Board of Directors

The COPD Foundation is proud to have such a diverse Board with Members that come from various backgrounds, all of which bring their unique specialties to help progress the common cause: encourage, empower, and engage individuals with COPD in order to improve the qualities of life of all those who are affected by the disease. Members of the Board include researchers, physicians, health care activists, and individuals with COPD, all of which help guide the Foundation’s efforts. Members serve three-year terms on the Board, but also serve on the various Foundation committees. Below, you will find a list of the Members of the Board of Directors, with their short biography.

STEW COGANplus

Stew Cogan is in his twelfth year as a full-time arbitrator and mediator, following twenty years practicing primarily corporate, business, and real estate law. Stew has been named a Super Lawyer by Washington Law & Politics each year from 1999 through 2007. He was also named one of the Best Lawyers in Seattle by Seattle Magazine in 2001, 2003, 2005, and 2007, and one of Puget Sound’s Top Business Lawyers by Seattle Business Monthly in 2006, 2007, and 2008. He is a frequent speaker on a variety of mediation and arbitration topics. He is a fellow of the invitation-only College of Commercial Arbitrators and a fellow of the invitation-only American College of Civil Trial Mediators. Stew serves on the boards of directors of Physicians Insurance, the dominant medical malpractice insurance carrier in the State of Washington, The Institute for Family Development, as well as the COPD Foundation.

JAMES D. CRAPO, M.D.plus

In addition to serving as a board member for the COPD Foundation, he is a Professor of Medicine at National Jewish Health and the University of Colorado Denver. He was chairman of Medicine at National Jewish from 1996 to 2004, and Chief of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at Duke University from 1976 to 1996. Dr. Crapo is a past president of the American Thoracic Society and the Fleischner Society. Dr. Crapo is a principal investigator of the COPDGene Study. The COPDGene Study is a multi-center genetic epidemiology study that has created a cohort of 10,500 subjects at risk for or with COPD, phenotyping these subjects with inspiratory and expiratory CT scans, identifying genetic risk factors using genome-wide association and following these subjects for several years.

GRACE ANNE DORNEY KOPPEL, ESQplus

Grace Anne Dorney Koppel was diagnosed with Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) in 2001. The news set her on a course of aggressive rehabilitation—and advocacy.

Since January 2006, Dorney Koppel has served as a national spokeswoman and patient advocate for the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute of the National Institutes of Health to increase awareness of COPD, a group of lung diseases including emphysema, refractory asthma, chronic bronchitis and bronchiectasis that affects some 24 million Americans, 12 million of whom are undiagnosed and untreated. She has appeared on CBS Evening News, Good Morning America, The View, and other major venues to draw attention to NHLBI’s "Learn More Breathe Better" campaign.

A graduate of Fordham University (B.A.), Stanford University (M.A.), and Georgetown Law (J.D.), Dorney Koppel is a practicing attorney and business manager for her husband, former Nightline anchor Ted Koppel. She is president of the Dorney-Koppel Family Charitable Foundation, one of whose missions is to provide start-up funding for Pulmonary Rehabilitation Centers.

SAM GIORDANO, RRTplus

Sam Giordano retired as the Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for Respiratory Care (AARC). He is a Registered Respiratory Therapist (RRT) and has worked as a Staff Respiratory Therapist and Director of Respiratory Services at various hospitals. Giordano has been an active member of the AARC and has served on the board of directors of the Allergy & Asthma Network/Mothers of Asthmatics, as Chairman of the National Commission on Allied Health Implementation Task Force and Commissioner for the National Commission on Allied Health, Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources & Services Administration, member of the Executive Committee of the U.S. COPD Coalition, board member of the COPD Foundation, as well as memberships and leadership positions with many other various professional associations.

DONALD GRAYplus

Donald Gray is a Board Member of the COPD Foundation, as well as the Atlantic Legal Foundation. He received the President’s Award for Excellence from Concordia College in 2006, and is Co-Chair of the Bronxville Men’s Book Club. In addition, he is also the Co-Chairman of the Bronxville Historical Conservancy and serves on the President’s Advisory Council at Concordia College–Bronxville. Donald has served as a Board Member for the Hospital for Joint Diseases in New York, on the Board of Governors/Finance Committee at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, and was on the Board of Governors as an Executive Committee/CFO and President of the Community Fund of Bronxville. He was Managing Director at Morgan Stanley for 14 years and is now retired.

MICHAEL P. MAYERplus

Michael Mayer became involved with the COPD Foundation shortly after the death of his father-in-law Richard H. Scarborough in March 2005. Mike worked with Collin Scarborough on the creation of the Richard H. Scarborough Bronchiectasis Research Consortium and Registry which has over 1,000 registered patients in the database. Professionally, Mike possesses over 25 years of experience with an extensive background in executive talent acquisition for Fortune 500 companies as well as early stage firms as well as leadership development and talent management. He previously held human resources leadership positions within General Electric, Allied Signal, and the Aramark Corporation where he personally led and contributed to significant organization initiatives that entailed large scale change. He is extremely active in his church, and served as the leader of the board as well as on Diocesan committees for Property and Finance. An Eagle Scout, he is active in the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he serves as a lecturer at Villanova University where he has taught graduate courses in Management and Organization Behavior.

LAWRENCE STERNplus

As the former Chairman and CEO of Talecris Biotherapeutics, Lawrence (Larry) Stern, led the evaluation and plan that resulted in the formation of Talecris in 2005 with financial support from two private equity groups to acquire the Bayer Biologics plasma business. Larry guided the company’s transformation into an independent, industry leading global provider of plasma-derived protein therapies culminating in the company’s 2009 IPO and listing on NASDAQ. In 2010, Larry was recognized as the national winner of Ernst and Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year® in the Health Sciences category for his vision and leadership in acquiring, transforming and then developing a global leader in plasma therapeutics.

Larry is now focused on giving back to the community and charitable organizations. He is currently serving on two healthcare boards, The Jewish Healthcare Foundation and The COPD Foundation.

Larry received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University (1979) and a M.S. in Chemical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1981).

RICHARD CASABURI PH.D, M.D.plus

Richard Casaburi is Professor of Medicine at UCLA School of Medicine and Associate Chief for Research in the Division of Respiratory Medicine at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center in Torrance, California. He occupies the Grancell/Burns Chair in the Rehabilitative Sciences at Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute.

Dr. Casaburi completed his PhD in biomedical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Five years after joining the Harbor-UCLA faculty, he returned to school and earned his medical degree at University of Miami. He returned to Harbor-UCLA for pulmonary medicine training and then rejoined the Respiratory Medicine faculty.

Dr. Casaburi established the Rehabilitation Clinical Trials Center in 1999, a facility dedicated to COPD clinical research. He has published more than 260 papers and 240 abstracts and presented over 500 invited lectures on exercise physiology, pulmonary rehabilitation and COPD therapeutics.

Dr. Casaburi is president of the Pulmonary Education and Research Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing pulmonary rehabilitation.

KATHLEEN TONER, ESQ.plus

Kathleen Toner, Esq is an American Attorney and the former Chief Regulatory Counsel of LaBranche & Co. Inc., a holding company with broker dealer subsidiaries engaging in among other things proprietary treading in US securities in the United States, Europe and Hong Kong. Prior to joining LaBranche, she was a Trial Attorney for the New York Stock Exchange’s Division of Enforcement investigating and prosecuting brokers and broker dealers for violations of New York Stock Exchange rules and federal regulatory rules and regulations. In addition, she was previously associated with the Securities Real Estate Division of the New York State Attorney General, an associate with the former Bass Brothers Investment Partnership in Connecticut and with the Arbitrage Division of Smith Barney.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Miss Toner was trained as a classical musician with a Bachelor and Master’s Degree in Music from the Manhattan School of Music majoring in Voice. She utilized this training as a music teacher in the New York City and New York State public school system. A former finalist in the Western Division of the Metropolitan Opera and San Francisco Opera Competitions, she performed in oratorio, opera, concerts, and on radio and television in New York City and her home state of Hawaii.

Ms. Toner is currently a professional mediator and arbitrator in New York City. She is pleased to be associated with the COPD Foundation’s fund raising efforts and education awareness programs as a volunteer.

BYRON M. THOMASHOW, M.D., CHAIRplus

In addition to being the Chair of the Board of Directors for the COPD Foundation, he is a Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Columbia University Medical Center and an Attending Physician at the New York-Presbyterian Hospital. He serves as medical director of the Jo-Ann LeBuhn Center for Chest Disease on the Columbia campus. He was a member of the executive committee of the medical board of the New York-Presbyterian Hospital for most of the last 10 years and chaired the Quality Care Committee for the Society of Practitioners of the Columbia University Medical Center. He presently chairs the Respiratory Disease Council of the New York-Presbyterian Healthcare Network and co-chairs the New York Presbyterian smoking cessation initiative. He helped found the COPD Foundation. He is the co-chair for the New York COPD Coalition, co-chaired the New York State COPD Summit in 2010 and is co-chair of the U.S. COPD Coalition’s Second National COPD Conference in December 2011. He was a member of the steering committee and the co-primary investigator at the Columbia site for the National Emphysema Treatment Trial and has been and remains actively involved in multiple national clinical research projects.

GERARD TURINO, M.D.plus

Dr. Turino founded and currently directs the James P. Mara Center for Lung Disease at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital in New York City, where he is also director emeritus of the Department of Medicine. He is also the John H. Keating Sr. professor of medicine (emeritus) at the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons. In addition to his work with several healthcare organizations as a board member and consultant, he has long chaired the editorial board of the International Journal of Respiration. His research interests include the mechanisms of lung matrix injury and lung matrix remodeling. In 2010 he received a Research Achievement Award from the COPD Foundation, and is also a member of the Medical Scientific Advisory Committee through the Alpha-1 Foundation and the COPD Foundation.

JOHN W. WALSHplus

John Walsh is the Co-founder and President of the COPD Foundation and Co-founder, President and CEO of the Alpha-1 Foundation, a research organization which has invested more than $46 million to support Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency research and research-related projects, which includes funding grant awards to almost 90 academic institutions in North America and Europe, and AlphaNet, Inc. (a unique not-for-profit health disease management services company run by and for patients). He is a former member of the NIH Director’s Council of Public Representatives, is on the NIH’s Council of Councils and a member of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) Advisory Council. He is also a member of the US COPD Coalition Executive Committee, Past-Chair of the International COPD Coalition (2006-2008), Past Chair (2005-2006) of the National Health Council’s Board of Directors and is currently a board member, Past Chair and former member of the American Thoracic Society Public Advisory Roundtable (PAR), was the Presidential Appointee (2004-2005) of the American Thoracic Society’s Board of Directors and a Trustee of the Foundation of the American Thoracic Society (2006-2008). In 2002, Mr. Walsh’s contribution to pioneering collaboration in orphan drug development was recognized by the FDA with the Commissioner’s special citation. Mr. Walsh regularly testifies before Congress and advisory groups as a patient advocate. Mr. Walsh was diagnosed with Alpha-1-related COPD in 1989.

ROBERT WISE, M.D.plus

Robert (Bob) Wise, M.D. is Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary and Critical Care, at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He graduated from Dartmouth College and received his MD degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed his medical residency at University of Michigan and his pulmonary fellowship training at Johns Hopkins. Dr. Wise’s primary research interest is clinical and translational research in airway diseases. He has participated as a clinical center PI, steering committee member, coordinating center investigator or chair for many of the major COPD and Asthma clinical trials or cohorts over the past 20 years. He has published more than 280 scientific articles and 50 book chapters. He has received several awards including the American Thoracic Society Distinguished Achievement Award. Dr. Wise is Chair of the COPD Foundation’s Medical and Scientific Advisory Committee (MASAC).

WAYNE E. "CHIP" WITHERS, VICE-CHAIRplus

He is the president of Withers Transfer & Storage of Coral Gables, FL, Withers Worldwide Forwarders, Inc. and Withers Transportation Systems. Chip is serving his fifth term as a Coral Gables Commissioner, Vice-Chair of the COPD Foundation Board, a Board Member of the University of Florida Foundation, an ex-officio board member of the Coral Gables Foundation, and past Past-President of the Pan American International Mover’s Association. Chip currently serves as an appointed Board Member by the Florida Senate to the Council on Tobacco Control and served as the Governor’s appointee to the small business council of the State of Florida and was recently honored as one of Ronald McDonald House’s Twelve Good Men.


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