Board of Directors

The ACD was established to unite the Cerebral Creatine Deficiency Syndrome community. This includes patients, families, and allied health care professionals. The ACD board members welcome any questions or comments concerning CTD, GAMT, AGAT, and CCDS at the email addresses listed below.

Whitnie StraussWhitnie Strauss – President

Whitnie is a graduate of the University of Texas with a degree in Public Relations. She lives in the beautiful Texas Hill Country with her husband, Steve. They have three children, Rhett (9), Reid (7) and Cora (5). Reid was diagnosed with CTD at 2 1⁄2 years old. Aside from being a busy stay-at-home mom, creative thinker, baker, and occasional blogger, Whitnie is a passionate advocate for CCDS. Whitnie served as a panelist at the FDA Inborn Error of Metabolism public forum and is actively involved in fundraising, marketing, and other initiatives to bring heightened awareness to the CCDS community.

Heidi WallisHeidi Wallis – Vice President

Heidi has a background in software development. She lives in Salt Lake City, Utah with her husband, Trey and their four children. Samantha (13) was diagnosed with GAMT deficiency at 5-1/2 years of age, after years of an initial diagnosis of PDD-NOS. Ultimately, the onset of seizures is what led to her GAMT diagnosis by an MRI spectroscopy and then DNA testing. Louis (5) was diagnosed with GAMT deficiency and began treatment at birth. He has been developing on par with peers and this is expected to continue. Heidi’s hope is for creatine deficiencies to be included on every newborn screening panel and for a treatment for CTD.

Kim TuminelloKim Tuminello – Director of Advocacy

Kim is a graduate of San Diego State University with a degree in Advertising, and has over 22 years of experience in sales management and recruiting. She has two children with GAMT. Her son was diagnosed at 10 months old, and her daughter was diagnosed with an amniocentesis and treated since birth. At that time, she vowed that she would help make a difference for all children and their families living with creatine deficiencies, and has been working at it ever since. Kim resides in Carlsbad, CA with her husband Grant and two children, Ty and Paige.

Melissa ParkerMelissa Parker – Director of Finance

Melissa is the Deputy Director for the Office of Environmental Health and has worked in public health for 25 years with the Mississippi State Department of Health. She is a graduate of the University of Mississippi with a degree in Biology and Chemistry. Melissa lives in Morton Mississippi, with her extraordinary husband of 24 years, Tony. They have two children. Will is 22 and was diagnosed with CTD when he was 12. Charlie is 16. Melissa hopes that her “veteran” status dealing with CTD can help families with younger children diagnosed with the condition successfully navigate their journey.

Linda CooperLinda Cooper – Director of Special Initiatives

Linda is a licensed vocational nurse and a small business owner. She resides in Southern California with her husband, Bob. They have two sons, Kyle (28) and Chad (22). Chad was diagnosed with an unspecified mitochondrial disease at age 2 and at age 9 was confirmed to have CTD. Linda has also served as a Board Trustee for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation (UMDF). Linda is especially focused on supporting CCDS Research.

ACD Ambassadors

Laura Martin

ACD Ambassador & Genetic Counseling Advisor

Kelly Shed

ACD Ambassador

Tina Strauss

ACD Ambassador

Melissa Klor