Founders

Laurie

For 25 years, Laurie Strongin has helped draw attention and resources to issues of emerging national significance. 

She began as a PR professional at Podesta Associates and The Kamber Group, two of Washington DC’s premier public relations firms.  Laurie then took her advocacy expertise to the issue of affordable housing, serving as the Deputy National Coordinator for the Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation’s Campaign for Home Ownership; and subsequently running Fannie Mae Foundation’s multi-million dollar portfolio to advance homeownership counseling, foreclosure prevention, and asset-building investments.

In 1996, Laurie became drawn through personal experience into the frontlines of a breakthrough medical procedure that held the promise of saving her son, among countless other children.  Turning her advocacy and media skills to that issue, Laurie participated in national medical policy panels (alongside Newt Gingrich and Dr. Bernadine Healy, among others); worked with then-House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi and Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO) to urge Senate passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act; secured coverage of the issue on ABC’s “Nightline” and in a Sunday New York Times magazine cover story; authored “Vetoing Henry,” a Washington Post op-ed criticizing President Bush’s 2006 veto of federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research; and advocated for parental perspectives on NBC, the CBS Early Show, and MSNBC.  In 2009, when President Obama lifted the ban on federal funding for stem cell research, Laurie was one of a few dozen honored guests.

Laurie’s subsequent memoir, “Saving Henry” (Hyperion 2010), has been featured on Good Morning America, The Diane Rehm Show, The Bob Edwards Show, The Dr. Oz Show, and BBC; and featured in USA Today and The Washington Post.  Since its publication, Laurie has headlined over 60 speaking engagements across the U.S.

Allen

Allen, Henry’s dad, is a public relations, marketing and government relations professional. He is the Chief Marketing Officer of College Summit, a national non-profit organization that helps high schools raise their college enrollment rates by building a college-going culture.

Allen began his career in Washington, DC more than 25 years ago working with trade associations for the nation’s broadcasters, grocery stores and food manufacturers. After his time with the industry groups, Allen started working with Internet and hi-tech companies, including VarsityBooks.com, FKF Applied Research (a neuromarketing firm) and XM Satellite Radio.

In addition to serving on the Board of Directors of the Hope for Henry Foundation, Allen has worked with Laurie as a patient advocate for stem cell research and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis. He also helped start the Jewish Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, celebrating the Jewish contribution to popular music. Allen serves on the board of directors of Sela, Washington, DC's new Hebrew language public charter school.