Karri Hobson-Pape serves as Executive Director of The Alliance and is a seasoned strategic executive with a strong track record of building unique brands that produce results. She is deeply committed to investments in professional development and learning solutions that drive broader industry innovation and transform an individual’s personal trajectory. Prior to The Alliance, Karri was Vice President of Marketing & Communications at the University of Georgia. Serving on the Cabinet and Senior Advisory Group, she was charged with sharing the flagship institution’s comprehensive story of research, instruction and service and assisted with the $1.45B capital campaign. Karri has held a variety of leadership positions throughout her career, including corporate, consulting and entrepreneurial roles. Previously, she served as Executive Director of External Affairs for Emory University, overseeing the Marketing, Communications, Corporate Relations, Development and Alumni Relations activities at the business school. In addition, for more than 10 years, she was Executive Director of the Sheth Foundation, a non-profit dedicated to serving the development of the marketing academy. Karri received her BA from Vanderbilt University and MBA from the Emory University’s Goizueta Business School. An active member of her community, she has authored two Arcadia Publishing local history books and other historic preservation publications, been active on multiple boards and served on numerous industry roundtables.
Meet our Team
Corey Bryant leads The Alliance’s communications, marketing and strategic efforts for unique national events, programming, partnerships and business development. With extensive corporate and non-profit experience, Corey has served in communications and public relations roles for Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney Cruise Line and TransLife (now OurLegacy), the OPO serving East Central Florida. He has also been an active board member of Donate Life Florida, having served as state team leader for Driver License Outreach. Corey is a proud alum of The University of Alabama and serves on the board of directors for Come Out With Pride Orlando as well as Five Horizons Health Services, a not-for-profit organization providing access to progressive HIV testing, prevention and LGBT+ focused healthcare throughout West Alabama and East Mississippi.
Deanna is a knowledgeable and versatile professional with diverse experiences in healthcare, client relations, marketing, project management and demonstrated skills in leadership and advocacy. Prior to joining The Alliance, she worked in Hospital Development at her local OPO in the state of New Jersey where she served as the clinical liaison to a number of Level 1 Trauma & Neuroscience centers as well as community hospitals. Her personal connection as a donor family and friend fuels her passion to support her colleagues across the donation-transplantation continuum through the development of valuable educational resources that ultimately boost performance and improve outcome measures. Deanna holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor degree in Public Health from Montclair State University. In her spare time, Deanna enjoys visiting vineyards, spending time with her family, and traveling in hopes of visiting all seven wonders of the world.
Felicia joins The Alliance with more than 20 years of health care experience – 18 of those directly carried out in an organ transplant program. Throughout her time in transplant, she has served as a transplant financial coordinator, database administrator and transplant business office supervisor in both pediatric and adult kidney transplant, heart transplant and liver transplant programs. She has also been an active member of the Transplant Financial Coordinators Association. In her spare time, Felicia enjoys spending time with her family, fishing, coaching and serving on the board for a local youth organization in the San Antonio Area.
Kristina Wheeler RN, MBA began her nursing career nearly 30 years ago working in both pediatric and adult trauma/critical care medicine. In 2004, Kristina joined her local OPO as a procurement transplant coordinator (PTC). Over the next 17 years, Kristina held several progressive leadership positions including Clinical Operations Manager, Administrator on Call (AOC) and as the OPO’s Transplant Administrator. In that role, Kristina facilitated the development of collaborative relationships between the OPO and the local and regional transplant programs they served.
Kristina also served on the Region 5 UNOS/OPTN Transplant Administrators Committee in 2020-2021 and was a member of the UNOS Transplant Management Forum (TMF) Planning Committee.
Currently, Kristina is the Director of Transplant Solutions for Specialist Direct Inc., a telehealth company providing solutions for OPOs and Transplant Programs nationwide. Kristina also holds a per-diem, on-call kidney transplant coordinator position at Providence St. Joseph’s Hospital.
From multimedia presentations, print and digital design to environmental graphics and photo displays — from New York City to Athens, Georgia — Janet has worked for a wide variety of Fortune 500 companies, newspapers, non-profits, and universities using her experience and love of design to tell her client’s stories. She was named Georgia Illustrator of the Year by the Associated Press for her award-winning news designs at the Banner-Herald in Athens, Georgia and received a number of CASE awards during her 20-year career at the University of Georgia for print publications, environmental graphics and web design. Janet holds a BA in science education from the University of Connecticut and is currently enrolled in the graduate certificate program for non-profit leadership and management at the University of Georgia.
Hedi has been a critical care nurse for over 26 years, gathering experience in three different countries. She has a Bachelor of Arts Honors degree in intensive care nursing and a Masters of Science in Nursing as a Clinical Nurse Specialist. After working as an ICU Educator, she transitioned into the organ, eye, and tissue donation field. She worked for two different Organ Procurement Organizations (OPO), OneLegacy and Donor Network West, where in her last position she was the Donation Process Improvement Manager.
During her time in the OPO field, Hedi served as faculty for the North American Transplant Coordinator Organization (NATCO) and chaired the national Association of Organ Procurement Organization’s (AOPO) Hospital Development Council. After working for the OPO, she took a leadership role with the national organization the Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance where she became the Senior Director of Programs, leading various national initiatives, councils and workgroups.
After many years of providing consultations, trainings and speaking engagements, she founded her own business in 2018, called Fundamental Roots. Fundamental Roots offers various customized soft skills trainings, including topics surrounding managing one’s sphere of control, general communication and collaboration skills, and physician communication and partnership. Leveraging her life-experiences in growing up internationally and having lived on four continents and in 7 different countries, Hedi also provides trainings on cross-cultural communication.
Erik Rostad is the owner of EPR Creations, a holistic digital marketing strategy firm founded in 2008. For his clients, Erik determines organizational goals and how to meet those online via a comprehensive digital strategy. For small companies, he often acts as Chief Digital Officer. Erik is a digital resource for clients such as universities, small- to medium-sized businesses and high-profile individuals. He is a master at creating a digital experience that both exceeds an organization’s goals and their customers’ expectations.
Prior to launching EPR Creations in 2008, Erik worked in the international division at Russell Corporation, where his work spanned design, manufacturing, logistics, international sales, data management and analysis, and customer experience. Besides his client work, Erik is an online technology consultant for The Organ Donation and Transplantation Alliance and the digital business manager at Landmark Booksellers.
He holds a Master of International Business from Georgia State University where he became interested in entrepreneurship, and a bachelor of international business from the University of Georgia. Erik enjoys reading, his book project and podcast (www.booksoftitans.com), running, music, and spending time with his wife Stephanie and their two young daughters. He lives in Franklin, TN, outside Nashville.
Valinda holds more than 40 years of health care experience, including such roles as assistant hospital administrator, chief nursing officer, director of a school of nursing, administrator of a dialyisis facility and group administrator for home dialysis programs. She has served in large teaching hospitals, as well as community and critical access health care facilities, and taught in LPN, diploma, BSN and MSN schools of nursing. Prior to joining The Alliance, Valinda worked as a quality coordinator for a kidney-only transplant program, and as a 10-year kidney recipienet herself, has been an active volunteer with Gift of Life Michigan for many years. She is currently a member of both the UNOS Board of Directors and the Kidney-Pancreas Transplant Committee. Valinda enjoys spending time with family and friends, international traveling and learning about the culture, food and customs of different countries.