Creating Magical Moments for children with facial differences.
Co-founder and President
Co-founder and President
Richard E. Kirschner, MD, FACS, FAAP is a pediatric plastic surgeon with over 20 years experience in caring for children with facial differences. He co-founded Magical Moments Foundation, Inc. in 2020 with his wife Krista, who serves as the foundation’s Executive Director.
Dedicated to the service of patients, families and professionals, Dr. Kirschner has educated and trained physicians, surgeons, and other healthcare professionals from across the US and around the world and has cared for underserved children with cleft lip and palate in Central and South America. He has lectured across the globe on the principles of cleft lip and palate surgery, 22q11.2 deletion syndrome, and multidisciplinary team care. He has served as President of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and is the co-editor of Comprehensive Cleft Care, the family edition of Comprehensive Cleft Care, and the soon-to-be-published Cleft Palate and Velopharyngeal Dysfunction.
Dr. Kirschner received his medical degree from the University of Miami. He subsequently completed a residency in general surgery with research distinction at the New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center and a residency in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Pennsylvania. He completed a fellowship in pediatric plastic surgery at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, where he remained as Director of the Craniofacial Biology Laboratory and later served as Director of the Cleft Palate Program. Dr. Kirschner now serves as the Robert and Edgar T. Wolfe Foundation Endowed Chair in Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Chief of the Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Director of the Cleft Lip and Palate Center, and Co-Director of the 22q Center at Nationwide Children’s Hospital in Columbus, Ohio and as Professor of Surgery in the Department of Plastic Surgery at The Ohio State University College of Medicine.
“Fairy tales do not tell children the dragons exist. Children already know that dragons exist. Fairy tales tell children the dragons can be beaten.”– G.K. Chesterton
Senior Manager of Merchandise Planning, Big Lots
Brian's son was born with bilateral cleft lip & palate. Their first eight years have been like riding a roller coaster. His surgeries were filled with anxiety, hopefulness and many late nights helping him recover, but Brian and his wife Kelly have treasured all his special moments. They are grateful for all the love and support from family, friends, and his medical team.
Brian was born and raised in Columbus, Ohio. He attended St. Charles Preparatory High School and graduated from Capital University with a Bachelor of Arts in Accounting.
Professionally, Brian is a Financial and Product Management Leader with 25+ years of expertise in the retail industry. His responsibilities have included sales budgeting and forecasting, product margin maximization, inventory management optimization, and product life cycle assessment. He has worked for multiple retail corporations in the Central Ohio area.
Brian and Kelly spend their leisure time with their 2 sons and their dog Obi. They love to travel and spend time outdoors. On a recent trip to Costa Rica, they enjoyed hiking the countryside, discovering sloths and monkeys and even ziplining through the rainforest, where Brian overcame his fear of heights.
"You are the only you God made... God made you and broke the mold"– -Max Lucado
Robert S. Hendrix, Esq. is in a private law practice concentrating in estate planning, farm and business planning, entity creation, new business start-ups and charitable giving planning. His practice has grown from a start-up law practice to over 6,000 clients with offices in Columbus, Cleveland and Cincinnati. Mr. Hendrix previously served as Vice President of Advanced Underwriting for The Columbus Life Insurance Company, where his responsibilities included tax, business, estate planning and charitable giving and professional consultation to over 1400 agents and their clients. He previously taught business law at Franklin University for sixteen years and has been a national speaker on the topics of estate planning, charitable giving, family limited partnerships, and tax and business planning.
Mr. Hendrix received a Doctorate in Law from Capital Law School in 1986 and a Masters in Tax Law from Capital Law School in 1989. He is a member of the American, Ohio and Columbus Bar Associations, Former President of NAIFA-Columbus, Board Member of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes of Central Ohio, Founder, Board Member and Vice-President of the Central Ohio Professional Education Council, and Founder and Chairman of The Spielman Gridiron Classic, which has raised over $200,000 in seven years for breast cancer research.
“We are here to serve, not be served.”– from the Sermon on the Mount
Mr. Gillard is a retired business executive who, along with his wife Rosemary, resides in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He is a graduate of the University of Calgary (Commerce) and the Stanford Business School Executive Program.
He has over forty years of business experience including serving as President of three different energy companies. He served on multiple Canadian corporate Boards of Director including, at various times, as Board Chairman and Chairing the Audit, Governance and Compensation Committees.
Mr. Gillard has also served on not-for-profit boards. He is a past member of the University of Calgary’s Management Advisory Council and has served as Chairman of both the Hospice Calgary Society and Calgary Zoological Society Boards of Directors.
Mr. Gillard was born with a cleft lip and palate (CLP) and published his memoir “What Did You Say?” (www.hughgillard.com) The memoir is a reflection of growing up and successfully overcoming the challenges of looking and speaking differently. All sale proceeds are donated to cleft affected charities. He has also given multiple inspirational speeches at professional conferences and authored a chapter for an upcoming Medical Journal focusing on CLP.
"Two roads diverged in a wood, and I -- I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference."– Robert Frost
Michelle earned a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration at University of Central Florida and an MBA from Ohio University. While originally from Michigan, she has called Columbus, Ohio her home for the last 17 years. Her interest in aviation led her to Columbus where she began her professional career at NetJets working in a variety of roles to include operations, technical sales support, and fleet strategy. Most recently, to expand and strengthen her skill sets in business strategy, Michelle joined Vertiv, which is the world's leading critical digital infrastructure provider. There, she is working on integrating a recent company acquisition that now makes Vertiv's product portfolio complete.
Her leisure time is spent outdoors with her husband, daughter, and dog, whether hiking, camping, or on the water. One of her most memorable adventures is hiking from the rim to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and then continuing on a 14-day whitewater rafting trip down the Colorado River. The views were breathtaking!
"Vulnerability is not weakness; it's our greatest measure of courage"– Brene Brown
Ed's son Asher was born with a unilateral cleft lip & palate. Ed & Stacy (his wife) have first hand experience and knowledge of the trials, stamina, and successes that having a child with a craniofacial difference can entail. Ed has been a licensed realtor and a member of the NAR for 11 years. Ed graduated from Westland High School in Columbus, after he enlisted and served over 8 years in the United States Navy, traveling around the world before returning home to Ohio. Ed has previously worked in the IT/Computer field for over 17 years.
"Life has no limitations, except the ones you make."– Les Brown
Executive Vice Provost, UNC-Chapel Hill
Adams Distinguished Professor, UNC Adams School of Dentistry
Professor, Social Medicine, UNC School of Medicine
Clinical Professor, Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health
BA, Biology, Queens College of the City University of New York
DMD, University of Pennsylvania
PhD, Sociology, University of Pennsylvania
Dr. Ronald P. Strauss is University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s Executive Vice Provost (since 2008) and was UNC’s Chief International Officer for nearly a decade. He also holds joint appointments in three schools and is a member of the UNC Craniofacial Center Team. For twelve years, he was Chair of the Department of Dental Ecology in the UNC Adams School of Dentistry.
Since he came to Carolina, Dr. Strauss has been engaged in encouraging health professional students to understand and address social factors that influence health and the provision of healthcare. Dr. Strauss is a sociologist and ethnographer who has used qualitative and survey research methods in numerous social research projects, and he serves as the Faculty Director of the SCEED Office (Strategic Community Engagement, Education and Dissemination) of the UNC Center for AIDS Research (CFAR). His global work has included being a visiting professor in Brazil and Israel, and conducting social research in Thailand, Moldova and China.
Ron’s research has focused on the social impacts of chronic health problems, especially oral/craniofacial differences and HIV/AIDS. His work combines his clinical, social science, ethical, and health policy interests as they relate to craniofacial care, research participation, HIV/AIDS, stigma, prenatal diagnosis, and access to healthcare. Dr. Strauss continues to work as a clinician on the UNC Craniofacial Center’s interdisciplinary team providing care for cleft lip/palate and other craniofacial conditions in children and adults.
As Executive Vice Provost, Ron oversees the appointment, promotion and tenure process, directs the VITAE and Spousal Hiring Programs, the Faculty Retention Program, and coordinates senior academic searches and reviews. He provides leadership to the University’s accreditation and quality enhancement efforts, to Commencement and, to University Day.
Throughout his tenure at Carolina, Dr. Strauss has been extremely active in public service and engagement, both locally and globally. He is the lead faculty member of the Thorp Faculty Engaged Scholars Program of the Carolina Center for Public Service. In recognition of the scope and impact of his work, dental alumni endowed the Dr. Ronald P. Strauss Community and International Health Award to support students’ understanding of the social and cultural influences on health care. Each spring since 1987, Ron has directed and taught the campus-wide “HIV/AIDS Course.”
Dr. Strauss served as President of the American Cleft Palate-Craniofacial Association and received both its Distinguished Service Award and the Honors of the Association.
"For to be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others."– Nelson Mandela
Steve Biffle is a semi-retired businessman and Pastor. He and his wife Nancy reside in Goodyear Arizona. Rev. Biffle graduated from Hamilton University. Has additional post graduate work from several colleges and institutions.
Steve has been involved in the financial industry for over 45 years, including Vice-President of National Investment Financial Services before owning his own accounting firm in Columbus for 25 years. A fifth generation minister, he also served as Pastor of Church of the Living Word in Columbus for 37 years.
Currently Steve serves as the Corporate Treasurer of the Full Gospel Fellowship of Churches & Ministers International, based in Irving Texas. He continues to be involved as a consultant for businesses, churches & individuals. Steve also serves on several additional boards, both nationally and locally. An accomplished musician, he has travelled extensively performing Gospel & Country Music. He’s also an avid sports fan and loves to travel with his wife! Steve has a heart for serving and helping people.
"The difference between greatness and mediocrity is often how an individual views a mistake."– Nelson Boswell
Valeriya S. Kryvokolinska has been practicing in the Family Relations Law field since 2017, when she was admitted to the practice of law in the State of Ohio. Prior to joining Friedman & Mirman Co., L.P.A., she practiced in a small family law firm, where she represented clients in divorce and custody matters, and served as a Guardian ad Litem for Franklin County.
Valeriya was born in Kiev, Ukraine, and at the age of 10, relocated to Toledo, Ohio, with her mother. Valeriya attended University of Cincinnati, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. Valeriya moved to Columbus, Ohio to pursue her legal education, and graduated from Capital University Law School, with Pro Bono Legal Honors.
Throughout her law school career, Valeriya interned for Honorable Judge Elizabeth Gill at the Franklin County Court of Common Pleas, and participated in the Capital University Legal Clinic, where she represented low-income individuals in criminal and civil cases. To expand her legal knowledge, Valeriya also interned as an Assistant Prosecutor at the City of Whitehall Mayor’s Court, where she assisted the City Prosecutor with traffic and minor criminal cases and assisted the City of Whitehall with updating the City of Whitehall Code.
Valeriya was selected as a Rising Star from Super Lawyers for 2021 and recognized in Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch for her work Family Law since 2021.
Valeriya is dedicated to serving others and volunteers as at The Legal Aid Society of Columbus, where she provides legal advice to low-income individuals. She is also active in the Columbus community, working on several nonprofit activities.
"You don’t need a cape to be a hero. You just need to care.”– Kid President
Co-founder and Executive Director
Krista Schrader serves as Executive Director of Magical Moments Foundation. As the foundation’s top administrator, she oversees the day-to-day operations of the organization. Krista has dedicated most of her career to serving children’s healthcare needs in central Ohio. As a parent, she understands the complex challenges that children face daily. She has been a tireless advocate for the underserved and volunteers her time at local shelters for homeless children and adults.
Krista believes that one small act of kindness can change a life. She co-founded Magical Moments Foundation with her husband, who currently serves as the foundation’s President. Together, they envision a world where children’s differences are embraced, kindness is celebrated, and every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential.
"And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it."– Roald Dahl
Director of Student Chapters
“Nobody cares how much you know, until they know how much you care.”– Theodore Roosevelt
Director of Communications
Chelsea Sommer, MS, CCC-SLP is a PhD student at the University of Utah and a bilingual English-Spanish speaking speech-language pathologist. She works with several nonprofit organizations to provide care for children with facial differences around the world. She enjoys spending time with family, friends, and her dog!
"Do not follow the path. Go where there is no path to begin a trail."– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Joseph K Williams M.D.
Dr. Williams was born in Seoul, Korea but completed his formative years in Mississippi. He subsequently completed Medical School at the University of Mississippi Medical Center and moved to Atlanta for training in General Surgery and Plastic Surgery at Emory University.
Dr. Williams finalized his training at New York University in Pediatric and Craniofacial Surgery under Dr. Joseph McCarthy. Dr. Williams subsequently spent three years at Children’s Hospital in Seattle, finally moving back to Atlanta, Emory University and Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta.
Dr. Williams currently serves as the Chief of Plastic Surgery at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Medical Director of the Center for Cleft and Craniofacial Disorders and Clinical Professor at Emory University Division of Plastic Surgery.
He has been in Atlanta for over 20 years where he and his wife have raised four children.
“Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”– Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
Outreach and Events Coordinator
Kelsey Ireland grew up in a large family outside of St. Paul, Minnesota. From an early age she knew she wanted to make a difference in the world. She has dedicated her time towards organizations of all kinds. After coaching Special Olympics basketball for three years she quickly realized there was no better mission in life than to help children shine and manifest their full potential. She quickly knew the Magical Moments Foundation was home and where she was meant to be. As a mother, she can see her daughter in every beautiful boy and girl's smile that is involved with Magical Moments Foundation.
"Wherever there is a human in need, there is an opportunity for kindness and to make a difference."– Kevin Heath