Meet Our Leadership Team.
DR. JAWAD TRAD, FOUNDER
Born in Beirut Lebanon, raised in Oklahoma. Dr Trad is an invasive cardiologist, and a poet with deep love for nature and purposeful adventures. His purpose in life is lifting the poor and ill. He enjoys exploring new cultures and bonding with locals. CURA for the world has become his ideo vives. Dr Trad is determined to bring as many good-hearted people as possible together for the betterment of humanity.
CHANDA PALMER, CEO
Chanda Palmer is a medical sales device manager living in San Francisco. She graduated from Oral Roberts University in 2003. She spends her free time traveling and being outdoors as much as possible. Chanda’s dream is to give of herself to change the status quo for the neglected. She is passionate about preserving a sense of independence in the communities we serve, by educating, empowering them and giving them hope for a better future.
RILEY STEPHENS, TREASURER
Riley Stephens is the Vice President - General Manager for Atlas Brands and is the Co-Founder of Speakeasy distribution in KS. Riley attended ORU on a baseball scholarship where he graduated with a B.S. He has a lifelong commitment to philanthropy and is currently very active with The Center For Individuals With Physical Challenges and is on the board of the Center’s Polo Classic. He has a passion to effectively use resources to bring communities out of poverty.
MATT CHRISTENSEN, SECRETARY
Matt Christensen is a lawyer with Doerner Saunders. Prior to college, he spent four years serving in the Marine Corps. He enjoys gardening, spending time in nature and being a father to Sloan, his beautiful daughter. Matt is an advocate for human rights, and for efficiently incorporating goodwill practices in the lives of many.
Sophie Oppenheimer, MS, MPH, Director of CURA’s Food Security Program
Sophie is a researcher at Spark Policy Institute, where she provides research and evaluation services to private and nonprofit organizations focusing on food security, nutrition, health, and education. As an active board member of the Reed Jules Oppenheimer Foundation, she works with organizations to increase food security and environmental sustainability using permaculture and restoration agricultural techniques in domestic and international settings. Her work in Oklahoma has led to increased capacity for Tribal Nations to assess their local food, and her international work has contributed towards increased food production and the financial sustainability for organizations serving rural communities. Sophie received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and holds a dual Master’s degree in Public Health and in Food Policy and Applied Nutrition from Tufts University. Outside of work, she enjoys being active and spending time outdoors, traveling, gardening, hiking, camping and snowboarding.
Melissa McGinnis MD – Medical Outreach Director of South America
Melissa is an Internal Medicine physician who completed her residency in Tulsa, OK. She and her husband are now living in Springfield, MO working as hospitalists. They are enjoying being new parents to their baby boy. In her free time, she enjoys writing and traveling with her family.
Marwan Jaoudeh MD – Medical Outreach Director of Africa & Middle East
Marwan is an Internal Medicine physician who was born and raised in Lebanon. He completed his residency in Tulsa, OK and now resides in Springfield, MO with his wife and new baby boy. He enjoys travel and learning about new cultures and their cuisine.