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Our Staff & Volunteers


Patricia Wood

Patricia Wood

In 2014, president and founder Patricia Wood became a part-time employee. She will continue working as president and an officer of the organization, but after 17 years, she is no longer a full-time volunteer or a voting member of the board. 

She is responsible for the day-to-day running of the organization, research grant administration, family support, organizing biannual family conferences and serving as the liaison with other organizations and medical professionals.

As the organization's representative in the European Union funded grant titled  Treat Iron-Related Childhood-Onset Neurodegeneration (TIRCON), she handles grant related dissemination activities. Some of these activities are the preparation of information packages on NBIA for clinicians, the scientific community and families; creating alliances with other NBIA lay advocacy organizations; implementing an educational protocol for training workshops on NBIA disorders and informing the public about TIRCON activities and results.

Development Director

Marsha Bryan

Marsha Bryan

Marsha Bryan, who has more than three decades of experience in nonprofit administration and fundraising, is director of development for the NBIA Disorders Association.

Bryan, who lives in San Marcos, Calif., came on board in March 2015 and works 20 hours per week in her new role. She oversees all aspects of the association’s fundraising activities and is responsible for cultivating donors, applying for grants, facilitating planned giving, managing annual donor recognition programs and assisting families with their fundraising efforts, among other duties.

She previously served as director of major and planned gifts for the Palomar Pomerado Health Foundation in Escondido, Calif., where she led a $55 million capital campaign. She also was the director of major and planned gifts at three hospitals in the St. Joseph Health System of Orange County.

Bryan has more than 33 years of experience in non-profits, including management, program development, budgeting and fund development. She is a certified specialist in planned giving and is a member of the Association of Health Care Professionals, the Association for Fundraising Professionals and the National Committee on Planned Giving.


Volunteer Directors

Our Volunteer Directors work tirelessly to help advance the organization’s goals.

Social Media Director

Melissa Woods

Melissa Woods
Our Social Media Director handles our Facebook, Twitter and YouTube accounts, ensuring that they are up-to-date and useful to the NBIA community.



Director of Adult Programs

Mike CohnMike Cohn
Our Director of Adult Programs who is an adult with NBIA, acts as a mentor and leader for other adult NBIA individuals. He plans special activities at our family conferences to engage the adults and works to promote NBIA awareness with various volunteer activities.


Director of Planned Giving

Megan ThomasMegan Thomas
Our Director of Planned Giving is the mother of a NBIA child and a lawyer who specializes in estate planning. Her expertise is helpful to our NBIA families interested in making bequests and she works closely with our Development Director.



Our organization could not run without the help of all of our other volunteers who aid our cause. From clerical help, advocacy efforts, family conference planning, to family fundraisers for NBIA research, our NBIA families and friends are vital to our success.




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Message from Patty Wood, President

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