Leadership committed to helping all of us make an impact.
Board of Trustees
Adele Wilzack, M.S., R.N.
Adele Wilzack has been an influential and highly effective healthcare leader in the state and the nation for more than 40 years.
After earning a nursing degree from Mercy Hospital School of Nursing, and a master’s degree from the University of Maryland School of Nursing, Ms. Wilzack worked in hospital administration. She then began her career in public health, with a focus on healthcare for the elderly. In 1974, she was appointed Assistant Commissioner for Health Services for the Aging and Medical Care for Baltimore City.
In 1979, Ms. Wilzack was appointed Assistant Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, which included administration of the Maryland Medicaid program. In 1983, Maryland Governor Harry Hughes appointed Ms. Wilzack Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, making her the first woman and nurse to serve in this capacity. She was then appointed by Governor William Donald Schaefer to continue in this position during his administration. Subsequently, Ms. Wilzack served as the president of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland, a leading long-term care advocacy organization.
Ms. Wilzack has devoted her entire career to advocating for improved patient care and healthcare delivery, and has championed integrative health as a viable option to achieving these goals. Today, Ms. Wilzack serves as a board member of the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center and chairs its Quality Care Committee. She is also a member of the Dean’s Advisory Council of Notre Dame of the Maryland University School of Pharmacy and a member of the Johns Hopkins Certificate on Aging Advisory Board.
Ms. Wilzack joined Tai Sophia’s Board of Trustees in October 1998 and was elected to serve as Vice Chair in 2006. Her interest in complementary medicine began several years ago, when she turned to acupuncture treatments at Tai Sophia Institute to help with a personal health challenge. Since then, she has been a strong supporter of integrative health. The combination of her many years of experience as part of the U.S. healthcare delivery system and her knowledge of self-care gained at Tai Sophia has led her to advocate for individuals to assume greater responsibility for their personal health.
Ms. Wilzack has benefited from and promotes simple practices, including mindful breathing, whole foods nutrition, and daily movement activities to increase one’s sense of well-being. She also asserts that the thoughtful use of language and intention has the power to shift our relationships and our experiences. Ms. Wilzack believes that if these practices and approaches would be adopted by our current disease-focused healthcare system, they would powerfully impact the cost and effectiveness of healthcare in the nation. Her commitment to and advocacy for the pioneering work of Tai Sophia Institute assures consistent progress in this direction.
T. James (Jim) Truby, M.A.
Jim Truby is founder of Synthesis Incorporated, one of the most respected architectural, planning, and development firms in the Washington-Baltimore region, which serves leading-edge private and public sector clients by managing their building projects from initial vision and site assessment through design and construction to completion. Synthesis has managed headquarters, education, religious, medical, museum, visual and performing arts, specialized housing and environmental facilities many of which have won design, construction, and historic preservation awards and LEED certification. One of these projects is the Chesapeake Bay Foundation's Phillip Merrill Environmental Center, the first building in the U.S. to receive a LEED Platinum Certification.
Mr. Truby holds a B.A. in Architecture from Carnegie-Mellon University and an M.A. in Social Anthropology from The American University. His professional experience includes serving as Principal at Crystal Hill Investments, a real estate company that developed office, warehouse, residential, and mixed-use projects; Administrator at the Maryland Aviation Administration, with overall responsibility for the marketing, air service and physical development, and operation of BWI and Martin State Airports; Manager of Policy Analysis at the Maryland Department of Transportation in the Office of the Secretary; Community Facilities Planning Consultant at the National Institute of Mental Health; and Volunteer Architect with the U.S. Peace Corps in Sfax, Tunisia.
Mr. Truby’s recent and current community service includes serving as Chair of the Board of Trustees for Howard Community College, Secretary of the Board of Directors for the Horizon Foundation, Co-Chair of the Environmental Steering Committee for the Episcopal Diocese of Maryland, and member of Leadership Howard County. In 2006, he was nominated for the Howard County Volunteer of the Year Award.
Mr. Truby was elected a member of the Tai Sophia Board of Trustees in 2012. Within his first year of service as a Trustee, he was elected to the Board’s Executive Committee and accepted an appointment to serve on its Governance and Nominating Committee.
Sherman L. Cohn, J.D., LL.M.
Sherman Cohn is Professor of Law at Georgetown University and a past national President of the American Inns of Court. He received his B.S.F.S., J.D., and L.L.M. degrees from Georgetown University.
He has served as Chair of the Board of Tai Hsuan Foundation College of Acupuncture and Herbal Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii, as a member of the Board of the National Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Alliance, and as President of the National Acupuncture Foundation. He is a member of the National Academy of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the Council of Court Excellence, and the American Law Institute, all of which are elected positions. He has also been President of the Jewish Law Association, an international organization. He is an author and lecturer on civil procedure and ethics of the legal profession, and an international lecturer on the American legal and constitutional system.
Mr. Cohn also has served for many years as Chairman of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He has been a guide for the development of Tai Sophia since 1975 and served as Chair of its Board of Trustees from 2006 to 2013.
Brian M. Berman, M.D.
Dr. Brian Berman is a tenured Professor of Family and Community Medicine, Director of the University of Maryland School of Medicine Center for Integrative Medicine, and President and Founder of the Institute of Integrative Health. Trained in family medicine and pain management as well as complementary medical approaches such as traditional Chinese medicine and homeopathy, Dr. Berman has dedicated his career to evaluating the efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness of complementary and integrative medicine. In 1991, he founded the first U.S. academic medical center-based program for integrative medicine.
Dr. Berman is one of the most highly funded National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers in the area of integrative and complementary medicine, receiving more than $30 million in the past 16 years. He is currently the principal investigator of two NIH specialized center grants for the study of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM). One of the centers is focused on the treatment of arthritis and related disorders and the other is an international collaborative center with Hong Kong and is focused on irritable bowel syndrome. These center grants build on 10 years of work from his two previous NIH center grants and an NIH international center planning grant that has built collaborations with leading institutions in Hong Kong, Australia, and the United States. As part of these grants, Dr. Berman is a principal investigator of a Phase II clinical trial and co-investigator in a second clinical trial. In 2004, Dr. Berman’s landmark study showing acupuncture to be a safe and effective therapy for osteoarthritis of the knee was published as the lead article in the Annals of Internal Medicine. His research publications include three books and more than 250 articles in leading medical journals, many involving systematic reviews in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) and clinical trials in CAM and pain management.
A pioneer in the field of integrative medicine, Dr. Berman was honored with the prestigious Bravewell Leadership Award for Integrative Medicine in 2005. The award “celebrates and supports visionaries who have committed their medical careers to transforming healthcare in America and ushering in a new practice of medicine.” He was Chair of the ad hoc advisory committee to the NIH Office of Alternative Medicine when it opened in 1992, as well as the report to the NIH on alternative medicine. Subsequently, he served on their advisory committee for six years. Dr. Berman also helped found in 1996 and now serves as field coordinator for the complementary medicine field of the Cochrane Collaboration, an international organization dedicated to evaluating all medical practices. He was a panel member of the National Academy of Sciences, Institute of Medicine’s report on complementary medicine, published in 2005, and was the first Chair of the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, which currently has 45 American universities in its membership.
Hamed Faridi, Ph.D.
Hamed Faridi, Ph.D., is Chief Science Officer of McCormick & Company, Inc. in Hunt Valley, MD. He is responsible for providing overall research, product development and technical services leadership, and developing an enterprise-wide technical strategy that supports McCormick’s business plans worldwide. He is also responsible for the McCormick Science Institute (MSI), which was created to advance the knowledge on health benefits of culinary spices and herbs. Prior to joining McCormick & Company in 1997, he served on the faculty of Washington State University and held R&D executive positions at Nabisco (now a unit of Kraft). Dr. Faridi is a renowned food scientist and has edited and authored six books and more than 70 articles in food science and technology. He has given invited lectures in conferences, and research institutions in 21 countries.
Dr. Faridi has served on several boards of professional and trade associations in the U.S. and Europe and has acted in an advisory capacity to food science departments of Texas A&M, University of Illinois, Rutgers University and Louisiana State University. He is the past president of AACC International, and the Flavor & Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) and currently serves on the Board of Governors. Faridi is a member of the Board of Directors of St. Joseph Medical Center. He obtained his master of science and doctorate degrees in food chemistry from Kansas State University and MBA in management and marketing from Fairleigh Dickinson University.
André J. Gingles, J.D.
André J. Gingles, Esquire, is the owner of Gingles LLC, founded in 2003, where his practice represents a small cadre of clients on large mixed-use real estate development projects and government relations. Currently, Mr. Gingles serves as Chairman of The Foundation Schools, an independent, non-profit school for special education with locations in Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties and whose purpose is to meet the educational, social, and psychological needs of students with emotional disturbance who have been unsuccessful in other educational settings. He also works with a variety of civic and community associations and has provided pro bono counsel to the Laurel Boys and Girls Clubs. Mr. Gingles formerly served in the Prince George’s County government in multiple capacities, and also has worked on DBE and MBE outreach activities as a part of public and private procurement or contracting. He has served on the Board of Directors for the Prince George’s Chamber of Commerce; the Prince George’s County Economic Development Corporation; the Maryland-National Capital Building Industry Association; and the Executive Committee of the Washington Area District of the Urban Land Institute. André Gingles is a 1981 graduate of Howard University and obtained his law degree in 1984 from the Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. He was admitted to the Maryland Bar in 1985. Mr. Gingles, an avid golfer, was born in Baltimore, Maryland, and has resided for over twenty years in Laurel, Maryland, with his wife and their two children.
Barbara K. Lawson, M.A.
Barbara K. Lawson has a varied career in the nonprofit and government human services sector as well as experience in disaster relief, financial and business consulting. Ms. Lawson served as President and Chief Executive Officer of The Columbia Foundation after working with the American Red Cross, including overseas assignments and with the Department of Health and Human Services as a refugee camp director. She serves on the Howard Bank Board of Directors. Ms. Lawson is an active community volunteer, serving on the boards of the Leadership Howard County, United Way Community Partnerships, Howard County Police Foundation and Healthy Families. She was one of the founders of the Women’s Giving Circle of Howard County and the Little Patuxent Review. Ms. Lawson’s leadership has been recognized through numerous awards including induction into the Howard County Women’s Hall of Fame and recognition as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women.
Donald Manekin, B.A.
Mr. Manekin has a B.A. Degree in Early Childhood Development from Towson State University, Baltimore, Maryland. He is Senior Vice President, Seawall Development Company; consultant to Manekin Corporation; Board Chair, Teach for America; Open Society Institute board member; and Adjunct Faculty, Johns Hopkins University.
Simon Mills, M.A.
Simon Mills is currently a Director of Sustaincare Community Interest Company, a new international social enterprise corporation, registered in England, that is becoming a major educational and information resource for empowering local communities in their self care. He was the founder of Tai Sophia Institute’s Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine program and served as the program’s first Director from 2000 to 2006. Mr. Mills graduated in medical sciences from Cambridge University, completed the 4-year professional training program at the 145-year-old National Institute of Medical Herbalists, and has practiced as a medical herbalist since 1977. In 1987, he co-founded the Centre for Complementary Health Studies at the University of Exeter the first such university centre in the world, and pioneered the establishment of clear professional and academic standards in the practice of complementary health care. He was Special Advisor to the seminal report on Complementary and Alternative Medicine by the British House of Lords in 2000. Simon's mission has been to mobilize resilience and self care beyond medical practice. He has recently led a major self care project on behalf of the UK government and spearheads a broad new professional orientation to self care in that country. He has published widely in the scientific literature, including controlled clinical trials and other primary research, and lectures around the world. He has written many books, including two standard texts with Kerry Bone: The Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy (2000) and The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety (2005).
John A. Palmucci, M.B.A.
Mr. Palmucci served as the Vice President for Finance and Treasurer at Loyola University Maryland from1994 to 2010. In this role, he served as the College’s Chief Financial Officer and Corporate Treasurer, reporting to the President. Mr. Palmucci participated as a member of the executive management team of Loyola University Maryland, providing leadership and direction for a major operating division enabling fulfillment of the institution’s mission and goals through sound fiscal management, prudent stewardship of resources and student-centered delivery of services.
Prior to his position at Loyola University Maryland, he held the position of Vice President of Fiscal Affairs at Merrimack College from 1980 to 1994. For eight years prior to his tenure at Merrimack College, Mr. Palmucci served as Registrar and Dean of Administration at Northern Essex Community College. He also held a variety of positions at Northeastern University for six years, including as Director of the Undergraduate Program, Assistant Dean of the College of Business Administration, Assistant Director of Student Activities, and Instructor of Accounting in the College of Business.
Mr. Palmucci maintains involvement with several professional organizations in a variety of leadership capacities, including: the National Association of College and University Business Officers, Eastern Association of College and University Business Officers, the Association of Jesuit College and University Business Officers, Middle States Commission on Higher Education, The Investment Management Institute, The Opal Financial Group, The Archdiocese of Baltimore Audit Committee, The Associated Sulpicians Investment Committee, and the Tai Sophia Institute Audit Committee.
He was awarded the EACUBO Distinguished Service Award in 2000 and the NACUBO Distinguished Business Officer Award in 2003. He also was awarded the Cardinal John Henry Newman Medal at the Loyola University Commencement exercises on May 15, 2010.
Mr. Palmucci received a B.S. in Business Management and an M.B.A. from Northeastern University.
Frank Vitale, M.B.A.
Drawn to Tai Sophia by the values and principles that have so ably guided the Institute, Mr. Vitale was elected President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2010 after serving three years in other executive roles at Tai Sophia, including Chief Executive Officer, Executive Vice President and Chief Development and Operations Officer, and Vice President for Business and Finance.
Mr. Vitale brings to his role as President and CEO nearly 40 years of experience as a for-profit and non-profit executive, primarily engaged in strategic business development, operational excellence, and resource development. In 2000, he made a conscious decision to transfer his years of experience as a for-profit executive to the work of socially-minded organizations. As a result, and prior to joining Tai Sophia in 2007, Mr. Vitale moved from the New York area to Baltimore, MD, to serve as President and Chief Operating Officer of a large 501(c)(3) public benefit organization whose focus included mental health and education. During his five-year tenure and with an emphasis on SROI (social return on investment), programming revenue grew from $10 million to more than $22 million, with more than 400 direct care workers employed.
Previously, Mr. Vitale served as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development and Corporate Affairs for a highly diverse, international technologies company, which, during his 13-years, grew nearly fourfold to $4.3 billion. His career also includes executive-level business development assignments in the fields of health care and electronics technology. He began his career as a journalist and continues to enjoy writing and photography.
Mr. Vitale earned a master’s degree in business administration from Temple University, a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Delaware Valley College, and completed the extended executive business development programs at the Harvard Business School and the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. He is a graduate of the Center for Management Design with a focus on organizational change and corporate culture.