Building Evidence to Improve Practice & Health

Scott Campbell, PhD

Chief Executive Officer

Dr. Scott Campbell began his tenure as Chief Executive Officer of the Foundation in May 2015.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Dr. Campbell served as a Scientific Advisory Board member for Temptime Corporation and served as Executive Director and CEO of the Foundation for the National Institutes of Health.  He was responsible for overall leadership of the FNIH and was involved with many of the collaborative research projects funded through the FNIH including the Alzheimer's Disease Neuroimaging Initiative (ADNI), the Biomarkers Consortium, the Observational Medical Outcomes Partnership (OMOP), Grand Challenges in Global Health, the US-Russia Scientific Forum and the mHealth Summit.  He also represented the Foundation on the Health Research Alliance and the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Forum on Drug Discovery, Development, and Translation.  

From 2001-2010, Dr. Campbell served as National Vice President of Research Programs at the American Diabetes Association.  In addition to overseeing all research-related programs at the ADA, he also was responsible for helping acquire major donations to the ADA Research Foundation.  He was a trustee on the Board of Trustees, Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC); member of the IOM Clinical Research Roundtable; and served on the Board of Directors of the Health Research Alliance.  He also represented the ADA on several federally related committees, including the Diabetes Mellitus Interagency Coordinating Committee (DMICC) at the National Institutes of Health.  Before beginning his non-profit scientific administration career, Dr. Campbell spent 16 years in academia with academic appointments at the University of South Dakota, University of Missouri, and Michael Reese Hospital.

Scott received his PhD in Basic Biomedical Sciences from the University of South Florida.  He is the author of 40 peer-reviewed articles, 9 invited reviews, and 14 book chapters related to cardiovascular disease.


 Azalea Candelaria
Chief Development Officer

Azalea Candelaria joined in the Foundation in September 2015 as Chief Development Officer. She is responsible for the Foundation’s donor relations, marketing, and fundraising activities.

Azalea came to the Foundation with over 17 years experience in the nonprofit voluntary health industry. She has held leadership roles at the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation, the March of Dimes and CureSearch for Children’s Cancer, where she expanded local events, opened new markets, and built corporate partnerships. Prior to joining AOTF, Azalea served as Executive Director of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation – South Florida Chapter, overseeing a financial turnaround with a focus on community engagement, healthcare partnerships, fundraising, and volunteer mobilization strategies.

“I’m profoundly inspired by the OTs I’ve had the privilege to get to know. They are amongst the most caring people who give so generously of their time, talents, and resources to help others, explains Azalea. “Not only do they fuel our mission; they drive our success. I’m grateful to work alongside them.”

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Jeanne Y. Cooper,
Manager, Executive Office and Scholarship Coordinator

Jeanne Cooper joined the Foundation in July 2008 and serves as Dr. Campbell's executive assistant. In addition to that role, Jeanne is the scholarship coordinator for AOTF’s Scholarship Program and supports her colleagues in a number of the Foundation’s programs.

Jeanne came to the Foundation with over 10 years experience in the not-for-profit arena. She began at the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) working in the Education Standards Division coordinating educational seminars and managing the society’s certification programs. She continued in a variety of roles for other professional societies and trade associations managing membership recruitment & retention activities; managing professional & student chapters and planning & execution of annual conferences. Most recently Jeanne was the director of Federation Relations at a trade association where she worked with local and state chapters in the area of chapter and leadership development.

Jeanne majored in psychology at the George Washington University.


Michele Fernandez
Program Associate
Michele Fernandez joined the Foundation in November 2015 as program associate. She is the national coordinator for Pi Theta Epsilon and also works with the Leaders & Legacies Society and the St. Catherine Challenge.

She joins the Foundation having previously worked in the non-profit sector as a development assistant at the South Florida Chapter of JDRF (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation). Prior to that, she was exposed to the occupational therapy profession as an office assistant at a pediatric speech and OT clinic. 

Michele has a BS in biology from Nova Southeastern University, where she served as a mathematics and science tutor. She volunteered with the American Cancer Society for four years, culminating with serving as the Nova Southeastern University event chair of the Relay For Life. Michele moved from South Florida to Maryland to work at AOTF and she is looking forward to exploring the museums, monuments, and memorials in her new home. 
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Mindy A. Hecker, MBA, MLS,
Associate Executive Director for
Administration and Director of Information Resources and the Wilma L. West Library

Mindy Hecker currently serves as the director of Information Resources and the Wilma L. West Library. She holds a Bachelor's of Science in Human Ecology from Cornell University, a Master's of Business Administration from the University of Miami ,and a Master's in Library Science from the Catholic University of America.

Mindy began her employment at the AOTF in September 2004 as a reference librarian and became the director in 2006. In addition to her responsibilities with the library she also works with the Fellowships in Leadership Development, Pi Theta Epsilon, DocNet, Scholarships, and Awards.

Prior to becoming a librarian and beginning her work with the Foundation, Mindy served as the director of membership for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) and the American Association of Family and Consumer Sciences.

In addition to her work at AOTF, Mindy volunteers at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum archives.

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Helene Ross,
Communications Associate

Helene Ross has been an AOTF staff member since 1999. She is currently communications associate and edits the e-newsletters: Research Resources, Inside AOTF, and the Scroll & Pen, is the social media voice of AOTF, and provides support to many of AOTF's initiatives.

Prior to joining AOTF, Helene was a researcher for the health and anatomy book series of US News and World Report and for Science 82-86 of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). She also served as a freelance researcher for the book division of the National Geographic Society, the American Chemical Society, and the Foundation for Biomedical Research.

Helene holds a BA in history from State University of New York (SUNY) at Stony Brook with a minor in secondary education. Additionally, she completed coursework in the MBA program of American University as well as many classes in social media, Adobe Creative Suite, editing, grant writing, and outcomes management. Helene enjoys spending her free time quilting and knitting and going on visits with her therapy dog, Happy.