Komak Founders

Merle Greenstein | Founder  

Mr. Greenstein was born in Portland, Oregon in 1937.  He graduated from Lincoln High School and from Reed College, all in Portland.  Mr. Greenstein worked in the recycling industry and retired as Chairman of MMI Group in 1991.  For 55 years, since the age of 15, he has served on boards of various nonprofit organizations, including the YMCA, American Jewish Committee, Waverly Children’s Home, Oregon Mentoring, Alzheimer Development Committee, and Metropolitan Family Service, among many others.  He is married to Nasi Greenstein and they have three children.  Merle is intimately familiar with cancer:  he lost his mother to ovarian cancer, watched his father suffer from prostate cancer and colon cancer, and is himself being treated for prostate cancer.  As a friend to Hamid Maarefi, who succumbed to colon cancer after a three-year battle, Merle has been inspired to help others who are struggling to cope with a cancer diagnosis.   

Nasi Greenstein | Co-Founder & Steward

Nasi has a background in fashion design and held fashion shows for six years to raise funds to help a variety of organizations treat patients with cancer and other serious illnesses.  She has volunteered with hospice organizations locally for many years, working primarily with AIDS and cancer patients.  Nasi hosted several large fundraising events to raise funds for a terminal cancer patient faced with medical costs not covered by insurance. This experience inspired her to co-found Komak.

Hamid Maarefi | Founder
October 24, 1963 – Feburary 14, 2007

Hamid was born to Azar and Bahman Maarefi in Tehran, Iran. His childhood was spent in Ahwaz, Iran. Hamid moved to Oregon in 1978. He graduated from Lake Oswego High School in 1981. He perused his passion for photography at Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, California then returned to Oregon to attend Portland State University. Hamid was employed by Lexus of Portland for 16 years. As one of the original 12 employees co workers often called him an “ambassador to Lexus”. Hamid was diagnosed with advanced colon cancer at the age of 39. True to his optimistic attitude he focused on living each day rather than dying. He spent as much time as possible with his fiancée and love of his life, Katrenka Rember MD, whose devotion helped make this possible. The quality of Hamid’s last years was made possible by his family, friends and at times strangers. Thankful for this support, having the awareness that many in his circumstances did not have this support and wanting to do something meaningful Hamid hoped that an organization would be created to assist people with cancer. He saw this come to fruition as KOMAK Inc was incorporated December 2006, just weeks prior to his death.

Katrenka Rember MD |  Founder

Katrenka Rember MD  has been a family physician in private practice since 1990. In addition to being a cancer survivor, she was the caregiver for her fiancé Hamid, who died of cancer in 2007, and for her father who died of cancer in 2011.  This places her in the unique position to understand not only the medical issues and rigors of treatment, but also the emotional and financial impact on cancer patients and their families.  Dr. Rember is a Komak Founder. She has served on the Stewardship Council since the inception of Komak.  She served as a Komak Board Member from 2009-2011.  She continues to be an advisor to the Komak Board as well as liaison between the Komak board and the Komak Stewardship Council.  Dr. Rember currently practices at Pacific Medical Group in Tigard, Oregon.  She is a co-founder of Law Partners, a cooperative support group at Willamette University, College of Law.  She has experience in management and administration, public speaking and has received awards in teaching.