SBAG is comprised of ten dedicated board members, one paid part-time employee serving as executive director and many committed families.

Board of Directors:

President: William E. Turnipseed, Esq.

2700 Harris Tower,

233 Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Ga. 30303. SBAG Board Member, ten plus years; two terms on SBA Board in 1990's; Member of DD Council in 1900's. Father of an adult with Spina Bifida.

Vice President: Judy Thibadeau, RN, BSN, MN

Health Scientist on the Rare Disorders/Health Outcomes Team, National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. She has been involved with people affected by spina bifida for 30 years. This work has included collaborating in the development of an independence enhancement program for children with Spina Bifida as well as a Spina Bifida habilitation program at the Shepherd Center and working with Emory University Pediatric Urology, both in Atlanta, Georgia. Ms. Thibadeau manages the National Spina Bifida Program at CDC and serves in a liaison role to the Spina Bifida Association. The focus of this program is to improve the lives of people affected by spina bifida.

Secretary: Sandie Tate

President of Guaranty Mortgage Services LLC, Spina Bifida Association of Georgia Board member (2009 - Present); SBAG treasurer (2009 - Present) Board Member for the Sales and Marketing Council of Homebuilders Association of Atlanta (2002 - 2011); Legacy Member Cancer Society (2009 - 2010); Honduras Outreach Fundraising Chair (2013); Honduras Outreach Mission (1999 - Present)

Krista Reilly, Atlanta Public Schools

Vijaya Kancherla, PhD, Emory University

Vijaya Kancherla has a medical training from India, and holds a doctorate in Epidemiology, with several years of experience in the field of birth defects research. She has been working as a faculty at the Emory University Rollins School of Public Health since 2012. She is an epidemiologist at the Center for Spina Bifida Prevention, also lodged within Emory University. She is an affiliate member of the International Clearinghouse for Birth Defects Surveillance and Research. At Emory, she studies causes, clinical care, disparities, policy, and prevention of spina bifida and anencephaly in the US and internationally. One of her studies is focused on tracking the progress of global prevention of folic acid-preventable spina bifida and anencephaly worldwide.

Richard Horder

Rick Horder is a partner in the Atlanta environmental law firm of Kazmarek Mowrey Cloud Laseter LLP (“KMCL”).  He received his B.A. and J.D. from the University of Florida, an L.L.M. from the London School of Economics and Political Science, and an M.B.A. from Georgia State University.  In addition to being an experienced environmental attorney, Rick is also a recognized expert in adoption and assisted reproduction law and practice.  He has three children.


Mitchell S. Joiner:

Manager, Engineering at Osmose, Inc since 1991. Graduate of Georgia Southern University and father of a child with Spina Bifida. Currently residing in Fayetteville, GA with wife and three children.

Nancy Turnipseed:

Nancy Turnipseed joined the Board in 2011. Born with spina bifida, Nancy has been involved with the SBAG for most of her life. She currently works as a teacher with Gwinnett County Public Schools.

Ramu Kaladi, MPPA

Member, Board of Directors since 2011

Ramu Kaladi is a Georgia native, born in downtown Atlanta and raised in the metro area. Ramu has been working as a Health Policy Analyst at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) since 2007.

He earned his Master of Arts in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University in 2013 and his Bachelor of Science in Public Policy from Georgia State University in 2008. Before work at CDC he had been an intern at the Georgia Lions Lighthouse Foundation, a non-profit headquartered in Decatur, GA that provides hearing aids and vision services to low income Georgians.

In addition to serving on the board of directors of SBAG, Ramu is also a member of the Disability Interest Group (DIG) at CDC; an employee organization designed to advocate for all staff with disabilities and promote opportunities within CD. The group advocates for reasonable accommodations, facility accessibility, and equal opportunity.

Ramu was born with Spina Bifida. He has been paralyzed at the waist and below since birth and has been using a wheelchair since the age of two.

*Ramu Kaladi is serving in his personal capacity. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily represent the views of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or the United States Government


Executive Director:
Kristen DiCarlo

Warriors for HOPE

Shea Leecock:

Shea Leecock serves as board member with SBAG. She is also founder/volunteer of the Warriors For H.O.P.E. program for SBAG. She is an adult with SB that has a deep passion for spreading awareness about this birth defect to everyone in hopes to help spread inspiration, knowledge and understanding.