Affiliates & Advocates

Gwyn Cready

Gwyn is a marketing and communications expert with 25 years of experience in the areas of healthcare policy, obesity, bone health, and smoking control. She dedicates 20% of her time to unpaid work for not-for-profits, recently finishing a six-year tenure on the board of the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force and its executive committee. In addition to her work in marketing and communications, she is an award-winning romance novelist. Gwyn has two degrees from the University of Chicago: a BA in literature and an MBA in marketing. She is a frequent contributor to the Obesity Action Coalition’s Your Weight Mattersmagazine. Her work has appeared in Real Simple and USA Today.

Mary Nell Cummings

Mary Nell is an attorney with over 20 years experience as both a litigator and as a business counselor. She excels in helping clients find and leverage opportunities while navigating risk. As an experienced litigator she understands the challenges facing pharmaceutical companies today. As former Assistant General Counsel for GlaxoSmithKline, she champions the importance of finding strategic solutions that fit with business goals. After retiring from GSK in 2010, she has focused on helping public interest clients while maintaining an active consulting business. She also teaches several courses that explore the tension between marketing and regulatory issues, including “Economics, Persuasion, and the Global Marketplace,” ( at the Newhouse School of Public Communications, Syracuse University); and Healthcare Law and Ethics (Masters of Healthcare Administration, University of Phoenix). Mary Nell collaborates with ConscienHealth as a regulatory consultant.

Morgan Downey, JD

Morgan has been active in healthcare advocacy in Washington, DC, for over 30 years, especially concerning biomedical research, reimbursement ,and regulatory issues. He has spent the past decade focusing on the science, politics, and policy of obesity, frequently testifying before the Food and Drug Administration in consideration of obesity related drugs and devices. He is chief health policy advisor to Obesity Prevention, Policy and Management Inc. He serves as the policy director of the STOP Obesity Alliance, part of George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services, and is an advisor to the Geisinger Obesity Institute. Morgan is editor and publisher of the, a comprehensive website on obesity research, health issues, and public policy. From 1998 to 2006, he was the executive director of the American Obesity Association (AOA) and from 2006 to 2008 he was the executive vice president of the Obesity Society.

Stuart Ferguson, PhD

Stuart is a behavioral expert and scientific writer currently serving as a Senior Research Fellow at the University of Tasmania’s School of Pharmacy. His primary research interest is exploring the process and drivers of drug relapse, particular among cigarette smokers. He is also interested in treatment efficacy and factors that influence the likelihood of treatment use and treatment compliance, as part of quit attempts.

Andrea Harkins

Andrea has 40 years of experience in consumer and behavioral research. After joining GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare in 1996, Andrea helped derive consumer insight for the gastrointestinal product category, herbal supplements, potential Rx to OTC switch candidates, weight management and shopper behavior. In 2004, Andrea was part of the alli Launch Team, managing the custom research needed to provide the “voice of the consumer” in the development and evaluation of weight control products and services and their marketing. She participated in the design, execution, and interpretation of all behavioral research needed to meet regulatory requirements. Andrea’s marketing/consumer research experience also includes serving as the Manager of Market Research at the H.J. Heinz company, Manager of the Pittsburgh Office of M/A/R/C, a full-service national consumer research supplier, and as an analyst at Management Science Associates (MSA), a data reporting and analysis company headquartered in Pittsburgh. She also worked for four years as a mathematics teacher. She has a BS in Education from the University of Pittsburgh and a masters degree in Education from Duquesne University.

Will Hignett, MPH

Will is an expert in disease management and in managing large projects. Will’s specialties include research and analysis, writing, medication adherence programs, and training/education. He has over 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and consumer healthcare industries at such companies as Schering Plough, GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare and Matria Healthcare. Will has authored several articles in Your Weight Matters, the OAC magazine. Will earned an MPH at the University of Pittsburgh.

Bonnie Kuehl, PhD

Bonnie is the CEO and executive director of Scientific Insights Consulting Group, located in Toronto, Canada. She has a PhD in cell and molecular biology from the University of Toronto with over 20 years experience in researching and communicating key findings in biological science and in cellular systems. She has worked with many different companies including pharmaceutical, consumer healthcare, biotechnology and continuing healthcare education companies interpreting scientific, medical/clinical information and technology company for executives, marketing teams, health education specialists, clinical scientists and health care professionals. Bonnie’s core expertise lies in dermatology, gastroenterology, diabetes, obesity, inflammatory diseases, oncology, chronic disease management, as well as disease prevention through vaccination. She is a board member of the Applied Research and Innovation Centre at Centennial College and is a guest lecturer at the University of Toronto.

Jennifer May

Jennifer is a communications professional who has broad public relations experience including developing and executing brand PR, crises and issues management, and executive communications. She is Principal at Jennifer May Public Relations, located in Pittsburgh. Jennifer also teaches communications at Point Park University.

James Paterson, PhD

James is head of operations and principal consultant for the Scientific Insights Consulting Group in Toronto, Canada. Scientific communication is a central aspect of his professional life and is the core service Scientific Insights Consulting Group provides. This involves taking substantial amounts of scientific data and literature, and quickly synthesizing and distilling this information for a variety of audiences from the highly technical to the general public. Prior to Scientific Insights, Dr. Paterson held a staff scientist position at MDS Proteomics (formerly MDS Ocata) and a post-doctoral fellowship at McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario. James was a senior research technician at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute in Toronto and senior laboratory technologist, molecular pathology laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto. He holds a BS degree in molecular biology and genetics from the University of Guelph and a PhD in molecular genetics from St. Andrews University.

Mark Prus

Mark is a marketer with an extraordinary breadth and depth of experience. Mark’s expertise includes marketing to consumers and professionals, innovation and idea generation, concept development, consumer insights, strategic planning, market research, new business opportunities, and new product or service name generation. After retiring from a successful 25+ year career at GlaxoSmithkline Consumer Healthcare, Mark is now principal at NameFlash, a product naming company and a principal at Venti Brands, a marketing consultancy, both located in Pittsburgh. Mark holds both undergraduate and graduate degrees in business from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Alan Schaefer

Alan is a professional with over 30 years of experience in pharmaceutical and OTC brand sales and marketing. After retiring in 2007 from a successful career at SmithKline Beecham Consumer Healthcare (now GlaxoSmithKline), Alan is now a principal at Venti Brands, a marketing consultancy located in Pittsburgh. During his 15 years at GlaxoSmithKline, Alan was a VP of Sales and Marketing-USA and General Manager-Australia and New Zealand, where he led the entire commercial operation (sales, marketing, manufacturing, IT, HR, R&D, and finance.) Alan also held positions at Johnson and Johnson and International Playtex. Alan graduated from the University of Iowa – Henry B. Tippie College of Business.

Jann Skelton, RPh, MBA

Jann has a diverse professional background, working in pharmacy practice, healthcare consulting, pharmaceutical services, and professional advocacy organizations. Jann is founder and president of Silver Pennies Consulting and has over 20 years of experience in business strategy, communications, and innovative program development. She serves on the APhA Foundation Advisory Board and the Advisory Board of the West Virginia School of Pharmacy. Jann is also a member of the American Pharmacists Association (APhA), the American Society of Health- System Pharmacists (ASHP), the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) and the New Jersey Pharmacists Association (NJPhA). Jann graduated from West Virginia University School of Pharmacy and earned her MBA degree from George Washington University.

Peggy Stegmaier

Peggy is president and founder of EA Solutions, a virtual assistance business providing a wide range of administrative and business services to growing companies using the latest computer technology. She helps overworked entrepreneurs save time, enabling their business ideas to become a reality. Peggy has over 20 years of experience supporting C-Level executives and has focused her administrative efforts in the biotechnology and rare disease space.

Mindy Tegay

Mindy is a consumer marketing consultant with 20 years of experience in the healthcare industry. A member of the Obesity Action Coalition, she has a strong personal and professional interest in healthcare and obesity. Mindy is principal at TEGAY Consulting, based in New Jersey. Mindy offers strategic guidance on commercialization activities for pharmaceutical and OTC new products and Rx-to-OTC switches. She has worked on a wide range of products in multiple therapeutic areas and her expertise includes customer insights, positioning, communications and market research. Prior to founding TEGAY Consulting, Mindy worked in consumer advertising. Mindy holds a BA in business administration from Rutgers College.

Mariela Mazziotti Antunes

Mariela is a graphic designer with 10 years experience in the corporate and nonprofit sectors. She works with clients in a wide range of industries — financial, engineering, retail, and services. By first understanding the client’s intended message, goals, and target audience, Mariela creates elegant visual solutions across several marketing channels, from traditional print to web design. Mariela dedicates 10% of her time to pro bono work for not-for-profits in the Pittsburgh area. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Instituto Universitario Nacional de Arte (IUNA) in Argentina and a digital design specialization from the Art Institute of Pittsburgh. She is the recipient of several graphic design awards.