Ralph DeVitto, President and Chief Executive Officer, is responsible for leading the American Brain Tumor Association’s dedicated staff, while increasing the value of the organization to patients, caregivers, healthcare professionals, scientists, donors, sponsors, partners and other key influencers. Building upon the ABTA’s strong reputation as the go-to resource on brain tumor science and information, Ralph leads the organization’s strategy to expand brain tumor research and further develop learning resources and programs for patients, survivors and caregivers.
Ralph brings extensive experience in association management, including strategic planning, fundraising, volunteer mobilization and partnership building. Previously, Ralph served in numerous leadership roles during his 21 years with the American Cancer Society, including the CEO of the Florida Division and the interim Executive Vice President of the Southeast Region, where he oversaw the merger of operations in five states and Puerto Rico to create the Region.
Nicole Willmarth, Ph.D.
Chief Mission Officer
Meet Nicole Willmarth, Ph.D.
Nicole Willmarth, Ph.D., Chief Mission Officer, joined the American Brain Tumor Association (ABTA) in 2015. Overseeing the ABTA Research and Patient Services departments, Nicole leads the strategy and orchestration of the expansion and operation of the organization’s scientific and research grant programs, and patient support services and education programs.
Prior to joining ABTA, Nicole worked at Susan G. Komen® where she oversaw the business and science management of Komen’s portfolio of funded research program grants. She worked with patient advocates as well as a team of science managers and grant administrators to ensure the organization’s research investment aligned with the mission and maximized potential to advance the field.
Nicole began her career in scientific grant management with the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR). She developed, launched and managed several grant mechanisms as part of AACR’s donor-directed research grants programs and provided oversight for the application and scientific review process and science management. She also managed AACR’s Scholar-in-Training Awards, the Associate Member Council and the Molecular Epidemiology Working Group.
Nicole received her Ph.D. in Cellular and Molecular Biology at the University of Michigan where she first developed her passion for advancing treatments in the cancer field. She went on to publish in a number of peer reviewed scientific journals over the course of a decade in oncology research. She currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
Chief Development Officer
Meet Kelly Sitkin
Kelly Sitkin, Chief Development Officer, leads the strategic direction and nationwide implementation of an integrated development and volunteer network on behalf of the American Brain Tumor Association.Leading a department of eight development staff, Kelly and her team are responsible for generating more than $6 million in revenue to support ABTA-funded research and patient services.
Kelly has more than 15 years of development experience including strategic planning, major gift solicitation, community-based fundraising and board development. Previously, Kelly served as the Assistant Director for the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center where she managed the Development and External Relations Departments. She also served as the Cancer Center Director of Annual Giving and Outreach as well as Director of Development for the University of Wisconsin Foundation.
Kelly holds a BA in marketing from Huntingdon College in Montgomery, Alabama. She maintains membership with several professional associations including the Association of Fundraising Professionals and the National Association of Cancer Center Development Officers.
Sr. Director, Finance & Audit
Meet Phillip Samuels
Phillip Samuels, Senior Director of Finance and Accounting, joined the American Brain Tumor Association in 2011. Phil oversees the accounting team, manages budget and operating performance reporting, monitors compliance of operations with budgets and forecasts, evaluates internal controls and provides recommendations of improvements as needed. Phil brings more than 30 years of experience in accounting and finance for organizations with annual revenues ranging from $2.5 to $350 million.
Previously, Phil served as controller for Beth Hillel Congregation Bnai Emunah, corporate controller and manager of budgets and assets for O’Bryan Bros., Inc., and financial analyst and accountant for the Jewish Community Centers of Chicago.
Phil received a Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago and an MBA from Keller Graduate School.