NHF’s Mission is to empower parents to have healthy children free of chronic neurological health disorders
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors is composed of distinguished individuals with a diverse set of expertise.
Neurological Health Foundation (NHF) was founded in 2010 and obtained 501 (c)(3) public charity status from the IRS effective March of 2011. NHF is audited by an independent CPA firm (for the past three years – 2012, 2013 and 2014).
Click on any board member name to expand.
Dr. James Adams, Ph.D.
Dr. James Adams, Ph.D. is a father of a daughter with autism, diagnosed in 1994, and that is what led him to eventually shift much of his research emphasis to neurological illness in children, focusing on biological causes and treatments. He is currently a President’s Professor at Arizona State University, where he directs the ASU Autism/Asperger’s Research Program. Dr. Adams is a sought after speaker and researcher on the subject of preventing neurological illness in children.
Professor Adams has authored over 150 scientific articles in peer-reviewed publications, including 30 on autism.
Dr. Adams will serve as the primary point of contact for the Foundation to craft a strategy to prevent neurological illness in children and to recruit talented doctors and researchers to join in our efforts.
Autism-Related Service and Awards:
- Director and Founder, Arizona State University Autism/Asperger’s Research Program, 2000-present
- President, Autism Society of Greater Phoenix, 2000- present
- President and founder, Autism Conferences of America, 2005 – present
- Evening of Champions Award (for research and service) from national Autism Society of America, 2007
- Autism Service Award, Greater Phoenix Chapter of the Autism Society of America, 2008
- Daniel Jankowski Legacy Award 2009 for teaching, research, and service to ASU
- Board of Directors, Autism Research Institute, 2007-2009
- Co-Leader, Science Advisory Committee, Autism Research Institute, 2008 – present
- Board of Directors, Autism Society of America, 2009-2010
- President’s Professor, Arizona State University, 2010 – present
Shazi Visram is Founder, CEO and Chief Mom of Happy Family, a leading provider of organic meals and snacks for babies, toddlers and beyond, in the US and 30 countries worldwide. Considered by President Obama to be “not only an outstanding businesswoman, but also a leader that all of us can emulate.”
Shazi is a food activist who has made it her mission to create a socially-responsible business that positively impacts the health of our children, gives back to those in need all while supporting sustainable agriculture.
A 2004 graduate of the Columbia School of Business (MBA), her accomplishments have earned her the respect and admiration of her peers, including being named one of the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year and Crain’s New York Business 40 Under 40.
Shazi lives in Connecticut with her husband, Joe, their son, Zane, and dog Willy. While she considers Happy Family to be her first “baby,” motherhood is what Shazi loves the most in the world.
Chris Willhite is a Certified Public Accountant and graduated with honors from Baylor University in 1991 with a BBA in Accounting. He started his career in public accounting in Houston where he did tax work for Arthur Andersen and audit work for Ernst and Young. He was placed by Robert Half Finance and Accounting in the 1990s to be the controller for a division of a public company where he was responsible for the financial reporting of three operating companies. Chris joined Robert Half in 2000 as a Recruiting Manager where he specializes in full time accounting and finance searches.
Kenneth L. Watson
Kenneth L. Watson is a Senior Vice President – Financial Advisor with RBC Wealth Management. He helps high net worth individuals and their families achieve their financial goals by creating and implementing comprehensive wealth management plans that focus on accumulating, protecting and transferring wealth. Ken graduated from Southern Methodist University in 1988 as a University Scholar with a Bachelor of Science degree in economics with finance applications. Ken lives with his wife and three children in Kerrville, Texas.
Justin Jones is a member of the founding family of The Neurological Health Foundation. He is a graduate of Southern Methodist University and has a Masters in Business Administration from Rice University. Justin began his career as a Strategy Consultant with Deloitte Consulting and is now the President of Espree Animal Products, a privately held manufacturer and distributor of premium organic animal health care products.
Kenneth W. Smith
Kenneth W. Smith is a Managing Director with RR Advisors, LLC – RCH Energy in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining RCH Energy Mr. Smith spent nearly five years with Hayman Capital Management as a Managing Director. Hayman is an alternative investment management company based in Dallas, Texas. Prior to joining Hayman Capital Management Mr. Smith spent over five years with Smith Group Asset Management, an institutional asset manager focusing on traditional and alternative investment strategies, based in Dallas, Texas. At Smith Group, he was a Partner, Director of Marketing and responsible for investor relations. Prior to joining Smith Group, Mr. Smith was the Director of Marketing for Ranger Capital Group, an alternative investment advisor located in Dallas, Texas. While at Ranger Mr. Smith was responsible for the marketing efforts of the firm in addition to investor relations. Prior to Ranger, Mr. Smith was a Principal and the Director of Marketing for John McStay Investment Counsel (JMIC), an institutional asset manager. Mr. Smith began his career as a Vice President for Smith Barney and focused on institutional and corporate clients. Mr. Smith was a member of the 401(k) Advisory Board and the Blue Chip Council. Mr. Smith earned a BBA in Finance from Dallas Baptist University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University, graduating with Honors (Beta Gamma Sigma).
Craig Fischer is a Partner with KPMG LLP. He joined KPMG in 1995, and specializes in audit and risk advisory services for companies in the industrial, electronics, software, and healthcare industries. Mr. Fischer also serves as a national and international instructor at KPMG, having taught accounting and auditing classes for KPMG in several countries throughout Europe and Asia. Mr. Fischer holds a B.S. and M.S. in Accounting from The University of North Texas.
Matt Boswell graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1994 with a degree in Marketing. Mr. Boswell has founded a number of successful franchise based companies, including Pet Butler. He is a sought after expert in the realm of marketing and franchise development for closely held, entrepreneurial based companies. Prior to getting into entrepreneurial ventures, he worked in various marketing and sales roles with several large companies in the Dallas / Ft. Worth area.