Chair, Erica Husain, UK (2014)
Vice-Chair, Lisa LaBorde, Canada (2013)
Executive Director, Leah Dean, USA (2013)
Outreach Director, Lisa LaBorde, Canada (2013)
Finance Chair, Siobhan McGurk, USA (2016)
Secretary, Nicki Wilson, New Zealand (2013)
Leslie Feder, USA (2009)
Founder, Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, USA (2009)
Laura Beattie, Canada (2015)
Fiona Bromelow, UK (2009)
Belinda Caldwell, Australia (2013)
Siobhan McGurk, USA (2016)
Rachel Polonsky, UK (2011)
Susan Ringwood, UK (2015)
Colleen Wise, USA (2013)
Retired Board Members:
Axa Carnes, USA, (2009-2010)
Lydia Spottswood, 2009-2010
JoAnne Terry, 2009-2010
Therese Waterhous, USA (2009-2010)
Sandy Skalski, USA (2009-2012)
Carolin Gray, Australia (2009-2012)
June Alexander, Australia (2011-2013)
Raye-Ann de Regnier, USA (2012-2014)
Denise Clancy, USA (2011-2013)
Jennifer Whisman, USA (2009-2014)
Bridget Bonnin, Australia (2009-2014)
Jacques Neher, France/USA (2009-2014)
Mary Matthews, USA (2012-2014)
Sarah Krevans, USA (2009-2015)
Becky Henry, USA (2011-2016)
Charlotte Bevan, UK (2013-2014)
Erica is a mother to three children: one son; two daughters (all now adults). My middle child developed an eating disorder at the age of 16 and recovered from it within a couple of years - for which I will be forever indebted to a team that included some loud cheerleading from the Around the Dinner Table Forum, led at that time by F.E.A.S.T. and forum founder Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh. Our family could not have managed without them.
I have a law degree and a Cordon Bleu qualification and I have worked in my time in industrial relations and as a cookery teacher. None of my certificated education helped me with the skills required to deliver a “magic plate” of food, however; that skill developed in the main as a result of my involvement with my fellow parents and carers around F.E.A.S.T.’s Dinner Table forum. I have lived in the Far East and the UK and am now based south west of London, which I have nearly always called home.
My volunteer efforts have in recent years been divided between F.E.A.S.T. and Charlotte’s Helix - the UK based charity set up in the name of our dear departed friend Charlotte Bevan, former ATDT forum stalwart and F.E.A.S.T. board member, and supported by F.E.A.S.T.. Charlotte’s Helix continues to work to fulfil Charlotte’s wishes that the UK be included in the international AN25K challenge (to crack the genetic codes of anorexia). The learning curve has been steep as parent volunteers defining a role for ourselves in important scientific research. Together we have willed this project into existence in a corner of the world that had no other impetus for it, and created some structure around it to help a unique collaboration develop. Our timing has been good; it is a time when many communities - scientific, academic, medical, political and advocacy related amongst them - are coming to understand how collaboration and wide-scale public engagement adds value to an increasingly bigger picture.
In January of 2012, Leah Dean took over from Laura Collins as F.E.A.S.T.’s 2nd Executive Director. Leah has been a F.E.A.S.T. member and active volunteer since 2009. She lives in the US and has a Master’s degree in Architecture. Leah has put her organizational skills to work on helping to update the F.E.A.S.T. website and coordinate F.E.A.S.T.’s membership database. Leah is proud to be able to work towards F.E.A.S.T.’s mission of empowering parents to help their children.
“F.E.A.S.T. has an amazingly smart and talented membership of people who really want to be able to do something - anything - that will help the next family avoid the mistakes and pitfalls they have encountered. By bringing caregivers together, F.E.A.S.T. has begun to harness the energy and dedication of its members in a way that I believe will make real progress in how eating disorders are understood and treated now and in the future.”
Leah is also a member of the Academy for Eating Disorders (AED), and serves as Co-Chair of the newly formed Patient and Carer Committee, and on the 2017 ICED Planning Committee.
Lisa LaBorde, Outreach Director & Vice-Chair
Lisa LaBorde lives in Toronto, Canada. She is the mother of 2 daughters, the youngest of whom was diagnosed in 2011, at the age of 10, with restrictive anorexia. F.E.A.S.T provided unimaginable support to Lisa's family during the term of her daughter's active illness and Lisa is committed to engaging in eating disorder advocacy and education work in the hopes of assisting other families who find themselves in similar circumstances.
Lisa is a member of the F.E.A.S.T. Canadian Task Force and is working locally with her co-members on education and treatment option issues. Lisa holds a law degree from Queen’s University and has an active legal practice focused on child protection litigation and family and organizational mediation.
Laura Collins Lyster-Mensh, M.S. is a writer from Virginia who became an activist for improved eating disorder treatment after the recovery of her teen daughter from anorexia. Her book, "Eating With Your Anorexic" (McGraw Hill), is a memoir of her family's experience. Collins is a former affiliate member of the Academy for Eating Disorders and volunteer with the Eating Disorders Coalition. She has been an invited speaker for the At Home With Eating Disorders Conference, EDIC, National Eating Disorders Association, the Academy for Eating Disorders, Renfrew Foundation, Ophelia's Place, the University of North Carolina Eating Disorders Program, and Eating Disorders Coalition conferences. Collins writes a blog for the Huffington Post, and is also frequently interviewed by the media, including The Washington Post, The New York Times, BBC News, Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, NPR, and the Los Angeles Times. Her personal blog appears at LaurasSoapBox.net. She is currently host for the Our Better Half podcast.
Laura served as F.E.A.S.T.'s Executive Director from its incorporation in 2009 until the end of 2012.
Laura Beattie lives in Guelph, Ontario, Canada and is the mother of a son and daughter. She is a registered pharmacist. Laura’s daughter was diagnosed with an eating disorder in January 2011 but before she could find any timely treatment she and her husband began to use the Maudsley method to refeed her daughter.
Her passion for advocacy lies in helping other parents to avoid the barriers to recovery that she and her family experienced, which included medical misinformation and unproven, outdated treatment, and lack of support in the workplace, the school setting and medical field.
She is co-chair of the F.E.A.S.T. Canada Task Force which has brought awareness in Canada of the support and information that F.E.A.S.T. provides to parents. She believes that F.E.A.S.T. and the parent forum www.aroundthedinnertable.org were the primary reason she was able to help her daughter recover.
Her three main goals of advocacy are to provide current and factual information about eating disorders to the general public, to speak with and support caregivers and to have primary care clinicians understand how to manage this complex illness.
Fiona Bromelow lives in the South West of the UK. She and her husband have two adult daughters. She gained a BA in History at the University of Exeter and then worked with adults with learning disabilities before becoming a full time mother in 1987. When her daughters were settled at junior school she started a new career in medical administration and at present works within a small NHS General Practice. She has a special interest in the history and politics of mental health care and in campaigning for better services within the British NHS.
Belinda Caldwell currently works as a carer consultant and project manager for the Victorian Centre of Excellence in Eating Disorders, providing advice, support and training for clinicians and carers as well as managing a suite of early intervention in eating disorders projects. Belinda is an experienced nurse/health manager who was the CEO of the Australian Practice Nurses Association (APNA), for 6 ½ years until her daughter was diagnosed with anorexia nervosa in February 2011. Belinda and her family have helped their daughter/sibling to recover using the Maudsley Method. In the process, F.E.A.S.T. has been her lifeline and a connection to other families in similar situations.
Belinda participated on the Steering Committee of Australia’s first and second eating disorders conference for families and carers “At Home with Eating Disorders” which was held in May 2013 in Brisbane and May 2015 in Melbourne. The conference was a partnership effort between The Butterfly Foundation, ANZAED, and F.E.A.S.T, in collaboration with state specific organisations, depending on location.
Leslie Feder worked in investment banking in New York both before and after earning her MBA , and now works independently in real estate investment, development, and finance in the greater New York City area. She lives in New York with her husband, an obstetrician-gynecologist, and has three grown children. Leslie earned her AB magna cum laude, phi Beta Kappa from Harvard College, and her MBA from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration, where she also held an Associates Fellowship. She serves as a Director of a not-for-profit housing corporation that is an affiliate of the Phipps Houses, and serves on the Leadership Council of the Harvard School of Public Health, among many other outside interests.
Siobhan McGurk is a biostatistician with 20 years of clinical research experience. Her research interests include barriers to evidenced base medicine, Transfusion Medicine, and patient outcomes research. She has previously served on a subcommittee to the HHS Advisory Committee on Blood and Tissue Safety and Availability, as well as collaborating with independent and academic research bodies including the American Association of Blood Banks, the National Blood Data Resource Center and the University Healthcare Consortium.
Rachel Polonsky is a writer and academic, based in Cambridge, UK. She is the mother of four daughters. She has been a supporter of Laura Collins’s work since 2007. She is interested in helping families to discover and develop their own resources for dealing with eating-disordered children, and in promoting evidence-based treatment.
After initially training as a teacher, Susan has spent more than 30 years working in the charity sector. She is the Former Chief Executive of Beat (beating eating disorders), and resides in Norwich, UK. Susan was a member of the National Institute of Health and Clinical Excellence guideline development group for the treatment of Eating Disorders, and is a lay member of the NICE topic panel for Mental Health.
She is a member of the Advisory Board of the Academy of Eating Disorders and is a former Chair of the Academy’s Patient and Carers’ Committee. She led the development of the World Wide Charter for Action on Eating Disorders, and was the 2008 recipient of the AED Meehan/Hartley award of Leadership in Advocacy and Public Service. Susan is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Eating Disorders section Executive Committee.
Nicki Wilson, Secretary
Nicki lives in Auckland New Zealand and has been a member of the BoD of FEAST since late 2012. When her daughter was diagnosed with Anorexia Nervosa in 2011 Nicki discovered that the lack of understanding and experience in diagnosis and treatment for eating disorders was causing unacceptable suffering for patients and their loved ones. With the help of FEAST and ATDT Nicki and her husband Dave gained the knowledge, resources and strength to support their daughter to recover.
Nicki now works full time as a volunteer on the FEAST Australasian Taskforce and President of EDANZ (Eating Disorders Assn of NZ) providing support, education and advocating for improved eating disorder treatment. Nicki attends conferences nationally and internationally to remain up to date with the latest research and knowledge in Eating disorder treatment, and is a regular speaker to audiences including trainee doctors, health professionals working with young people, nurses, GPs, teachers and community groups.
Colleen Wise is a parent—a really good parent. She and Allan Maas have been married forever. She left her career in civil engineering to raise their three children. She now makes her living as a fiber artist and author and serves as a director of her local water utility and the president of Celebration Lutheran Church. Still, she considers parenting her lifework.
When their daughter became ill with anorexia nervosa in 2008, they nursed her back to physical and mental health using FBT principles with a non-FBT team. Finding F.E.A.S.T. and Around the Dinner Table early in their daughter’s diagnosis proved crucial to their daughter’s recovery. Since then, Colleen has been passionate about helping other families help their children. She has started a monthly parent support group in Seattle; she is also a Moderator on F.E.A.S.T.’s Around the Dinner Table Forum.