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Board of Directors     Advisory Board
Board of Directors
Richard Ellson

Richard Ellson, MS

Richard Ellson serves on the Board of Sophia's Garden Foundation and chairs its Scientific Advisory Board. He is Chief Technology Officer at Labcyte Inc., a life sciences tools company formed in 2003 from the merger of Labcyte LLC and the Picoliter Inc. Since he co-founded Picoliter in 2000, Mr. Ellson has worked on the development of instruments for use in the drug discovery, pharmaceutical particle production and tissue sample preparation for protein, drug and metabolite analysis. Mr. Ellson serves on the Board of Directors of Labcyte and has raised over $27M in venture capital for the company with senior members of the management team. In 2004, Labcyte's first instrument, the Echo 550, received the prestigious R&D 100 Award. Previously, Mr. Ellson served in a variety of management and technical roles at Xerox PARC and the Eastman Kodak Company.

Mr. Ellson has published numerous scientific articles and given presentations on a broad range of topics. Most recently, he has been a frequent speaker on acoustics for life sciences research and drug library monitoring. He is a member of the Association for Laboratory Automation and the Society of Bimolecular Screening as well as a reviewer for their respective journals. Mr. Ellson is the inventor on 45 issued U.S. patents.

Mr. Ellson attended Case Western Reserve University where he received a B.S. in Fluid and Thermal Science with a minor in life sciences and a M.S. in Mechanical Engineering. He also took a two-year paid leave from Kodak to study mathematics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign through the Kodak Doctoral Awards Program.
Karen Herzog

Karen Herzog
Co-Founder, President & Acting Executive Director

Karen Herzog is the mother of Sophia Sachs, who at 4-years-old succumbed to Niemann-Pick Disease, Type A (NPA), a rare fatal genetic condition. Out of her desire to help Sophia's struggle to survive and her family’s search for meaning in the midst of uncertainty, she created Healing in Community™, a compassionate and highly effective community-based approach to caring for children with life-threatening conditions and their families. She co-founded Sophia’s Garden Foundation to share this knowledge with the world.

As an educator and advocate for children’s health, Ms. Herzog has co-authored several case studies on using integrative therapies to treat NPA, consulted on the independent documentary film, “Embracing Sophia” and co-facilitated the “Prayer Flags for Sophia” project, the 2004 winner of the Blair L. Sadler International Healing Arts Competition. She is a member of the Research Initiative Committee of the National Tay-Sachs and Allied Diseases Association, a community affiliate of the Pathways KIDS and Integrative Medicine programs at Pathways Home Health and Hospice and a founding advisory board member of the UCSF-Stanford Jewish Genetic Disease Center.

Ms. Herzog holds a B.A. in Business Economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara. She is an accomplished sales and business development executive experienced in new business development, strategic alliances and operations for non-profit and Fortune 500 technology, finance, human resources and design companies.

Adam Kemist

Adam Kemist

Adam Kemist is the father of Olivia, who succumbed to Krabbe Disease, a rare leukodystrophy involving the breakdown of the myelin sheath. Adam has always been interested in alternative care for those suffering ailments that traditional forms of medicine seem to miss. He promotes wellness of mind and body through his work as a Pedorthist in his business, The Runners High, a specialty running and walking store in Menlo Park, CA. Adam is always searching for the balance in his customers’ health and fitness routines so they can perform at their peak. His passion for balance led him to explore possibilities for alternative care and balance in children with life threatening conditions. He works with aromatherapy, massage, and promotes relaxation techniques to provide physical relief and mental support. Adam is involved in the promotion of Olivia’s Miles, a 1 Mile and 5K run implemented in honor of his daughter to promote education and awareness for families of children with diseases and research for genetic diseases. Adam and his wife Micheline are also the parents of two healthy children, Hannah and Dana.

Micheline Kemist

Micheline Kemist

Micheline Kemist is the mother of Olivia, who succumbed to Krabbe Disease, a rare leukodystrophy involving the breakdown of the myelin sheath. Micheline uses her M.A. in education and community involvement from the ownership of The Runners High in Menlo Park to educate and empower parents and families about the sensibility and power of alternate forms of care for children with life threatening conditions. She helps promote total health and balance through initiating community education, run and fitness groups for children and teens, and provides nutritional advice. Micheline is responsible for Olivia’s Miles, a 1 Mile and 5K run for promoting awareness of alternate/interlocking health practices and research in genetic diseases and newborn screening. Micheline is always looking for families who need help, whether emotional, financial or physical because of the trauma surrounding children with life threatening conditions. Micheline and her husband Adam are also the parents of two healthy children, Hannah and Dana.

Eve Levine

Eve Levine is on the Board of Sophia’s Garden Foundation and serves as its Chief Financial Officer. She is a consultant to non-profit organizations, providing financial management services that include systems evaluation, financial oversight and human resources administration. She is committed to demystifying financial information and to advancing administrative processes in support of the missions of the non-profit community. Prior to this, she was the Controller of Earthjustice, the non-profit public interest law firm for the environment.

Richard Sachs

Richard Sachs
Co-Founder & Secretary

Richard Sachs, Sophia’s father, is on the Board of Sophia’s Garden Foundation and serves as Director of Creative Services. He is the founder and Creative Director of Valley Design Group. Since 1989, his company has focused on the strategic development and implementation of broadcast, Web and print media campaigns and information architectures for technology, health care, government, education, entertainment and financial services enterprises. Clients include: Dow Jones, VISA, Quantum, Apple, Novell, 3Com, Lucent, Marimba, NEC, Sun Microsystems, Hitachi-Maxell, Countrywide Home Loans, Caltrans, The City of San Francisco, Stanford University and Medical Center, Warner Communications, Lifemark Group and the UCSF-Stanford Jewish Genetic Disease Center and Countrywide Home Loans.