Leadership

Executive Management Team

Executive Management Team

Our executive management team represents many decades of experience in pathology, biospecimen procurement and fulfillment, and non-profit management. Under their leadership, NDRI remains at the forefront of fulfilling the biomedical research community’s human tissue needs.

 

Bill Leinweber - President & CEO

Bill Leinweber - President & CEO
William (Bill) Leinweber
President & Chief Executive Officer

With more than 25 years in leadership positions advocating for the advancement of medical and health research and public health, Mr. Leinweber was appointed president and CEO in 2012.

Leinweber previously served as executive vice president of Research!America, a Washington, D.C.-based alliance of 400 member organizations dedicated to making medical and health research a higher national priority. He also was executive vice president of the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA). Under his leadership, PAs were fully integrated into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010.  He held executive leadership positions at the local, state and national levels of the American Heart Association and was a member of the founding executive management team of the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, the nation’s largest private initiative ever launched to reduce youth tobacco consumption and addiction.

Leinweber received his MBA with honors from The Ohio State University and has completed post-graduate study at The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. He received his undergraduate degree with high honors from Marshall University. He is a member if the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS).

bob z headshot

bob z headshot
Robert (Bob) Zipperlen, CPA
Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Administration

Mr. Zipperlen joined NDRI in the spring of 2019 as the Vice President of Administration & CFO. Prior to NDRI, he served as CFO of the Renfrew Center, an eating disorders treatment facility headquartered in Philadelphia with multiple locations across the country. Mr. Zipperlen partnered with the executive management team to grow the organization’s top and bottom line, oversaw the opening of five outpatient sites, enhanced operational and financial accountability with adoption of organizational KPIs and developed reporting applications providing financial intelligence with business insight for timely decisions.  He also provided leadership to the finance and insurance contracting departments, facilities management, information technology, and billings and collections departments.  Prior to his tenure with the Renfrew Center, he served as the CFO of Society for Hospital Medicine which is based in Philadelphia.   He has over 20 years of experience demonstrating financial and operational leadership to for-profit and non-profit organizations.

Mr. Zipperlen received his undergraduate degree in accounting from Temple University, and has served as Director at Large and Finance Committee Member for Temple University’s Fox School of Business Alumni Association since 2017. He is a licensed CPA in Pennsylvania and was a 2016 CFO of the Year honoree.

Thomas Bell, PhD, Vice President, Operations

Thomas Bell, PhD, Vice President, Operations
Thomas Bell, MS, PhD
Vice President, Operations and Director, Biorepository

 Dr. Bell rejoined NDRI in early 2017. He is responsible for strategy development and execution, as well as overseeing day-to-day operations of the four functional components of NDRI’s Operations department: Fulfillment, Scientific Services, Site Management and Logistic Management. He also oversees NDRI’s Biorepository, housed in NDRI’s logistics facility. Previously, he served as NDRI’s director of Scientific Services from 2010–2015.

Dr. Bell has more than 20 years of experience in biomedical research and he has taught summer courses at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratories for 10 years. He has published numerous articles, patents, abstracts and book chapters in the fields of neurophysiology and molecular neuroscience.

Dr. Bell completed a National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded training postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Systems Pharmacology and Translation Therapeutics at University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He holds a doctorate from the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University.

Eileen P. Falchetta

Eileen P. Falchetta
Eileen P. Falchetta, Director, Marketing & Communications
Eileen P. Falchetta
Director, Marketing & Communications

Ms. Falchetta joined NDRI in the Summer of 2018 as the Director, Marketing and Communications. She is responsible for providing leadership in planning and executing the organization’s strategic communications, content and digital marketing, and public relations. Prior to NDRI, Ms. Falchetta worked for over 10 years in a communications management role for a nonprofit that supported over 11,000 children and adults with developmental disabilities and autism in the Philadelphia area, Delaware, and Connecticut. Along with implementing and managing their online marketing presence, she has also published several online blogs about her personal stories of working with adults and families of those with autism. Ms. Falchetta also implemented a young professionals’ advisory board in her previous role, and plans to maintain enthusiasm for helping those in need for future generations.

Ms. Falchetta earned a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication and Journalism from La Salle University, and holds a certificate from the La Salle Nonprofit Center management program.








gkopen jpeg

gkopen jpeg
Gene Kopen, PhD
Senior Vice President
,
Strategic Initiatives

Dr. Kopen joined NDRI in 2013 and oversees the organization’s Strategic Initiatives unit.  He is a Sr. Life Science professional with a proven track-record of driving growth and valuation for Life Science companies though the development of novel products and service offerings.  He has more than 25 years of experience in biomedical research and development, heading various departments and initiatives in non-profit, VC-backed biotech and pharmaceutical environments, and is an inventor on numerous patents and patent applications worldwide.  He has also consulted for various pharmaceutical and biotech companies in the areas of scale-up cGMP manufacture of HCT/Ps and global regulatory compliance.  Kopen received his doctoral degree in Molecular Pathobiology from Drexel College of Medicine. 


Michael Doolittle, Information Technology Director

Michael Doolittle, Information Technology Director
Michael Doolittle
Director, Information Technology

At NDRI since 2011, Mr. Doolittle oversees all aspects of technology operations, with a focus on improving operational performance by designing and delivering innovative technology solutions to meet changing business and industry needs.

Doolittle has experience working for a variety of for-profit and not-for-profit organizations, including Accume Partners, the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Right Management Consultants and the University of Pennsylvania.

He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, magna cum laude, from Borromeo College of Ohio and is a member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Association of Information Technology Professionals (AITP),  the Project Managment Institute (PMI), and 451 Global Digital Infrastructure Alliance.

Bernadette Mestichelli, Quality Assurance Director

Bernadette Mestichelli, Quality Assurance Director
Bernadette Mestichelli
Director, Quality Assurance

An experienced quality management professional, Mrs. Mestichelli joined NDRI in 2013 and is responsible for all quality assurance programs, plans and procedures. She provides guidance for administrative and operational processes that require quality integration and for regulatory affairs, serving as our safety officer.

Mestichelli has been successful in leadership and strategic direction in quality initiatives for several health care organizations, including a university hospital. An active member of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB), she serves on its Quality Council.

She received a bachelor’s degree in medical technology from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science, now the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, and earned an MBA summa cum laude from the New York Institute of Technology. She holds certifications from the American Society for Clinical Pathology and the American Society for Quality, and has completed OSHA-30 training.

Saboor Shad, Director, Site Management

Saboor Shad, Director, Site Management
Saboor Shad
Director, Tissue Source Site Management

Mr. Shad joined NDRI in 2007 as a fulfillment coordinator. Since hire he has served as NDRI’s Director of Fulfillment and was most recently promoted to his current position as Director, Tissue Source Site Management in March 2017. Today, he oversees all activities related to management of our tissue source sites (TSS), which include a vast network of organ procurement organizations, tissue banks, eye banks, hospitals and other tissue recovery professionals. He is also responsible for our Private Donor Recovery program, which includes internal and external obligations for managing TSS relationships, monitoring TSS performance, and identifying, selecting and onboarding new TSS partners that align with the mission and research needs of our organization and our investigators. He has comprehensive experience and expertise in all aspects of facilitating human tissues for research.

Mr. Shad earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from Penn State University. He is a member of the American Association of Tissue Banks (AATB).

melissa vondran

melissa vondran
Melissa VonDran, PhD
Director, Scientific Services

Dr. VonDran joined NDRI in 2015 and is responsible for outreach to new and existing researchers as well as oversight of researcher onboarding, project development and service.

Previously, VonDran worked as an academic research scientist for 10 years. Her research experience effectively enables her to translate the research community’s needs to new researcher recruitment and programs.

She earned her doctoral degree in neuroscience and cell biology in 2010 from Robert Wood Johnson Medical School at Rutgers University and went on to complete a post-doctoral fellowship in the Department of Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College. 

Susan McGovern, Human Resources

Susan McGovern, Human Resources
Susan McGovern
Human Resources Manager, PHR

Ms. McGovern joined NDRI in 2002 and is responsible for maintaining, creating and implementing human resource policies and systems, including employee recruitment and retention, labor law compliance, benefit administration, professional development, mediation and change management. McGovern is a member of the Society of Human Resources and the MidAtlantic Employers Association. She earned her Professional Human Resources (PHR) from the Human Resource Certification Institute in 2018.

NDRI is a Not-For-Profit (501c3) Corporation.