Leadership & Board of Directors



Jennifer Canvasser

Jennifer Canvasser, M.S.W.- Founder & Executive Director
Jennifer Canvasser founded the NEC Society after losing her son Micah to the disease in 2012. Jennifer’s expertise includes children’s environmental health, nonprofit leadership, advocacy and community organizing. She is a regular contributor to The Huffington Post on parenting, health, and food justice issues. Jennifer has presented on diverse children’s health topics nationally and internationally. She completed her undergraduate studies at U.C.L.A. and earned her Master’s in Social Work from the University of Southern California with a concentration in community organizing.


Erin Umberger

Erin Umberger, M.Arch – Associate Director
Erin Umberger is an Architect with undergraduate degrees in Biochemistry and Biology. In May 2014, Erin and her husband Ryan lost their baby daughter Sarah to NEC at two months of age. Erin’s loss has motivated her to be an advocate for preemies and their families. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona.

Board of Directors

Kathy Crusco

Kathy Crusco

Kathy Crusco, Executive VP, Chief  Financial Offer, Epicor Software Corporation
Ms. Crusco has served as Epicor Software Corporation’s Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer since May 2011. Ms. Crusco joined Activant as Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in May 2007, and was promoted to Executive Vice President in November 2010 and served in that role to May 2011. Prior to joining Activant, Ms. Crusco was Vice President, Worldwide Finance at Polycom, Inc. from March 2005 to May 2007 and Vice President, Worldwide Controller from January 2002 to March 2005. In addition, Ms. Crusco served as Chief Accounting Officer at Polycom, Inc. from August 2002 through March 2005. From April 1999 through January 2002, Ms. Crusco served as Vice President, Worldwide Controller at Documentum, Inc. and from July 1997 through April 1999, as Director of Finance at Adaptec, Inc. Ms. Crusco also spent 10 years at PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in various management roles. In December 2013 Ms. Crusco was appointed to the Board of Directors of Mitchell International, Inc., additionally she will serve as the Audit Committee chairperson. Ms. Crusco has a B.S. in Business Administration with an emphasis in accounting from California State University, Chico.

Gary Hunt

Gary Hunt

Gary Hunt, Esq.
Gary Hunt is an attorney practicing in Fresno, California where he lives with his wife Melissa and their two amazing boys Owen and Holden. Driven by his own good fortune and love for his children, Gary sees the NEC Society as a method to bring awareness to a disease that has had an incredible impact upon those who he holds dearly.

Chelsea Matter

Chelsea Matter

Chelsea Matter
Chelsea Matter is an independent documentary producer. She has worked on films that have premiered at Sundance, Tribeca and IDFA and have covered social issues ranging from income inequality to responses to terrorism to the effects of chemicals in consumer products on our health. Chelsea has also produced and written documentary television series for networks including The History Channel, Discovery Channel, National Geographic Channel and Travel Channel. A graduate of Stanford University, Chelsea began her career as a television news journalist, working for affiliate stations in Chicago and the San Francisco Bay Area.

Angelique Abed.PNG

Angelique Abed

Angelique Abed

Angelique is a technology transaction attorney at a technology company in the California Bay Area. She completed both her undergraduate degree in Legal Studies and law degree at UC Berkeley. She has a personal relationship to childhood illness, as she has witnessed family and dear friends cope with chronic and fatal childhood disease, including necrotizing enterocolitis.




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