John Ratey, MD, Vice Chairman
John J. Ratey, MD, is an Associate Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and an internationally recognized expert in Neuropsychiatry. He has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, and 11 books published in 15 languages, including the groundbreaking ADHD Driven to Distraction series with Ned Hallowell, MD. and Spark:The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain. His latest book, Go Wild, explores how to achieve optimal physical and mental health by getting in touch with our caveman roots and how we can re-wild our lives.
With the publication of Spark, Dr. Ratey established himself as one of the world’s foremost authorities on the brain-fitness connection and he embarked on a world-wide mission to re-engineer schools, corporations, and individual lifestyle practices by incorporating exercise to achieve peak performance and optimum mental health. A highly sought after speaker, he has lectured extensively throughout the US, Canada, Asia, Australia and Europe. His work is frequently profiled in the media, where he’s been featured on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS and NPR, as well as in The New York Times, Newsweek, The Washington Post, U.S. News and World Report, Men’s Health, and other national publications.
Dr. Ratey has functioned as an Adjunct Professor of Sport Science at the National Taiwan Sport University, and as a consultant to the President of Taiwan and the Minister of Education in South Korea. He has served as co-head of the Advisory Board of the California Governor’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sport, a consultant to ANTA Kids in China, and on Reebok’s non-profit before school fitness program, BOKS, where he was named Ambassador for Active Kids. His non-profit, Sparking Life, promotes exercise in the treatment of mental health problems.
First and foremost, Dr. Ratey is a psychiatrist who cares deeply about his patients. Recognized by his peers as one of the Best Doctors in America since 1997, he was recently named “Outstanding Psychiatrist of 2016” by the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society. Married, with two children and two grandchildren, he maintains a private practice in both Cambridge, Massachusetts and Los Angeles, California.
J. Rodman Steele, Jr., Chairman
J. Rodman Steele Jr. is a partner in the national firm of Duane Morris LLP. Mr. Steele represents clients in all phases of patent, trademark, trade secret and copyright law and is recognized .by Who’s Who of Patent Lawyers, Florida Legal Elite, The Best Lawyers in America, and SuperLawyers. He has served on, and chaired, many nonprofit boards and has been legal counsel to others.
A former Captain in the Army, Mr. Steele was awarded a Bronze Star for his service in Vietnam and the Army Commendation Medal from the Department of the Army, Pentagon.
A former college basketball player, he is an active triathlete and has represented the U.S. at four overseas international championship events. He is a passionate believer that his exercise routine has stimulated some of his best legal and nonprofit efforts.
Kathleen Granchelli, Secretary
Kathleen is a public relations professional with more than twenty-five years experience in the high tech sector. She has led and built successful programs and events in corporate communications, media relations, community partnerships, and STEM K-12 initiatives at Draper, an R&D organization in Cambridge, Massachusetts. In addition to Sparking Life, she has served on the boards of Cambridge Chamber of Commerce, Kendall Square Association, and Cambridge Compact for a Sustainable Future.
Mark Hornung, Treasurer
Mark Hornung is Managing Director of Community Magazine Group, a publisher of 13 regional health and wellness magazines in seven states. He also is Vice President of Community Media Group, a publisher of 70 community newspapers and publications in eight states.
Mark is a 27-year veteran of media. Prior to his current role, he was President and Publisher of Midwestern Suburban Publishing, an operator of the daily Southtown newspaper in Chicago, the Star Community Newspapers; elite and south suburban business magazines.
A native of Chicago, Mark began his career at United Press International before moving to Crain’s Chicago Business and then the Chicago Sun-Times, where he served as editorial page editor.
Mark is married to Dr. Jacqueline Pardo, staff psychiatrist at the student mental health center at the University of Chicago. They have two sons, Daniel and Max.
Chuck Menke’s career includes more than 21 years of sports administration, marketing and communications experience in the U.S. Olympic Movement, the National Hockey League and NCAA Division I Athletics. He serves as Chief Marketing Officer of USA Triathlon where, since 2010, he has led efforts to broaden the organization’s partner portfolio.
Prior to USA Triathlon, he spent three years at Quinnipiac University (Conn.), helping open the TD Bank Sports Center, a $52 million facility for hockey and basketball. Previously Menke was Director of Broadcasting & Communications with the NHL’s St. Louis Blues. At USA Hockey from 1995-2004 he served as Director of Media & Public Relations, with staff appointments for the 2002 Winter Olympics and 2004 World Cup of Hockey.
A graduate from the University of Missouri School of Journalism, Menke has freelanced for NBC Sports, ESPN and USA Today. He lives in Colorado Springs, Colo., with his wife, Julie, and son, Luke.
Mike Shafai has been working as a Vice President, Financial Advisor with Morgan Stanley Wealth Management in Colorado Springs, CO since 2002. He and his team work with families, corporations and non-profit organizations providing investment management, financial planning, and corporate retirement solutions.
He joined Sparking Life because he knows first-hand how running and other types of cardiovascular exercise can help individuals overcome life’s little challenges and help them lead happy, successful and balanced lives.
In his spare time, Mike volunteers extensively with Colorado’s largest non-profit running organization, the Pikes Peak Road Runners, leading group runs, directing and timing races, and serving on their board of directors, all in an effort to spread the word about the benefits of exercise.
He and his wife, Stephanie Wurtz, typically run several marathons together each year, and log over 3,000 miles of running and cycling together in any given year. They live near some really nice trails in Manitou Springs, Colorado.