Last Call Foundation

Board Members

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Kathy Crosby-Bell

Founder & President

Kathy is the mother of Fallen Firefighter Michael Kennedy, in whose memory Last Call Foundation was established. Since Michael’s line-of-duty death in 2014, a heartbroken Kathy, together with family, close friends and LCF board members have established an impressive record of uncovering safety issues and spearheading change.

Kathy and LCF have delved into the world of the fire service, becoming well-known to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), politicians, command officers, union leadership and the rank-and-file.

With the generosity of caring donors and the hard work of Team LCF members raising critical funds that are allocated as LCF grants to fire departments directly or vetted organizations dedicated to improving the health, safety and well-being of firefighters everywhere.

Under Kathy’s leadership, LCF is fulfilling its mission with support for:

LCF has funded research at renowned universities, one of which revealed preventable carcinogen exposure to firefighters through PFAS chemicals used in the manufacturing of their bunker gear.

Push for equipping firefighters with a superior, more thermally robust fire hose which lasts as much as 4 times longer under the new NFPA test standard (which Kathy demanded) and was ultimately developed with LCF funding.\

Collaborating with DetecTogether and funding an accessible education program to inform firefighters of the latest findings, sources of carcinogen exposure, along with mitigation advice, the importance of early detection and how to advocate for themselves in discussions with medical providers.

Kathy is understandably proud of the work and accomplishments of LCF, in memory and in honor of Michael.

 

Her favorite quote:

Every firefighter is a hero every day.

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Jason Burns

Executive Director

Jason is a lifelong resident of Fall River and has been a Fall River Firefighter since 2006. He has spent much of his career advocating for better and safer working conditions for his firefighters. This advocacy has led to improvements in areas such as equipment, training, education, cancer prevention and behavioral health and wellness. 

Jason has also been a part of the team of people who have collaborated on a nationwide effort to rid firefighters’ personal protective equipment of toxic PFAS chemicals.

He is honored to carry on this work for the Last Call Foundation and in memory of Fallen Firefighter Michael Kennedy.

Married to Liz and father to five daughters, Taylor, Madison, Samantha, Abigail and Emersyn.

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Lon Fredric Palitz

Director

Lon Fredric Palitz brings broad career experience in government, corporate, public accounting and commercial banking to his role as a director for Last Call Foundation. His expertise includes technical writing, business analysis, financial analysis, process mapping, training, and internal and external auditing.

Lon is thrilled to be a part of Last Call Foundation’s mission to protect fire service personnel. He leads an exceptional science and engineering research team in the development of a superior, more durable fire hose that can better resist flames in extreme heat conditions, saving lives.

In addition to LCF, Lon serves on the non-profit boards for Stories to Grow By.org, the Won Institute of Graduate Studies, and Fiesta Schoolyards.org. Lon lives in downtown Philadelphia with domestic partner Elaine Lindy and nearby his grown son Ben. He is a graduate of Temple University and gained his CPA license from the state of Pennsylvania.

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Leslie Nies

Director & Secretary

Leslie Nies has been a member of Last Call Foundation’s Board of Directors since its inception. Leslie had a long career in the biopharmaceutical industry, holding leadership positions across multiple disciplines including overseeing a large grant management system. She has worked with numerous non-profits in the medical and education fields, specializing in operations and development up until her retirement in 2018.

Leslie served as secretary of LCF for several years and continues to enjoy assisting Kathy in proofreading her many, many critical documents.

A long-time resident of Cohasset, Leslie now lives in New Jersey and misses Massachusetts every day.

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Sarah Wessmann

Director & Team LCF Manager

Sarah and Mike met in 2004 while he was on leave from the Marine Corps. Following Mike’s discharge in 2007, a relationship developed and the two shared their love of children, laughter, good times and good causes. Sarah was the love of Michael’s life.

In 2014, a month after the fire that killed Michael, Sarah ran her first Boston Marathon and in honor of Michael has run every Boston Marathon since. Team LCF Captain, Sarah has individually raised over $300,000 for Last Call Foundation, all while motivating and inspiring the hundreds of runners who have joined her on the course.

Sarah’s creativity is also a hallmark of her service on the board. Among the talents Sarah brings to LCF is her eye for design — LCF’s tee shirts, sweatshirts, hats, sunglasses, totes, water bottles and the iconic marathon singlet were all designed by Sarah.

A 2005 graduate of the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, Sarah lives in her hometown of Dorchester and is a fulltime nanny.

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Kevin Fry

Director & Treasurer

Kevin Fry was Michael Kennedy’s brother-in-law by marriage. Together they enjoyed family gatherings, laughs and playing with Kevin’s children Daniel and Samantha. Kevin joined Last Call Foundation as a board member and treasurer in 2016. Through the challenging era of the pandemic, he has focused on LCF’s expansion and ability to fund new initiatives critical to the safety needs of the fire service.

Kevin often attends fundraisers or educational events funded by LCF. He is particularly proud of the LCF collaboration with DetecTogether. 

His long career in retail management with Roche Brothers supermarkets makes Kevin adept at keeping projects on budget and on track. Kevin has worked with several non-profits over the years and served as president of the Acton-Boxborough Rotary Club.

Kevin lives in Northbridge and is proud of his grown daughter Samantha and son Daniel who is now serving in the Army National Guard.

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Nancy D'elia-O'Brien

Director

Nancy is Michael’s aunt, and his mother Kathy’s dear friend. Formerly a Vice President of Tri-City Insurance Brokerage of New York City, Nancy worked in the insurance industry 18 years, primarily securing commercial insurance. After the birth of her youngest child she retired to enjoy raising her daughter.
Nancy is honored to be on the board of Last Call Foundation, in memory of her beloved nephew Michael. Supporting Last Call Foundation in honor of Michael is especially meaningful to Nancy.

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Michaeline Curtis

Director

Michaeline Curtis, daughter and sister of two members of the Boston Fire Department, has been working in the non-profit world in various capacities for over 36 years. Previously Michaeline Curtis, daughter and sister of two members of the Boston Fire Department, has been working in the non-profit world in various capacities for over 36 years.
Previously concentrating in the area of fundraising and development, she now consults for LAOCH Associates, an executive leadership and development firm.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1983, Michaeline lived with her family in many places (Washington, D.C., Geneva, Switzerland, and New York) before returning to her native and beloved Boston in 2016. In a volunteer capacity, Michaeline has served as President of the United Way of Scarsdale and President/Board member of the Edgemont School District. She currently volunteers as a mentor for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts.
Michaeline’s nephew Matt was Mike’s stepbrother; she has delighted in listening to “Mike Lore” – his unbridled humor, his compassionate spirit, and his extraordinary heroism – for decades. Michaeline is honored to serve on the LCF board and committed to serving its extraordinary mission. 

Support Team

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As the Foundations business management company, Czerlonka Productions provides office support, website development, event management and communications. 

Advisory Board

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Maura A. Hennigan

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Michael G. Hamrock, MD

Former Board Members

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Elaine Lindy

Director

Elaine Lindy was an early supporter of Last Call Foundation, given her longtime friendship with Kathy Crosby-Bell. She has served as a director since its founding, including three years as treasurer. Professionally, Elaine has been in the real estate business for 30 years including development and property management. She also serves on the boards of The Lindy Foundation, The Gershman Philadelphia Jewish Film Festival, The Lindy Scholars Advisory Board, First Person Arts, and The National Museum for American Jewish History.
She founded and runs Fiesta Schoolyards, a nonprofit initiative dedicated to transforming barren elementary schoolyards. She founded and runs Stories to Grow By, Inc., a website that presents stories for children with positive messages, including a new selection of MeToo fairytales, that attracts over a quarter-million users per month. 
Elaine has an MBA from Simmons College, and owns three U.S. patents. She cherishes her two grown daughters Ariel and Hannah, and beloved friends and family.

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Lisa Jacobson

Support Team

Lisa Jacobson works closely with Last Call Foundation officers and board members to keep programs on track. On any given day, this entails:

  • Expressing gratitude to generous donors, without whom LCF could not achieve its initiatives.

  • Communicating LCF’s mission, viewpoint and accomplishments to key audiences.

  • Informing LCF grant recipients of their good fortune.

  • Meeting administrative deadlines obligatory for a non-profit.

Lisa was formerly a reporter for daily newspapers in New Haven and Arlington, Texas. The practice of research, interviews and distilling facts to write articles led to a career in public relations and marketing communications. Clients spanned non-profits, health care, professional services, technology and consumer products.

Lisa is a graduate of Boston University and lives in Cambridge. Early on, she was an in-demand babysitter in the neighborhood, and was proud as could be to see the kid next door become a firefighter, and a hero.

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Sulo Musyaju

Controller

As controller for the Last Call Foundation, Sulo Musyaju is responsible for all accounting, finance and reporting activities. She has supported non-profits and businesses for over 15 years. Sulo holds a Master’s degree in International Economics and Finance from Brandeis University and an MBA from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal.