The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation
The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to funding basic science research to find answers that will lead to the prevention, clinical treatment programs and a potential cure for Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO) Spectrum Disease.
The decision to create our Foundation came from a personal family crisis. Our daughter was officially diagnosed with NMO in June 2008. Since that time, we have met with many clinicians and researchers in order to understand what this means for our beautiful daughter and our family. Additionally, we have gathered and read every piece of information and NMO research article that is available on the Web. We are now beginning to understand that NMO is not only considered an “orphan” disease, but that very little research is available.
The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation is dedicated to funding biomedical research in the search to understand the pathophysiology and biochemistry of NMO Spectrum Disease. It is our greatest hope that together we will reverse the effects of NMO and eventually cure this disease.
Bill Guthy and Victoria Jackson, Founders
The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation
Having achieved success as a Hollywood makeup artist, cosmetics entrepreneur and TV infomercial pioneer, Victoria Jackson prefers to think of herself as “a goodwill ambassador for makeup.” When women embrace self-confidence, she says, they learn the key to success, and liking who they see in the mirror is a powerful first step in that transformative process.
“My personal philosophy has always been, ‘When you look better, you feel better. And when you feel better, you can change your life,’” says Jackson, who in the last dozen years has volunteered hundreds of hours at women’s correctional facilities, hospitals and youth support venues, teaching inner confidence through outer beauty.
A founding principal of Guthy-Renker – an infomercial studio that has since evolved into all forms of electronic retailing – Bill Guthy manages one of the world’s largest television response-driven marketing companies with sales of more than $1.5 Billion per year and an average annual growth rate of 25% over the last 10 years. Focused on finance and operations, Guthy is also personally responsible for sales and marketing efforts, ensuring that successful products promoted within the infomercial format broaden their reach into all channels of distribution. Along with his partners and executive management team, Guthy supervises the overall direction of the company, established in Palm Desert, California in 1988.
JACINTA M. BEHNE, M.A.
Executive Vice President of Administration and Operations of The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation
Mrs. Behne’s career in education and management spans three decades and multiple platforms from university lecturer to education researcher. She received her Bachelor of Arts with licensing in Secondary Education at Washburn University, Topeka, KS; licensing in Gifted Education at Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS; and Master of Arts in Communication at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO. Her specific expertise is in program development, budget management, and translating complex science content for public venues. Mrs. Behne served as a NASA contractor for many years in the area of education and public outreach. During that period, she worked with three launch teams and collaborated with NASA centers and staff, including researchers, engineers, and public information officers. As such, she refined processes and protocols for reaching out to learning communities and the public through the World Wide Web, national conferences, print materials, and media applications. In her work with The Guthy-Jackson Charitable Foundation (GJCF), Mrs. Behne works to build a team-driven infrastructure dedicated to curing Neuromyelitis Optica (NMO), a misunderstood and often misdiagnosed disease by: a) funding critical path research and b) connecting global communities of researchers, industries, and patients.
Mrs. Behne is a member of the American Academy of Neurology (AAN), National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD), and serves as a solicited reviewer of NASA education products and as a presenter at annual conferences. She has published several articles on the importance of building and delivering effective education and public outreach programs to ensure successful community engagement.
VALERIE PASQUETTO, PH.D., PMP
Director of Biorepository and Clinical Consortium Programs
Valerie Pasquetto, Ph.D., PMP, is Director of the GJCF NMO Biorepository & Clinical Consortium Programs. Her goal is to grow the Clinical Consortium & Biorepository worldwide to produce clinical outreach programs and translational pathways to advance NMO research. Dr. Pasquetto received her Ph.D., in Immunology at the Pasteur Institute in Paris, France and Post-Doctoral-Training at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, CA.
DANIEL W. BEHNE, M. ARCH.
Senior Manager – Operations
Dan provides office oversight and project management to plan, organize and manage resources from conception to completion.
DEREK BLACKWAY, BA
Manager – Communications
Derek provides leadership for internal and external communications and project reporting.
Manager – Research Relations
Megan provides office support including contracts administration, marketing, event planning, coordination and reporting.
Renee provides office support to maintain logistics throughout the office.