John Ratey, MD, Vice Chairman and Co-founder
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 and Co-founder
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.
When the Florida Legislature finally passed a Prescription Drug Monitoring Program (PDMP), a legislative fight ensued and the legislation was not funded. Steele formed a fundraising foundation and served as its treasurer during the successful years during which the bulk of the pain pill clinics were abolished in Florida.
With an extensive background in athletics, from earning “Athlete of the Year” honors from The Chicago Sun-Times for his achievements as an All-American football player and being an undefeated State Champion wrestler, to coaching and personal training at every level of competition, Ryan fully understands and appreciates the value physical activity and social connection through teamwork have to offer.
After a career ending spinal injury in tandem with a progressive addiction to prescription painkillers, as well as the mounting losses of teammates, friends and family to overdose, Ryan became dedicated to his road of self-improvement and shifted his focus toward being of service to others and the world around him. Being inherently driven to produce solutions for those still suffering in the midst of the opioid crisis, Ryan created a form of addiction treatment known as “ESM” which is the Latin abbreviation for “Exercitium Semita Medela” or “Exercise as a Pathway to Healing.” This experiential approach to treating substance use disorder is a hybrid of cardiovascular conditioning, interval and resistance training in conjunction with supportive psychotherapeutic approaches, promoting a robust mind-body connection for individuals newly entered into sobriety. Drawing from the work of Dr. John J. Ratey and Ryan’s personal experiences, ESM was developed based on the idea that exercise is a critical missing link in SUD treatment.
Given his background and education in Sociology and Counseling Psychology, Ryan has generated an unshakeable dedication toward helping others overcome addiction. Utilizing the cathartic agency that vigorous exercise and social connectivity possess toward healing the mind, brain, and body in those suffering from addiction, it remains Bain’s mission to help as many individuals as possible.
Learn more about Ryan’s role at Tree House Recovery.
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. Her thinking about PE for children was transformed when she read “Spark, The Revolutionary New Science of Exercise and the Brain, at which point she became an advocate of its fitness-for-life message. Her passion for the positive impact a curriculum-based program could have on the holistic health of children influenced the headmaster of her daughter’s school to introduce a pilot and eventually build a new gym to enable full implementation of the curriculum. She continues to advocate for the adoption of Spark’s life-enhancing recommendations while trying to maintain a regular exercise program and cheering on her husband in his winter hiking goals.
Michael Ferullo is the founder of the Boston Bulldogs which was first established in 2008 at the HopeFound Shelter at Shattuck Hospital, Boston. In 2012, it was adopted by the Pine Street Inn, and in 2015, it was established as an independent organization to serve a broader community including those in recovery, family and friends affected by addiction, the clinical and wellness communities, and the public at large who support the idea of wellness in recovery.
For his outstanding work and impact helping those in recovery, Mike and the Boston Bulldogs have been recognized by the New England Patriots as a “Difference Maker” and by the Boston Celtics as a “Hero Among Us.”
In the course of his recovery some 40 years ago, Michael found solace and wellness in running. A runner ever since, he is dedicated to the idea that through both wellness and community, we can all find the “kind-hearted warrior within.” The Coach, as he is known to members of the Club, is a clinical social worker with a degree in social work from the Boston College School of Social Work. He has spent most of his professional life as a therapist and consultant in public and private school systems in Greater Boston. He maintains a private practice in Brookline, Mass. where he lives with his wife and the Bulldog mascot Gus.
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.
Fred C. Sears II, Treasurer
A lifetime Delawarean and graduate of the University of Delaware with B.A. and MBA degrees, Sears served a 38-year career in commercial/retail banking in Delaware that culminated in the position of President of Commerce Bank/Delaware. He also served six years in the Delaware Air National Guard.
During his banking tenure, he took a three-year leave of absence to serve in the Wilmington City Administration, first as Director of Finance and later as Director of Economic Development. He later ran for office and served two four-year terms as a Wilmington City Councilman At-Large.
Sears was recruited to leave the banking business to serve as CEO of the Delaware Community Foundation, a position he held for 13 years until his retirement three years ago.
As an officer/director for more than 50 Delaware non-profit agencies and commissions, Sears continues to serve in leadership roles on 13 boards/commissions/ foundations including serving as Chairman of the Delaware State Council for Development, Treasurer of the Beau Biden Foundation to Protect Innocent Children, and as a board member of Applied Bank and the Delaware State Port Corp.
Sears currently is providing his fundraising expertise in service to nine organizations including as Co-Chairman for the Food Bank of Delaware’s capital campaign for its new distribution/office center and Co-Chairman for the Christiana Care Hospital’s capital campaign for its new seven-story Women’s Health Center.
Sears and his wife Jo-Ann continue to reside in Wilmington and are blessed to have both of their sons, daughters-in-law and four grandchildren living in Wilmington.
Prior to starting at Colorado College, Stephanie worked in K-12 public education and also spent five years as a television news reporter. She received both her Bachelor of Journalism and M.A. in strategic communications from the University of Missouri School of Journalism in Columbia.
She serves as president of Pikes Peak Road Runners, one of the largest running organizations in Colorado, working to promote running and fitness across the Pikes Peak Region. She’s looking forward to extending the reach of Sparking Life’s mission in her work with the vibrant running community.
When not on campus or volunteering, Stephanie spends her time out on the trails, running and mountain biking. She’s run across the Grand Canyon and up several of Colorado’s 14,000-foot peaks, ridden her bike over numerous mountain passes and completed races from a 5K to 100 miles. Her love for running lives on as a tribute to her favorite running partner and husband Mike Shafai, who made a significant impact on the running community and served on the Sparking Life Board before his sudden passing in October 2017. Mike continues to inspire Stephanie’s adventures, and she carries his spirit and legacy with her throughout the runners’ playground right outside her backdoor in Manitou Springs, CO.