Neil Alexander was a devoted husband, father, brother, and friend. A lawyer, life-long Pittsburgh Pirates fan, brother of Phi Delta Theta Fraternity, and unabashed devotee of Neil Diamond. In 2011, at the age of 47, Neil was diagnosed with the fatal disease ALS. Three years later he died from it.
But that's not the end of Neil's story. Neil was determined – from the moment he heard the words 'You have ALS' - that his certain death from the disease would not be his final chapter. Like his hero and Phi Delta Theta brother Lou Gehrig before him, Neil wanted his young children, Abby and Patrick, to remember him as courageous, strong, and most importantly grateful for the life that he had lived.
Along with his wife Suzanne, and hundreds of family and friends, Neil established the grassroots effort LiveLikeLou in 2012. Through scores of lemonade stands, bike-a-thons, golf outings, swimming events, and parties, they raised more than $4 million. With their funds they helped establish the $10 million LiveLikeLou Center for ALS Research at The University of Pittsburgh's Brain Institute and an endowment to provide significant grants to individuals with ALS and their families in Western Pennsylvania. Neil always understood that the LiveLikeLou effort would not help save his own life, but he wanted his lasting legacy to be that he left ALS better than he found it.
Today the spirit of LiveLikeLou has evolved into the national, standalone non-profit entity The LiveLikeLou Foundation, under the direction of Wendy Faust, its board, and in close partnership with the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, whose major philanthropic cause has always been ALS.
ALS is a progressively degenerative neuromuscular disease that often begins with muscle twitching, wasting, or weakness in the limbs or as slowed speaking or swallowing. According to the 2016 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of ALS, approximately 14,000 - 15,000 Americans live with the disease and roughly as many people are diagnosed each year as die from it. Life expectancy after diagnosis is 2 – 5 years, and it is essentially 100% fatal.
Because of the relentless nature of the disability that comes with ALS, those battling it typically face an overwhelming challenge of physical, emotional, economic, and family strain. The entire unit of a family, circle of friends, neighbors, and community are often heavily relied upon to live with ALS.
Despite the scientific discovery of ALS nearly 150 years ago, scientists are still years away from finding a treatment or a cure.
LiveLikeLou believes this is unacceptable.
This is why we are committed to ‘Leaving ALS Better Than We Found It.’
New York Yankees first baseman and Hall of Famer Lou Gehrig was an American sports icon long before he retired from baseball 1939. Gehrig’s modest New York upbringing by two German immigrants, his physical prowess, early accomplishments at Columbia University, incredible performance on the field, heroic lifetime batting average of .340 with 1990 RBIs over a record 2,130 consecutive games, earned him the nickname 'The Iron Horse' – a respectful term reserved for the remarkably durable, reliable and strong. And he was humble.
But it was his reaction to his greatest challenge – the fatal diagnosis of ALS – that made Gehrig a household name and a beacon of strength for all those facing the disease.
Gehrig pulled himself out of the game just days after his diagnosis, and on July 4, 1939, in front of a packed Yankees stadium delivered arguably the most famous speech in the history of American sports - 'The Luckiest Man.' The disease kept him from holding the trophies handed to him that day... his arms were weak so he set them on the ground. The disease forced him from the game he loved. And he knew the disease would take his life. It was Gehrig's courage, humility ...and mostly it was his deep sense of gratitude in the face of what had to be profound sorrow for all that he was about to lose...that propelled him into history.
This moment made the Iron Horse a role model for every person facing a challenge and everyone who has ever loved anyone with ALS.
He is the reason we choose to LiveLikeLou.
Hall of Famer first baseman Lou Gehrig became a Phi Delta Theta brother during his days at Columbia University. Ever since, the Fraternity has been proud to claim Gehrig as their own and has raised millions in support of the cause of ALS on their campuses and on a international scale. In 2010 the Iron Phi Program was launched, providing individual brothers an opportunity to strengthen the impact they have on the fight against Lou Gehrig's disease by achieving an athletic endeavor and raising at least $1,000. Today nearly 800 Phi Delts have accomplished their Iron Phi goal and $1.5 million has been raised along the way!
In 2018 Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity and the grassroots organization LiveLikeLou, founded by Phi Delt Brother Neil Alexander, joined forces to launch 'The LiveLikeLou Foundation,' a stand-alone 501c3 not-for-profit entity with a national scope and a renewed purpose:
Raise awareness of ALS
Raise funds to support individuals with ALS and their families
Raise funds for a treatment or a cure
Phi Delt Brother Lou Gehrig said, 'Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth,' when he retired from baseball on July 4, 1939 due to ALS. Phi Delt brother and LiveLikeLou founder Neil Alexander was inspired and said, 'I feel lucky too,' when he faced the same disease nearly 80 years later. Both men lived their lives with courage, strength, and gratitude. And both men died from a disease that needs a cure.
W.L. Gray founded Goodpasture Gray, an S.E.C. Registered Investment Advisory Firm, in 1997 to service a discerning clientele that requires generational investment advice for portfolios using asset allocation. He is Principal of Goodpasture Gray with offices in Houston and Nashville.
He has more than 43 years of Wall Street experience serving as a Senior Vice President of major Wall Street firms, most notably Drexel Burnham Lambert and Kidder Peabody, in both New York and Texas. His institutional clientele consisted of both foreign and domestic accounts which gave W. L. an excellent understanding of the effects of the global economy on many different market structures worldwide.
W.L. became a member of Texas Zeta Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Texas Christian University. Through the years he has devoted much of his time to the advancement of the Fraternity. During his time in Austin, he helped resurrect both the local alumni club and the chapter at The University of Texas at Austin. He has served as chairman of the Chapter Advisory Board and was named the University’s Chapter Adviser of the Year. W. L. was appointed a Trustee of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation in 2003. He became Chairman of the Board in January of 2007 and served in that position through 2013. W.L. currently serves as Chairman of The LiveLikeLou Foundation.
Mr. Gray’s past service has been on the Board of Trustees of St. Paul’s United Methodist church of Houston’s Foundation and as a member of the Board of Visitors for the McDonald Observatory. He has also served on the Board of Directors of the South Texas Chapter of the Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association, the Texas ALS Association and the Board of Advisors of the University Of Texas College Of Natural Science.
He has been an instrument rated private pilot since 1970 and enjoys using his own airplane to meet with valued friends and clients. He is a member of Angel Flight and HSEAT (Homeland Security Emergency Air Transport). Following Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, he took a very active role flying his own plane throughout Texas reuniting families whose members had been separated from one another and flying medical supplies back to the affected Gulf Coast region.
W.L. and his wife Lynn live in Nashville. They have two daughters, Katherine and Shannon, and three sons, Sean, Will and Kyle.
Gaylon Morris has been developing and advancing policy solutions through strategic partnerships and alliances in both the public and private sectors for over 25 years.
In 2010, Gaylon launched MorSolutions, a public affairs firm based in Washington, DC, specializing in advocacy and alliance development. During this time, he also served as a senior policy and advocacy advisor to The Conafay Group, focused primarily on alliance development. Prior to these roles, Gaylon set the advocacy agenda for a major research-based pharmaceutical company and helped forge strategic alliances around key patient education and health policy initiatives with major national and international health policy associations, professional societies, and patient advocacy groups. He started his career at the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where he worked in a variety of public policy and public health positions, with his final role serving as a senior advisor to the CDC Director on policy and communication strategy.
Gaylon became a member of the Texas Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Theta at Southwestern University, where he earned a Bachelors of Business Administration in Economics. He also has a Masters in Public Affairs from the University of Texas at Austin, and a Master of Arts in Literature from Georgia State University.
Gaylon lives with his husband Rick in Lemoyne, Pennsylvania.
Greyson was born and raised in Omaha, Nebraska and is a Phi Delta Theta brother of the Nebraska Alpha Chapter at The University of Nebraska. Greyson began his career in the financial industry at the commodity exchanges in Chicago and today is a Registered Investment Advisor for Andorra Capital, LLC providing wealth management advice for his clients.
Greyson is a longtime volunteer for the cause of ALS, and served on the Board of The ALS Association Arizona Chapter for several years.
Greyson lives in Scottsdale, Arizona with his wife Oksana and daughters Alanna and Regina.
Suzanne Alexander co-founded The LiveLikeLou Foundation, along with her husband, Phi Delt brother Neil Alexander, who died from ALS in 2015. During his journey with the disease, the couple started the grassroots effort LiveLikeLou.org organization, an effort to build awareness for ALS, raise funds to support ALS families, and fund ALS research to find a treatment or a cure. In just five years they raised more than $4 million, founded the LiveLikeLou Center for ALS Research at The University of Pittsburgh's Brain Institute, and established LiveLikeLou.org as a leading entity in the fight against ALS in Western Pennsylvania.
Suzanne is a graduate of San José State University and earned her MBA from The University of Pittsburgh.
Suzanne is a California native, loves raising her children Abby and Patrick in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and is a proud fan of the Pittsburgh Pirates. She loves working with the members of Phi Delta Theta in their mission to Leave ALS Better Than We Found It.
Bob is the chief executive officer emeritus of the Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity, having retired in 2020 after serving on the fraternity staff for more than 44 years. A leader in the North American Greek fraternal movement for decades, Bob's impact on the 170,000 member organization featured the creation of a rigorous honors college and leadership development curriculum, focused on developing members' skills often unaddressed in standard undergraduate experiences. His hallmark accomplishments include shepherding the implementation of the first-ever alcohol- and substance-free housing policy in 2000, and leading the successful growth of the Phi Delta Theta Foundation endowment from almost $5 million to over $23 million within a 7-year period.
Bob's lifelong mantra of "service above self" has extended to the cause of ALS since his college days. As a member of baseball hall-of-famer Lou Gehrig's fraternity, he and his brothers have worked tirelessly to honor the legacy of The Iron Horse, for both his accomplishments on the field, and for the disease which took him from the game in 1939. ALS became especially personal to Bob and his family when his father Norval was diagnosed with the fatal condition in 1997. In addition to his advocacy for ALS in his fraternity, work, Bob also served on the national ALS Association Board of Trustees for sixteen years, volunteering for ALS families and raising significant funds for research.
Bob is a graduate of the Georgia Southern University. He and his wife Coni live in Oxford, Ohio, and share three adult children, Kyle, Lori and Amy.
Dr. Chris W. Brussalis is Chairman of The Hill Group, Inc., a national management consulting firm founded in 1953, specializing in strategy, operations, and measurement. The Hill Group serves a wide range of private and public sector clients, including large corporations, institutions, nonprofits, and governments. Dr. Brussalis is also Adjunct Professor of Management and Policy at the Heinz College, Carnegie Mellon University where he has been teaching at the graduate level for over twenty-five years.
Dr. Brussalis serves on several civic and corporate boards, including Phi Delta Theta International Fraternity (President), Phi Delta Theta Foundation, American Society for Competitiveness, Point Park University, Regional Learning Alliance (Chairman), Leadership Pittsburgh (Past Chairman), and Eberly College of Business at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
In recognition of his commitment to civic engagement and service, Dr. Brussalis was appointed by Pennsylvania’s Governor to serve on the Commonwealth’s Small Business Council and was one of 100 distinguished American leaders selected by the Secretary of the Air Force to attend the National Security Forum. He also served on the boards of the National ALS Association (Chairman of Public Policy and Advocacy, Executive Committee), Andrew Carnegie Free Library and Music Hall (President), CentraComm Communications, Institute of Management Consultants for Western Pennsylvania (Vice President), Annual Fund of Allegheny College (Chairman), CONTACT Pittsburgh, Waynesburg University MBA and Doctor of Nursing Practice programs, and Rotary International.
Dr. Brussalis was named a distinguished alumnus of Allegheny College, one of the Pittsburgh region’s Fast Trackers, Top 20 Changemakers, 40 Under 40, and Pittsburgh’s 50 Finest. He resides in Gibsonia, Pennsylvania, a northern suburb of Pittsburgh, with his wife Christina and children Katherine, Sophia, William, and Isabella.
Andy is the Chief Strategy and Impact Officer at Texas Health Institute, the state’s public health institute focused on producing evidence and ideas, translating and sharing insights, and advancing collaborative action to provide opportunities for everyone to live healthy lives.
Previously, Andy served as a founding partner with MillerStephens & Associates – a strategic consulting practice which supports non-profit and healthcare organizations. He also held the positions of Executive Vice President of both Mission and Operations for the LIVESTRONG Foundation where he led not only the Foundation’s programs and grantmaking strategy, but also its Marketing and Fundraising efforts, including its corporate relationship with Nike and its charitable cycling events across the nation. He is the former President and CEO of Any Baby Can, an Austin-based healthcare non-profit that serves children with development disabilities and their parents by providing needed therapies and family support services.
Andy has also served as Adjunct Professor at George Washington University in Washington, DC, in the School of Business Certificate Program in Sports Philanthropy for 5 years.
Andy holds a BA in Sociology from Southwestern University, and a Master’s Degree in Health Science Education from the University of Florida. He is a member of the Texas Gamma Chapter of Phi Delta Theta and served as a Chapter Consultant for the Fraternity after college.
Andy lives with his husband Brian and their son Clark in Austin, Texas.
Jodi O’Donnell-Ames is an inspirational speaker, wellness and empowerment coach, and founder of Hope Loves Company, the only non-profit committed to helping the children and grandchildren of ALS patients. Jodi is also the author of two books, The Stars that Shine and Someone I Love Has ALS and is in the process of writing her third book.
Jodi was chosen as People Magazine's "Hero Among Us” and is the recipient of many awards, including the Russ Berrie Making a Difference Award, the AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) Founder’s Award, the TIAA Difference Maker Award, the New Jersey Governor's Jefferson Award, the TCNJ Alumni Humanitarian Award and the Princeton/Mercer Chamber of Commerce Women in Achievement Award. In addition, she has presented a Tedx talk on Leading a Life with Purpose.
Fred Reimer is a Managing Director and Co-Founder of KWA Analytics Americas, an industry leading global IT Consulting Firm focused on delivering solutions for the energy, commodity, and financial services markets. He leads teams in the US, Canada, and Mexico who provide cutting edge technology solutions to improve business operations for customers including Central Banks, Investment Banks, Hedge Funds, Commodity Trading Firms, and Major Energy Utilities. The KWA Team remains active in providing philanthropic support for STEM Education and Food Banks in the cities that KWA and its clients operate in.
Fred is a long-time advocate and supporter for the cause of ALS, in honor of a dear friend and mentor who lost his battle with the disease in 2019, and his Phi Delta Theta fraternity brother and baseball hall-of-famer Lou Gehrig. Fred is one of the top all-time fundraisers for the LiveLikeLou program Iron Phi and kicked off the 2020 virtual cross-country Iron Horse Relay. Most recently he started a program called “Lou Olympics” for New York City Area-Phi Delta Theta members, with the goal of getting undergraduates and alumni engaged with the LiveLikeLou Foundation.
He holds a Bachelor’s Degree with Honors in Economics from Gettysburg College where he stays engaged with by serving on the President’s Alumni Advisory Council. He was also awarded with the Young Alumni Service Award in 2017. Fred lives in Bedford, New York with his wife Martha and daughter Katherine.
Moe's twenty-five year career has featured progressive leadership roles focused on bringing value to the undergraduate student experience as leaders, outdoor stewards, and participants on campus and with Greek affairs. Since 2016 he has served as the University of Puget Sound’s director of student involvement and programs, and on the Phi Delta Theta Fraternity General Council since 2012. Moe was elected president of the Council in 2021.
Moe’s fraternity brother and good friend died from ALS in 2016, and has been an advocate for the cause ever since. He is an Iron Phi, and regularly volunteers for ALS families in his community, most recently rallying a group of 12 volunteers to do an extensive yard clean-up for a family living with ALS near Puget Sound.
Moe is a 1999 graduate of the University of Southern Indiana and holds a MA in higher education leadership from Sacramento State University. Moe and his wife, Allison, and their daughter Maya enjoy the Pacific Northwest. Moe has a passion for the outdoors and enjoys backpacking, running, and golf.
Wendy joined the LiveLikeLou team as the organization's first executive director in 2021. Wendy is a Certified Fund Raising Executive, and has more than twenty years professional experience in nonprofit leadership, including corporate communications, fundraising, leadership development, marketing, and administration. Prior to joining LiveLikeLou, Wendy served as the executive director for institutional advancement with Marian University in Indianapolis. She has held several volunteer and staff leadership roles with her women’s fraternity, Alpha Gamma Delta, most recently as executive director.
Wendy is a 1997 graduate of Sonoma State University. In her community of Carmel, Indiana, she is an active volunteer for disease-related causes including the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and The American Cancer Society. Wendy and her husband Wesley have two daughters, Whitney and Wynter, and live in Carmel, Indiana. The Fausts love being outdoors—especially if it involves the beach, a pool, or a lake—and have enjoyed becoming Hoosiers since relocating to the Indianapolis area from California in 2015.
Steve Good is the Senior Vice President of Growth, Engagement & Philanthropy for Phi Delta Theta Fraternity and is tasked with overseeing the growth and communications strategies of the Phi Delta Theta strategic plan, Phi Delt 2020, as well as the Iron Phi program through The LiveLikeLou Foundation. The paramount responsibility of this position is to promote and market the value of membership to current and potential members while engaging other stakeholders through traditional communication channels and new and innovative technologies.
Steve spent his undergraduate days at Iowa State University, completed his MBA at Xavier University, is a graduate of Leadership Iowa and completed a Digital Marketing certification program at the University of Illinois. Steve volunteers as the Chapter Advisory Board Chairman for the Iowa Gamma Chapter at Iowa State University.
Steve and his wife Tillie live in Ames, Iowa with their son Calvin, daughter Tess and rescue dog.
Laura Peterson’s career in nonprofit and higher education has found her in roles serving several universities (Marian University, University of Notre Dame, and University of St. Francis) where she has led programming, events, volunteers, and student activities. She served the American Legion Auxiliary in coordinating state-wide and national events and programming for its volunteers.
Laura is a member of Alpha Chi Omega from Bradley University in Illinois where she earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and served as a tour guide. She went on to earn a master’s degree in higher education at Illinois State University.
As an active community member, Laura serves the Junior League of Indianapolis as its community co-chair; she is a member of Impact 100 which leverages the power of women in philanthropy; and she volunteers for Alpha Chi as a risk management specialist.