Our Leadership

Foundation Staff

Travis Roy

Travis Roy

Founder

In 1997 Travis and his family founded the Travis Roy Foundation to raise money and awareness for other quadriplegics and paraplegics and to support research for a cure. Travis received an outpouring of public support following a freak paralyzing injury playing ice hockey for the then NCAA champions Boston University Terriers. In an effort to give back, Travis created a tax exempt charitable entity to raise money for others. See more of Travis' story here.

Marge Oppold

Marge Oppold

Executive Director

After volunteering at events with the Travis Roy Foundation for seven years, Marge's passion brought her to join the Foundation as the very first Director in 2009, helping to make a difference for so many spinal cord injured survivors across the United States and their families.Read More

Most New Englanders are aware of Travis' accident and have marveled at his courage and unwavering dream to find a cure for spinal cord injuries, as well as his ability to meet the immediate needs of survivors with adaptive equipment to help provide independence. In building a great organization, there is no single action or leader that makes it successful. It is, however, the result of the dedication of TRF volunteer staff, board members, and supporters who have helped raise millions of dollars to help fund independence and hope. Marge is honored to work along side all of them.

Marge lives in RI with her husband. In her spare time she can be found hiking, snowshoeing, gardening, learning Italian and enjoying time with her grandchildren.

Lisa Kielt

Lisa Kielt

Director of Operations

Lisa Kielt is excited to join the Foundation as the Director of Operations, helping promote hope and independence to the SCI community.

Lisa has deep experience providing strategic operational, communications, public affairs, and fundraising counsel to a mosaic of nonprofit sectors, including medical research, pediatric health, education and social services environments.Read More

"Working alongside Travis and the extraordinary volunteers that have guided the Foundation since its inception will be incredibly gratifying," she says. "What I find most compelling is the Foundation's two-fold mission to support the SCI community by funding cutting-edge research, while improving the quality of life for patients and caregivers at the same time. I am excited to join the team to help enhance operational infrastructure and support the expansion of such an impactful organization."

A former hockey mom, Lisa lives in Boston with her husband, teenage son, and one exceptionally quirky Scottish terrier.

Board of Trustees

Arthur B. Page

Arthur B. Page

Hemenway & Barnes, LLP

Art has been an active supporter of the Travis Roy Foundation since its birth, and has seen the organization expand its reach from funding sorely needed adaptive equipment for a limited number of grantees to granting $300,000 annually to applicants across the United States and funding an equal amount annually for well vetted research. Read More

He values his association with the Foundation and with Travis as there is no other organization in the country that has the ability to garner widespread grass roots support to help individuals who have no where else to turn for adaptive equipment and support, to help them get on with their lives. Travis’ own injury and his daily life gives him a unique perspective on how best to help others, and his optimism, competitive drive and humor make the Foundation fundraising initiatives fun and rewarding.Art is a partner with the law firm of Hemenway & Barnes LLP of Boston, which provides pro-bono administrative services to the Foundation. He and his wife Connie live in Belmont, Massachusetts; they and their three children have all been active supporters of the Foundation’s various activities.

Benton Burgess

Benton Burgess

Cadence Design Systems

A Boston native, Benton remembers feeling amazed at the outpouring of support that Travis received from the city after his ice hockey accident. About a year later, Benton’s own son Garrett injured his spinal cord in a car accident and became a quadriplegic. Read More

After seeing all that Travis had accomplished in building the Travis Roy Foundation, Benton wanted to do his part to raise awareness, and traveled to nearly every state in the country with Garrett to meet with state representatives and raise funds for spinal cord research. Benton saw that Travis was not only devoted to helping others financially, but also dedicated to providing hope to those affected by spinal cord injuries by funding research projects towards a cure. Benton has seen how a spinal cord injury changes lives – not only of those who are injured, but entire families, circles of friends and neighborhoods. The greatest wish of each of these people is to see their loved ones able to stand up and walk again, and that is something that Benton believes the TRF works every day to achieve.Throughout Benton’s involvement with the foundation, he has seen its reputation continue to grow. Benton believes that the TRF’s strong and timeless core mission is what has helped the cause become so well-known and gain more and more volunteers each year. The organization remains timeless and relevant because it serves not only the immediate needs of grant recipients, but also because the research done currently helps to provide hope for the future of spinal cord injuries.Aside from supporting TRF, Benton is also a pilot on the side, and spends his free time flying. He is also a big fan of Disneyworld because the grounds are very wheelchair accessible, and he loves traveling there on vacations with his family.

Brenda Roy

Brenda Roy

Travis' mother & Co-Founder

Brenda Roy credits so much of the Travis Roy Foundation’s success to Travis’ infectious spirit, which she says is not only an inspiration for those involved in the organization, but for her and Travis’ family as well. She says she is most proud of the way Travis has stepped up to provide leadership for the Foundation, and for his commitment and desire to give back in search for a cure. Read More

It means so much to her that after 19 years, so many people still care about Travis, and about finding a cure for spinal cord injuries. She most enjoys spending summers in Vermont with Travis, her daughter Tobi and her husband Keith, their four children, and a multitude of extended family.

Dan Ronan

Dan Ronan

BNY Mellon Wealth Management

As a Boston University freshman, Dan Ronan was recruited to play hockey for the Terriers. He was on the ice for the first time that season when Travis, his roommate, was injured. Over the past 19 years, Dan and Travis have remained close friends and in that time Dan is proud of the foundation's exponential growth. Read More

He is amazed at how Travis’ story has transcended generations; children not yet born at the time of the accident read Travis’ book and take away from it Travis' core values. Dan is also proud of the way TRF is run as all money raised goes back for grants for individuals with spinal cord injuries or spinal cord injury-related medical research. He believes TRF makes big differences in people's lives. Five years ago, Dan created the TRF winter ice hockey event – the Beanpot Charity Challenge. He is touched every year at the amount of funds that the participants are able to raise. He says that hockey guys always stick together to help each other out and Travis is someone that the guys all band behind..When he is not helping support TRF, Dan works at BNY Mellon Wealth Management, sits on the young leadership committee for the Boys and Girls Club of Boston, coaches hockey and spends time with his wife and young son and daughter.

Ed Farrington

Ed Farrington

Natixis Global Asset Management

A native of the Boston area, Ed Farrington and his family recently returned from three years abroad in London. Ed is a long-time friend of Keith Van Orden and through that friendship, has always been aware of the work of the foundation. Read More

In more recent years, Ed has had the pleasure of working with Travis through the corporate world and has seen firsthand the impact of Travis, his family and friends. Ed had always been impressed by the strength, honesty and kindness shown by Travis and the foundation and is honored to now have a chance to help spread that message.

John Butterworth

John Butterworth

CBRE/New England

John Butterworth grew up locally in Newton, MA. He is a graduate of Providence College. Growing up in New England, John has been involved in the hockey community and through that community was connected to Travis Roy and The Travis Roy Foundation.
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John is involved with a number of Charitable Organizations and Boards but none have attracted his attention more than Travis Roy and his Foundation. John, his wife Erin and children Grace, Jack and Ned live in Newton.

Keith VanOrden

Keith VanOrden

BlackRock, Inc

Keith VanOrden was one of the original members of the Travis Roy Foundation board at its inception in 1997. After several years of serving on the board, he took some time off to start a family of four, move from Boston to Rochester, NY, and then to Canada before finally settling back in Boston in 2013. Read More

He is in awe of the work that the foundation has done in his absence, and is glad to be back and excited to help the foundation reach more people in need. “There is no other foundation like the Travis Roy Foundation because there is no one else like Travis Roy,” he says. “It is as important as ever to help Travis and others reach a point where they can be out of their wheelchairs and keep moving forward.”

Lee Roy

Lee Roy

Travis' father & Co-Founder

Lee Roy says he could not have imagined that the Travis Roy Foundation would be where it is today when the family started the organization in 1997. He is very grateful for the time and dedication that so many gave during the Foundation’s establishment, and to those who have continued to support the Foundation with their resources, time and talent. Read More

He says that the purpose of the Foundation has always been to raise money for spinal cord injury survivors and research for a cure, but he is amazed at the level of professionalism that the numerous volunteers have brought to the organization. His favorite TRF fundraising event is the WIFFLE ball tournament because he believes it encapsulates the spirit of the organization. Each year the participants are thrilled with the feeling of competition for a good cause.

Stephen McLaughlin

Stephen McLaughlin

McLaughlin Family Foundation

Steve moved to Cleveland, Ohio from Boston in 1993. A former student at Milton Academy and Dartmouth College, he was familiar with Travis' incredible ability as Travis competed against Steve's younger brother in hockey. What started out as an innocent phone call wishing to make a donation to Travis, and a subsequent conversation with Travis' Dad, Lee, at the rink in Yarmouth, ME; has evolved into a strong and meaningful relationship between Steve and his family; and the Roys, along with their Foundation. Read More

He most appreciates Travis's humility, sense of purpose, politeness, honesty, courage and concern for others. Instead of focusing on his undeniable loss and tragedy, Travis chose a different path; choosing to drive his mission and cause to every corner of the country, helping those in need and chasing down a cure for paralysis. He is making an incredible contribution to the spinal cord injury population, and their families; and I am incredibly proud to be involved with his Foundation". In addition to the Travis Roy Foundation, Steve is involved with several other charities and organizations, including: Boston College, The Mardy Fish Foundation (Vero Beach, FL), Victory Gallop (Akron, OH), Cystic Fybrosis Foundation, and the Welles Remy Crowther Charitable Trust (“the Man in the Red Bandana”) (Nyack, NY).

Steve and his four children reside in Hudson, Ohio.

Tobe Berkovitz

Tobe Berkovitz

Boston University

As an advertising professor and former Dean at Boston University, Tobe was honored to have Travis speak to the freshmen in the College of Communication introductory course. Read More

Travis inspired the freshmen to achieve great things in their lives and to make the world a better place. Tobe is the co-professor in AdLab, BU’s student operated advertising agency. AdLab students worked with Travis to produce a promotional video celebrating the spirit of the Boston Marathon and the Travis Roy Foundation. Tobe was a political media consultant and worked with many organizations helping them to promoting their services to the community.

Leadership Council

Jason Currier

Jason Currier

Vice President, Special Projects

As a student of North Yarmouth Academy, Jason spent his days playing on the school's hockey team alongside Travis, and his nights at the Roy's home, where they hosted him as a boarding student. Read More

His relationship with the Roy family over the years has influenced him both personally and professionally, and he is honored to be actively involved with the Travis Roy Foundation more than two decades later. He is proud to see the impact that Travis and the Foundation have had on the SCI community over the past 17 years and is motivated to help the Foundation meet its goals.

A graduate of Quinnipiac University, Jason is the Vice President of Finance at General Atlantic, a global private equity firm with a strong history of philanthropy. He lives in Fairfield, CT with his wife and three young daughters, who all enjoy visits with the Roys in VT.

Paula McDonald

Paula MacDonald

Research Liaison

Paula was teaching at Boston University in the Department of Physical Therapy and the Department of Health Sciences and working as a physical therapist when Travis had his injury and when he returned to BU to complete his education. Their relationship has progressed over the years from Physical Therapist and patient to a great friendship that includes their families. Because of Paula’s interest in neuroscience, Travis frequently called on her with questions about current research. Read More

In the fall of 2010, Paula officially became the Research Liaison for the Foundation and meets with researchers throughout the country to learn as much as she can about the progress towards the cure for spinal cord injuries and reports her findings back to Travis and the Board of Trustees.

Paula is a sign language interpreter, and is still thrilled to be involved with the Foundation during this very exciting time as researchers strive for the cure.

George Ogin

George Ogin

Financial Manager

George Ogin helps with the financial reporting for the Travis Roy Foundation. He initially joined the Foundation in the fall of 2013 when he was given the opportunity to run the 2014 Boston Marathon for the Travis Roy Foundation in memory of his mother. Read More

She had been paralyzed from a spinal cord injury years ago from a fall and eventually passed away from related complications. Feeling like he may not have been able to do enough to help his mother has inspired him to help the Travis Roy Foundation.

He lives in NH with his wife Deb and growth kids Nicole and David and works in the Finance Dept of Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

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Andrea Richmond

Foundation Advisor

Andrea has worked with the Travis Roy Foundation since 2014, when she says she quickly fell in love with the foundation, its mission, and its people. As an advisor in the Family, Office and Philanthropic Services group at Hemenway & Barnes, LLP, Andrea provides advisory services to the Foundation for grant writing and management; assistance with financial, tax, audit, and legal issues; and supporting the board of trustees. Andrea is a graduate of Fairfield University and a member of the Massachusetts Bar, and lives in Boston.