Board of Directors
Board Members Emeritus
Anthony R.H. Gerard, Leasa Meyer and Michael Worthen are founding Board members of Wellness Foundation
and the Foundation gratefully acknowledges their service from 2005-2012. They will
remain Board Members Emeritus.
Stuart D. Baker
Mr. Baker is a senior executive of a worldwide group of pharmaceutical companies. He is also a senior partner of the law firm Chadbourne and Parke LLP. His practice involves a wide range of legal disciplines. In addition, he is a director of over forty pharmaceutical companies worldwide. Mr. Baker and his wife Alixandra, have a strong interest in various charitable endeavors. Mr. Baker has three children and six grandchildren, and has homes in West Palm Beach, New York and Southampton. Mr. Baker exercises regularly and believes that what you eat is a crucial factor for good health.
Joe M. Cross
Joe Cross is a filmmaker, entrepreneur, author and wellness advocate. He directed, produced and was the subject of the award-winning documentaries "Fat, Sick & Nearly Dead 1 and 2"; authored the New York Times best-seller "The Reboot with Joe Juice Diet" book; and is credited with having accelerated the plant-based eating movement by media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, The Times of London and The Dr. Oz Show. His website, rebootwithjoe.com, has become an integral meeting place for a community of millions of Rebooters worldwide. His third documentary film, "The Kids Menu", was released in 2016 and featured Wellness Foundation's WKids Program. Joe is passionate about the work Wellness Foundation is doing and believes that providing education, inspiration and opportunity is the key to inspiring people to change behavior that leads to smarter and healthier choices when it comes to overall wellness. He believes Wellness Foundation is doing this every day in a very impactful way and he is proud to be a part of this change!
Dale Ellen Leff
Dale Ellen Leff graduated from Indiana University with a BS in Public Health and Master's Degree in Education from Butler University. Dale is a retired retail executive with long standing volunteer experience in philanthropy as well as non-profit strategic planning and partnerships. She has served on numerous executive boards for the past 25 years. Her philanthropic endeavors include co-founding the Women's Philanthropy Council at Indiana University with the University's First Lady. She has recently been designated Chair Emeritas and currently serves as a founding board member of the group. Dale is a strong advocate of Wellness Foundation. As a graduate of the Wellness Challenge, Dale achieved profound, positive results in her own health. As a board member, she looks forward to sharing her successful personal experience and promoting awareness of the value of optimal nutrition and healthy living. Dale resides in New York City and East Hampton.
Douglas D. Mercer
Chairman & Founder
The founder of Wellness Foundation graduated from the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with Honors. In his professional life, Mr. Mercer worked in his family shipping business, States Marine Lines, for twenty-five years, and was CEO for the last ten. During his business years he was on the board of Moore McCormack Resources, Maremont Corporation and Paine Webber's Family of Funds. Daily exercise is a highlight of his life. As an avid outdoorsman he has a passion for saltwater flyfishing (catch & release) and competitive Laser sailing. A father of six, and grandfather of eleven, Mr. Mercer resides in East Hampton, with his second wife Pat.
Robert Murphy is COO, CMO & Co-Founder of MINDBODY, Inc. the largest global provider of web and mobile business management solutions for the health, wellness and beauty industries. Bob holds a B.S. in communications from Boston University. Apart from MINDBODY, he enjoys his yoga practice (especially his wife's classes), a good game of golf and spending time with his wife and three children.
Michele C. Sacconaghi
President & CEO
Michele has a strong track record leading organizations through strategic change and growth. Michele was previously Executive Director of the Time Warner Foundation and a Vice President overseeing Corporate Social Responsibility at Time Warner. She served in the Clinton Administration for six years working in Education and Civil rights and was a Peace Corps Volunteer working on children's health in West Africa. She has consulted and served on numerous nonprofit boards. She has a B.A. from Brown University and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a Certificate in Plant-based Nutrition from T. Colin Campbell's Center for Nutrition Studies. She is a certified Vinyasa yoga teacher and is passionate about a healthy, balanced lifestyle. She has 3 young sons and is committed to creating a generation of change for our children.
Chris is a senior executive with Bunge Limited, a global agribusiness company. He and his family have spent the past 25 years building foods businesses in Asia. Chris and his family recently returned from Singapore where Chris headed Bunge's Asia region since 2003. Chris' interest in food and nutrition began in the 1990's with his previous career leading Mead Johnson, the nutritional division of Bristol Myers Squibb. His personal interest was further sparked by his wife Ellen, whose career as a chef ensured that the right good food was always topical. Chris is an avid sportsman with golf and tennis at the top of his list.