Board of Directors

The COPD Foundation is proud to have such a diverse Board whose members come from various backgrounds, all of whom bring unique specialties to help advance 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 and ultimately find a cure. Members of the Board include researchers, physicians, health care activists, and individuals with COPD, all of whom help guide the Foundation’s efforts. Members serve three-year terms on the Board and serve on the Foundation’s various committees. The COPD Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, Corinne Costa Davis, is an impassioned and tireless advocate for COPD and possesses exceptional expertise to lead the Foundation in fulfilling its mission. Below, you will find a list of the Members of the COPD Foundation Board of Directors and the Chief Executive Officer, with their short biographies.


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.


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.


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.


Leonard Fromer, MD, is an Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, University of California at Los Angeles.

Dr. Leonard Fromer is a member of the board of TransforMED, LLC. He also acts as a consultant to TransforMED in the area of clinical integration: center of excellence quality improvement in the chronic diseases coupled with successful practice transformation to the patient centered medical home and the accountable care organization.

As Executive Medical Director of the Group Practice Forum, Dr. Fromer leads a team engaged in national projects with group practices that deliver education, tools, and services to achieve success in their clinical integration efforts.

Dr. Fromer lectures extensively on the topics of health-system reform, the patient centered medical home and the accountable care organization. He has been featured on CBS News, ABC News, and in the New York Times.

Leonard M. Fromer, MD, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, and a diplomat of both the American Board of Family Practice and the National Board of Medical Examiners. He has been in private practice in Santa Monica, California, with Prairie Medical Group for 28 years. Dr. Fromer has served on the group's Board of Directors and has been its Managing Director as well as its Chief Financial Officer.

Dr. Fromer is a past president of the California Academy of Family Physicians and has served over ten years as a member and Chairman of the American Academy of Family Physicians Commission on Health Care Services. He has also been a member of the AAFP Commission on Quality and Practice. He has also served on the Physicians Capital Source Project Steering Committee for the American Medical Association, the Advisory Board of Directors for the American Medical Informatics Association and the Advisory Board for the World Foundation for Studies of Female Health.


Russell L. Gantt has more than 30 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry with 20 years in corporate development and licensing. He is the founder, and currently serves as President and CEO, of Argo Navis Biopharm Advisors, LLC., a licensing and business development management advisory practice for large and small bio-pharmaceutical and technology based organizations.

Prior to founding Argo Navis, Mr. Gantt held various US and global positions with Abbott Laboratories, Schering-Plough, Wyeth, AstraMerck and AstraZeneca PLC. Mr. Gantt’s last assignment while at AstraZeneca was serving as Vice President, Corporate Development, during which time he led the licensing, acquisition, divestment and partnering activities for clinical stage and on-market assets for the AstraZeneca PLC North America Business Development hub.

Mr. Gantt holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee and is an active supporter of numerous philanthropic organizations including The Center For Brain Injury Repair at the University of Pennsylvania, where he serves as an advisor, and The Mind Your Brain Foundation.


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 Mayer is the Chair of the COPD Foundation Board of Directors. Michael became involved with the COPD Foundation shortly after the death of his father-in-law Richard H. Scarborough in March 2005. Michael worked with Collin Scarborough in creating the Richard H. Scarborough Bronchiectasis Research Consortium and Registry which has over 3,000 registered patients in its database. Professionally, Michael possesses over 25 years of experience with an extensive background in executive talent acquisition, leadership development and talent management for Fortune 500 companies and early stage firms. He previously held human resources leadership positions within General Electric, Allied Signal, and the Aramark Corporation where he personally led and contributed to significant organizational initiatives that entailed large scale change. He is extremely active in his church, and served as its leader of the board as well serving on Diocesan committees for Property and Finance. As an Eagle Scout, Michael 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.


Byron Thomashow, Chief Medical Officer for the COPD Foundation, is the immediate past chair of the COPD Foundation Board of Directors in addition to being a Clinical Professor of Medicine at Columbia University Medical Center and an Attending Physician at 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 New York-Presbyterian Hospital for most of the last 10 years and chaired the Quality Care Committee for the Society of Practitioners of Columbia University Medical Center. He presently chairs the Respiratory Disease Council of 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 of the New York COPD Coalition, co-chaired the New York State COPD Summit in 2010 and co-chaired 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.


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.


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).


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 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.


Jean Wright MD, MBA is the Chief Innovation Officer for Carolinas HealthCare System (CHS). CHS is large integrated delivery system in the Southeast with over 40 hospitals, and 900 care locations. As the leader of the Innovation Engine, her team scans for disruptive innovation, helps build the system capacity for innovation, provides leadership and consulting on the development of innovative programs, services and technology and fosters the commercialization of innovation. Jean has served in a number of academic and executive roles, and was a practicing anesthesiologist and intensivist for 30 years. She is nationally recognized as a thought leader in innovation and change management, and is a frequent speaker.


Herbert Yardley is a graduate of Valley Forge Military Academy in Wayne, PA, the University of Florida, in Gainesville, FL, and a veteran of the Korean War, for which he received the Purple Heart. Yardley joined the auto-industry as a factory rep for the Chrysler Corporation in 1955 and became the owner of Massey-Yardley Dodge in 1985, which he still leads today. Yardley served on the board of WPBT2 (South Florida Public Broadcasting Station), as Chairman of PBS in South Florida, and as President of Volunteer Broward, a United Way of Broward Agency. Yardley is a member of the University of Florida Foundation. He has three children.



Corinne Costa Davis is the COPD Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer. Corinne is an experienced Corporate Executive who has held leadership roles as a Chief Human Resources Officer, Chief Information Officer and Chief Operating Officer. Corinne has worked with global organizations in multiple industry sectors including, banking, asset management, financial services, telecommunications, insurance, healthcare and hospitality. Corinne’s expertise is in driving productivity and bottom line results through the transformation of corporate functions (Human Resources, Technology, Operations, Finance, Procurement, and Marketing) from traditional infrastructure models into best practice providers of products and services.

Corinne has chaired Corporate Giving, Health & Welfare Benefit and 401k Committees for publicly traded companies. Additionally, she has worked closely with Independent Board of Directors in the development of Compensation Plan Design and Succession Planning Processes. She has advised Executive Teams and External Boards as they managed significant operating model and organizational structure transformation.

Corinne holds a B.S. and M.B.A. from Seton Hall University. Additionally, Corinne is a professionally trained modern dancer who continues to practice this performance art.

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