Executive Leadership

From just a couple staff members and a doctor with a vision, the PKD Foundation has grown to be the largest PKD patient advocacy organization in the world. Located in Kansas City, MO, the PKD Foundation is run by a dedicated staff, all of whom have had their lives impacted by PKD. We are proud to be the voice for the millions of people affected by polycystic kidney disease.


Jackie HancockJackie D. Hancock, Jr., CFRE, CEO

Jackie D. Hancock, Jr., has extensive experience in non-profit executive management, health care delivery systems, advocacy and fundraising. He comes to the Foundation from the National Foundation for Transplants, Inc. (NFT) in Memphis, Tenn., where he was president and CEO since 2004. At the NFT he worked with medical professionals to enhance patient care, delivered patient-centered programs and services, created partnerships with pharmaceutical companies, and provided leadership and guidance to the board of directors and other stakeholders.

He has also served on the executive staff of two large hospital system foundations, and helped raise more than $300 million for a variety of charitable causes. Hancock is a frequent speaker at workshops and seminars around the country and has authored many articles on a variety of fundraising topics for various professional trade publications.

He also has many volunteer roles, including volunteering for the American Diabetes Association, and as an advisory member to the Public Interest Organizations (PIO) of the National Heart Lung Blood Institute, an extension of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Washington D.C. He is also on the advisory board of Donate Life Tennessee.

Hancock graduated from Park University, Parkville, Mo., with a bachelor's degree in psychology, and earned the designation of CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) from the Association of Fundraising Professionals.

Dr. David BaronDavid Baron, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Officer

David Baron's background in biomedical sciences and drug development will keep us moving forward with progress in research.

Baron is particularly interested in the Foundation's work as he has PKD, along with several family members. Baron received a kidney transplant in 2009. Also, his main research focus has been the movement of electrolytes and water across normal and abnormal epithelia.

Baron joins us out of retirement from Takeda Global Research and Development (Deerfield, Ill.) in 2013. During his retirement, he traveled and served as a legal and regulatory expert witness in toxicology and pharmacology, which he has done since 1989. Baron was with Takeda since 2001, where he began as their first U.S. Director of Toxicology and most recently was Vice President, Nonclinical Safety and Risk Evaluation for the U.S. and European Union.

Other roles he had prior to Takeda include Senior Science Fellow for Global Toxicology with Pharmacia (Skokie, Ill.), and increasing positions of responsibility with Searle/Monsanto (Skokie), becoming a Monsanto Science Fellow in Metabolism and Safety Evaluation. At Searle, he was head of quantitative light and electron microscopy. He also represented Safety Assessment on drug development teams. Earlier in his career, he was on the faculty of the Medical University of South Carolina (Charleston, S.C.).

With an NIH grant, he founded the Core Structure-Function Laboratory in the Department of Pharmacology. Baron received his B.A. in Biology and Ph.D. in Anatomy from The University of Chicago. His did his postdoctoral fellowship in pathology and pharmacology at the Medical University of South Carolina. He has been a grant reviewer for the National Cancer Institute, given invited seminars and has served on several national scientific boards.

Angela ConnellyAngela Connelly, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer

Angela Connelly has been a marketing communications leader for nearly 20 years, helping organizations reach business goals, engage audiences, and strengthen brand. Her most recent role was the Director of Communications for Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System (SCLHS). This 11-hospital system was based in Lenexa, Kan., until a recent relocation to Denver, Colo. She was responsible for managing corporate communications, branding, and overseeing their digital strategy. Connelly created the first strategic marketing communication plan for SCLHS. Implementation contributed to increased employee engagement and improved community perception. She also implemented a social media pilot that resulted in nearly 2,000 followers in the first year.

Before SCLHS Connelly worked for HCA Midwest, where she was responsible for marketing and communications for several hospitals, with corporate communications roles. She began her communications career providing public relations support for the Kansas City Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Connelly received her Bachelor of Arts at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU), where she studied English and journalism. She received her MBA through the Bloch executive program at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The MBA program focused on leadership, entrepreneurship, and international work. One project took her to Beijing and Shanghai where she met with non-profit groups to understand the state of health care in China.

Connelly volunteers as a board member for the International Association of Business Communicators, Kansas City Chapter (KC/IABC). In leading their social media efforts, followers were increased by 28 percent last year. She is also involved in UMKC alumni efforts.

Ray SmithRay Smith, CPA, MBA, Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer

Ray Smith began his tenure with the Foundation in 2005 and leads the general finance/accounting, human resource, information technology and general administrative operations of the Foundation. He also assists the CEO to manage the work of the Board of Trustees and its committees.

Smith began his 20 year nonprofit career at the national headquarters of Camp Fire Boys and Girls in Kansas City, MO and worked for health-related nonprofits in Kansas City, KS, Charleston, WV, Daytona Beach, FL and Orlando, FL. He also worked as an auditor at KPMG LLP, the country's largest audit, tax and advisory services firm. He serves on the board of directors and program committee of Nonprofit Connect, a membership association that links the nonprofit community to education, resources and networking so organizations can more effectively achieve their missions.

Smith obtained his Bachelor of Science in Accountancy from the University of Missouri – Columbia and is licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Missouri. He received his Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City, graduating with honors and an emphasis in human resources management. His master's coursework included nonprofit management electives at the Midwest Center for Nonprofit Leadership. In 2014, Smith was selected as CFO of the Year in the small nonprofit category by the Kansas City Business Journal.

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©2019, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.

©2019, PKD Foundation ·The PKD Foundation is a 501 (c)(3), 509 (a)(1) public charity.