Board of Directors
The ACPMP Board of Directors is comprised of individuals directly affected by appendix cancer and/or PMP.
Current Board Members
James P. Carroll
James P. Carroll graduated from West Chester University in Pennsylvania in 1979, earning a BS in Criminal Justice. In 1994, Mr. Carroll became a Certified Fraud Examiner and a member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Mr. Carroll has 30 years of experience in the area of Retail Loss Prevention and is currently the Divisional Director of Loss Prevention for Staples, Inc. He oversees all Loss Prevention Department functions including Shortage Control, Fraud Investigations, Cash Revenue Management, and Workers Compensation.
In 2007, he organized the first annual PMP Cancer Walk to raise money for PMP research and education in Suburban Philadelphia, PA, after his lifelong friend Dutch Culbertson lost his courageous battle to PMP.
Mr. Carroll resides in Springfield, PA with his wife Patty and two daughters.
Judith Culbertson has over 25 years of experience in Automotive Accounting. She is now currently the Payroll Manager and Assistant Controller for Conicelli Toyota. Her responsibilities include payroll and benefits administration, overseeing accounting procedures as well as monthly/annual tax preparations. Ms. Culbertson has several certifications with the Pennsylvania Automotive Association.
In 2004, Ms. Culbertson’s husband, Dutch, was diagnosed with PMP. From the time that Dutch was diagnosed, she maintained an optimistic attitude, investing her energy in researching possible treatment options and taking any action possible to help her husband fight his disease.
Following Dutch’s death in 2006, she has continued her advocacy, remaining optimistic and aggressive in searching for information regarding the treatment of PMP. In 2007, she organized the first annual PMP Cancer Walk held on Father’s Day in the suburbs of Philadelphia in honor of Dutch. The walk raises funds for PMP research and is dedicated to creating awareness for the early detection, treatment, and eventual cure of PMP. Ms. Culbertson has also joined forces with the grassroots organization Livestrong Army.
Ms. Culbertson resides in Springfield, PA, with her three children.
Gerald (Jerry) Lewandowski is a Managing Director at a national consulting firm. He provides financial and economic expert services to healthcare and life sciences companies facing government investigations, litigation and other business challenges. He holds a BBA degree in Accounting and is on the Business Partners Board of the Mason School of Business at his alma mater, The College of William and Mary.
Mr. Lewandowski was diagnosed with PMP in November, 2007. Having met (in person and virtually) so many amazing patients and caregivers who are dealing with PMP or who have already passed, he is focused on being a positive influence and to help further research to advance the treatment of the disease in their honor.
Mr. Lewandowski lives with his wife and two children in Bethesda, Maryland.
Susan Ortega spent over ten years in the telecommunications industry in Information Technology. She worked on the Local Number Portability project at XO Communications, and the Wireless Number Portability project at Nextel.
Ms. Ortega was diagnosed with PMP in August, 2009 and had surgery with Dr. Sugarbaker in January, 2010. Susan is fully recovered from the surgery and in excellent health.
She lives in northern Virginia with her husband Ernie and their two children.
Deborah M. Shelton is an FDA regulatory attorney at a national law firm. Deborah has over 20 years of experience providing legal counsel to clients navigating the complex regulations governing the testing and commercialization of FDA-regulated products, with a particular focus on pharmaceuticals and medical devices. She is an honors graduate of the University of Maryland School of Law, a frequent presenter at FDA-related conferences and has authored numerous publications on various topics of interest in the regulatory sphere.
Ms. Shelton’s spouse is a survivor of PMP. For several years prior to her spouse being diagnosed, Deborah had been actively engaged in patient advocacy and issues involving the need to incentivize innovation for the development of therapies to treat cancers and other diseases where there is critical unmet medical need. Her spouse’s subsequent diagnosis with ACPMP and their collective personal experience with the numerous challenges presented following that diagnosis has further fueled Deborah’s zeal for that work, taking the fight now to both a professional and personal level.
Ms. Shelton lives in Silver Spring, Maryland with her spouse, Ms. Shelton’s 81-year “young” mother, and their two rescue dogs. In her spare time, she loves exploring salt marshes by kayak and reading Nordic detective novels.
John W. Ziss, Jr. is the General Manager of Kurtz Bros., Inc., headquartered in Independence, Ohio. Kurtz Bros., Inc. is a multi-faceted industry leader committed to provide innovative solutions to the waste-to-resource and soil-related industries. John has 11 years of corporate finance experience. John graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration, Finance Major in 2003 and the University of Notre Dame with an MBA degree in 2014.
John’s activities include St. Stanislaus Parish Finance Council Member, writing, recording and performing music, Notre Dame Club of Cleveland events and volunteer work, and Golden Key National Honor Society Member.
Emeritus Board Members
Therese has over 30 years of administrative experience in both the corporate and self-employed market. Opting for early retirement in 2008, she now spends her time enjoying life with family and friends.
In 2010, Ms. Surges’ husband, Keith, was diagnosed with Appendix Cancer. It did not take long for her to research and advocate for the best care possible. She quickly became a supporter for those diagnosed and their caregivers, and was a member of several support groups as well a Team Leader for our Inspire group.
In 2013, along with her daughter and sister, the first very successful TEAM KEITH fundraiser was organized and is now an annual event. Following Keith’s death in 2014, Ms. Surges continued her support of patients and caregivers and was a volunteer for the Research Foundation from the Spring of 2015 through 2019.
She resides in a suburb of Chicago where her children and grandchildren live nearby.
Lisa Kurtz Luciano earned her MBA from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1989. She was an owner of Kurtz Bros., Inc. in Northeast Ohio for over 25 years. Kurtz Bros. manufactures and wholesales landscape products and provides commercial recycling services. Lisa oversaw the Human Resources, Accounting and Information Technology areas of the business.
Lisa was diagnosed with PMP in October, 2007, and had major surgery at UPMC in Pittsburgh in November, 2007 and at Washington Hospital Center in August, 2010. Lisa lost her battle to PMP in October 2012 but she continues to inspire and motivate everyone involved with ACPMP to carry on her mission to improve the lives of patients and find a cure for PMP.
Michael M. Dvorsky was the CFO of Ringham Corporation and its related entities, a privately held, diversified investment company. Prior to joining Ringham Corporation, Mike obtained his CPA license while working as an auditor for Arthur Young & Company in their Pittsburgh office. He graduated from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1980 with a BS degrees in Economics and Business Administration. He had over 20 years of experience on boards of various local community organizations and private companies.
Mike was diagnosed with PMP in August 2004 and was treated at UPMC in Pittsburgh, PA. Mike passed away in December 2012. His dedication to ACPMP and its mission were an integral part of ACPMP’s success in its founding years, and his selflessness and professionalism set a tone that continues throughout the organization to this day.