Stay Informed. Stay Healthy. Stay Safe.

Our Inspiration

William E. Proudford was a devoted family man, colleague, and friend who led by example, shared his joy, but never his sorrows; did not raise his voice above a whisper, and yet spoke with conviction. His calm nature and strong character brought out the best in every person he encountered.

He had a love for learning all of his life and set an example of consistently searching for opportunities to enhance his personal development. While in the Air Force, he obtained his GED, became fluent in German and even took a course in Russian. After completing 24 years of service in the Air Force, he excelled at Delaware State College, graduating summa cum laude and earning membership in the top honor societies. An avid reader and fast learner, he went on to earn a Master’s degree and to learn new skills throughout his life.

Despite a number of physical challenges, including sickle cell disease, progressive and profound hearing loss, diabetes and kidney failure, he always maintained the quiet, unassuming and steady manner that made him the bedrock of his family.

Our Vision

A World Without Sickle Cell Disease

Our Mission

To support sickle cell awareness, education, state-of-the-art treatment and research, and to bring hope to families affected by this devastating disease.


On August 31, 2004, William E. Proudford passed away of complications of kidney disease resulting from diabetes. Mr. Proudford also suffered from sickle cell disease (SCD), Paget’s disease and profound hearing loss. Because of the unique challenges they encountered in understanding and getting adequate treatment for his sickle cell disease, his family started an effort to raise awareness about the disease. In October, 2005, the William E. Proudford Sickle Cell Fund, Inc. (WEPSCF) was incorporated in Delaware as a non-profit organization. The organization received its 501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in March, 2006. The Proudford family donated $5,000 to start the Fund, and immediately began building partnerships with area organizations such as Mjach Designs, Baltimore, who developed the organization’s logo, Dreamhaus Media LLC, Dallas, who designed the organization’s original website, and Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., who provided legal assistance.

Board of Directors

Rubye T. Proudford, R.N., received her B.S. degree, with a major in Nursing and a minor in Science, from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. After serving as a commissioned U.S. Air Force nurse, she continued her professional career as a civilian nurse in military hospitals throughout the United States and in Germany. She also was an Instructor in Theory and Clinical Obstetrics and Gynecology (OB) at Delaware Technical and Community College, Georgetown, Delaware. Mrs. Proudford’s professional memberships included the Nurses Association of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (NAACOG), the National League of Nursing (NLN) and fraternal membership in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Dover Alumnae Chapter.

Karen L. Proudford, Ph.D. is an academic whose teaching, research, writing and consulting interests include group and intergroup dynamics, leadership, diversity and conflict.  Dr. Proudford has extensive experience working with leaders to shape organizational cultures that promote learning, collaboration, an appreciation for diversity, and a shared understanding of the intraorganizational dynamics that drive performance.  Dr. Proudford is a past Chair of the Board of Directors of the American Red Cross — Greater Chesapeake and Potomac Region Blood Services Division.  She has also served on the Maryland Life Sciences Advisory Board and the Reginald F. Lewis Museum Board.  In 2015, she was inducted into the Maryland Top 100 Women Circle of Excellence.  She received her B.S. degree in Accounting summa cum laude from Florida A&M University and her M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in Management from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to beginning her career in academia, she held positions at Honeywell, Inc. and IBM.

William E. Proudford II has over 30 years experience in administration, sales, banking and public relations. He has worked for Delaware Express, the Bank of New York, Traveler’s Bank and Citigroup. Mr. Proudford is an Air Force veteran and served for four years as an administrative specialist stationed around the United States and in Okinawa.

John Mark Zeberkiewicz is a director in the corporate advisory group of Richards, Layton & Finger, P.A., the largest law firm in Delaware. His practice focuses on transactional matters involving Delaware corporations, including mergers and acquisitions, corporate governance and corporate finance, and he has published several articles on matters of corporate law. He also has particular expertise in Delaware law regarding nonstock corporations, having served on the drafting subcommittee responsible for the 2010 nonstock amendments to Delaware’s General Corporation Law. Mr. Zeberkiewicz received his J.D., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he served as Articles Editor of the University of Pennsylvania Journal of International Economic Law, and his B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Delaware, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa.

Mr. Warren has over 16-years of operational leadership, strategic plan development & execution, and financial management experience in a variety of sectors. Most recently, Mr. Warren spent 5-years with Towne Park, a provider of special hospitality, parking operations management and valet parking services to hotels, resorts, hospitals, and healthcare facilities throughout the United States. As Vice President of the Mid-Atlantic Region Operations, he served a team of over 1,600 covering the largest five-district business unit with 86 locations spanning from North Carolina to Maryland. Through the cultivation of an all-inclusive culture focused on talent development, collaborative problem-solving, continual organizational and account-specific improvement, Mr. Warren led the team to deliver over 18% growth of new accounts and achieved 97% customer retention with net promoter scores of 9.5 on a 10-point scale. In 2015, he was selected as one of the National Parking Association’s “Top 40 Under 40”, which represents the most successful, proven leaders in the parking industry and dynamic change-agents impacting the future of the parking hospitality industry.

Prior to joining Towne Park, Mr. Warren worked for over 9-years building a base of operational and financial expertise at General Electric.  In 2005, he was selected for the highly-competitive and selective General Electric Financial Management Program and served subsequent assignments as Assistant Vice President for GE Capital Markets, and then Assistant Vice President for GE Healthcare Financial Services, where he was responsible for underwriting and managing equipment lease/loan portfolio transactions, asset-based and cash flow transactions to support mergers & acquisition financing needs for companies in a variety of industries.

Mr. Warren graduated from Morgan State University in 2005 with a degree in Finance and earned his MBA from Carey Business School at The Johns Hopkins University.

He currently serves as a Member of the Dean’s Alumni Advisory Board The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School, Vice President of The Johns Hopkins University Carey Business School Black Alumni Network and Member of the Volunteer Parking & Security Team for Grace Covenant Church (VA).

Nancie C. Zane, Ph.D. is a social psychologist and a principal with Praxis Consulting Group. For over twenty years, she has worked with non-profits, for-profits and public sector organizations to build diverse staff and board leadership teams, strengthen staff relationships, and develop effective communication strategies—all in the service of helping organizations achieve their goals. Dr. Zane also works to help organizations re-align their organizational mission, culture, and structure through innovative visioning and strategic planning processes. In addition, she headed the coaching practice within Praxis that serves mid-level managers and senior leaders. She has coached and taught in the Wharton Advanced Management and the Executive Education Program and is certified in Clark Wilson, Hogan Surveys, the ESCI (Emotional Intelligence), and SAVI communications.

Dr. Zane has taught courses at the University of Pennsylvania and the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine focused on organizational diagnosis, group and team dynamics, strategic thinking and planning, and diversity, equity and inclusion.  She received a B.S. from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in social psychology from the University of Pennsylvania.

Dr. Joseph retired from CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield as a Medical Director. He graduated from the College of the Holy Cross, Worcester, MA. with a BA degree in Biology Pre-Medicine and accepted a U.S. Air Force Reserve Officers’ Training Corps Commission as a Second Lieutenant. He earned his Doctor of Medicine from Boston University. Dr. Joseph completed a Flexible Internship at Malcolm Grow USAF Medical Center, Andrews Air Force Base, MD.. He trained in Aerospace Medicine at Brooks, AFB, San Antonio, Texas and was assigned as a Flight Surgeon to Andrews AFB, MD. He traveled worldwide supporting White House and Congressional Special Air Missions. Dr. Joseph completed an Occupational Medicine Residency and a Master’s Degree in Public Health at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland. He also completed military assignments at Robins AFB, Georgia; Elmendorf AFB, Alaska and the Pentagon. Dr. Joseph retired from active duty after 20 years with an Aeronautical Rating of Chief Flight Surgeon the rank of Colonel. In 1998, after his military retirement Dr. Joseph joined CareFirst and has served on the Adventist HealthCare Centers’ Health Disparities Inaugural Advisory Board; Maryland Steering Committee for Adults with Sickle Cell Disease; as Vice Chair of the Leadership and Capacity Building and as Vice Chair for the Cultural and Linguistic Competency Workgroups of the Maryland Health Disparities Collaborative. He serves on the board of directors for Community Health Partnership, Inc., Washington D.C. Dr. Joseph is licensed to practice medicine in the State of Maryland.