Meet Our Team

The CHD Coalition is the largest organization in Northern NJ dedicated to reducing the impact of congenital heart disease (CHD). But we’re also mothers, fathers, family, and friends of people who have had their lives changed forever by this relatively unknown disease. Together, we’re united to make a change.

Board Members

Mike Biamonte

Chairman of the Board

Like many others who have devoted time and energy to this cause, my involvement with CHD awareness and fundraising began with the following six words: “There’s something odd on the sonogram.”

My son Michael was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot in utero, at 20 weeks – early enough that the law still allowed us a choice. Without ever looking back, and with the help of our new friends at the CHD Coalition, my wife Cathy and I found the strength to endure a rough road of surgeries and hospital stays, and to adapt the vision of our family’s future to one that is permanently altered by our son’s unique heart.

The vision and courage demonstrated by the CHD Coalition’s leadership have been an inspiration and are helping to stretch me beyond the things used to seem so all-consumingly important. Like my day job as the CTO at a data analytics company, and my weekend stress reliever of playing in a rock band. I’m proud to a part of the CHD Coalition’s fundraising efforts, and I’m humbled to be associated with these incredibly strong and generous people. By working to bring similarly affected families together – for support and fundraising – we are making all of our lives better, united for change.

Mike Laub

Executive Director

I am the father of two amazing children, Olivia & Trevor, and husband to a wonderful wife, Christina. My wife has been unbelievably supportive when my career moved us from New Jersey, to Palm Beach, Florida, to Dallas, Texas and finally back home to New Jersey. It was in Dallas when we had our first child and were hurled into an unfamiliar world of CHD. The morning after my wife’s unplanned C-section, instead of seeing the nurse bring in our beautiful baby girl, we were introduced to a pediatric cardiologist who proceeded to explain a condition called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome (HLHS). Everything became a blur after that as Olivia was whisked away to Medical City Dallas Hospital and was scheduled for her first of three open-heart surgeries at the age of 4 days.

A day does not go by that I am not incredibly thankful for having educated doctors that immediately identified Olivia’s distress and performed miracles on a little baby. I am truly inspired by Olivia’s strength, her passion for life, and her loving personality that brings a smile to everyone she encounters. She continues to amaze us with everything that she does. She is fearless and a champion.

I am honored at the opportunity to give back to the CHD Community and to help advance the Congenital Heart Defect Coalition mission.

Michael Luteran

Director of the Board
Sponsorship Coordinator

I am the proud father of two incredible boys, Michael and Matthew, and husband to my best friend and wife Rachael. At our 20-week ultrasound for Matthew, we unknowingly entered into the world of congenital heart defects when the ultrasound technician and doctors at Atlantic Health in Morristown, NJ, noticed something while looking at his heart. After a ton of research and consulting with family, we decided to change all of our care to Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital of NY, where Matthew would be born and ultimately have his surgery by Dr. Jan Quaegebeur and cared for by the amazing team there. Matthew was born on September 9th, 2015 with Transposition of the Great Arteries. TGA (Transposition of the Great Arteries), which is a condition where the Pulmonary Artery and Aorta are connected to the wrong sides of the heart. On day 6, Matthew had his open-heart surgery, which were the longest 8 hours of our lives. Since waking up after surgery, Matthew has never looked back. Today he is a thriving little boy, with an incredible future ahead of him thanks to the amazing doctors and nurses who are dedicated to treating congenital heart defects.

The work by all of the doctors, nurses, and support staff really touched me and my family. Entering the CHD world isn’t something you choose or can prepare for…nothing can prepare you for the news that your baby has a problem with his/her heart, but there are people along the way to help support the families that are going through this journey. I want to use our experience to make an impact with other families that also get thrust into our world. I would be naive to think that Matthew would be alive today without the parents, families, and friends who fundraised for research before us. I believe it’s my turn to try and help improve the lives of those living with CHD and those yet to come.

Barbara McFadden

Director of the Board
Scholarship Coordinator

It’s hard to believe that is was over 20 years ago when my daughter, Tara, was diagnosed with Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome. Just one day old, she was whisked away to Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in NYC and days later had her first of 3 open heart surgeries to repair her heart. Those first 3 years were difficult not only for her heart issues, but also for the fact that she would not eat and had to be tube fed (very slowly) for several years.

She is now a lovely young lady in college who enjoys swimming, photography and of course, spending time on the latest social media outlet.

Throughout the years I have been involved with different local heart support organizations (both on the receiving and giving sides of comfort – and I much prefer giving). I am so thrilled to be a part of the CHD Coalition. I hope the work we can achieve will bring comfort and education to CHD families in need, that we can help fund worthwhile CHD research, and that we can celebrate medical successes and advancements that will help to improve the quality of life for those with congenital heart defects.

Kevin Novreske

Director of the Board
Vice President

I am a single father to an incredible young woman, Ashley. My career is as an IT Storage Engineer. After several years of traveling globally as a consultant, the impact on my health and well-being from extensive travel started to take its toll. So, I decided to take a permanent position with a global firm based in New York City. After a few years of living in New Jersey, I became friends with an amazing nurse, Mickey Wilder.

It was through Mickey that I became aware of the severity of congenital heart defects, yet like most people I was not aware of the condition up to this point. This was at a time when I was ready to start giving back to the community. After meeting everyone involved with the CHD Coalition, it was clear that this is a cause that I wanted to belong to and dedicate my time.

Mickey Wilder

Director of the Board
President

I am a Pediatric Cardiology nurse, and have worked in outpatient Pediatric Cardiology for 19 years. Prior to that, I worked in the NICU for 18 years, often taking care of newborns diagnosed with CHD.

I have been fortunate to belong to several organizations that serve the CHD community. For 10 years, I was the Head Nurse of the Hope with Heart camp in New York. The residential camp program provides children with moderate-to-severe CHD a safe place to experience the joys of childhood and friendship. I am also a member of the Heart Care International Team. The team travels to developing countries to bring education, intervention, and surgery to those children & families affected by CHD. I have traveled with the HCI team for 11 years.

Since 2007 I have had the pleasure to be in a support/advocacy group to help families affected by CHD. It has been a privilege to work with such amazing, dedicated, and courageous people in the cause to improve the quality of life for all those affected by CHD. The parents and children have become ‘My Heroes!!’

I have been married to my husband Glenn for 31 years, and we have three daughters. Our oldest daughter has Type 1 diabetes and is dependent on an insulin pump for survival. Our youngest daughter has multiple learning disabilities and attends a specialized school. The world of ‘special needs’ is not unfamiliar to me.

Officers

Linda Baamonde

Marketing Operations

I am the mother of two incredible young men; Michael & Anthony. When my husband Bob and I went into the hospital to have Anthony in April of 1995, we thought we knew what to expect since we had already had gone through childbirth. It wasn’t until Anthony was an hour old that we were unexpectedly brought into the world of congenital heart defects. Anthony was born with Tri-Cuspid Stenosis and an ASD. He had surgery at three weeks old and spent two weeks in the hospital. As with all CHD kids, he’s closely monitored and we don’t know if he will need future surgeries so we don’t think too far ahead and just take one day at a time.

It wasn’t until Anthony was in his twenties that we found the CHD Coalition. For most of his life we never met any other families with a CHD so it was a blessing to find this group of parents and children who know exactly what we are going through. It is a privilege to work with such a passionate group of people all working towards the same goal.

Cathy Biamonte

Hospital Programs Coordinator
Office Manager

My husband and I, like all first-time parents-to-be, we were a bit nervous during the many ultrasounds, never imagining that, at 20 weeks, a problem would be discovered. Our child was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. Our son, Michael Angelo, had his repair at 10 weeks old at Mt. Sinai in New York City. Michael experienced several complications after his operation, but over a few difficult months, he got past them and started to gain weight and thrive. Now, he is going to school, riding his bike, and running around just like other children his age!

Before I became a stay-at-home heart mom, I was a retail sales manager for a very high-end apparel brand. My career success depended on relationship building, outreach and marketing. Today, I consider myself lucky to be able to leverage these skills with the CHD Coalition to help other parents who have the same concerns and challenges with their children. Together we spread awareness, give support, and raise funds for research. I could not be more proud to be part of a team that does such important work!

Kristen & Dan Forman

Tricky Tray Dinner Coordinators

We were introduced to the CHD world when our son Jack was a day old. After a very perceptive nurse noticed Jack breathing too fast, he was sent to the NICU at our hospital in New Jersey for observation. Three weeks, and one hospital change, later it became clear that Jack had a severely deformed Mitral valve and his particular course was going to need surgery much sooner than anyone realized. His first open-heart surgery to repair the valve was ultimately a failure, and six days later Jack had his Mitral valve replaced with a Melody valve - a relatively new mechanical replacement for babies his age. It has been a miracle valve and Jack has thrived.

Even though Jack - now two and a half - has had three open-heart surgeries related to his valve, he is a happy, sweet little boy. He loves cars, trucks, The Incredibles and (we hope) his new baby brother.

We made it through the first months of Jack’s life because of a gifted medical team, fantastic doctors, and a support system that helped us through. Not everyone is so lucky and we are so thrilled to be able to give back through the CHD Coalition.

Monica Jadach

Treasurer

I was born with Atrial Septal Defect and transitional canal. From the age of 9 months to 3 years old, I underwent a series of repair procedures and surgeries. Growing up I always felt self-conscious and “different” because of certain limitations, hospital stays, and numerous doctor visits. However, the care and support that I received from my family and doctors has given me strength and made me the person I am today.

I learned about the CHD Coalition through one of the nurses in my practice, Mickey, who asked me during a visit if I would consider joining and to offer peer-to-peer support from the perspective of an adult CHD Warrior. I immediately thought this was the perfect way to give back to a cause that, for lack of better words, was close to my heart. I am truly honored and thankful to not only be able to work with a group of people who are inspiring and supportive, but also provide comfort to families affected by congenital heart disease.

Rachel Oldenburger

Social Media Coordinator

I am the incredibly proud mom to my heart warrior, Shea Noah. At our 20-week ultrasound, we were told that our baby would be born with a congenital heart defect. After seeing many specialists, Shea was diagnosed with hypoplastic right ventricle and tricuspid valve, aortic atresia, and VSD. We later found out that Shea also has an interrupted IVC.

Shea was born at Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital at Columbia NYP where we began our heart journey. He had his first open heart surgery, the Norwood, at 4 days old. On his 5-month birthday he had his second open heart surgery, which was the Glenn and half of the Fontan, due to his interrupted IVC.

Shea is now a happy and healthy boy. This journey hasn’t been easy, but we wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world. We are so grateful to the CHD Coalition for the support they have provided us. I am so honored to now be able to work with the wonderful people from the CHD Coalition. I am proud of what we stand for, and for what we accomplish on a daily basis for the CHD community.

Robyn Steinberg

Website

My husband and I were introduced to CHDs when I was 20 weeks pregnant with our first son, and he was diagnosed with Tetralogy of Fallot. We had been so excited for the anatomy ultrasound to find out if we were having a boy or a girl and were instead hit by a curveball, it seemed. We decided to be optimistic and plan for his arrival. Joshua was born at Columbia Presbyterian on March 1, 2008 and was released from the NICU after just a week. His pulse ox was in the acceptable range and he had time to grow before open-heart surgery was necessary. Josh had open-heart surgery in October 2008 and October 2009.

Today he is a boisterous 11-year old who loves to do just about everything! He rides his bike, plays sports, and enjoys school. I am involved with the CHD Coalition so I can help make information available to other CHD families who find themselves thrown into the world of CHD. Every child’s heart is different, but through the coalition, we do not have to be alone. My goal is to help the coalition support our families and raise awareness for CHDs.

Help us make a difference

We lead fundraisers, connect with hospitals, and spread the message of hope—but we can’t do it without the generous support of people like you. By donating or volunteering, you can change the lives of families and children across the globe.

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