Staff

Meet the team

Karla Dzienkowski

Karla Dzienkowski, RN, BSN
Executive Director

In January 2014, Karla accepted the position of executive director. Since then she has made a huge impact on the organization. Karla first learned about RLS in her dual roles as a mother and registered nurse when her daughter, then 11 1/2 years old, began to experience symptoms that doctors could not explain. Karla crossed the country looking for answers before finally finding a knowledgeable doctor, and shortly after, the RLS Foundation. Eager for answers, Karla joined the Foundation's Board of Directors in 2004 and served through 2009. As a board member, she encouraged pediatric RLS research, along with programs to increase awareness and education of RLS in the medical and school communities. Karla believes that much work has yet to be done in disseminating information about RLS to the public and the medical community, and that much more research into its cause and treatment is needed. Karla drives the mission of the Foundation with her leadership, and she is passionate about promoting research for better treatments and a cure.

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Clara Schlemeyer

Clara Schlemeyer
Program Coordinator

Clara joined the Foundation in 2017, first as an administrative assistant while finishing her degree, then joining the team full time as the program coordinator. Clara manages our volunteer programs, coordinates our webinar series, and is responsible for coordinating our presence on social media. Clara is a Texas Tech University graduate, with a degree in public relations. Clara has extensive experience with volunteering and non-profit organizations. During her six years in National Charity League, Inc., a mother-daughter service organization, she was recognized as the senior with the most volunteer hours worked, over 500! She is a native Austinite, and a proud Texan! She spent most of her childhood summers as a camper and later a counselor at Prude Ranch in West Texas. The only thing she loves more than Texas is her dog, Watson.

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Arellano

Amber Arellano
Membership Coordinator

Amber joins the Foundation with a Bachelor of Science degree in Biomedical Science from Texas A&M University. She has extensive experience working in all aspects of a medical clinic including medical assistant, supervising all monetary transactions and coordinating referrals. Most recently Amber scheduled and conducted training in English and Spanish for NXP Semi-Conductor. Amber has a proven record as an insightful customer service expert in which she establishes an honest, reliable connection with clients. Amber is a certified open water sport diver, enjoys beach volleyball and volunteers at Austin Pets Alive.

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maddie lionberger

Maddie Lionberger
Administrative Assistant

The RLS Foundation is pleased to welcome Maddie Lionberger to the staff as an administrative assistant. Maddie attended Georgia Tech and earned her undergraduate degree in biology. Following graduation, Maddie worked as an Assistant Surveillance Officer for the Georgia Emerging Infections Program to provide public health research on infectious disease for the Atlanta-metropolitan area. After, she continued her educational pursuits and moved to Pittsburgh, PA to earn a M.S. in Biomedical Sciences from The University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. During this time, she joined M*Modal as a virtual medical scribe in order to expand her medical knowledge. Maddie’s previous experience and dedication to medicine will be of great use to the Foundation!

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