Board of Directors

About Us

Scott Riccio, Executive Director, Accelerate Progress

Scott is the founder and Executive Director for Accelerate Progress, a not-for-profit “action-tank” focused on bringing new promising and potentially lifesaving therapies to cancer patients, and others fighting life-threatening diseases, more quickly and efficiently.  In this role, Scott is responsible for all aspects of the organization, including member recruitment, mission development and implementation, advisor recruitment and direction, media interactions, budgeting and planning, and other essential tasks.  Scott has conducted numerous briefings for Congressional staffers on FDA and related health issues and has been interviewed or quoted for multiple media outlets.  Scott is driven by both the memory of losing a grandfather to gastric cancer more than twenty years ago and the knowledge that there has been far too little translation of our progress against disease, since the death of his grandfather, into available patient options for cancer and many other diseases.  He is compelled to act by the knowledge of what needs to be done and the belief in his ability to bring together the many groups necessary to achieve meaningful reform, without being beholden to any.  Scott brings a combination of expertise in broad coalition building, a rigorous business-minded approach to analyzing systems and accounting for progress, and a hands on approach to every aspect of the organization, while respecting and supporting the incredible expertise surrounding him in the organization.  Scott graduated from Middlebury College with a BA in Political Science and received his MBA from the University of Chicago’s Graduate School of Business, with a dual concentration in entrepreneurship and strategy.  He cherishes his time with his wife Angela, son Spencer, and daughter Maya, along with their two dogs. 

Scott is also the Director of Foundation and Endowment Services for Morningstar Associates, LLC.  In that role, he is responsible for the development, management, and client servicing of Morningstar Associates’ investment consulting solutions for the not-for-profit markets.  These solutions leverage the group’s capabilities in investment plan evaluation and design, investment manager selection, ongoing institutional investment monitoring, and portfolio management.  Scott has over eight years of previous investment experience including product management, marketing, and contracts work.  Prior to taking on his role as Director, Scott was the Product Manager responsible for an array of Institutional Investment Consulting products and services.  He has been with Morningstar since 1999.

Melody Davis, MSN, RN

Melody is a native of Eutaw, Alabama.  She is Family Nurse Practitioner having received a Masters of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in May, 2008.  Prior to becoming a Nurse Practitioner, Melody was a Flight Attendant.

Melody volunteers at a local elementary school.  She is a leader in the community, activist, and patient advocate.  She has organized three rallies, one in Chicago, one in Madison, WI, and one at the FDA headquarters in Rockville, MD to bring awareness to prostate cancer, new innovative cancer treatments, and the FDA’s drug approval process.  Melody is currently a “New NP” blogger for Advance for Nurse Practitioners.

Melody lives in Montgomery, Alabama with her husband Chuck who is a physician and Navy Veteran along with their three children, C.J., John, Annye and a goldendoodle named Vain.  her blog at Advance for Nurse Practitioners found here. 

Bruce Tower

Bruce has been a President and Director of his own company previously. He holds a masters degree in business administration and held the positions of Director of Administration and Director of Marketing in a large national insurance company.  He is very familiar with Outside Director obligations.  Bruce is also past President and/or Director of multiple nonprofit associations.  He is a prostate cancer survivor and has an intimate familiarity with treatment regimens, doctor/patient relationships, regulatory processes, treatment modalities and alternatives and patient choices and the consequences of those.  Click here to see Bruce talk about what an experimental therapy has given him and what is denied to 27,000 men this year alone.  You can read an excellent story about Bruce and his community impact and strength of character here.  Unfortunately, the story is incorrect in one key area.  In spite of an overwhelming vote of support from an independent panel of experts, the FDA did not approve the therapy.