John Gerzema Named Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation Board

Manish Agarwal, Jennifer DaSilva and Samuel Marchio are Newest Members
New York, NY— Friday, October 19, 2018 — Corporate influencer and author John Gerzema has been elected Chairman of the National Kidney Foundation (NKF). He is a current NKF Board Member and will succeed Chairman Arthur P. Pasquarella. NKF also welcomes business and technology leader Manish Agarwal, marketing innovator Jennifer DaSilva, and government affairs strategist Samuel J. Marchio as its newest Board Members.
“We are excited about John’s new leadership role on our Board and the key additions of Jennifer, Manish and Sam,” said Kevin Longino, NKF CEO and a kidney transplant recipient. “John’s vast marketing knowledge is helping us to elevate the significant impact of kidney disease on public health. I know that he and our new Board Members will continue to work to get the public to understand kidney disease in the same way they understand high blood pressure or high cholesterol.”
Gerzema is CEO of The Harris Poll® (Harris Insights & Analytics), a leading public opinion, corporate brand, and reputation strategy firm. He is a pioneer in the use of data to identify social change and help companies anticipate and adapt to new trends and demands. Gerzema also is a respected and sought-after speaker and strategist as well as a popular author, whose three books have appeared on numerous best-sellers lists, including The New York Times. He holds a master’s degree in integrated marketing communications from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and recently was inducted into the Medill Hall of Achievement.
He already has applied his considerable professional skills to his role as a member of the NKF Board. Most notable was recruiting marketing partners from the creative agency Berlin Cameron to volunteer their time and talents as part of NKF’s national “Heart Your Kidneys” and March/National Kidney Month multimedia campaigns designed to sharply raise the public profile and concern for kidney disease to the levels of heart disease or cancer, as examples. Gerzema’s commitment to NKF is also personal, having undergone surgery for kidney damage when he was a child.
“Chronic kidney disease lacks urgency and understanding among the public, but when your kidneys stop working, so do you,” Gerzema said. “Kidney disease is seen as posing less of a personal threat than other failing organs. This creates an ‘emotional distance’ from just how vital kidneys are to good health.” Gerzema added that he will work with NKF on less clinical and more human approaches to changing people’s minds by advocating on the front lines, educating, and making NKF a brand in culture.
Jennifer DaSilva
Jennifer DaSilva is President at the New York-based creative agency Berlin Cameron. She is a seasoned integrated marketer with 20 years of experience working on Fortune 500 brands. This past spring, DaSilva and Gerzema were honored at the annual Springtime in New York Gala by the National Kidney Foundation Serving Greater New York as co-recipients of the “Visionary Leader Award” for their extraordinary commitment to making the world a better place for people living with kidney disease. Berlin Cameron and Gerzema created the “Heart Your Kidneys” (#HeartYourKidneys) campaign to help bring kidney disease into current cultural conversations.<
Manish Agarwal
Manish Agarwal is President, COO, and Vice Chair of the Board of Directors at Attain, a national management, technology and strategy consulting firm delivering market leading results to customers in government, healthcare, education and nonprofit markets. A kidney transplant recipient, Agarwal is passionate about kidney health and organ donation. He has actively served as Chairman of the Board of the National Kidney Foundation Serving the National Capital Area. Previously, he was a Board Member and Development Chair along with other roles held with the office.
Samuel Marchio
Samuel J. Marchio is Regional Vice President of Federal Affairs for Anthem, Inc. He serves as the Head of Congressional Affairs, managing, representing and advocating the company’s positions on matters before the U.S. Congress (House and Senate) and all Washington-based organizations and coalitions. Marchio also provides strategic legislative and political support to the company. Marchio joined Anthem in January 2011 with 10-years of bipartisan legislative, communications, political, and management experience as a senior congressional aide and veteran of five congressional campaigns. Marchio earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Utica College of Syracuse University in 2001.
Kidney Disease Facts
In the United States 30 million adults are estimated to have chronic kidney disease—and most aren’t aware of it. 1 in 3 American adults are at risk for chronic kidney disease. Risk factors for kidney disease include diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, obesity and family history. People of African American, Hispanic, Native American, Asian or Pacific Islander descent are at increased risk for developing the disease. African Americans are 3 times more likely than Whites, and Hispanics are nearly 1.5 times more likely than non-Hispanics to develop end stage renal disease (kidney failure).
The National Kidney Foundation (NKF) is the largest, most comprehensive and longstanding organization dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease. For more information about NKF visit