"Disability is a mismatch between my own abilities and the world around me. Disability is a design opportunity"
- August de los Reyes
Henry’s journey toward founding Mobella started with a family vacation. During the trip, he contracted a stomach virus that triggered Guillain-Barre’ syndrome, a rapidly ascending paralysis. Within twenty-four hours, Henry was paralyzed in his arms and legs. His inability to find assistive products whose quality and style matched his personal image led him to invent them for himself. This was the beginning of Mobella.
Henry is an attorney who has enjoyed a highly successful career of more than fifty years in media and First Amendment law. His client list is a Who’s Who of personalities from media, politics, business and entertainment. Henry brings the same passion that built his highly successful law practice to his work with Mobella. In his off hours, Henry enjoys swimming and spending time with his family. Among his favorite books is Amity and Prosperity: One Family and the Fracturing of America by Eliza Griswold, as his legal counsel helped bring the book to publication.
"My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor and some style."
- Maya Angelou
Meryl is a corporate and business law attorney and a partner in a New York City law firm, as well as an advocate for women’s entrepreneurship and leadership through her work with the Women Presidents’ Organization and other organizations.
Meryl’s involvement in Mobella is a very personal one. Her husband, Mobella co-founder Henry Kaufman, developed sudden paralysis due to Guillain-Barre Syndrome, leaving Meryl to navigate a complex and fragmented health care system ill-equipped to support patients with rare conditions, or their caregivers. Meryl counts her ability to navigate that system, which facilitated Henry’s recovery, among her greatest accomplishments. Once he regained some mobility, Henry set his sights on creating beautifully designed assistive products that people would be proud to use. Meryl worked to implement that vision—which is slated to include a health and wellness platform designed to foster community—leading to the creation of Mobella. In her role as Chair of the Board, Meryl provides strategic advice, guidance and support to Mobella's executive team. She is passionate about creating and delivering products and services that celebrate, empower and delight Mobella’s customers. Meryl enjoys hiking, walking, and exercising in both country settings and urban greenspaces. She loves spending time with her husband, daughter, son-in-law and extended family. An avid traveler, she also has a keen interest in art and design. Alice Munro, the 2013 Nobel Laureate in Literature, is a writer whose work Meryl greatly admires.
Olivia A. Raynor, PhD
Adjunct Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science, University of California at Los Angeles
Dr. Raynor has dedicated her professional life to advocating for the social and civil rights of people with disabilities. Her extensive experience in occupational and physical therapy has deepened our team’s understanding of the specific needs of people with mobility limitations. Dr. Raynor started her career as an occupational therapist, including serving as Director of Preschool Occupational and Physical Therapy Services for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She then began her 35-plus-year career at the University of California, Los Angeles, working with the university’s Occupational and Physical Therapy, Neuropsychology and Psychiatric and Behavioral Science departments. For more than 20 years, Dr. Raynor served as the director of both the Tarjan Center, UCLA’s center of excellence for disabilities education, and the National Arts and Disabilities Center, the school’s organization dedicated to promoting the full inclusion of children and adults with disabilities into arts communities. Dr. Raynor’s commitment to the disability community is unparalleled and serves as an inspiration to everyone at Mobella.
Connect with Dr. Raynor on LinkedIn
Product and Growth Executive, Digital Health Innovation and Consumer Experiences
Sanjay has a long track record of building products that improve people’s lives through his work with both startups and Fortune 500 companies, including AARP and CVS Health. Sanjay’s broad experience in human-centered design, with its focus on solving customers’ real-world problems, aligns perfectly with Mobella’s core mission. His wealth of knowledge in health care strategy, market trends and product management and design has proven invaluable to the team as Mobella continues to grow.
Connect with Sanjay on LinkedIn
Serial Entrepreneur, Founder and Former CEO of Silvernest, and Venture Advisor
A visionary and thought leader in the senior care and age-tech industries, Wendi is known for her innovative approach to surmounting the financial and societal challenges seniors so often face. Her most recent venture was co-founding and serving as CEO for Silvernest, a secure platform that finds roommates for seniors who want to continue living in their own homes. Since selling Silvernest, Wendi has served as an advisor to several startups, and her expertise in the age-tech space has been a tremendous resource for everyone on the Mobella team. A sought-after speaker, she is at the forefront of modernizing the way we age.
Connect with Wendi on LinkedIn
Chief Products Officer – Solo Brands / Founder of Chubbies
Rainer’s years of experience in marketing, branding and merchandising are a tremendous asset in his role on the Mobella board of advisors. After positions with leading brands including Levi Strauss & Co and Gap Inc., Rainer and a group of friends from his days at Stanford University founded Chubbies, the retro-inspired brand of men’s shorts and swimwear. The company’s customer-centric approach fueled its success and Rainer brings that same mindset to Mobella, along with his avid support of our beautifully designed mobility devices. In 2021, Rainer and his partners sold Chubbies to Solo Brands, where Rainer now fills the role of Chief Products Officer.
Connect with Rainer on LinkedIn
Jeffrey A. Moss
Chief Commercial Officer – Dematic Corp. / Former President and Chief Operating Officer – DCT, Inc
Jeff has spent more than 30 years at the forefront of the logistics and supply chain industry. His expertise has led to successful business-to-business customer relationships with some of the world’s largest companies, including Amazon, Walmart, Pepsico, AT&T Wireless, General Motors, Ford and Chrysler (now Stelantis). Jeff is widely known for his focus on creating a positive customer experience and for his strategic business insights. Jeff brings his deep experience in business-to-business commercial strategies to Mobella as we move forward with our brand.
Connect with Jeffrey on LinkedIn
Early-Stage Investor and Advisor
Janet brings her years of experience as a finance professional and investor to bear helping early-stage companies launch on a solid strategic and financial foundation. She has a particular passion for helping female entrepreneurs succeed, which has a positive ripple effect on their families, their communities and the young girls for whom they serve as an example. She understands how vital movement is to the health of our bodies and minds and is excited to use her financial expertise to help Mobella bring inventive and beautifully designed products to those with mobility issues. Janet enjoys travel, books and time with her friends and family (including her yellow Lab, Luca).
Connect with Janet on LinkedIn
Engineering and Product Development Advisor to the Leadership Team
David’s career in engineering and business leadership has spanned over forty years and he is the inventor of more than seventeen patents. David loves working with Mobella and believes in its mission to give people with mobility challenges products that enable full and active lives. He sees his mandate as supporting the engineering team in developing Mobella products with the highest standards of design, manufacturing, testing and compliance.
Connect with David on LinkedIn
Brand and Marketing Advisor to the Leadership Team
Throughout her 20-year career in marketing and brand building, Heidi has been integral to the launch of more than 50 brands while working from both the company and agency perspectives. Heidi joined Mobella to help us build our brand after serving as Associate Publisher and General Manager of Ad Age, a global leader in media, marketing and advertising. Now VP of Brand Marketing at Quad Marketing and Advertising, Heidi continues to offer counsel to the Mobella team on our marketing and branding strategy. Her mission is to ensure that we connect with our customers where they are and speak to them in the language they understand best.
Connect with Heidi on LinkedIn
Elizabeth Depoy, PhD
Professor of Interdisciplinary Disability Studies, Social Work and Cooperating Faculty, School of Policy and International Affairs, Mechanical Engineering, and Interdisciplinary Disabilities Study, University of Maine.
Dr. Depoy is a renowned disability theorist and researcher whose books include Branding and Designing Disability (Routledge, 2014) and Emerging Thoughts in Disability and Humanness (Anthem, 2022), both co-authored with her husband Dr. Stephen F. Gilson. Elizabeth is the co-inventor (with Dr. Gilson and Dr. Vince Cacesse) of the Afari, which was borne of her desire to participate in outdoor activities despite having ataxia, which affects her balance. The Afari is specifically designed to provide stability, balance, and weight-bearing assistance to people with mobility limitations who want to maintain an active lifestyle. Elizabeth and her co-inventors were determined to create a device that was not just functional, but attractively designed so as not to stigmatize its users. Elizabeth is an enthusiastic supporter of Mobella and always willing to provide her expertise.
Stephen F. Gilson, PhD
Professor of Social Work, School of Social Work and Coordinator and Professor Interdisciplinary Disability Studies Center for Community Inclusion & Disability Studies, University of Maine.
Dr. Gilson is at the forefront of scholarship aimed at decreasing the stigma and segregation surrounding disability and aging. Stephen was awarded the 2017-2018 University of Maine Trustee Professorship. His books include, Branding and Designing Disability (Routledge, 2014) and Emerging Thoughts in Disability and Humanness (Anthem, 2022), both co-authored with his wife Dr. Elizabeth Depoy. When Stephen and Elizabeth searched for a safe, aesthetically pleasing mobility device that would allow Elizabeth, who has ataxia, to compete in a 5K race, they found nothing that fit the bill. So together with their University of Maine colleague Dr. Vince Cacesse, they invented the Afari, which has been featured in the Cooper Hewitt Museum’s Access+Ability exhibition. Stephen’s support and counsel has been of enormous benefit to the entire Mobella team.
Vincent Caccese, Ph.D., P.E
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, University of Maine
During his 30-plus-year career at the University of Maine, Dr. Caccese has participated in more than $12 million of research funded by agencies such as the National Science Foundation, NASA, and the National Institute on Aging, among others. His aging-related areas of interest include the development of assistive devices for rehabilitation and recreation that do not stigmatize the user, which led to his successful collaboration with Elizabeth Depoy and Stephen J. Gilson on the Afari all-terrain walker. Dr. Caccese has also worked with partners in private industry, including Lockheed Martin, Trans Tech, and Mobility Technologies. His expertise in mechanical engineering and partnership with Dr. Depoy and Dr. Gilson, along with his continued support, have been foundational to Mobella’s growth