Twin Cities Lyme Foundation

Our Board of Directors Volunteers don't necessarily have the time, they just have the heart.


Ed Hitchcock

Ed has over 27 years of experience as a sports law, estate planning and business attorney. Ed’s sports law clients include UFC champion Brock Lesnar, NASCAR driver Christian Elder of the Great Clips Race Team and over 100 professional athletes, coaches and sports executives. Ed’s estate planning practice is focused on providing individuals with complex estate tax planning. Ed has also represented numerous companies as general counsel in all aspects of business law. Since 2008, Ed has received an AV Rating (highest competence) by peers in Martindale Hubbell and is listed in Martindale Hubbell’s Register of Preeminent Lawyers. Ed will bring his legal experience as a board member and general counsel to Twin Cities Lyme Foundation. “My wife Sue has battled late stage Lyme disease for over eight years. Sue and I are committed to raising Lyme awareness and increasing patient access to Lyme literate physicians.”

Robert Kaufer

As an attorney Bob has over 25 years experience in basic and complex estate planning. In addition he counsels physicians, dentists and other medical professionals along with business owners, professional athletes and high net-worth individuals on asset protection, contracts and estate tax minimization/elimination. Bob has been a regular speaker nationally on asset protection and continues to serve as a director and secretary for The Scott Richards North Star Charitable Foundation.

He is a native of Minnesota and received his B.S. in Education from the University of Wisconsin at River Falls in 1987. He earned his Juris Doctorate from Hamline University School of Law in 1993 and obtained his Masters in Business Administration in 1997 from the University of St. Thomas.

Prior to law school, Bob was a college baseball coach and continues to mix his passion for baseball and the law by working with coaches in major league baseball.

Lyme hit his family hard when his daughter (now 20) was diagnosed with the disease 6 years ago. She received treatment at the time but not from doctor specializing in the disease causing her to have chronic symptoms to this day. Bob is passionate about helping people learn about Lyme and increasing patient access to Lyme literate physicians.


Dennis Lee

As the co-founder, president and CEO of Octane Fitness—the only company in the world exclusively focused on the zero-impact cardiovascular fitness equipment category—Dennis Lee oversaw strategic direction and day-to-day operations. In September 2001, Lee launched Octane Fitness in his unfinished basement; today, Octane is the market leader for zero-impact training products.

Nautilus, Inc. (NYSE:NLS) purchased Octane Fitness in December 2015. Lee transitioned out of his role at the end of 2016. Among other ventures Dennis continues to work with North Castle Partners, a private equity firm based in Greenwich, CT as an advisor and also as a board member with Hydro Massage the industry leader in “dry hydro therapy”.

Lyme disease has had a major impact in Dennis’s life through his father, Dennis Sr who went undiagnosed for many years and suffered through many of the debilitating effects the disease carries with it. He will always remember the day his father called him on the day he was finally diagnosed after suffering for many years stating “I have some good news and some bad news. The bad news is I have Lyme disease, the good news is I am not going crazy”


Dave Najarian

Dave Najarian has been an entrepreneur and businessman for the past 35 years. A graduate of the esteemed Gustavus Adolphus College, Dave graduated with high honors. He was a 4-year started on their football team and as a result of his efforts earned a place in their Hall of Fame. Being the son of the venerable transplant surgeon, John S. Najarian, Dave spent years studying to be in the medical field as well. His knowledge of medicine is a rare find for Twin Cities Lyme Foundation. He and his wife have raised 5 children, 1 of which has also followed in his footsteps and is in the medical field. ”


Lisa Najarian

Founder/Executive Director

Sixteen years and several misdiagnoses later, in 2015, Lisa Najarian was diagnosed with Lyme disease. Over the course of those years, she suffered greatly with symptoms that were a complete mystery to her. “I felt like such an oddball in so many situations! One day I would feel good and the next day I would be wiped out. I felt as though most everyone thought I was crazy or lying about my health,” she expresses. “I have almost completely lost my hearing in my left ear and my right ear’s hearing loss varies from day to day. I now know I have over 60 symptoms of Lyme disease. It is a horrible disease and one NO ONE should ever have to endure!” Lisa, a California native, has lived her adult life in the top three most prevalent Lyme infested regions in the nation. She believes, as an avid gardener, she was bitten while living in Illinois, however, does not remember seeing a target rash. After 14 years in Illinois, she moved with her husband and two children to Connecticut, the mecca for Lyme disease. There, she became aware of Lyme, and strongly suspected a correlation between her multiple symptoms and the tick-borne disease. Her move to Minnesota in 2014 brought hope and a positive diagnosis. “I am passionate to create the same awareness here in the Midwest that there is on the East Coast. Too many people are unaware and so many need to be helped.” Lisa received a BA in education at California State University, Chico and earned her Masters Degree in Education from National University. She, her husband and children reside in the Twin Cities area.”


Pete Najarian

“Lyme disease is very personal to me and I have witnessed just how debilitating it can be on an individual and a family. This organization offers the opportunity for me to use my professional skills to help contribute and educate on Lyme disease; ultimately, to have an impact on Lyme awareness.”

Pete Najarian offers a combination of skills that will benefit the outreach and impact of The Twin Cities Lyme Foundation. Pete brings extensive experience from the business world and has been a President and Founder of several businesses. His financial background has also created many relationships with small, medium and large businesses in the Twin Cities area. Pete was ranked one of the top 100 traders by Trader Monthly magazine. He served as President of Mercury Trading for over 10 years. Subsequently, he was an integral part of the sale of the company to Citadel in 2004. He is a founding member of the electronic exchange, One Chicago. In 2005, Pete co-founded the options news and education firm optionMONSTER and online brokerage firm tradeMONSTER. Both were sold in 2016 to E-Trade. Pete currently, continues to be a contributor for CNBC, a relationship that began in 2007.


Brant Rooney

Brant is a person who has experienced living with Lyme disease and dealing with its effects. Although, he too has been diagnosed and treated, his perspective comes with having a spouse who suffered many years with Lyme. Brant lost his wife of ten years to suicide in early 2015 after she, Jen Rooney, was undiagnosed and misdiagnosed repeatedly for Lyme disease. Jen’s suffering and misery became unbearable and Brant understands the frustrations, both physical and mental, as well as financial stress this disease puts on a family. He continues on today as an entrepreneur and advocate of Lyme awareness.