With nearly two decades of experience in health care marketing, James has been with Orange County-based Miller Geer & Associates since joining the firm as an intern while earning his degree in communications with emphasis in advertising and consumer behavior from California State University, Fullerton. As VP of the boutique health care public relations agency, he has worked for some of the largest health care organizations in the US, and has led teams in all sectors, from hospitals, health systems and health insurers, to medical technology, pharmaceuticals and advocacy groups. Possessing a strong passion for all things healthcare communications-related, James recently served as a board member and digital communications co-chair for the Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Association (HPRMA). He has also volunteered with the American Red Cross Orange County Chapter as a rotating Public Information Officer. When not chasing a headline or putting out a fire, he enjoys wrangling his three kids, lounging at the beach and finding other excuses to avoid honey-dos around the house.
Jody Schneider is an award-winning public relations professional with significant experience in strategic marketing and media relations. Long standing leadership position with San Diego’s largest PR agency, along with independent consulting work has allowed her the opportunity to execute campaigns within B2B, lifestyle, hospitality, and nonprofit industries. As Associate Manager, Public Relations at the accredited, specialty laboratory, Millennium Health, Schneider oversees all public relations and social media efforts, in addition to developing and maintaining the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility program. She has served on numerous nonprofit Boards of Directors, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In addition to her role as co-president of the HCCSC, she is currently the Volunteer Recognition Coordinator for the Healthcare Businesswoman’s Association.
Susan MalechaVice President, Communications Liaison
Susan Malecha is a results-driven versatile medical professional with a proven track record for achievement in the pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry. An accomplished author, she has lectured extensively and is called upon to present the latest developments in the areas of medical affairs for the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Malecha is currently the Senior Director, Medical Affairs at Puma Biotechnology.
Arika Daniels the co-founder of Scatena Daniels a full-service, integrated communications agency and PR firm providing local, regional and national strategic campaigns for the healthcare, professional service and philanthropy industries. When she is not putting out PR fires or singing her clients’ praises, she can be found shuttling her three kids around for their extracurricular activities, wine tasting with her husband in Paso Robles or getting her blood flowing at the gym.
Sandra De La TorreSecretary
Sandra is currently the Communications Specialist at San Ysidro Health. Here, she helps amplify San Ysidro Health’s reach through external and internal communications efforts in order to accomplish the organization’s mission to improve the health and well-being of the communities it serves with access for all. Previously, she worked with a number of nonprofit organizations and clients in the music, theatre, arts, health and social services and lifestyle arenas as an Account Executive at Scatena Daniels Communications. When Sandra isn’t working she can be found catching up on a book, cooking, learning how to make drinks or doing her favorite working class.
Callie is currently a Marketing Specialist at Scripps Health, where her current focus is on email delivery and analytics using Salesforce products. She has 24 years’ experience in healthcare, spending much of her time as a perinatal educator delivering educational products to clients. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from National University. When not working, she spends her time reading, cooking, gardening, and playing with her fur babies.
Tara KymanMembership Co-Chair
Tara has 20 years’ experience in digital marketing. Over the last 12 she has been focused on advising hospitals, health systems, providers, dental service organizations, and clinicson the best places to reach their target audiences for maximum ROI. Since 2016 she has been the National Healthcare Director at Berry Network, a boutique advertising agency that specializes in SEM/SEO, mobile and online display, social media, directory, and listings management programs. Prior to that she worked on provider solutions at PatientPoint, and corporate sponsorships at Healthgrades. In her personal time, Tara loves hiking, skiing, and traveling with her husband and 2 boys.
Cassie KlappMembership Co-Chair
Cassie Klapp is the Group Communications Officer for the Health and Human Services Agency at the County of San Diego. Before that, she developed and implemented a national award winning community relations program with San Diego Loyal Soccer Club. A former journalist, Cassie is proficient in writing, researching and producing content. Cassie has won several Emmy Awards for her reporting, as well as an Edward R. Murrow and Associated Press Award. She grew up in Los Angeles and is thankful to work in a field where she can give back to the community.
Andrew WertsNonprofit Incorporation & SHSMD Affiliate Director
Andrew received his BA in Psychology from Gettysburg College and his MSBA from San Francisco State University. Andrew has spent the last 15 years of his career working in the marketing and advertising field and is currently the Director of Marketing and Communications at Providence Little Company of Mary Torrance and San Pedro Medical Centers. Andrew is also on the executive leadership counsel for the American Heart Association in the South Bay. He is a long time South Bay resident and enjoys spending time with his family and friends.
Poolak ForutanpourScholarship Chair
Poolak Forutanpour has more than 15 years of internet marketing experience managing affiliate programs in various industries such as mortgage, insurance, pet supply and ink and toner products. She earned her Master in English Literature and published her first novelette in 2017 titled, “Stories I Left Behind.” It depicts her life growing up in California as a first generation Iranian-American in the mid-80s and how her life was shaped through the influence of her mother, a Registered Nurse. Poolak enjoys reading, going to the gym and spending time with her husband and boy/girl twins.
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Finest and Logistics Chair
Kirk has over 20 years experience as an award-winning copywriter and marketing professional, having worked with hospitals, healthcare organizations, government agencies and tech companies. He is also a former president and board member of the Healthcare Public Relations and Marketing Associating (HPRMA). Outside of the health care world, Kirk has mentored and trained over 1,500 people to complete their first marathon at Walt Disney World - upright and injury-free! - working alongside a former Olympian Jeff Galloway and other experienced marathoners, and has completed the WDW marathon twice. Kirk spends a fair amount of time hiking throughout San Diego, experiencing healthy eateries with his girlfriend, and collecting a ridiculous amount of PEZ dispensers
Christina CampoPast-President & Advisor
Christina has more than 20 years experience in the medical field. Currently she is the product manager and administrator for SalesForce products at Scripps Health. She previously held a role as project manager for health care marketing campaigns and data analysis during her time with Scripps. Christina is passionate about classic cars, good wine and meditation.