Meet Our Team

Brian Harman • President & CEO

Prior to his arrival at UMDF in July 2018, Mr. Harman joined UMDF from Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Foundation where he served as senior director of Corporate Engagement and Community Partnerships since 2014. Prior to that position, he spent nearly a decade as director of Annual Giving at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Mr. Harman also served as executive director as well as other roles within development and grassroots advocacy for the American Cancer Society in Ohio. 

He is a graduate of Ohio University, from which he has a degree in Interpersonal & Political Communication. 

Rare Fact about Brian:  Brian was the weatherman for his college television station.

Mark Campbell • Chief Financial Officer

Mark joined UMDF in 2004 after a long career with Bacharach Instruments and United Technologies Corporation as Vice President of Finance. During his early years with UMDF, Mark refined the accounting policies and procedures while being blessed with the tremendous opportunity to meet and work with many of the families we serve. Mark has planned and executed several successful fundraisers over the years and developed the Family Impact Fund program at UMDF.

Mark has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree, earned at the University of Kentucky. He and his wife, Kathy, have three children and five grandchildren. Mark is an avid gardener and dog whisperer.

Rare Fact about Mark: Mark attended the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship and once scored a winning touchdown against Virginia Tech University.

Philip Yeske, PhD • Science & Alliance Officer

Philip Yeske is UMDF’s Science & Alliance Officer. He received a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Allegheny College and a doctorate in organic chemistry from Emory University. Prior to joining UMDF, he served as President and CEO of Fluorous
Technologies, a Pittsburgh-based, early-stage life sciences company. He also worked at Bayer Corporation in positions ranging from basic research to global account management and co-founded the drug discovery company, MS2 Array.

Dr. Yeske has been active in the mitochondrial disease community since 2004, first as a parent of an affected child, then as a trustee of the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation from 2010 to 2012. In 2013, he accepted the position of UMDF Science & Alliance Officer, responsible for leading the foundation’s research mission and managing all scientific and business development efforts related to improved diagnoses, development of treatments and cures and optimized patient care.

Rare Fact about Phil: Phil’s first job was as an usher at a movie theater where a lifelong
passion for buttered popcorn developed.

Cliff Gorski • Director of Communications/Advocacy

Cliff Gorski joined UMDF in 2007.  Since then, Cliff has served our patient families by providing important communications and opportunities to get involved in advocacy initiatives.  Cliff develops content for e-newsletters, e-communications, brochures and social media.  Cliff works to rally our community around advocacy initiatives at the state and federal levels, helping to move legislation that benefits our patient families.

Prior to joining UMDF, Cliff was on the team responsible for bringing a successful professional soccer team to the City of Pittsburgh.  Before that, he anchored newscasts for several radio stations in Pittsburgh.   Cliff is a graduate of Duquesne University.  He and his wife, Kim, have two children and one grandchild.

Rare Fact about Cliff:  Prior to joining UMDF, Tania Hanscom and Jeff Gamza were part of his team at the Pittsburgh Riverhounds professional soccer team.

Tania Hanscom • Special Event Manager

Tania Hanscom joined UMDF in 2005.  Since then, Tania has served in many capacities with UMDF.  Beginning her career in data processing, Tania now works with patient families and volunteers to plan, organize, and host fundraisers in honor of their loved ones.  Tania leads UMDF Special Event fundraising, including our Energy for Life Walkathons and helps our patient families organize events in their community and on social media.

Prior to coming to UMDF, Tania managed events and ticket sales for a professional sports franchise in Pittsburgh. Tania is a 2002 graduate of Slippery Rock University with a degree in Sport Management and Marketing.  She and her husband, John, have two sons.

Rare Fact about Tania:  She and her family practice Tang Soo Do Karate.  They are working hard toward achieving their black belts. Tania enjoys teaching the students and hopes to be a certified instructor once she is a black belt.

Kara Strittmatter, MA, CMM • Meeting/Event Director

Kara Strittmatter joined the UMDF in 1997 and has enjoyed many roles in support of patient families.  As the first employee, Kara has touched many through her leadership in member services, finance, fundraising, meeting planning, marketing and communications.  Currently, she is thrilled to be dedicating her time as the UMDF Meeting Event Director and focusing on education in our mitochondrial community to help the patients and families we serve. 

Under her direction, the UMDF organizes a very successful annual international symposium which attracts more than 700 physicians, researchers, industry partners, patients, caregivers, and families. She is also very excited about expanding the UMDF’s education outreach and assist in the creation of a new educational portal to better serve the mitochondrial community.  Kara has a Master of Arts in Communications and a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations/Theatre.

Rare Fact about Kara:  Has played many theatrical roles in her life, including Peppermint Patty in the musical “You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown.” 

Beth Whitehouse • Director of Development

Beth Whitehouse joined UMDF in January 2015 as Director of Development. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s annual fundraising plan to maximize revenue in support of the UMDF mission. Prior to joining UMDF Beth held several positions with Autism Speaks. Most recently as National Walk Director, responsible for driving revenue growth of 80+ events through the development, enhancement and dissemination of tools, processes, systems, and marketing materials for Autism Speaks’ signature event, Walk Now for Autism Speaks. 

Beth has a bachelor’s degree in Finance from La Roche College. She is a member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and Association for Talent Development. She resides in Pittsburgh, PA with her husband Bob, and two sons, Benjamin and Nicholas.

Rare Fact About Beth:  Beth has completed three major full marathons (26.2 miles) and countless 5ks, 10ks and half marathons.

Join our Team!

UMDF is always looking for talented individuals.