About Us

Gwen M Engelhard, DDS
Gwen Engelhard has served on the Board of Families and Friends since 2003. She has served as Assistant Treasurer, Chief Financial officer and is currently the President of the board.Dr Engelhard became involved with the Cystic Fibrosis Center while on staff at StVincents Hospital for 30 years. Both Dr Carolyn Denning and Dr Jack Jacoby were instrumental in her involvement.Currently Dr Engelhard is on staff of Mt Sinai/Beth Israel and continues her involvement with the Cystic Fibrosis Center doing many of the pretreatment evaluations for lung transplants.Dr Engelhard, a graduate of New York University College of Dentistry and is currently in private practice of General Dentistry in the West Village/Chelsea.

Judy Nance
I have been involved with Families and Friends Supporting CF Care since it’s inception and a board member since 2006. My husband, Peter, and I lost our daughter and only child, Sara, to cystic fibrosis in 1998 to cystic fibrosis. I live in Jupiter, Florida.

Marnee McCarthy
I have been a board member for 2 years. What brought me to the board is my niece at the age of 4 years old was diagnosed with CF. She is now 23 and facing a lung transplant. She is one of the people I look up to in this life, she is courageous, kind, beautiful and never complains. She is a graduate of Loyola College and was chosen as the commencement speaker.

Jill Dalton
Jill Dalton’s life was touched by CF when one of her best friends (Jamie) told her that her 4-year old daughter (Kasey) was diagnosed with CF. Prior to that call the only thing she knew about the disease was from the movie about Frank Deford’s daughter. She joined the board of FFSCFC in 2001 at the request of her then boss, Tom Leahy. Jill and Tom worked together at Marsh & McLennan and Jill remains in the insurance industry as a Managing Director for Aon Corporation. In the years that she’s been on the board she has watched Kasey, work through the ups and downs of being a CF patient and been grateful to Dr. Walker for taking the time to talk to Jamie when she needed some extra advice. Jill visited with Kasey at the hospital when the family lived in London for three years. Today, the family is back in Baltimore, Kasey is a college graduate and she is on the journey for a possible double lung transplant. Jill contributes to Kasey’s Great Strides team every year to benefit the CF Foundation, she has been a regular table captain at our annual gala and her friends love going to the Yale Club for the event – they especially like the great food during the cocktail hour.

John Z. Jacoby
Mr. Jacoby served in the United States Marine Corps during the Korean War from 1949 to 1952. Following his service in the Second Marine Air Wing, he obtained a BS in Electrical Engineering from Bucknell University in 1956 and an MS in Electrical Engineering from New York University in 1961.
He was employed by AT&T Bell Laboratories for 33.5 years where he worked as a planner and developer of computer controlled telephone switching systems for 20 years. During his last 13 years with the Laboratories, he managed an International Planning and Requirements Department that supported AT&T in the International Marketplace. In parallel with his Laboratories responsibilities, he chaired an International Study Group, affiliated with the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland for 8 years that was charged with generating Telecommunication Planning Documents for Developing Countries.

John and his wife Joanne had four children, John II, John III, Jamie Lynne and Jeffrey Mark, all who had Cystic Fibrosis. John II lived 9 days, Jamie Lynne lived 9 years, Jeffrey Mark lived 35 years and John III lived 40 years. John III became a Physician, a Pediatric Pulmonary Specialist at the Cystic Fibrosis Center at Saint Vincent’s Hospital and Medical Center in NYC for 14 years. His brother Jeffrey became a Pediatric Registered Nurse and also worked at the same Cystic Fibrosis Center for over 8 years. They were a Medical Team and accomplished much during their all too brief careers mostly caring for and serving as a role model for young patients who also had cystic fibrosis.

Jeffrey married Mary Jean Smith in 1990 and they had Triplets — Jamie Mark, Dillon Thomas and Emily Ann — born on September 7, 1995. They are currently freshmen in college.

Sean McCooe
Sean has been an executive search consultant since 1991 and has supervised cross-organizational assignments in multiple industries. Previously, Sean worked in Madrid, Spain as a Business Development/Project Manager for General Consult, a multi-national architectural engineering firm.

Sean is a 1984 graduate of Fordham University. In 1998, he completed ITAC’s Fast Trac Hi-Tech CEOs Training Program (Kaufman Foundation) and, in 2001, became a Fellow of the Leadership New Jersey program. Sean is a member of many professional societies, including Licensing Executives
Society, Association of University Technology Manager, and the New York Academy of Sciences.

Sean is an active and passionate volunteer within his communities; Board Member of Friends & Families Supporting Cystic Fibrosis at Beth Israel Medical Center, NY; President of Fordham New Jersey Alumni Chapter; leading fundraiser for Jamboree Scholarship Fund, Inc., a musical revue which generates funds (over $1M in the past 10 years) for needs-based scholarships to college-bound high school graduates.

Melissa Argenzio, RN, BSN, PCCN
Melissa is currently a Nurse Practitioner at Columbia University Medical Center. She was introduced to Families and Friends Supporting CF Care while working with Dr. Walker at the Mortan Hyman Center at Beth Israel Medical center where she practiced as a registered nurse for four years. The unit is dedicated to making those with CF feel more comfortable by having specialized, familiar nurses, better food, and larger, cozier private rooms to accommodate the long stays and the family and friends that would come to visit. She fell in love with many of the patients that would frequent the unit and was inspired by their perseverance and courage. Melissa is passionate about CF care and excited to be able to help support FFSCFC in improving the lives of those affected by cystic fibrosis.