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Board of Directors

Zachary Yaksich

President & Executive Director

Zachary is Alana’s dad and founder of Alana's Foundation. After the unspeakable tragedy of his daughter dying from influenza, he made it his life work to ensure no one will ever endure the pain and grief of their child dying. A business professional by day, Zack directs Alana’s Foundation with love as part of healing process. His leadership allows him to have a direct impact on increasing awareness about the dangers of influenzas as well as increase the vaccination rates among all populations. Zack wants all parents to know that a simple flu shot could save your child’s life or the life of someone you love. He is a dedicated father to his three children and works tirelessly to provide a loving, stable home and strong example of selfless giving back to your community.


JoAnna Yaksich

Secretary & Board Director

JoAnna, Alana’s aunt and a founding member of Alana’s Foundation, has been involved in philanthropic endeavors since a young girl volunteering at her church. She served on the church board, was the director of their Sunday School program, and was a member of the ladies auxiliary. In addition, her professional background is as a marketing professional. JoAnna was also a past board member of the city of Birmingham and another local charity, Camp-Mak-A-Dream, She now dedicates her charitable efforts to educating others about the dangers of influenza and encourages everyone to get their yearly flu vaccinations in the hopes no one has to experience the death of a loved one from a vaccine preventable disease.


Jordan Attisha, MS, PA-C

Board Director

Physician assistant Jordan Attisha has been caring for the health and well-being of infants, children, teens, and adults since 2018. A board member of Alana's Foundation since 2023, she has clinical interests in women's health, diabetes management, health and wellness, and nutrition.

Jordan earned both a bachelor’s in biology and a master’s in physician assistant studies from the University of Detroit Mercy in Michigan. She is a member of the Michigan Academy of Physician Assistants (MAPA), the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants (NCCPA) and the Association of Family Practice PAs & NPs (AFPPANP).

Jordan is married and the mother to toddler, Olivia, and dog, Piper, that keep her on her toes.  When she isn’t with family or patients, Jordan enjoys reading, exercising, and cooking


Carlo Bautista

Board Director

Carlo is a marketing professional with over 30 years experience in marketing strategy and tactics in the automotive, food and education sectors. He became a member of Alana’s Foundation in 2009, accepting the invitation to do so from his college friend Zack, after witnessing the devastation and impact of the death of a child. He eagerly represents Alana’s Foundation at various community awareness events and is always seeking to develop and strengthen Alana’s Foundation brand within the community. Carlo is married and the father of two children who often accompany him to Foundation events.


Cassius Drake, MD

Board Director

Dr. Cassius Drake is a board-certified emergency medicine physician, recently retired after 20 years as an attending physician and national award winning emergency department director. He received his medical degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and undergraduate degree in engineering from Cornell University. Dr. Drake joined the board in 2018 and brings his passion for healing in all its forms to the foundation. A married father of two, Dr. Drake spends his free time raising his sons and supporting the Jacqueline Drake Gallery, created by his amazingly talented and beautiful wife Jacqueline, in Franklin, MI.


Rudy Gomez, MD

Board Director

A family physician at Henry Ford Allegian Hospital in Jackson, MI, Dr. Gomez has been a board member for Alana’s Foundation since 2014. He is board-certified in Family Medicine and has professional affiliations with the American Academy of Family Practice (AAFP), Michigan AAFP, Macomb Hispanic Coalition Founder, and the Macomb Mental Health Task Force. In addition, Dr. Gomez has served as the volunteer preceptor since 2011 for medical students at Wayne's Medical School Robert Frank Free Clinic in Detroit delivering basic medical care to patients with no insurance. He volunteers at Trinity Community Clinic in Utica, MI seeing patients with no insurance as well. A married father of two, Dr. Gomez received the Good Samaritan Award from Macomb Immigrant Service Center in December 2016.

Daena Nicholas

Board Director

Daena, Alana’s aunt has been involved in philanthropic endeavors since a young age volunteering at her church and serving as the Sunday School Director and on the board of the ladies' auxiliary group. In addition, she was the chairwoman for Runway Repurposed, a grassroots arts organization in her community. Having a degree in communications from Michigan State University, she worked as a trainer for General Motors and is currently working as an independent travel agent. Her work with Alana’s Foundation is motivated by the desire to spread awareness about the importance of flu vaccinations and helps implement clinics across Michigan. Daena is widowed and the mother of Alana’s three cousins, Elia, Zachary, and Katina.

Katina Nicholas

Board Director

An emergency department nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital in Chicago, Katina earned her Master of Science in Nursing from DePaul University in 2021 and her Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Science from Michigan State University in 2019.  She joined the board of Alana’s Foundation in 2023 and finds it particularly rewarding to part of a non-profit closely related to her field that has touched her personally. Alana is her first cousin and only 2 months older. She is honored and blessed to offer creative, innovative input about an important public health initiative that affects everyone universally.  In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, traveling, walking and caring for her cat Sebastian. 

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