The Institute is comprised of several boards and committees that drive the institute forward.

Leadership Team

Tracey B. Kirsch, Board Chair

Daniel L. Kirsch, PhD, FAIS President

William C. Heckman, MS, DAIS, Executive Director

Angela Fertitta, Marketing and Donor Relations

Donnalyn Brown, EMT, DAIS, General Manager

Lewis S. Coleman, MD, FACA, FAIS, Chief Scientist

COL Kathy T. Platoni, PsyD, FAIS, Editor, Combat Stress magazine

Jeff Jernigan PhD, LPC, BCPPC, FAIS, Editor, Contentment magazine

Kathy Schoop, Managing Editor of AIS Magazines and Accounting Manager

Michael McMahon, Creative Director, AIS magazines

Board of Directors

Tracey B. Kirsch, Board Chair

Daniel L. Kirsch PhD, President

Holger Wrede, Esq

Robert Bisaccia


Science and Education Board

Chair: Lewis S. Coleman, MD, FACA, FAIS, Anesthesiologist and author of the seminal book 50 Years Lost in Medical Advance, the discovery of Hans Selye’s stress mechanism.

David C. Mason, DO, MBA, CPPS, FACOFP, FAIS, Assistant Dean of Osteopathic Clinical Education, Texas College of Osteopathic Medicine, UNTHSC, Ft Worth, Texas

John Kuhn, EdD, FAIS, Superintendent of Schools, Mineral Wells, Texas ISD

Jeff Jernigan, PhD, BCPPC, LPC, FAIS; Life Science and Healthcare Practice Leader, Stanton Chase International; CEO and Medical Programs Director, Hidden Value Group

Louise Gaston, PhD, FAIS, Director, TRAUMATYS, Previous Associate Professor, Psychiatry, McGill University, Quebec

Daniel L. Kirsch, PhD, DAAPM, FAIS, Pain and Stress Specialist, President, The American Institute of Stress

Combat Stress Board

Chair: Kathy Platoni, PsyD, DAIPM, FAIS, COL (Ret), US Army, COL, Ohio Military Reserve/State Defense Forces, Dayton SWAT, Editor, Combat Stress magazine

Stephen Barchet, MD, FACOG, CPE, FACPE, FAIS, Rear Admiral, Medical Corps US Navy, Retired

Richard S. Biehl, MA, FAIS, Police Chief, Dayton, Ohio

Brian S. Earthman MD, FAIS, Psychiatrist, MAJ (Ret), US Army Reserves, Medical Director, EPI, Inc.

Dave Fair, PhD, D Min. CMC, FAIS, Certified Master Chaplain, President ChaplainUSA, Senior Chaplain, Brown County, Office of Emergency Management

Charlie Bass, MD, PhD, FAIS, LTC., U.S. Army, (Ret)

Christiane O’Hara, PhD FAIS, Advisor, Women Veteran Social Justice Network

Daniel L. Kirsch, PhD, DAAPM, FAIS, Pain and Stress Specialist, US Navy Contractor (Ret), President, The American Institute of Stress


Daily Life and Workplace Stress Board

Chair: Cynthia Ackrill, MD, PCC, FAIS, Applied Neuropsychology Practitioner, Editor of Contentment Magazine, Certified Stress Mastery Educator, Faculty, College of Executive Coaching and Healthcare Coaching Institute

Heidi Hanna, PhD, FAIS, Brain Fitness Researcher, Instructor, Harvard Extension

Andrew Pleener, MD, FAIS, Psychiatrist, Founder of the #SameHere STARR & Psych Alliances

Sharon Montes, MD, FAIS, Founder, Living Well Whole Health, Former Medical Director for the University of Maryland Center for Integrative Medicine

Josh Briley, PhD, FAIS, Science and Education Director, EPI, Inc., Former Clinical Psychologist, VA Community Based Outpatient Clinic, Brownwood, Texas

Wendy Garvin Mayo, APRN, ANP-BC, DAIS, Oncology Nurse Practitioner, Stress Solution Strategist

William C. Heckman, MS, NBCT, DAIS, Board Certified Educator, Executive Director, The American Institute of Stress


The Founding Board of Trustees of The American Institute of Stress

Robert Ader, PhD, Rochester, NY (1932-2011) • Herbert Benson, MD, Boston MA • Paul A. Brown, MD, Upper Saddle River, NJ • Dennis L. Colacino, PhD, Purchase, NY (1941-2007) • Cary L. Cooper, PhD, Manchester, U.K . (1940-2018) • Norman Cousins, Los Angeles, CA (1912-1990) • Micheal E. DeBakey, MD, Houston, TX (1908-2008) • Theodore M. Dembroski, PhD, St. Petersburg, FL •  Edward C. Donovan, Mattapan, MA • Joel Elkes, MD, Louisville, KY (1913-2015) • Carlton Fredericks, PhD New York, NY (1910-1987) • James Goddard, MD, Stamford, CT (1923-2010) • Senator Barry M. Goldwater, Washington D.C. (1909-1998) • Kenneth Greenspan, MD, New York, NY (1931-2019) • James Goddard, MD, Stamford, CT (1923-2010) • Senator S.I. Hayakawa, Mill Valley, CA (1906-1992) • Thomas H. Holmes, MD, Seattle, WA (1918-1989) • Bob Hope, Palm Springs, CA (1903-2003) • John Laragh, MD, New York, NY (1924-2015) • James L. Lynch, PhD, Baltimore, MD • James S.J. Manuso, PhD New York, NY • Lorenz K.Y. Ng, MD, Washington D.C. • Peter Nixon, FRCP, London, UK • Kenneth R. Pelletier, PhD, Berkeley, CA • Paul J. Rosch, MD, Yonkers, NY (1927-2020) • Ray H. Rosenman, MD, Menio Park, CA (1920-2013) • Henry Russek, MD, Boca Raton, FL (1943-2021) • Hans Selye, MD, PhD, Montreal, Canada (1907-1982) • Sidney Scherlis, MD, Twson, MD • Marcy J.T. Smith, MS, RN, Barnstable, MA • Robert H. Spencer, New York, NY (1931-2020) • Marvin Stein, MD, New York, NY (1924-2009) • Charles F. Stroebel, PhD, MD, Hartford, CT (1936-1998) • Charles Swencionis, PhD, New York, NY • Alvin Toffler, New York, NY (1927-2019)