DECA 2024 Diabetes Camp & Retreat Conference – Speaker Bios – Diabetes Education & Camping Association

Kat Shreve – Conference Chair

Kim Aycock, MST

Kim Aycock, MST, has several decades of experience equipping young people with skills robots are unable to do. While blending the talents of a master teacher with the knowledge of a seasoned camp expert, Kim ignites learning for varying levels of camp pros worldwide through her interactive and innovative presentations. Kim speaks at regional and national conferences, contributes regularly to Camping Magazine and ACA blogs, and serves as co-chair of ACA’s Staff Recruitment & Retention Committee and Staffing Summit. She can be contacted at

Belinda Childs, APRN, BC-ADM, CDCES

Diabetes Nurse Specialist and Executive Director of Great Plains Diabetes, Wichita, KS. Numerous roles with Camp Discovery, Kansas Founded by Drs Richard and Diana Guthrie from 1980 through 2015. Past National ADA Board member and officer with focus on supporting youth programming. GPD conducts Camp Live Well Day Camp and continues to send staff to ADA Camp Discovery. 

Carla Cox, PhD, RDN, CDCES, CPT

Carla is a registered dietitian and certified diabetes care and education specialist with a doctorate in interdisciplinary studies with an emphasis on exercise physiology. She was an adjunct assistant professor for 14 years at the University of Montana with teaching focused on exercise physiology and sports nutrition. She has worked as a clinician for over 40 years in the field of diabetes, with special emphasis in type 1 diabetes and the use of insulin pumps and sensors. She is a yearly volunteer supporting children with diabetes at multiple ADA summer youth camps, Riding on Insulin winter ski and summer surf camps and Utah REACH camps. Carla has written multiple articles on diabetes technology and provided talks to local, state and national organizations and has authored tip sheets for all pumps and sensors for ADA camp medical staff. Her favorite volunteer work is coaching diabetes management for teens and adults with type 1 diabetes while adventuring in the great outdoors. She presently works at Mountain Vista Medicine/Pediatric Endocrinology in Utah.

Melanie Coyne

Melanie Coyne is the Director of Development and Programs for Camp Conrad Chinnock. A former camper and staff member, she has been a part of the Diabetes Camping community for the past 33 years. She is passionate about supporting and encouraging those with Type One Diabetes and their families. Melanie has extensive knowledge in Camp operations, programs, financial assistance, and administration.

Mackenzie Dawes, BS

Mackenzie Dawes is currently a graduate student in the department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University. Mackenzie teaches backcountry skills in Clemson’s leisure skills program. Mackenzie’s studies focus on the role of T1D in the development of peer relationships and identity, and how these outcomes relate to T1D management. Mackenzie has lived with T1D since she was 14 and spends her off time whitewater boating and backpacking, with her best friend 4-legged friend Pepper.

Katie Doyle, BA

Accomplished sales & marketing executive with over 24 years of experience across several consumer product categories, including beverages, confectionery, dry grocery, and non-profit fundraising. Leverages a strategic and compassionate approach and is known for building strong partnerships focused on shared value and driving impact.

Currently starting a non-profit organization, Camp1, which will offer day camp for kids with T1D in the Chicagoland area. Katie was diagnosed with T1D as an adult and has a daughter with T1D and is a passionate advocate for those impacted by diabetes and committed to providing education and awareness on living fully.

Ryan Gagnon, BA, MA, PhD

Dr. Ryan J. Gagnon, Associate Professor at Clemson University, teaches undergraduate courses in program administration and design, and graduate courses in statistical analyses. His research explores factors affecting youth thriving, success in out-of-school-time programs, methodological innovation in sport and recreation assessment, and developing evaluation capacity in programs for marginalized youth, including those with disabilities or chronic illness.

Tracey Gaslin, PhD, CPNP, FNP-BC, CRNI, RN-BC

Dr. Gaslin completed her PhD in Educational and Organizational Leadership and taught for 10 years specializing in pediatric development, service leadership, and research on gratitude. Dr. Gaslin publishes the majority of her work in the areas of pediatrics, camp nursing, behavioral health, and service leadership and has co-authored several texts. She currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the Alliance for Camp Health where she travels and trains individuals regarding health services and well-being of youth and young adults. She continues to be an active speaker, writer, and publisher representing the Leading Voice in Camp Health to promote hope and healing in youth serving programs across the US and Canada.

Antoine Gibson, BS

 Saxophonist Antoine Gibson was diagnosed with type-1 diabetes in January of 2002 at the age of 8. Since then, he has been blessed to travel and perform on many of the world’s largest stages while educating and advocating for diabetes along the way. Growing up outside of Atlanta, GA, his musical influences are rooted heavily in hip hop and jazz; his 2022 debut album “Tales From The Eastside” fuses these two elements together in a way that is exciting and relatable to all ages. His high energy second single “Mellitus” was inspired by his life with type 1 diabetes and serves as a representation of his positive outlook on living with the condition.

Lisa Gier

Lisa Gier is the Executive Director of Hodia/Idaho Diabetes Youth Programs, an organization which she started participating in as a child. She even learned to give her first insulin injection at Hodia! Lisa has been living with type 1 diabetes for over 35 years and is the parent of an amazing son who also has type 1 diabetes. Lisa is currently the Board Chairman of the Diabetes Education and Camping Association and the Chairman of Lions District 39W Diabetes Team. Outside of d-window, Lisa is a graduate of The College of Idaho with a degree in Business Management and Leadership Studies, and lives in Caldwell, Idaho with her family.

Christina Gomar, Psy

Cristina Gomar is a graduate of Advertising Design from the Veritas University of Costa Rica, she has a degree in Business Administration, a diploma in Human Rights of People in Refugee Conditions from UNHCR and in 2023 she completed her bachelor’s degree in psychology. Cristina founded and directed an NGO focused on homelessness that was active for 7 years. She worked in marketing and communication at UWC Costa Rica, coordinated the Yo me Uno Bac Credomatic program in Costa Rica and implemented it in 4 months in the region. The Vaso Lleno initiative began 10 years ago, which has become a digital community, a platform and a leading company on mental health issues in Costa Rica.

Deb Hadiji

T1D since age one, camper, counselor, CIT Director, assistant, Director, Camp Hertko Hollow, Iowa; program Director Camp Discovery, Kansas, initiated daycamp for Dr. Richard Guthrie and Diana Guthrie, Camp Sweet Life, Minnesota: co-program Director;  Third Grade teacher Suntree El. Melbourne FL, dabbled in several DECA rolls

Paul Hiers, MD

I am a pediatric endocrinologist with UF Health Children’s Hospital/ University of Florida . I am a native Floridian and completed my undergraduate degree, medical schooling, pediatric residency, and endocrinology fellowship at the University of Florida. I spent 3 years in Louisville Kentucky at Norton Childrens Hospital before moving back to the University of Florida as an Assistant Professor.  I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 18 while away at college. My father also has type 1 diabetes. Through my family and personal experiences, this has led me to my passion to care for youth with type 1 diabetes. I have been involved over many years with the Florida Diabetes camp and Camp Hendon (Kentucky Diabetes Camp). My current positions at camp includes: Board member,  Medical director of the Florida Diabetes Camp.  I look forward to attending camp every year and working with the children and volunteers. My specific research interests in type 1 diabetes include improving care and easing the burden of disease for patients and families with the use of emergent technologies, such as CGMs and closed loop insulin pumps. I also have research interests with quality improvement and improving overall care and value during hospital admissions, outpatient visits, and improving the systems around type 1 diabetes care.

Eddie Hill, PhD, CPRP

Eddie Hill is an associate professor in the Outdoor & Community Recreation Education program at Weber State University. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Utah with a focus on youth development and diabetes management. His research interests include: youth development, outdoor education, camp, out of school time programming, and motivation for diabetes management. He has a strong record of scholarship in the area of youth development and health & wellness.

Katie Johnson, MS

Katie Johnson has spent 25+ years as youth development professional working with both overnight & day camp programs, including 8 years with the American Camp Association. In 2016, Katie joined The Redwoods Group as a consultant where she is sharing her professional experiences to help camps and youth serving organizations provide safe environments and programs for children and families.

Deb Jordan, Re.D

Deb is a professional educator currently serving as Professor with East Carolina University’s Department of Recreation Sciences. She has been teaching and conducting training workshops for a variety of organizations for over 35 years. She has made over 175 presentations at the local, state, national, and international levels as well as written textbooks on leadership and programming. Deb’s focus is on all things human – relationships, behaviors, thoughts, and attitudes. She has presented on topics related to leadership and followership; group dynamics; diversity, equity, and inclusion; staffing; program evaluation; and ethics. Deb is active in service to professional associations such as the American Camp Association and the National Recreation and Park Association.

Jason Levine, BA

Driven by his servant leadership style, Ryan’s talented at inspiring and influencing teams at all varieties. By applying this skill set, he is able to inspire others to bring their best to each event whether they are a creative partner or a volunteer.

Tara Littler-Scholl

Involved with Diabetes Camp as a camper, counselor and Director and now works at two Midwest camps as education and program Director

Kathryn “Kate” Lucas, MSN, RN, CPNP-PC, PCNS-BC, BC-ADM

I am a Senior Clinical Diabetes Specialist for Beta Bionics, covering GA and AL. Prior to Beta Bionics, I was a PNP at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta in the Diabetes and Endocrinology Department for 8 years and prior to that, I was a registered nurse on the endocrine and diabetes floor at CHOA for 6 years. During my time at CHOA, I was able to be part of the Insulin Only Bionic Pancreas Pivotal Trial as a device trainer. Once I saw the impact of the device of our ptient population, I was excited to take the next step and join Beta Bionics to help launch the product into the world. My personal story includes having T1DM for over 35, being a camper as a child for many years, and being part of medical staff at camp for many year.

Jessica Macias

Jessica is the Operations and Administration Director of Camp Conrad Chinnock. She has been working for the camp since December of 2023. Prior to this position she was a camper, summer staff member, and a board member. “Camp is more than just a workplace for me, it is my second home and has taught me alot about my own T1D and given me a support group that I will have for the rest of my life. In my position, I’m happy I play a role where I can give back to our T1D community.”

Ryan Martz

Ryan Martz has an extensive background in running successful conferences to community events and everything in between. He has been living with Type 1 diabetes for over 27 years and has led fundraising efforts raising over 10.5 million dollars for various diabetes non-profit organizations.  Ryan is the Community Engagement Director for Camp Conrad Chinnock in a consultant role, and Special Events Manager for the Walt Disney Company in Anaheim CA. Ryan is master at developing unique events and programming that highly engage attendees so they look forward to going to them year after year. The way he applies his creative vision always delights everyone involved. He constantly looks for new methods of design and engagement with each event to generate continuing interest and excitement. He is an expert at creating experiences that are both meaningful and impactful by incorporating the attendee’s experience and the organization’s goals into the same event.  Driven by his servant leadership style, Ryan’s talented at inspiring and influencing teams at all varieties. By applying this skill set, he is able to inspire others to bring their best to each event whether they are a creative partner or a volunteer. 

Mark Moyer, MBA, MHA

Mark Moyer, MBA, MHA has been Setebaid Services’ Executive Director for over 25 years and has worked with children and teens living with diabetes since 1987.  Prior employers included The Barton Center for Diabetes Education and the American Diabetes Association.  He received his BS in health education from Juniata College and taught high school prior to returning to school to earn his MBA in health marketing and practice management from the Katz Graduate School of Business.  Mr. Moyer returned to the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health to earn his MHA in health law.  Mr. Moyer has taught diabetes care for over 30 years at Setebaid Services pediatric programs.

Anthony Myer, BS

Anthony began attending Camp Hamwi in 2005 and became a staff member in 2008 holding a variety of roles throughout the years.. He earned his bachelor of science in biology from Ashland University. Anthony joined Camp Hamwi full-time in January 2019 as the Director of Youth and Family Programs.

Sara Nelms, MS, LDN, RDN, CDCES

Sara Gray Nelms, MS, RDN, LDN, CDCES received her B.S. in Dietetics from Louisiana State University and then obtained an M.S. in Family & Consumer Sciences from the University of Tennessee. Over the past 20 years, Sara has worked as an Outpatient Diabetes Educator, specializing in Insulin Pump Therapy. Sara joined Insulet in June 2019 as the Clinical Services Manager for the New Orleans area. Her involvement and love for Diabetes Youth Camps started when she was diagnosed with Type 1 at the age of 9 yrs old and continued into college as a Student Dietitian. Over the past 25 years, Sara has had the opportunity to be a part of the Nutritional team @ Elliott P. Joslin Youth Camp and the Louisiana Lions Diabetes Youth Camp.

Sarah Noel, BA

Sarah Noel serves as the Executive Director of US Diabetes Patient Advocacy and Professional Relations for Eli Lilly and Company. In this role she leads Lilly’s advocacy and efforts, including managing Lilly’s corporate relationships with diabetes patient advocacy and professional medical associations. Prior to joining Lilly, Sarah spent nearly two decades at JDRF International where she served in a variety of roles, including her last role as Vice President, Community Engagement and Strategic Alliances. Sarah, her husband Ryan, and children Simeon and Juliet, enjoy the diversity, culture and community that an urban lifestyle offers near downtown Indianapolis. She enjoys all forms of exercise, reading and experiencing new places and cultures through travel.

David M. Phillips, MSW

David Phillips is a native of the UK, having moved to the USA in 1990 after being infected by the summer camp bug. David has been involved with day and overnight camps and has held most roles from counselor to Camp Director. Other positions held include major gifts officer at United Way of Allegheny County and President & CEO of both Capital Camps & Retreat Center and of the Jewish Federation of Palm Beach County. David is Principal of Immersive1st Consulting, a firm that assists organizations with fundraising, planning and analysis, capital projects, governance, public relations, program creation & implementation, lay/pro coaching and acute challenges. As a Consultant he works with a variety of camps, retreat & conference centers, community centers, centers of worship and schools, etc. Over his career he has helped raise more than $150 million. David’s passion is to do important things, with good people, that make a difference. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh with a Master’s Degree in Social Work focused on community organizing and development. He has a trademark British sense of humor and is not afraid to use it even if others do not understand it! His not so secret passion is football – the real one! He is married to Karen and they have two adult children and reside in Jupiter, Florida.

Cindy Presser, BA, AA, AS

Cindy Presser (she/her) was born and raised in Toledo, OH and has lived with T1D since the age of two. She attended Diabetes Youth Services’ (DYS) camps growing up and participated as a counselor before becoming the Director of Program Development at DYS in 2021. Cindy has worked at several camps and outdoor schools as well as established the University of Toledo Diabetes Link (formerly College Diabetes Network) in 2018.

Ron Ramsing, PhD

Ron Ramsing is a professor at Western Kentucky University and currently serves as a Fellow for Leadership Development in the College of Health and Human Services. Ron has worked for several not-for-profit, state/federal government, and commercial organizations prior to his career in academia. His research interests include positive youth development, diabetes self-management, leadership, and organized camping. Ron has co-authored two books, over 45 publications, and more than 100 presentations.

Daniela Rojas Jiménez, Psy, CDE

Daniela Rojas is a psychology graduate from the Universidad Autónoma de Centro America in Costa Rica, she is also a certified diabetes educator and diabetes advocate for the Latin American diabetes community. Daniela has been part of the Technical advisory team in diabetes for the WHO from 2021 – 2023 She has been diabetes camp organizer for the CR diabetes youth camp for the last 11 years. Daniela is board member for the diabetes patient association and has worked in multiple education programs that look to educate people outside the diabetes community in CR in order to prevent stigma and discrimination against people living with diabetes in schools and workplaces. Daniela has been working with people living with diabetes at Hospital Cima for the past 12 years.

Matthew Shofroth

At age 4, Matt was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and began attending Camp Hertko Hollow shortly after. He has now been involved with camp for over 20 years as both a camper and counselor. As a counselor, Matt greatly enjoyed volunteering at camp and being able to help campers have lots of fun and learn about diabetes, just as counselors did for him during his time as a camper.
Matt worked for Hy-Vee for nine years as a General Merchandise employee and manager. Matt graduated with an associates degree in Nursing from Eastern Iowa’s Scott Community College.
Matt enjoys spending time with his family and friends, watching motorsports, and exercising. He currently resides in Davenport, IA.

Rocky Wilson, PhD

Although Dr. Rocky Wilson is a retired high school counselor/teacher and semi-retired clinical psychologist, after 40 years, he has not been willing to let go of his position as the Executive Director of Camp Conrad Chinnock, which serves the T1D community of Southern California.  Together with his wife, Debi, he is the author/presenter of the Parent Strategies Training program, one of the most extensive and longest-running parenting education programs in the South Bay area.  Rocky now spends more time with family and playing badminton and occasionally adds to his Spotify podcast library, Rockie Talkie Intro to Relationships/parenting.

Rachael Wise, MEd

Rachael is a Risk Consultant with the Redwoods Group, working with camps across the country to help elevate safety for the communities they serve. Prior to working at Redwoods, Rachael spent 10 years working in risk management and outdoor education at colleges and universities. Most importantly, Rachael has a deep passion and respect for the transformative power of camp. 

Risa Wolf, MD

Dr. Risa Wolf is the founder and medical director of Camp Charm City diabetes camp. She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, and the Director of the Pediatric Diabetes Center at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Wolf is an NIH-funded researcher and the principal investigator of several clinical trials using innovative technology to improve care and outcomes for children with diabetes.  She has been involved in diabetes camps for over 10 years, and the week she spends at Camp Charm City is the highlight of her year!