About Us


The ultimate vision of The Juliette RP Vision Foundation is to achieve cures for Retinitis Pigmentosa and other retina-related eye diseases.


  1. Provide scholarships for visually impaired children destined for college. Primarily, we will offer scholarships to U.S. high school seniors who have been admitted to college.
  2. The Juliette RP Vision Foundation will provide scholarships to young ophthalmologists who are conducting Retinitis Pigmentosa research and/or providing eye care to patients with RP or other retina related eye diseases.


The Juliette RP Vision Foundation was founded in 2008 to help find a cure for Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP). The foundation was created by Dr. Robert F. Melendez and several of his MBA colleagues from Anderson School of Management at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Melendez was inspired to learn more about the eye as a young boy when his mother was diagnosed with RP. He would tell her that he was going to find a cure for her disease. To that end, he and his colleagues were able to start the foundation to help find a cure for RP and named the foundation after his mother, Diane Juliette Melendez, who was diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa.

Special thanks to his colleagues in his MBA class:

  • Heather Foote-Jasso, MBA
  • Tanya Blake, MBA
  • Clint Boyle, MBA
  • Emily Sego, MBA (helped us with starting our website)
  • Monty Peck
  • Lisa Thomas, JD, MBA
  • Kevin Winner, MBA

Board of Directors

  • Robert F. Melendez, MD, MBA, President and Executive Director
  • Paula Strosnider, Assistant Executive Director
  • Raymond Melendez, Vice-President
  • Kevin Winner, Treasurer
  • Diane Melendez, Secretary
  • Lucille Melendez, Secretary
  • C. Shain Tanner, Fundraiser and Outreach Director
  • Josh Melendez, Communications and Marketing Director
  • C. Nate Roybal, MD, PhD

Volunteer Staff

  • Tanya Blake, MBA
  • Heather Foote-Jasso, MBA
  • Temple T. Moore, DBA
  • Marie Jo Smerechniak

What is Retinitis Pigmentosa?

Retinitis Pigmentosa (RP) refers to a group of inherited diseases causing retinal degeneration. The retina lines the back inside wall of the eye and is responsible for capturing images from the visual field. People with RP experience a gradual decline in their vision because photoreceptor cells (rods and cones) die.

Learn More About Retinitis Pigmentosa

Night For Sight

Awards • Dinner • Dancing • Black Tie

August 12, 2023 at 6:30 pm

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