Feeding Matters is led by an exceptional team of professionals who dedicate their passion and unique expertise to affect systemic change for pediatric feeding disorder.
Jaclyn Pederson, MHI
Chief Executive Officer
With more than a decade of experience in program development, Jaclyn Pederson’s broad knowledge of programming in the public and social sectors includes program and strategic initiative design, fund development, special events, grant writing, and community engagement. A system thinker and positive team builder, she uses transformational leadership principles to develop energized and efficient workgroups that influence significant organizational and systemic change for all affected by pediatric feeding disorder –such as the development of the expanded PFD Alliance. Jaclyn also manages Feeding Matters’ strategic partnerships with numerous professional associations including American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA), American Society of Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition, and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN).
Chief Development Officer
From community relations manager for Westcor and its parent company Macerich to vice president of operations and development for Fresh Start Women’s Foundation and executive director at Ryan House, Debbie Simons has dutifully championed national nonprofit organizations and 78 community charities across the country for more than two decades. Debbie’s insightful campaigns connect individuals with like-minded organizations for mutually beneficial affiliations that generate results, including a national cause-branding program that benefitted over 600,000 women to chairing events that raised more than $5 million dollars for charities.
As Feeding Matters’ chief development officer, Debbie launched the three-year, $3 million Power of a Name campaign supporting the widespread acceptance and awareness of pediatric feeding disorder. The campaign secured $1.65 million of the overall goal within its first six months. Debbie also works closely with President and CEO Chris Linn and the board of directors on national and local development activities, including donor cultivation, corporate partnerships, and Feeding Matters annual community luncheon.
Kathy M. Thomas, CPA
Chief Operations and Finance Officer
With a passion for listening and helping others achieve their goals, Kathy M. Thomas joined Feeding Matters as chief operations and finance officer (COFO) after more than 25 years as a certified public accountant helping nonprofits and small businesses remain sustainable and fiscally responsible. As executive director for Cancer Support Community Arizona, Kathy put her skills to use – expanding the nonprofit’s services and successfully launching Program Latino. With Kathy at the helm, Cancer Support Community Arizona marked a 30% increase in program services and a 60% increase in the youth and family program in 2015. In her role with Feeding Matters, Kathy oversees compliance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles, coordinates annual fiscal audits, ensures proper controls are established, and works in partnership with President and CEO Chris Linn to facilitate the annual budget and strategic plan.
Programs & Initiatives
Cuyler Romeo, M.O.T., OTR, SCFES, CLC
Director of Strategic Initiatives
Occupational Therapist and Pediatric Feeding Specialist Cuyler Romeo’s extensive leadership and clinical experience are instrumental in the execution and management of Feeding Matters’ strategic initiatives. In partnership with the Senior Director of Programs and Strategic Initiatives, Jaclyn Pederson, Cuyler collaborates with constituents to identify, track, and assess innovative approaches to the PFD system of care, including the professional mentorship program and PFD Alliance’s Education Pillar. Cuyler also facilitates strategic partnerships with select professional associations including the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). Prior to joining Feeding Matters, Cuyler served as a founding partner of Mealtime Connections, LLC, and gained valuable insight on funding trends and industry implications as the director of clinical innovations at Therapy 2000. She is currently a treating clinician in Banner-University Medical Center’s NICU and is the Feeding, Eating, and Swallowing Forum moderator for AOTA’s Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section (DDSIS).
Jen Lambert, M.Ed.
Senior Program Manager
A veteran in program delivery that promotes awareness, understanding, and collaborative care, Jen Lambert plans, implements, manages, and evaluates the organizations family support, professional support, and volunteer programs – most notably facilitating the International Pediatric Feeding Disorder Conference. Prior to joining Feeding Matters, Jen held leadership positions of increasing responsibility at Head Start –a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services that provides comprehensive early childhood education, health, nutrition, and parent involvement services to low-income children and their families.
Heidi Van der Molen
Mother to a charming son who has pediatric feeding disorder (PFD), Heidi Van der Molen is uniquely suited to help families in the midst of their own journeys with PFD. After three years as a passionate volunteer with Feeding Matters, Heidi officially joined the organization in 2015 – managing the organizations volunteers and family support programs, including Power of Two parent-to-parent coaching, caregiver guide, and educational family support offerings.
Operations & Finance Manager
With a background in customer service, research, administrative assistance, and office management, Karla Dille’s talents shine as Feeding Matters operations and finance manager. In collaboration with chief operations and finance officer, Karla skillfully handles human resources, financial management, and general office administration –including employee onboarding, compliance, and financial processing.