Advisory Board

Scott Beck
Purchasing/Product Sourcer, Bosch

Scott grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago. He graduated from Aurora University completing areas of study in Business and Economics. He has worked in the purchasing and product sourcing field for a large portion of his career for such companies as Pampered Chef and Bosch. Scott has a son, Brian, who is currently studying at Illinois State University and shares his Dad’s desire to help others.

Scott is an avid golfer, competing in many charity golf outings and enjoying time with friends out on the course. He enjoys cooking for others and is quite the chef at home. he is also a wine aficionado and connoisseur. Scott loves to travel, having been to such places as Malta, China, many parts of Europe and all over the USA. He loves many types of music with an appreciation for live performances and is also a huge sports fan.

Scott was introduced to OCSA by Melissa Rosner, his life partner and fellow volunteer. He has participated in the golf outings and volunteers at the annual dog walk. He truly believes and appreciates in the organization’s mission. He looks forward to helping OCSA grow in its purpose and ability to have a positive impact on the lives of others.

Kathleen Blizzard
KathleenRD Nutrition

Kathleen Blizzard is part functional medicine dietitian and part foodie with a side of side of hard core athlete. She is a born, raised and educated Iowa girl unafraid to question conventional practices and specializes in oncology, food sensitivities, metabolism disorders, and nutrition support.  Over the past decade, Kathleen has treated thousands of patients in Colorado, Missouri, Texas, Germany, and Illinois.  She runs a small business in Naperville and loves spending time with her family and her dog, Porkchop.

Robert W. Karr, Jr.
Director and General Manager of Global Business Development
Blommer Chocolate Company, Chicago IL

Mr. Karr served on the OCSA board from 2010-2013, and currently serves as a board advisor to OCSA and is on the board of a number of professional and civic organizations, including Project 120 Chicago. Mr. Karr has served as chairman of the board of the Chicago Sister Cities International Program and was a member of the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee. He is a former board member of the Midwest U.S.-Japan Association and the Frank Lloyd Wright Preservation Trust.

He obtained his J.D. fro DePaul University in 1999, and his B.A. in Asian Languages and Literature, and an International Business Certificate from the University of Iowa in 1991.

Roger K. Mahr, DVM
Past CEO, One Health Commission
One Health Commision

Dr. Mahr was born and raised on a dairy farm in Indianola, Iowa. He received his veterinary medical degree from Iowa State University in 1971. After working as an associate in suburban Chicago for three years, he established, owned, and directed the Meadow View Veterinary Clinic in Geneva, Illinois, an accredited hospital member of the American Animal Hospital Association from 1974 to 2005. Following the sale of his practice, Dr. Mahr continued as a small animal practitioner, and served as chief executive officer of the One Health Commission from 2009 until his retirement in the fall of 2013.

As president of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in 2006 Dr. Mahr revealed a vision for a one health initiative whereby the veterinary medical profession assumed a major leadership role to establish a coordinated mechanism to facilitate collaboration and cooperation among colleagues in veterinary medicine, human medicine, public health, and ecosystem sciences with a focus on “One World, One Health, One Medicine.”

During Dr. Mahr’s presidency, the AVMA Executive Board took official action to establish the One Health Initiative by approving a recommendation from him to establish the AVMA One Health Initiative Task Force. He then served as the Project Director for the multidisciplinary national One Health Joint Steering Committee, which subsequently facilitated a transitioning process to the formation of the One Health Commission. The One Health Commission was officially chartered as an independent nonprofit corporation in Washington, D.C. on June 29, 2009.

In addition to the AVMA, Dr. Mahr has held numerous leadership positions in the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association and the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association, as well as in many community organizations. He has received the President’s Award from the AVMA and the Veterinary Service Award from the Illinois State VMA. Dr. Mahr has been recognized by his alma mater with the College of Veterinary Medicine Stange Award for Meritorious Service in 2004 and the Iowa State University Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2009. He was elected a governor to the Iowa State University Foundation in 2010.

Dorothy Malone – Ovarian Cancer Survivor
Senior Staff Representative – Workman’s Compensation
United Airlines

Peggy Parfenoff, Fundraising & Marketing
Executive Director
World Chicago
78 East Washington (mailing address)
72 East Randolph (office address)
Chicago, IL 60602

Peggy Fiedler Parfenoff joined WorldChicago (formerly known as the International Visitors Center of Chicago) as Executive Director in November, 2001. With a mission of promoting Citizen Diplomacy in Chicago, Peggy oversees the hosting of over 800 international delegates to Chicago each year through various US Department of State and other government sponsored exchange programs. Prior to WorldChicago, Peggy worked briefly in marketing at a local publishing company and was at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs as Director of Development. She managed the fundraising activities for the Chicago Sister Cities International Program as well as the many arts and cultural programs affiliated with the Department. Peggy also worked as a newspaper reporter and at the National Endowment for the Arts in Washington, DC.

While at the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, Peggy earned her MBA from the J.L. Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University where she specialized in Public/Non-Profit Management and Marketing. Her international exposure started with a year spent studying at the Sorbonne in Paris, followed by many journeys throughout Europe, Russia and China. A native of Iowa, Peggy lives in Chicago with her husband and son.

Christine Rosko
Founder & Writer of Lattes, Life & Luggage
Freelance Social Media & Public Relations Consultant

Christine is the Founder of Lattes, Life & Luggage lifestyle website and also works as a Social Media and Public Relations Consultant. She began her career as a Communications Intern at Chicago Sister Cities where she worked on a variety of public relations projects and events with influential leaders and international public figures. Since then, she’s worked for M Richards PR, now Page One Public Relations, and Wisecarver Public Relations where she began her involvement with OCSA. Most recently, Christine worked in the DKC Chicago office, an agency specializing in Public Relations, Marketing and Government Affairs. She worked with clients in almost every industry from hospitality and travel to tech and lifestyle. She additionally worked with the Social Media division of the agency where she found a passion for content creation and developing campaigns. Christine is passionate about OCSA’s mission after witnessing family members suffer from ovarian and breast cancer. She believes that with the right education and resources, beating cancer is possible and everyone should get that chance. She is a graduate of DePaul University with a B.A. in Communication and Media Studies. You can find her at home with her fur babies, cooking dinners inspired by her favorite cultures and chefs and finding the next best cup of coffee.

Melissa Rosner
Owner of Hair by Melissa Renee

Melissa was born in Chicago and grew up in the western suburbs. Having seen family members and friends battle varying forms of cancer sparked a desire in her to help others. After volunteering at a local hospital at 14, she realized two years later that nursing wasn’t her calling but she wanted to help people feel better. After getting her cosmetology license at 18, she joined the Look Good, Feel Better program assisting those going through chemo with their hair and skincare needs. She started a mobile beauty business and then began a relationship with the VNA of Kane and DuPage counties visiting hospice clients and those who were home bound due to chronic illness and old age. After opening her own salon, she continued raising money for various charities such as Pink Hair For Hope, American Cancer Society, Fox Valley Wildlife Center, and the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition. When her cousin lost her 2 year battle with stage 4 ovarian cancer in 2010 and having to deal with her own cancer scares, she was motivated to do more. In 2015, she reached out to Vallie Szymanski and began volunteering for OCSA.

Melissa has a mobile beauty business in Geneva, IL, continues to raise money for local charities, and is involved with 100+ Women Who Care Fox Valley but OCSA is where her heart is. The animal and people connection touches her deeply. Her feeling is we share a planet together with animals and we can show love and help each other to better health and longer lives.

Melissa has two beautiful daughters, Alexandra Hallifax and Abigail Lipp. Abigail is also an OCSA volunteer. Her furbaby (her cat “Taft”) rules the roost. She loves spending time with her partner, Scott Beck, who shares her love for sports, music, travel, food, and like her is very passionate about OCSA and the One Health approach. She looks forward to the time that ovarian cancer doesn’t mean a death sentence because of knowing the silent symptoms and early detection!