Christopher R. Hayes
President & Founder of GVS Foundation
Christopher Hayes grew up in the small farm-town of Kutztown, Pennsylvania, and moved to Philadelphia to attend Temple University after high school. Being raised in the “countryside” where hunting game is a common recreational hobby, he learned responsible gun ownership from a very young age and never paid much attention to gun violence stories in the media. It all seemed too distant and unlikely to ever touch his life. However, that all changed in the summer of 2005 when a close friend was shot and killed on Temple University’s Campus. It was Christopher’s first encounter with gun violence, and he saw first hand the sort of devastation and grief that was going through the surviving family members as well as his friends.
Christopher went on to graduate from Temple University in 2009 with a B.B.A. in Risk Management and Insurance, and minors in both Health Care Management and Human Resource Management. His life had moved on, yet the experience from 2005 left invisible scars that never truly went away. Gun violence was no longer a distant stranger, and it became the driving force behind his vision to create this Foundation. On January 2, 2013, Christopher Hayes founded the Gun Violence Survivors Foundation in memory of his late friend Bryan Yeshion Schneps. GVS Foundation was created in the wake of the tragic events at Sandy Hook Elementary School, which brought back memories of his old friend. It was at this time that Christopher decided to dedicate his life to helping other survivors of gun violence in an effort to help them heal mentally and emotionally.
Bindu Kalesan PhD, MPH
Vice President of GVS Foundation
Bindu Kalesan is a PhD researcher with a dual focus in clinical research and firearm violence and injury research. Being an immigrant and currently living in Fort Lee, NJ, with her husband and a son, she was first introduced to the magnitude of injury and rate of death due to firearm violence while working as a faculty at Columbia University. Data from hospitalizations revealed high non-fatal firearm rates in the country, while firearm death rates remained stable since 2000. Dr. Kalesan now collaborates with prominent researchers at the Mailman School of Public Health and Department of Surgery at Columbia University and Jacobi Trauma Center surgeons to further study firearm injury survivorship.
She is now working towards establishing a registry and e-cohort of firearm injury survivors to study the short and long-term psychosocial effects and health outcomes of firearm injury, along with providing services to the survivors. Alongside survivorship research, she also studies the impact of different gun control legislature in the context of mental health and firearm injury and the social firearm culture prevalent in different parts of US. Having found that on an average 84 persons are shot dead per day in the US and that the firearm fatality profiles in the US are very different between states with respect to race and ethnicity, she is pursuing research to determine the social, individual and political factors that drive the increase or decrease in firearm injury in each state. Eventually, her goals are to minimize the preventable injuries and deaths due to firearm violence.
Angela S. Kim
Treasurer & Secretary of GVS Foundation
Angela Kim oversees communications and assists with program development for the GVS Foundation. She is responsible for reviewing and updating documents as necessary and ensures that all documents are safely stored and readily accessible. Angela is a vital asset to providing resources and support to the board, allowing them to effectively fulfill their fiduciary duties. She also serves as the Treasurer and oversees the management and reporting of the Foundation’s finances.
Angela Kim graduated from Temple University in 2009 with a B.B.A. in Actuarial Science. The curriculum from the distinguished business school has instilled essential skills in management and organization, which she utilizes daily. She currently resides in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and works as an executive assistant at an insurance agency. Angela’s experience in this position, coupled with her educational background, has aptly prepared her to assume the Secretary and Treasurer positions within the Foundation.