Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors announces new Board

Published on December 9, 2015
NFPA’s Carli elected president

December 9, 2015Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors, the leading national non-profit organization dedicated to empowering anyone affected by a burn injury, recently elected new officers and members to its Board of Directors. The National Fire Protection Association’s (NFPA) Vice President of Outreach and Advocacy Lorraine Carli was elected as the Board’s president. 

“The reach and need of the services offered by the Phoenix Society continue to grow as people become aware of the value of what we have to offer,” said Amy Acton, executive director. “Our new Board officers will help lead the way with their depth of expertise and experience as we work to expand our impact and position the organization for the future.” 

The new officers:

  • Lorraine Carli was elected as president. She is vice president of Outreach and Advocacy for NFPA where she oversees all media and public affairs activities, editorial content for NFPA’s websites, the organization’s magazine NFPA Journal®, NFPA’s Wildland Fire Operations and Public Education Divisions. Carli is president of the Home Fire Sprinkler Coalition (HFSC) and serves on the boards for The Center of Campus Fire Safety and Electric Safety Foundation International. 
  • Karen Colligan was elected as vice president. Colligan, founder and principal of PeopleThink, is a recognized expert in leadership, team effectiveness and organizational development. An active volunteer with the Phoenix Society for many years, she is herself a burn survivor, having received second and third degree burns at age two from scalding water. This experience has impacted her entire life and inspired her to get involved in helping other burn survivors. 
  • Peg Paul was elected as secretary. Paul is the communications manager for HFSC. She is the owner and director of Peg Paul & Associates (PPA), a marketing communications agency that specializes in developing and implementing multi-integrated information and education campaigns, and has established a niche in public safety promotion. The American Fire Sprinkler Association recognized her as the 2014 Fire Sprinkler Advocate of the Year.
  • Tony Burke was elected treasurer. Burke was in the fire service for nearly 20 years, including 14 years as a career firefighter in Coquitlam, British Columbia (BC). Burke served as the volunteer executive director of the BC Professional Fire Fighters’ Burn Fund and was appointed to the International Association of Fire Fighters’ Burn Foundation. He has also worked with the American Red Cross.
In addition to the new officers, three new Board members were also elected. 

  • Sheryl Ramstad works as the burn survivor peer support representative at St. Paul Regions Hospital and Phoenix SOAR peer supporter where she was once a patient. A former federal prosecutor, public defender, commercial litigator, trial judge, and commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Corrections, she is currently working on her Doctorate in Nursing Practice. At age 29, Ramstad was severely burned in an airplane crash and has been motivated by a desire to give back and work with burn survivors worldwide through medical mission work. 
  • Dean Elliott has worked in the healthcare industry for more than 30 years. He currently serves as vice president of Corporate Compliance for AlloSource, one of the nation’s largest non-profit providers of skin, bone and soft tissue allografts for use in surgical procedures and the world’s largest processor of cellular bone allografts, leading initiatives such as clinical research, regulatory policy, corporate compliance, litigation, contract management and a variety of business transactions requiring review or assessment of risk. He served as a firefighter and EMT for 14 years, serving as chief of the Jackson (Colo.) 105 Volunteer Fire Department for eight of those 14 years.
  • Victor C. Joe, MD, FACS, FCCP is a Board-certified general surgeon with added qualifications in Surgical Critical Care. He is the medical director of the UC Irvine Regional Burn Center, and he is a practicing trauma, burn and general surgeon. Joe was previously the medical director of the Hirschman Burn Center and associate director of Trauma at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where he was awarded the “Golden Apple” teaching award for General Surgery. 

Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors is most recognized for its signature programs which include:

  • Phoenix SOAR® (Survivors Offering Assistance in Recovery®) – A hospital based one-on-one peer support program that connects people with new burn injuries to survivors and family members who have been impacted by a burn injury
  • Phoenix Connect – A secure online community where you may share your story and connect with others who have similar experiences related to a burn trauma 
  • Phoenix World Burn Congress – Phoenix World Burn Congress is an annual international conference that unites more than 800 burn survivors, their families, caregivers, burn care professionals, and firefighters
  • Phoenix Kids & Teens – Programs and tools to support young burn survivors, siblings, and family members affected by burn injury or traumatic loss
Phoenix Society collaborates with NFPA on such projects as the Faces of Fire video series, an advocacy tool to promote required installation of fire sprinklers in new one- and two-family homes as part of NFPA’s Fire Sprinkler Initiative. The series features personal stories of those whose lives have been affected by home fires. 

About Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors
People who suffer burn injuries often have a challenging time getting back to living. Phoenix Society for Burn Survivors helps them do exactly that. Since 1977, the Phoenix Society has worked with survivors, families, healthcare professionals, firefighters and donors to support burn recovery, improve the quality of burn care and prevent burn injuries. We are the only national non-profit organization helping survivors meet their challenges with the community support and the tools they need to thrive again.  Phoenix Society, based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, takes its name from the legendary bird that is consumed by flame but rises again, more vibrant than before. To learn more, visit

About the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)

Founded in 1896, NFPA is a global, nonprofit organization devoted to eliminating death, injury, property and economic loss due to fire, electrical and related hazards. The association delivers information and knowledge through more than 300 consensus codes and standards, research, training, education, outreach and advocacy; and by partnering with others who share an interest in furthering the NFPA mission. For more information visit All NFPA codes and standards can be viewed online for free at

Contact: Lorraine Carli, Public Affairs Office: +1 617 984-7275