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Executive Board of Directors

Richard Hayden
Executive Director

My life took an interesting turn in the summer of 1976 when on the way home from work one day I left my motorcycle and sailed through the air introducing myself to a car coming the other way. Needless to say, we never did become friends.

A T-8 spinal cord injury gave me new perspective on life and with the gauntlet being thrown down, I accepted the challenge. My goal was to get my college degree and re-enter the workforce. My first degree was in Physical Education and my second in Business. The dynamic duo I thought and I was right, they led me to the rehab segment of the healthcare industry where I have been for the last 30 years. Getting a chance to meet so many incredible people and to get the opportunity to change a person’s life is incredibly rewarding. Three years ago, I was asked by United Spinal to start a Chapter in S. Ca. which after much thought I agreed. Awfully glad they asked, being part of a team of dedicated people whose mission is to provide resources that will have a positive impact on a person’s life and the lives of those around them. I love being a part of that process. On the personal side, I have been married to my beautiful wife Karen for 30 years and have five incredible children (Rick, Richelle, Jenna, Aimee and Kyle) and four fantastic grand kids (Isabella, Lucas, Reese and Parker). My passion is to be involved with great organizations such as United Spinal that are doing great things within the disability community.
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Celia Brewer
Vice President

Celia A. Brewer was appointed City Attorney for the City of Carlsbad in January 2013. Ms. Brewer has spent her legal career advising public agencies. Prior to joining the City of Carlsbad, she was the Interim Port Attorney and Assistant Port Attorney for the San Diego Unified Port District.

Ms. Brewer has also served as the Assistant General Counsel to the San Diego County Water Authority and the City Attorney for the City of Solana Beach. She is the current president and a past president of the San Diego County City Attorneys’ Association and a past member of the Legal Advocacy Committee of the League of California Cities. While in private practice, Ms. Brewer represented irrigation, water and community service districts as well as public non-profit charter schools. She served as a member of the board of directors of the King-Chavez Neighborhood of Schools, an independent 501 (c)(3) non-profit charter school network operator in the Barrio Logan neighborhood of San Diego from 2007-2013. She is also a Christopher Reeve Foundation certified peer mentor for people impacted by spinal cord injuries. In addition, she is a member of the San Diego satellite team supporting the “Swim With Mike” scholarship fund for physically challenged athletes.
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Karen McCord, MPT

Karen McCord is a physical therapist at Rady Children's Hospital, San Diego. Karen specializes in the areas of brain injury, rehabilitation, spinal cord injuries and defects, arthrogryposis, neonatal intensive care, durable medical equipment, splinting/orthotics, and developmental delay.

Karen is the lead PT for Rady's Rehab Team, consults in the Acquired Brain Injury Clinic, Spinal Cord Injury Clinic, and Spinal Defects Clinic, and provides physical therapy to newborns and infants in the NICU. In recent years, prior to coming back to San Diego, Karen worked at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center, Orthopedic and Sports Physical Therapy in Portola Valley, and California Children Services in San Mateo. Karen received her undergraduate degree in Social Ecology at the University of a California, Irvine and her Physical Therapy degree at the University of California at San Francisco. She is married to Mark Sullivan and they have 2 daughters, Janika and Julia. Karen enjoys volunteering with various adaptive sports organizations including Challenged Athletes Foundation, Life Rolls On, and Wheels 2 Water. She enjoys playing adult co-ed water polo, ocean swimming, sea glassing, biking at the beach, traveling and crafting in her free time.
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Steve Goldman

At age four I contracted polio, which affected the use of my legs. From then on, until 1997, I had walked on braces and crutches. In 1997 I had back complications and am now very active while using a wheelchair full time. My education included an M.S. in Business from Long Island University in Brooklyn.

During my college years and beyond I played wheelchair basketball with professional teams and had many great moments competing around the country, winning a national championship once.Soon after college I moved to southern California where I began what became my 27-year career in the “Medical Equipment” industry. Our specialization was in the “long-term rehabilitation” area. As a manager, I also got involved in sales, which put me in direct contact with disabled children, their parents, teachers and healthcare providers. Again, many of these relationships have lasted until today.Since retiring from full-time work in the medical business in 1997, I have been involved in helping out some of my old competitors when projects come up. To keep busy I volunteer as a “Citizenship Tutor” and am on The Accessible Advisory Committee for The Port of San Diego. In the past I have served on the boards of The M.S. Society and United Cerebral Palsy. In addition, have been a mentor for disabled teenagers.
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Andrew Skalsky, M.D.
Executive Board Member

Dr. Skalsky received his medical degree at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine. His internship and residency training was at the University of California (UC)-Davis in physical medicine and rehabilitation.

He stayed at UC-Davis for a fellowship in neuromuscular medicine and pediatric rehabilitation. He is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation, neuromuscular medicine, pediatric rehabilitation medicine and electrodiagnostic medicine. Dr. Skalsky is the Chief of Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine at Rady Children's Hospital San Diego and an Associate Professor at the University of California San Diego.
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Mary Thompson, MSW
Executive Board Member

Mary Thompson is a licensed clinical social worker at Sharp Rehabilitation Center in San Diego where she has held a variety of administrative and professional positions since 1991.

She serves newly-injured SCI patients as well as those with other types of physical and cognitive injuries and illnesses. Mary has a C8 complete SCI as a result of a car accident in 1982. She is a three time Paralympian and won a bronze medal in Seoul in 1988. She has completed over 135 marathons all across the U.S., Europe and Asia and is one of only two wheelchair racers who are legacy competitors having completed 32 consecutive Los Angeles marathons. She also finished the 367-mile Alaska Sun Midnight Marathon in her race chair. In 1998, she completed the GTE Big Ride, a 3,200 mile bike ride across the US in 48 days. In 1994 she was selected as the San Diego Disabled Athlete of the Year by the San Diego Hall of Champions.
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Jeff Logan
Executive Board Member

Jeff suffered a Spinal Cord Injury from a diving accident when he was 22 years old. He willingly shares his experience to mentor others who need help coping with their own disability.

Since his accident he has earned a BA in Psychology, a MA in Education, participated in adaptive sports, and traveled the country. He is experienced with MTS in San Diego and knowledgeable on other transportation options for people with disabilities. His hobbies and interests include pool, darts, poker, reading, and sports.
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Chelle Struve
Executive Board Member

Chelle Struve is an accomplished marketing and advertising professional specializing in integrated marketing programs.

These include social, print, broadcast and digital production, multicultural campaigns, product launches, market research, media placement and branding for business-to-business and consumer national accounts in agency, nonprofit and corporate settings. She has produced award winning campaigns for Toyota, Mattel, AMN Healthcare, Embassy Suites and Foothill Transit. Her nonprofit experience includes her previous role as Director of Marketing at Challenged Athletes Foundation (CAF) and client San Diego VeloYouth. She is currently Director of Strategic Accounts at LAK Advertising
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