OUR PURPOSE is to fund, promote, and conduct scientific research in the molecular pathogenesis of oral, head, and neck cancers by studying the genes and corresponding proteins that are abnormally expressed in these cancers. This foundation will also promote, sponsor, and develop innovative methods for preventing, detecting, and treating these fatal cancers. Our ultimate purpose is to find a cure for these deadly cancers.
OUR LOGO the lighthouse, represents security, trust, and hope.
"While reflecting on the time we had spent with Andy, we couldn't help remember all the Memorial Day weekends at Crescent Beach. These trips helped define our friendship. Year after year, we could look forward to the beach and visiting St. Augustine. Because this trip held so many memories of our friendship, we decided to use the St. Augustine lighthouse as our logo. Not only does it remind us of the value of our time spent with Andy, but the lighthouse brings with it the idea of Hope, Security, and Trust. These are the principals behind the foundation...."
-Ryan Anderson, President, and Co-Founder
We are secure in our desire to achieve the Foundation goals. The friendships that Andy made while on this earth are secure to this day and will remain so.
Trust is the strong foundation upon which any good undertaking must stand. Hope is the driving force of life. The hope of something better keeps us moving positively into the future and helps us endure hard times. It is hoped that drives us to our ultimate goal of sponsoring and conducting research to eradicate oral, head and neck cancer one day.
OUR VOLUNTEERS The Andrew J. Semesco Foundation is an entire volunteer-run; there are no paid employees. Since volunteers support all activities, we only have a 4.1% operation cost. This enables us to put over 96% of our public support to work for our cause.
Jeff moved to Florida when he was six-months-old and knew Andy during their pre-school education. They attended different elementary and middle schools and reunited in high
school. Jeff attended the University of Florida, and graduated with High Research Honors
for Oral Cancer Research from the University of Florida College of Dentistry. Jeff entered the United States Air Force Dental Corps and earned a Masters Degree and a specialty certificate in Prosthodontics. He is married to his beautiful wife, Holly, and is currently the Chief of Prosthodontics at the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, CO.
Born and raised in Ocala, FL, Ryan and Andy were lifelong friends. He graduated from the University of Florida and majored in Marketing with a Minor in Economics. He currently resides in Ocala, FL, with wife, Lauren, and two daughters. He is very active in the community and is Vice President of Contemporary Interiors, Inc.
David and Andy grew up together in Ocala attending the same schools and playing sports for a number of the same teams. After high school, they both attended Florida State University where they joined the same fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, and became roommates. In 2000, David graduated with his B.S. in Management Information Systems and moved on into the healthcare industry as a sales representative. Currently, David resides in Tampa, FL with his beautiful wife Lori and their son Lincoln.
Matt was born and raised in Ocala, FL and first met Andy at age 4. They grew up together as classmates and teammates. After graduating from the University of Florida, Matt moved to Atlanta and has been working in the insurance industry selling Property and Casualty Insurance for the past 8 years. Matt is the proud father of Aidan McCoun, age 5 and is set to be married to Dr. Jessica Clayton in June 2011
Todd was born and raised in Ocala and quickly became friends with Andy during their pre-school years. While Andy decided to attend Florida State, Todd chose the University of Florida and a good-natured rivalry ensued. After graduation, Todd traveled the country and worked in such places as Colorado, Louisiana, and Tennessee before settling back in Ocala. Today, Todd has a wonderful wife Carly and works for Marion County Fire Rescue.
An Ocala native, Mack and Andy grew up together and were roommates in college. Mack graduated from Florida State University in 2000 with a bachelor's in Applied Economics and minors in Business and Communications. Working within the healthcare industry, Mack's sales consultant role with CIGNA Healthcare allows for impact on mid-size corporations' medical costs and solutions.
Casey was born in Jacksonville, FL, and met Andy his freshman year at Florida State University. They were part of the same pledge class of Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity (fall ’96). Casey and Andy became fast friends and remained very close during their days at FSU. Casey received his B.S. in Biological Sciences from and then earned his MBA from the University of Florida (although his FSU loyalty never faltered). Casey and his wife, Courtney, currently live in Atlanta where Casey works as a reinsurance broker for Aon Benfield. They are expecting their first son, due in August 2010.
David and Andy grew up together in Ocala and remained friends in college despite Andy's being a Seminole. David attended the University of Florida, earning bachelor's degrees in Political Science and History, followed later by an MA in Diplomacy. He worked in international development until 2006. He is presently engaged!
Dr. Daniel Weldon, Jill Schuck, Ryan Anderson,
Peggy Semesco and Dr. Juddson Reed
Ryan Anderson: Born and raised in Ocala, FL, Ryan and Andy were lifelong friends. He graduated from the University of Florida and majored in Marketing with a Minor in Economics. He currently resides in Ocala, FL, with wife, Lauren, and two daughters. He is very active in the community and is Vice President of Contemporary Interiors, Inc. He is a Founding member of AJS and has also served as President since the AJS Foundations inception in 2002.
Jill Schuck: Also born and raised in Ocala, FL, Jill is a wife and mother to 2 handsome boys. She has served as an officer of AJS for 12 years, been the marketing director and also planned many of our community events. She met Andy in high school and they also attended Florida State University together.
Dan Weldon, DMD: Dr. Weldon and his wife, Elizabeth, live in Ocala. They are members of the First United Methodist Church of Ocala. Dr. Weldon enjoys spending time with his wife and their twin girls, Georgia and McCall. He also enjoys fishing, Crossfit, and training with his black lab, Gator. Most recently, Dr. Weldon has become a fellow in the International Congress of Oral Implantologists.
His office, Weldon General & Cosmetic Dentistry, is dedicated to providing superior implant dentistry. He joined as an officer of AJS Foundation in 2013 and is very involved in our mission, as well as our events. He is currently Chair of the 2014 Golf Tournament.
Peggy Semesco: Mother of David and Andy Semesco and grandmother of Ruby Jane Semesco and Jack Andrew Semesco, was born in West Virginia and graduated from West Virginia University in 1971.
She then married Dr. Stephen Semesco and moved to Ocala Florida in 1972. She worked in the education field until her children were born. After that time she spent many hours as a volunteer for school, civic and social organizations in Ocala.
Peggy has been working with the AJS Foundation since its inception as Secretary-Treasurer, project chairman and supporter of all the foundation activities.
Juddson Reed, DMD: Dr. Reed and his wife Amanda live in Ocala with their two daughters, Sophie and Josie. Outside of work, Dr. Reed enjoys spending time with his family, running, biking, and swimming. He attended Forest High School where he participated on the Math team, Tennis team, and graduated with High Honors. Dr. Reed attended Wake Forest University where he received a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry, finishing Magna Cum Laude. He completed his dental degree at the University of Florida where he graduated at the top of his class.
Dr. Reed continued his training at the University of Florida where he received his certificate in Orthodontics and Dentofacial Orthopedics and Masters Degree in Oral Biology. During his final year of residency, he served as chief resident.
Dr. Reed has been involved with AJS since 2005, leading our Research Department, as well as continuing and initiating relations with The University of Florida.