Board of Directors
Carrie Favaro - President
Carrie is a speech therapist at Beekmantown Middle School in West Chazy, New York . She resides in Saranac, New York, with her husband, Craig, and daughter, Kiera. She is the aunt of Hannah Sames, the namesake of Hannah’s Hope for G.A.N. and is sister to Lori Sames, Executive Director. She is constantly in awe of the progress that Hannah’s Hope for G.A.N. has made since her nieces diagnosis in March of 2008. She feels it is a blessing that newly diagnosed families have an organization to turn to when they learn of their child’s diagnosis and that a treatment for G.A.N. is in the making.
Carrie is the aunt of Hannah Sames, the inspiration of Hannah’s Hope for G.A.N. and sister to Lori Sames, Executive Director. She is committed to helping patients with G.A.N. get their life-saving treatment, as is the rest of her family.
John Burke - Vice President
John has been involved in various stages of business development throughout his career. In addition to his interest in Select Sotheby's International Realty as the companies President and CEO, he also owns VISTACO LLC, a strategic management consulting firm. He is Vice President and Board Member for Hannah's Hope Fund for GAN, a local charity based in Clifton Park, NY. He also holds a current license as a NYS Real Estate Broker.
Prior to joining the Select Sotheby's International Realty partners, Mr. Burke served as the Managing Director for the New York division of Core BTS, Inc. (Core) which is a national technology solutions provider, wholly owned by Convergence Technologies, Inc.(CTI) which was formed as an acquisition corporation for the purposes of identifying top level, profitable, technology solutions providers in the Eastern United States which would be candidates for consolidation. Prior to Core, Mr. Burke served as Executive Vice President for Open Systems, Inc.(OSI), which was the first company acquired by CTI. From 1994 - 2004, Mr. Burke served as Vice President of Operations for Open Systems Technologies, LLC (OST) which was a startup venture based out of Clifton Park, NY in 1991. As the 1st employee for OST, Mr. Burke gained valuable entrepreneurial skills as he worked side by side with the company's founder and president to build one of the leading technology solutions providers in the Greater Capital Region.
Mr. Burke holds a Bachelors of Science degree (BS) in Marketing and Management from Siena College, Loudonville, NY.
Beth Haig - Secretary
Beth Haig has been a registered nurse since 1993, she attended Albany Memorial School of Nursing, and also graduated from SUNY Canton with an AAS in Hotel Technology.
She has been friends with Lori and Matt Sames since childhood, they are an extended part of my own family. Beth often thinks of how proud she is of them both and the work and progress that has been made in the fight to cure children with GAN. Beth and her husband Walter and their two daughters live in Rexford within shouting distance of the Sames family. Beth is currently employed at the Eddy Visiting Nurses and in her spare time likes to run marathons with board member Erkia Ligouri.
Karen Armstrong, Treasurer
Karen is retired as a School Business Official from Peru Central School in 2005 after 12 years of service. Prior to that appointment, she was employed for 25 years with the Clinton-Essex-Warren-Washington B.O.C.E.S. Karen holds a BS Degree in Business Administration from Empire State College and an Associate in Applied Science from Clinton Community College where she was a member of Phi Theta Kappa. Karen serves on the Beekmantown Central School Board of Education. She and her husband, Gene, live in Plattsburgh, N.Y., winter near Tucson, AZ and have one son, Joey. Karen is battling her own fight with cancer yet still finds time, hope and passion in the race against time in finding a cure for GAN.
Matt is Co-Founder of Hannah's Hope Fund and Hannah's Father. Married to Lori and proud father of Madison and Reagan, too, he helps spearhead the fundraising, marketing and management of our Public Charity. Matt worked for over 18 years in various Management positions at TV stations in Plattsburgh, Burlington, VT, Syracuse, Buffalo and Albany, NY. In the fall of 2007, he started a new career and launched a company called Pet Lodges, Inc., which operates 5 doggie daycare and boarding facilities, a pet food and supply store and bottle redemption center. Matt is sole owner of Sames Media Group, which does consulting work with law firms around the country. Matt has a B.A. from LeMoyne College in Syracuse, NY. However, his main mission is to save his daughter and every other child who has GAN.
Joe serves as Chief Marketing Officer for College Loan Corporation (CLC) and has been responsible for all school sales and marketing activities since 2000. Over the past decade, Joe’s leadership helped CLC become the nation’s 7th largest student loan originator and today the Company remains the 10th largest holder of student loan assets. Prior to his current position, Mr. Kakaty was Director of Business Development for FastWeb, Inc. and he spent four years as a top performing regional sales manager for PNC Bank’s education loan division. Mr. Kakaty received his B.S. degree in Business Administration & Marketing from the State University of New York, College at Brockport and has been honored for his outstanding service to the Brockport Alumni Association . He also serves as Board member for Ventegy, LLC as well as the St. Clements Regional Catholic School board. He and his wife, Josey, have 3 children and live in Saratoga Springs, NY.
Hannah's Hope Fund Staff
Lori Sames - CEO & Co-Founder
Lori Sames received a Bachelor's degree in economics from St. Michael's College, in VT, in 1992. She worked for IDX Systems Corporation as a computer software installation consultant for healthcare until 1996. She then became a Senior Project Lead for integrated heath care delivery system installations. Before becoming a stay at home mom in 2001, prior to the birth of her second child, Reagan, she lead web-based software installations on wireless networks, in the outpatient setting for Allscripts. She helped with her husband's Pet Lodge businesses from time to time, while caring for her three daughters until her youngest daughter, Hannah, was diagnosed with GAN in March of 2008. From that moment forward her life has been dedicated to a treatment and cure of GAN, and making lasting memories for her family.
Kelly Obermayer Director of Development
Kelly Obermayer holds a degree in Criminal Justice from SUNY Canton. She has worked in the non profit development field since 2007 as a regional director and joined the HHF organization as their "1st and still only" employee in 2011. Her professional experience includes extensive management, organizational and communication skills. She has measured success in strategy planning, fund development, volunteer coordination, event planning, and financial implementation. She too has become dedicated to all the families of GAN and committed to funding/finding a cure.
Kelly also sits on the board of the Christine Nicole Perry Memorial Fund and the SUNY Canton Alumni Board.