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.
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.
Education June, 1982 Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH AB, Philosophy
June 1985, Boston University, Boston, MA, JD
1985-1990, Law Offices of Stephen A. Safranko, Albany, NY, Associate Attorney
1990-Present, Scott S. Davidoff, Attorney at Law, Albany, NY Attorney
Additional professional activities
1993 to Present, New York Life Insurance Company, Corporate Agent, Albany, New York New York State insurance licensed. Securities licensed.
New York State Bar Association, Society of Financial Service Professionals
United Jewish Federation of Northeastern New York, Endowment Board of Governors; Hospitality House, TC, Albany, New York, Board of Directors and Treasurer; Past President B’nai B’rith Gideon Lodge, Albany, New York
Married to Michelle Phillips Davidoff. Children Max (15), Julia (12). Resides in Guilderland, New York.
Todd is a financial advisor at Merrill Lynch in Clifton Park NY. Born and raised in Schenectady, Todd graduated from Niskayuna High School, then attended Hudson Valley Community College. In 1992 he graduated from SUNY Albany, Summa Cum Laude, from the school of business. Todd and his wife Beth have six children: Karen, Victoria, Isabella, Xavier, Sophia and Genevieve. Xavier and Hannah have been classmates since kindergarten, and this connection extended to a friendship between the Sames and the Silaika families. Beth and Todd have been and continue to be involved in Hannah’s Hope Fund and are praying for a cure for 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.