Baqueri Connolly
Owner, Sir Speedy Plainview, NY
Member since 2018

Terri DiFilippo – Executive Committee Member
NYC Department of Education (Retired)
Member since 1987

Joseph DiTrapani
CEO – Order Sons and Daughters of Italy in America
Member since 2003

Anthony Ferrino – Queens Chapter Representative
New York City Sanitation; Sergeant at Arms – Columbia Association
Member since 1995

Robert Ficarra – Executive Committee Member; Representative to Thalassemia International Federation
Owner, Bob Ficarra Associates
Member since 1975

Antoni Foe
Senior Programmer/Analyst, Intel Corporation
Member since 2000

Frank Fusaro
President – The Forum Group; Member – Board of Governors Columbus Citizens Foundation
Member since 1995

Anish Goel, PhD
Senior South Asia Fellow – New America
Member since 2016

Dean Hernan – Executive Committee Member
Public Accountant, Katz Viola Lebenhart & Mauro, LLP; Chief Financial Officer, The Forum Group
Member since 2000

Christine Horton – New Jersey Chapter Representative
Freelance Graphic Artist & Creator
Member since 2006

Michelle Chieco Lenz – Westchester/Rockland Chapter Representative
Pediatric RN
Member since 2018

Ben Li
Member since 2020

Laurie Messina
Creative Director, MRM
Member since 2020

Cindy Morrison
Executive Director/Founder, Knowing Hope Inc.
Member since 2020

William Pisano – Suffolk Chapter Representative
Member since 2020

Paul Polo
Senior Vice President, General Manager, Adchem Manufacturing Technologies, Inc.
Member since 2007

Michael Pouchie
President & COO, National Distribution Alliance, LLC
Member since 2008

Michael Presto
Chairman & CEO, National Distribution Alliance, LLC
Member since 2008

Thomas A. Rotolo – Long Island Chapter Representative
President, Imprenditore OPS
Member since 2001

Phil Rutigliano
Marketing Consultant
Member since 2005

Pranav Saha
Director – Booz Allen Hamilton
Member since 2020

Radhika Sawh
Continental State Teams Lead, NYMAC Regional Genetics Network;
Faculty, Joan H. Marks Graduate Program in Human Genetics at Sarah Lawrence College
Member since 2020

Joseph Sciame
Vice President for Community Relations, St. John’s University
Member since 1993

Frank Somma – Executive Committee Member
Keynote Speaker/Sales Trainer
Member since 1986

Frank Tidona – UNICO Representative
Hazardous Materials Technician, Unilever Bestfoods (Retired)
Member since 2009

Teresa Tomaino – Chicago Chapter Representative
Patient Advocate
Member since 2006

James Ventola – North Jersey Chapter Representative
Law Enforcement / Government
Member since 2010

Anthony J. Viola, CPA
Senior Partner, Katz Viola Lebenhart & Mauro, LLP
Member since 1995

Tom Watral
Vice President, Watral Brothers, Inc.
Member since 2016

Joseph Zuraw
Sr. Director – Patient Relations, Grifols
Member since 2016

Emeritus Member

Nunzio Cazzetta – Past Board Chairman
Retired Foreign Language Teacher

Honorary Member

Hilary Cooley 

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