An active, engaged Board of Directors is at the heart of any organization’s success. It is not a passive role, but one of active leadership: defining mission, setting policy and stewarding human and financial resources. The varied talents and contacts of a board from diverse backgrounds can help an organization grow. A good board member is one who brings unique ability and perspective to a board and takes an active interest in the organization. The Solve ME/CFS Initiative has benefited from the talents and volunteer leadership of nearly 100 such individuals who have served on the Board of Directors since the organization’s founding in 1987.
In 2013, the Association welcomes five new members to its Board of Directors. They will meet for the first time in person this coming weekend with seven other returning directors for a joint planning retreat of the Board and staff. We’d like you to meet our newest Board members…
Maryam Aghamirzadeh of Los Gatos, CA: Maryam, an engineer by training, has had in depth experience in general management, strategic and tactical planning, services, sales, marketing and operations management with both startups and Fortune 50 companies. Her most recent position prior to her retirement last year was as Vice President of Services Solutions for Cisco. Maryam holds an MBA from Portland State University and a BA in electrical engineering from Oregon State University. In 2006, Maryam received both a YWCA of Silicon Valley Tribute to Women Award which recognizes outstanding achievements of the area’s executive women and an Oregon Stater Distinguished Engineer Award for contributions to the engineering profession. Maryam’s connection to CFS is through her younger sister.
Michael Greenwell of Atlanta, GA: Michael is an expert in communications and public health. Currently Vice President of ICF International, he served for 14 years as the communications director for two large centers within CDC: the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry. Michael serves on numerous boards including the American Heart Association and the Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association, and has served as a senior consultant to the Arthritis Foundation, the Solve ME/CFS Initiative and the Interstitial Cystitis Association.
Pamela Laird of San Francisco and Occidental, CA: Pamela graduated from the Medill School of Journalism, Northwestern University as well as earned her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management in an accelerated program. She has a background in strategic marketing and brand management having spent her career at Proctor & Gamble, The Clorox Company, DHL and later founded p.s.l. marketing resources, for which she was named 1991 San Francisco Woman Entrepreneur of the Year and earned a place in Who’s Who of American Women. Pam served on the Boards of the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, Advocates for Women and Leadership San Francisco. In the early 1990s she closed her firm when she became ill with CFS. In 2011, after 13 years of writing lessons, seven years of accumulating credits, Pam received her MFA in creative writing from San Francisco State University. She tweets @pam. Learn more about Pam through her Catalyst Fund donor profile.
Lynn Royster, Ph.D., of Dallas, TX: Lynn, a professor at DePaul University with a background in law, conflict management and transpersonal psychology. Lynn developed the Chronic Illness Initiative at DePaul, a program that helps students with medical issues complete their degree, and served as the program’s director for 10 years. She served on the Solve ME/CFS Initiative Board of Directors from 2003 – 2009 during which time she held a variety of positions including chair of the Long Range Planning Committee, Nominating Committee Chair and Board Vice Chair. She is currently serving as Secretary and a member of the Executive Committee. Lynn’s son, Patrick, has had CFS for more than 25 years. Learn more about Lynn through her Catalyst Fund donor profile.
Terry Tyler, M.D., of Owensboro, KY: Terry was a private practice diagnostic radiologist for 35 years. In addition to medical knowledge, Terry brings a business background, having built his own diagnostic imaging center business which he sold to a local hospital in 2008. Subsequently, he was a member of the hospital administration as the Chief Outpatient Diagnostics Officer until retiring in 2012. He has worked with other nonprofits including JDRF and the International Bluegrass Music Museum. Terry’s daughter has had CFS for 12 years.
Three members of the Board retired at the end of 2012 after years of dedicated service. Adam Lesser (chairman of the Board in 2010 and 2011) and Patrick Venetucci (chairman of the Nominating Committee in 2012, chairman of the Long-Range Strategic Planning Committee in 2011) each served for five years, while Bob Raidt (served on several committees) for four. We will miss the many important contributions made by each of these individuals during their tenure. Directors are limited to six consecutive years of service but are eligible to serve again after a one-year break
In 2013, the Board of Directors will continue to be led by Amy Squires (chairman), Vicki Boies, PsyD (vice chairman), and Kevin Frick, MBA (treasurer). Lynn Royster, JD, PhD serves as secretary.
As we chart our course forward, with and for the CFS community, we are thrilled to have a visionary Board of Directors, a seasoned professional staff, an esteemed Scientific Advisory Board and a broad base of supporters working together to achieve the vision of a world free of CFS. We will marshal all our resources to make CFS widely understood, diagnosable and treatable.