Meet the Staff

Marlene Erven 2012


Marlene Erven

Executive Director

1-800-521-3025 Ext.307






Marlene Erven joined the Alpha-1 Association in June 2006 as Executive Director. In this capacity she is responsible for providing the leadership to achieve the Association’s philosophy and mission, and to implement its strategic goals and objectives. She has been involved with the Alpha-1 Community since 1997 and served as the Director of Development and Communications for the Alpha-1 Foundation for 7 years. Marlene has an extensive background in non-profit management. She has served as President of the Cedars Medical Center Foundation in Miami for twelve years and headed her own nonprofit consulting firm for 8 years. She has expertise in volunteer management, health administration, program development and fundraising. Marlene received her Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Administration from Barry University in Miami.




Cathey-Horsak small


Cathey Horsak

Director of Community Programs & Outreach










Cathey Horsak is the Director of Community Programs and Outreach for the Alpha-1 Association. She began working for the Association in March 2003. She works with the Alpha-1 Association Support Groups throughout the United States and with the Support Group Leader Advisory Committee to set policy and guidelines for the local support groups. Cathey staffs the Alpha-1 Patient Hotline and is responsible for providing information, guidance and support to newly diagnosed Alphas calling the Association. Ms. Horsak chairs the National Education Conference Committee each year and jointly coordinates the Alpha-1 Education Day Program with the Alpha-1 Foundation. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas in Austin and first became involved with the Association as a volunteer after the death of her MZ liver affected husband, Richard.



 Miriam ODay web

Miriam O'Day

Senior Director of Public Policy











Miriam O'Day manages Federal government affairs, including legislative and regulatory activities for the Alpha-1 Association and Alpha-1 Foundation. She works closely with membership organizations and coalitions including collaboration with the COPD Community. She is also responsible for Federal Legislative Affairs for the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). She chairs the Policy Committee for the US COPD coalition, working closely with the COPD Congressional Caucus.





Alexis Artiles

Marketing & Events Manager

1-800-521-3025 Ext.310





Alexis began her non-profit career in 2008 when she joined the Alpha-1 Association as an intern. She graduated from the University Of Miami School Of Business in 2010 with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing and Business Law and subsequently joined the Alpha-1 Association full-time as Community Outreach Coordinator. Alexis is currently pursuing her Master of Business Administration from Florida International University Chapman Graduate School of Business.





Kim Caraballo

Community Outreach Coordinator

1-800-521-3025 Ext.308







Kim is originally a New York native where she worked as a Letter of Credit Analyst at a prominent insurance company for 11 years and as an Assistant Project Manager for the Photoluminescent Division of a well known building maintenance supply company. Kim has won several awards as a fundraiser in previous years. She enjoys working closely with the community in regards to membership and event registrations. 



Barbee in NC


Barbee Bennington

Support Group & Program Coordinator





Barbee Bennington comes to the Association with eight years of Alpha-1 Advocacy experience with Coram. She has been a member of the Association since 2002 when she began her six year position as Support Group Leader for the Alphazonies. In 2008, she was the recipient of the Claude Baril Communications Award, in recognition of her contribution to enhancing communication for Alphas through the Alphazonies Newsletter. Barbee has an extensive 30 year background in community volunteer service. Being able to be involved with the Alpha-1 community on a national, grassroots level has been a passion for Barbee since the death of her Alpha niece in 2000 and the diagnosis of her son as a ZZ.