Executive Director

Patrick McCartney was named executive director of the International Essential Tremor Foundation in August 2015.

McCartney brings 20 plus years of experience in marketing, fundraising, and non-profit management to the IETF.  Before joining the IETF, he served as the executive director of the Endowment Association at Kansas City Kansas Community College where he was responsible for the administration and fund raising activities for the Endowment.  He also served 10 years as the vice president of marketing for the Kansas City Kansas Chamber of Commerce where he was responsible for all marketing, special events, and sponsorship sales for the chamber.

McCartney graduated from the University of Missouri, Columbia, with a bachelor of journalism and has a master’s degree in sports administration from St. Thomas University in Miami, Florida.  He serves on the board of directors for the Tiger Club of Kansas City and the United Way of Wyandotte County along with serving on the board of elders at Redeemer Lutheran Church.

“I’m excited to continue to the great work the IETF has done and work closely with the board, staff and volunteers to build on our mission to fund research, increase awareness, and provide educational materials, tools, and support for healthcare providers, the public, and those affected by ET,” he said.

Patrick and his wife, Sharon, have been married 23 years and have two daughters.

IETF President

Research Professor of Neurology
Director of Research and Education
Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Center
University of Kansas Medical Center
Kansas City, KS

Vice President

Shari Finsilver has served on the IETF Board of Directors since 2002, and was president from 2004 to 2006. She currently serves as vice president.

In her Detroit community, she has organized and led a highly successful essential tremor support group to help connect people who have been diagnosed with the condition.

In addition, Shari is actively involved with Henry Ford Health System, serving on the System Foundation Board, the Neuroscience Institute Council of Advisors, and the Cancer Institute.

With a master’s of science degree in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan, she worked as a management engineer in a hospital setting for many years and brings her leadership skills and experience to the IETF. Looking back over her years of service, she observes:

“I have learned so much from other ET patients over the years while leading a local support group and communicating with so many via e-mail and telephone. It’s unfortunate that we are not only misunderstood by the general public when we shake uncontrollably, but we’re often easily dismissed by the medical community. It’s imperative that we continue our goal of increasing public awareness and educating both the public and professionals about essential tremor and how it can impact our daily lives and livelihood.

“The embarrassment many of us feel when we shake is causing us to allow tremor to take over our lives. Instead, we must speak up about our tremor, letting people know that we shake and that our shaking is caused by a condition called essential tremor. In doing so, we make others and ourselves much more comfortable. We don’t allow ET to define us. Please continue talking about your tremor, educating and helping others along the way. Remember what it felt like when no one understood you. Our collective voice will help us be heard. We’re in this together!”

Treasurer

As founder and president of Fiser Group, Mitch Fiser, CPA, CFP has built one of Kansas City’s most recognized firms that professionals and small business owners turn to for their business and practice needs. A CPA and CFP® (CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™), Mitch’s introduction into health care began in 1982 as a tax specialist for KPMG-Peat Marwick in Kansas City, Missouri. From there, Mitch went on to a regional Healthcare Consulting Firm based in Omaha, Nebraska. He worked in the KC office for seven years, the last two as a partner in the firm.

Mitch established Fiser Group in 1993 to provide consulting and accounting services to small businesses and professional service companies. Since then, Fiser Group has expanded to include financial planning, medical billing services and insurance services. Mitch graduated with a B.S. in accounting from Kansas State University, received his CPA certificate in 1983 and his CFP® certificate in 1985. He is a current member of the Kansas Society of CPAs and on the Board of directors of the Research Foundation and the International Essential Tremors Foundation. Mitch also serves as an Elder of his church. Mitch and his wife, Susan, have been married for over 30 years and have a grown son and daughter. Mitch enjoys spending time with his family supporting the Royals, Chiefs, and K-State Wildcats. They also enjoy a variety of other activities including golf, snow skiing and trips to the lake.

Director

Melissa Armitage has been involved in the nonprofit sector for the past 10 years in a variety of roles. As a Pennsylvania native, she graduated from Millersville University of Pennsylvania in 2006 with a bachelor’s degree in international studies. She moved to Kansas City just over a year later. Her love for nonprofits began when she joined a ministry trip in 2009 with the anti-trafficking organization Exodus Cry. Since then, she has earned a graduate certificate in nonprofit leadership from Park University, and in 2016 graduated with her master’s in public administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

Armitage currently works at Unbound in Kansas City, serving as their campaign fulfillment manager. She has served many capacities at Unbound since starting in 2011, but has been in her current role since 2014. She joined IETF’s Board of Directors because of her passion for serving others and using her skills in any way she can.

In her free time, Armitage enjoys traveling, visiting family and friends, crocheting, and reading.

Director

Paula Nauer, M.D. is a physician consultant based in Lenexa, KS. She practiced for 37 years as a family physician before retiring in 2015

Her professional history includes running a private practice, Village Family Practice, in Prairie Village, KS for 22 years, being employed by Georgetown Family Care / Shawnee Mission Medical Center for 2 years, and practicing with Encompass Medical Group in Lenexa, KS for 12 years. She practiced 7 years as an emergency room physician at Spelman Memorial Hospital, Smithville, MO and also worked in urgent care centers. She was on staff at Baptist Medical Center, Spelman Memorial Hospital, Shawnee Mission Medical Center and Overland Park Regional Medical Center.

She is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Board of Family Medicine. Before retirement she was a member of the American Medical Society, the Kansas Medical Society and the Johnson County Medical Society.  She has served as Physician of the Day in the Kansas Legislature and was Johnson County representative for the House of Delegates/Kansas Medical Society from 1989-2008. She was Johnson County Councilor to the Kansas Medical Society from 1996-2002.

Before joining the IETF Board, Dr. Nauer had never heard of the IETF. “Tremor is so common that I feel it would be very beneficial for patients and their physicians to be aware of the resources the IETF has to offer,” she said.

Dr. Nauer graduated from Jennings Rural High School, Jennings, KS and received her undergraduate degree in pre-med at Fort Hays Kansas State College. She received her doctor of medicine from the University of Kansas Medical Center and took her family practice residency training at Goppert Family Care Center at Baptist Medical Center in Kansas City, MO. 

Director

Patrick Reidy is an attorney at Monaco, Sanders, Racine, Powell & Reidy, L.L.C., a Kansas City area Law Firm, where he specializes in both personal injury and workers compensation law. After graduating from Rockhurst High School, Reidy received his undergraduate degree in Government and International Relations from the University of Notre Dame in 1975. He then received his law degree from the University of Denver College of Law in 1978.

Reidy is dedicated to giving back to the Kansas City community. He has volunteered on numerous boards, and has previously served as president of the St. Thomas More Home and School Association, Notre Dame Club of Kansas City, and Rockhurst High School Alumni Association. His experience and professionalism are a welcome addition to the IETF Board of Directors.

Reidy has been married to his wife, Kelli, for 40 years. They have four children and six grandchildren.