Executive Team

Smart, passionate, innovative, enthusiastic, collaborative, caring, tireless—just a few of the superlatives that describe our leadership team and their approach to guiding our organization as it grows to serve more donors and save more patients.

Chief Executive Officer: John Spinnato

Chief Executive Officer: John Spinnato

John is thrilled to join DKMS US after over 30 years in the health care arena, both in the profit and nonprofit areas and to help to contribute to and drive its life-saving mission.

“Being a part of DKMS reflects the perfect integration of my passion for patients and my desire to have social impact while using my background and experience to make a difference in a direct and meaningful way,” says John.

Just prior to joining DKMS, John was lawyer in the health care industry practicing in NYC. He previously served as President of the Sanofi Foundation for North America as well as VP of Corporate Social Responsibility for Sanofi NA. Prior to that, he served as the Vice President and General Counsel of Sanofi NA. He previously worked in Paris, France as American counsel to Total, SA, (formerly Elf Aquitaine) a French company, Pan Am World Airways Services subsidiary, as well as the State of Iowa Ombudsman’s office.

He is a graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center where he received his LLM in International Law and the University of Dayton where he received his JD and BA degrees.

John has served on the boards of several other organizations committed to health, social justice, education and the arts and is currently on the Board of the NAACP Foundation and Theatre Breaking Through Barriers. He also serves on the board of Lundbeck LLC. John resides in Manhattan with his wife, Rosa. They have three children.

Chief Operating Officer: Agata Maraszek-Dudek

Agata brings 10 years of experience in community engagement and donor center operations, globally to DKMS. In the US, she oversees: Donor Recruitment, Marketing and Communications, Strategic Planning, Quality Assurance, and Partnerships. Her role is to essentially ensure that all donor recruitment services work together to establish and build relationships with new and existing corporations, service sectors, colleges/universities and surrounding communities to increase donor registrations and raise awareness for DKMS’s mission activities across the country.

Agata is no stranger to the DKMS family. Before crossing borders to the United States, she was one of the first employees of DKMS Poland. Being there at the start of DKMS Poland, Agata held many positions and played an important role in getting DKMS Poland up and running. She created their donor recruitment program, including constructing procedures, standards and platforms applicable to the country population and needs. From this success, Agata oversaw and established several additional departments including Logistics, Data Management and Development. While working for DKMS Poland, Agata simultaneously for two years taught economics at University of Promotion in Warsaw, Poland.

Prior to her work at DKMS, Agata worked in sales in the retail industry. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Management in 2013 and her Master’s degree in Management in 2015, both from the University of Promotion.

Director of Strategic Planning, Performance, and Partnerships: Whitney Gaeta

Whitney Gaeta

Whitney is an accomplished healthcare industry leader with over 10 years’ experience in the medical field. She brings extensive knowledge from the public healthcare sector including physician, hospital, and health system account management, strategic development and planning, as well as medical sales. Her professional experience includes driving multimillion dollar profit growth at a biopharmaceutical start-up company through development and expansion of a physician referral network on a national level, as well as national strategic account management with a medical industry leader.

At DKMS, Whitney currently leads Patient Engagement Strategy, Partnerships, Strategic Planning, Transplant and Collection Center Management, and Quality Assurance. Whitney unifies these areas through her innovation and solution oriented thinking. Prior to this role, she represented DKMS in the US bone marrow transplant community by managing medical partnerships as the Transplant and Collection Center Liaison.

Her passion for leading others is matched by her passion for helping others. Whitney has a personal connection to blood cancer and is honored to support DKMS’ mission of providing hope for patients and their families.

Whitney graduated with honors from Kennesaw State University where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a concentration in genetics.

VP of Donor Relations (CT/WU/Medical Logistics): David Means

David has nearly 20 years of experience in blood marrow donor donation. At DKMS, he oversees three teams: Work Up, Follow Up, and Medical Logistics. David and his Work Up team are responsible for the care of donors who have been identified as the best match for specific patients in need of a bone marrow transplant. The team handles all aspects of the donation process including educating donors about the process and ensuring donor and patient safety. The Follow Up team is responsible for overseeing donor recovery, coordinating post-donation medical care, ensuring donor and patient confidentiality, and managing donor-patient contact following transplant. The Medical Logistics team provides administrative support including managing the medical records for Work Up requests, coordination of local medical resources, and data entry.

David earned his Bachelors of Science degree in biology at Emory University and received his Masters in Public Health from Drexel University.

Director of Human Resources: Nilsa Gomez

Nilsa brings over 20 years of professional experience in Human Resources to DKMS. As the Director, Nilsa leads and manages all aspects of human resources, including but not limited to recruitment, selection, benefits, compensation, training, staff development, performance management, employee relations, corporate policies, and payroll.

Prior to joining DKMS, Nilsa worked in a variety of leadership positions including Vice President of HR at Urban Resource Institute (URI), HR Manager at Marchon Eyewear and Director of HRIS at Merrill Lynch. While she enjoyed being a part of the business world, Nilsa knew there was a more meaningful task for her out there. Nilsa was drawn to DKMS because of its mission to provide second chances of life to those suffering from a blood cancer or blood disorder.

Nilsa enjoys being the human connection in a professional environment. When she sees the difference employees make in the lives of those in need by putting a smile on their face, taking the burden of hosting a drive, or registering a potential lifesaver; Nilsa knows it is all worth it.

Nilsa received her Masters’ in Psychology/Education from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Director of Global Special Events: Heather Lynn

Heather is a seasoned special events and fundraising professional with more than 12 years of diverse experience in the nonprofit sector. She continues to be inspired by the lifesaving mission of DKMS, which has provided her with exciting opportunities to engage with both financial and bone marrow donors over the past five years.

Having been employed by notable organizations like Carnegie Hall, New York City Ballet, and National Dance Institute, Heather is known for her excellent leadership, relationship-building, and communication skills. A solid multi-tasker and problem solver, she has built events and fundraising programs from the ground up and/or enhanced the systems for programs already in place. She thrives on serving as a mentor to members of the Global Special Events team and other DKMS staff across all international entities.

To quote Heather, “I lost a cousin to blood cancer many years ago, and that tore our family apart. Through my work with DKMS, I am able to provide healing and hope to other families affected by cancer and related blood disorders. It is this purpose that drives everything I do and always encourages me to reach higher and farther…thankfully, the learning process never truly stops.”

Heather originally hails from St. Louis, Missouri, but she feels like she can call herself a real New Yorker now. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from Vanderbilt University with a Bachelor of Music degree in Vocal Performance in 2004, and she received a Master of Arts degree in Arts Administration from Indiana University-Bloomington in 2007 at the top of her class. Heather is also a 200-hour registered yoga teacher through Yoga Alliance. Namaste!

VP of Finance and Administration: Ajay Saini

Ajay Saini