Board of Directors
Michael Trese, M.D. - Chairman
Dr. Trese founded ROPARD (Retinopathy of Prematurity and Allied Retinal Disease) - the predecessor of the PRRF - more than 20 years ago. He was President of ROPARD since its inception, inspired to foster research into blinding pediatric retinal diseases. He is an internationally recognized expert in pediatric retinal disease with nearly 40 years of clinical experience. He has served in a number of leadership positions in ophthalmology, as former President of ARC and The Retina Society, and current President of the Club Jules Gonin. Dr. Trese currently oversees efforts to translate the results of research efforts at the PRRF-funded Pediatric Retina Research Lab on the Oakland University Campus into drugs which can be used in the treatment of pediatric retinal diseases - a task he already accomplished with the development and commercialization of Ocriplasmin. He completed his undergraduate education at the University of Michigan, his medical degrees at Georgetown University, his residency at the UCLA Jules Stein Eye Institute, and fellowship at Duke University.
Antonio Capone, Jr., M.D. - President
Dr. Capone is President of the PRRF. His primary role is developing PRRF’s strategic plan while making sure its program and operations support its mission on a daily basis. Dr. Capone is an internationally recognized clinician, surgeon and educator. He has authored or co-authored over 300 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, book chapters, and publications from clinical trials. He is currently a Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Oakland University, and Professor at the European School for Advanced Studies in Ophthalmology, Lugano, Switzerland. Dr. Capone is recognized in particular as a surgical innovator. He also serves as Co-President of Associated Retinal Consultants (ARC), the leading academically-oriented private retina practice in the world, and has held a number of leadership positions in ophthalmology over the last 25 years. He completed his undergraduate and medical degrees at Brown University, his residency at the University of Pittsburgh, and fellowship at Emory University.
Kimberly Drenser, M.D., Ph.D. - Board Member, Research Committee Co-chair
Dr. Drenser is dedicated to promoting translational research in retina, making benchtop to bedside a reality. She has an extensive background in retinal research, which started with her PhD thesis (completed at the University of Florida Neuroscience Center and UC San Francisco Beckmen Vision Center) which created a gene therapy for an inherited retinal degeneration. The foundation of this gene therapy has been developed into an FDA approved therapy which is now available for a rare blinding disease. While completing her ophthalmology residency at the Jules Stein Eye Institute followed by a vitreoretinal fellowship at Associated Retinal Consultants she continued to develop patient focused retinal research for therapeutic development. Her development of the Ophthalmic Biobank allowed for the discovery of the role of Wnt-signaling, and specifically norrin, in eye development and retinal regeneration. Dr. Drenser has over 100 publications in peer-reviewed medical journals, book chapters, and publications from clinical trials, including Nature and Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. She continues to treat children with blinding retinal disease and extend research opportunities to collaborators at Oakland University and other Institutions.
Patrick J. Droste, M.S., M.D. - Board Member, Grassroots Development Chair
Patrick J. Droste, M.S., M.D. graduated medical school from Wayne State University in 1980, completed his residency in ophthalmology at Henry Ford Hospital, and a fellowship in Pediatric ophthalmology at Indiana University. He returned to Michigan in 1987 to begin his practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan now known as Pediatric Ophthalmology, P.C. Dr. Droste is a Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine in the Departments of Neurology, Ophthalmology, and Surgery as well as a Clinical Professor at Michigan State University College of Osteopathy in the department of Neurology and Ophthalmology. He has served as past president of the Michigan Society of Eye Surgeons and Physicians, and serves on many committees for county, state and national medical/ophthalmology societies. Dr. Droste has published numerous articles in peer review journals, presentations and courses, and lectured internationally. He actively participates in clinical research at the community level with our local hospitals, and at the national level as a principal investigator for Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group (PEDIG). Philanthropy has been an important focus throughout Dr. Droste’s career. He created the Visually Impaired Sports Day which has occurred annually since 2002 in sponsorship with Spectrum Health, was a charter board member of Project Access which provides free medical services to the disadvantaged in Kent County, has cared for indigent children of third world countries through Heal the Children, and was a charter member of the ROPARD Board.
Frank Giblin, Ph.D. - Board Member, Research Committee Co-chair
Dr. Giblin received a PhD in Biochemistry from the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1974. He is currently Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director of the Eye Research Institute at Oakland University, which houses the Pediatric Retina Research Laboratory. Dr. Giblin has conducted NIH-funded research on the lens and cataract for 40 years with over $12M in total research support. His more than 100 published articles include studies conducted on all parts of the eye. He served as a Section Editor for the journal Experimental Eye Research for 25 years, and as an NIH Study Section member for 8 years. He has presented keynote lectures throughout the world including the U.S., Italy, China, Japan, and South Korea. In 2017, Dr. Giblin received the first “Frank Giblin Lifetime Achievement Award” from Oakland University.
Kelli Matthew, M.B.A. - Board Member, Strategic Planning Committee Chair
Kelli Matthew is a principal with Kelmar Consulting LLC. She brings over 30 years of experience as a client service professional and senior operations leader to her engagements. Kelli assists senior executives by partnering with them to design and execute plans which develop, focus and engage their people to ultimately achieve their financial objectives. Kelli has often been tapped to lead in a newly-created role within an organization. Her expertise in building infrastructure and expansion of service firms includes financial and human resources management, process design and improvement, and service delivery methodology. A native of Michigan, Kelli has been involved in several community efforts throughout the Metropolitan Detroit area, including holding key leadership positions and developing new processes and programs for local nonprofit organizations. Kelli currently serves on the HAVEN Gala Committee, the Pediatric Retinal Research Foundation Board of Directors, and the St. Joan of Arc Finance Committee. Kelli holds a Master of Business Administration from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Management from Albion College. She is a member of the Society of Human Resources Management and is a Droste DiSC certified trainer.
Kay White Meyer, B.A. - Board Member-at-Large
Kay White Meyer is a community volunteer who began to work with ROPARD when she chaired its first fund-raisers, The Artful Garden". She joined the Board of ROPARD in 1996. Kay has been active in many organizations, including the DSO, American Heart, American Lung and especially Common Ground where she has answered the crisis line for 34 years and served 4 terms as Board Chair. Kay graduated from Colby College with a B.A. She is on the Advisory Board of The Art Experience and is a member of two garden clubs. She also loves to play tennis and is an avid gardener.
Heather Raschke, CPA, CGMA - Secretary/Treasurer
Heather Raschke has been the Controller at Associated Retinal Consultants PC (ARC) since 2013. In her time working with this group of retinal surgeons, she has had the pleasure of seeing the work that can be done to assist individuals with vision threatening diseases and is happy to be able to support the vision of PRRF. Prior to joining ARC, Heather worked in public accounting for more than twenty years and worked with a variety of nonprofit and healthcare organizations. She graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelor’s degree in accounting and received her Master’s degree in Finance from Walsh College. Heather has been active in several professional organizations but finds her involvement in community charitable organizations to be the most enjoyable.
Charles S. Walls IV, MEM, MIM - Board Member, Family Development Chair
Chuck Walls first came to Associated Retinal Consultants PC (ARC) in 2007 after his son, Collin, was diagnosed with X-Linked Juvenile Retinoschisis. He is passionate about treatment for this retinal disease, and wanted to do more, so he joined the VRRF Board in 2014. More recently he is excited to work with families who have children with retinal diseases as the Family Development Chair on the PRRF Board. Chuck is a retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel and a combat veteran aviator with multiple combat and peace keeping tours. Chuck is also an Experimental Test Pilot, and after his retirement in 2009, continues to serve the US Army as a Department of the Army Civilian working as the Chief, Engineering Design and Analysis and still flies as an Experimental Test Pilot conducting tests for the Aviation Applied Technology Directorate at Fort Eustis, VA.. LTC(R) Walls received a Bachelors degree in Aerospace Engineering from the United States Military Academy in 1989, and a Masters degree in Engineering Management from University of Central Florida in 2002, and a Masters degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University in 2002. Chuck, and his wife, Donna, also have experience as Co-Founders and Co-Directors of an educational non-profit 501(c)(3) foundation for 10 years.