Meet the Board
President: Kristen Vicknair
Kristen Vicknair currently lives in Dacula, Georgia. She has been VP for The Children’s Heart Foundation for the past 4 years and is now moving into the role as President. She graduated from the University of West Georgia with a degree in Early Childhood Education. Kristen is married to her best friend and college sweetheart Devin. Together they have two boys, Cameron (16) and Jackson (14). Kristen is a proud mom of a heart warrior (Jackson) who was born with a CHD. She is passionate about increasing CHD awareness and educating others about CHD. She is honored to have the opportunity to help other families raise money and advocate to help save children’s lives one heart at a time!!
Vice President: Lorena Ferro
Lorena and her husband Daniel are originally from Caracas, Venezuela. She has a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from The Andres Bello Catholic University. Since Lorena moved to the US in 2007 she has been working in Finance on Non-for profit organizations where her love to give back grew and became part of her life. Miranda is her Rainbow and Heart baby. She was prenatally diagnosed at 20 weeks with Tricuspid Atresia, D-TGA and VSD (Hypoplastic Right heart Syndrome). Miranda was born in January 2016 and ever since Lorena and her Family have been involved on everything they can related to CHD. When the opportunity to be part of the Board was presented, Lorena could not be happier to be able to share her non-for profit knowledge with a cause that is so close to her heart
Treasurer: Shannon Granatelli
Shannon was born and raised in Cleveland Ohio, and graduated from Elon University in North Carolina in 2002 with a Bachelor’s degree in Corporate Communications and Business Administration. After seeing what winters were like in the South, she knew she wanted to make it her home…so she moved down to Atlanta with her closest friends from college shortly after graduation. Shannon is an Accountant, and has been working with her current firm since 2014.
Shannon and her husband, Mike have been married for 6 years. Their now 4 year old daughter Lily was diagnosed at 14 months old with 2 Congenital Heart Defects – Bilateral SVC’s and systemic venous anomalies. She had open heart surgery on May 1, 2015 and is doing amazing!
When Shannon became a Heart Mama, she knew at that moment that her life would be forever changed, and that she not only wanted to, but needed to help others affected by CHD. While researching, she came across the Children’s Heart Foundation website, and from that moment on, she wanted to do everything in her power to help CHF with their mission. Shannon is honored that she was asked to become a part of the Board of Directors for the Georgia Chapter of the Children’s Heart Foundation, and can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Secretary, Change My Heart, PR: Alex Benson
Alex Benson is a native of Woodstock, GA where she lives with her husband, Chris, and two young daughters, Eloise and Edith. Her youngest daughter, Edith, was born with CHD in 2016 thus beginning her role as an advocate for awareness and research for congenital heart disease.
Alex is a graduate of Kennesaw State University with a degree in Modern Language and Culture with a focus in Social Work. She worked for years in non-profit management and now stays home taking care of her two girls. She enjoys writing, event coordinating, and design. She has a passion to see others encouraged and equipped and is hopeful for a day where we have a cure for CHD
CHOA Liaison: Lisa Bowen
Lisa is originally from Florida but has been in Atlanta for 20 years. Her degree in Interior Design from FSU had served her well until her CHD son was born. She then spent time taking care of her son and his special needs. Xander is 14 years old and was born with Truncus Arteriosus, Aortic Arch Interruption and a VSD which was prenatally diagnosed. He has had 2 open heart surgeries and 8 angioplasties to date and is doing wonderfully!!! As a family, the Bowen’s have been very involved with The Kids at Heart program through Children’s Health Care of Atlanta/Sibley Heart Center. This involvement created a natural step for Lisa to become the Hospital Liaison for CHF in the Atlanta area and she is excited to share the CHF programs with the hospital that she loves.
Social Media/PR/Marketing: Sharon York
Sharon and her husband Jayden moved to Atlanta, Georgia from Australia in 2012. They have two children, Charlotte (4 years) and Amelie (1.5 years). Sharon has a Bachelor in Communication major Print Media Production from Macquarie University, Australia and has previous work experience as a Journalist, Advertising Sales Executive and Executive Assistant and has most recently opened a small Etsy store.
Medical Advisory Board
Dr. Ian Balfour