The Lung Disease Support Group Inc. is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors of which a minimum of sixty percent must be lung compromised. We felt that this was necessary in order to maintain a better perspective and understanding of lung disease when making decisions, to not lose sight of what our membership would want, and to remain consistent with the founding principles of the organization.
Our Directors bring a distinctive combination of experiences, ideas, expertise, and above all a unique passion to our Mission of creating greater awareness of lung disease and to provide education and support for patients, their families, caregivers, health care professionals, and the general population thereby improving the quality of life for all people affected by lung disease. We encourage you to read our Directors individual profiles.
Lung Disease Support Group Inc. Current Board Of Directors (2016-2017)
Gerry Cunningham – President
Bruce Eyre – Vice President
Brenda Cunningham – Secretary/Bookkeeper
Mike Wilson – Treasurer
Karen Zalan – Education Director
Ron Turcott – Social Director
Larry Watkinson – Corporate Relations Director
Sandra Desjardins – General Meeting Director
For more information on corporate governance of LDSG Inc., please read the by laws.
Gerry joined the Lung Disease Support Group at its inception. He brings passion for the mission, a well-rounded education graduating from Laurentian University with an Honors Bachelor of Commerce, as well as a variety of work and volunteer experience from the not-for-profit, government, and private sectors, in, security, education, retail, web design, and theatre, to LDSG Inc.
Gerry was involved with the in-school mentoring program through Big Brothers, a volunteer sighted-coach and board member with the Northern Ontario Blind Bowling League; he assisted numerous special education students through Laurentian University’s Adopt-A-School Program, and has been a member of the founding committee of Lighthouse STF Productions since 2011. Gerry actively networks to better enable him to help and support the different organizations that he is involved with, and to promote awareness of LDSG Inc.
Gerry is a carrier of the genetic disorder Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, and has Asthma. Lung conditions have been part of his life since he was born. On his mother’s side, both his grandfather and grandmother suffered from lung conditions, and his mother has Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency, was diagnosed with COPD when he was a toddler, and was put on oxygen when he was a teenager. Gerry’s reasons for supporting the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. are quite obvious.
Gerry currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. as President.
Bruce has been involved with the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) since it was only a thought over a cup of coffee. He is one of only two Founding members left on the Board of Directors. He brings passion for the mission, as well as a wealth of work and volunteer experience to LDSG Inc.
Bruce was with the OPP and the Sudbury Regional Police Department for over 34 years before retiring, and has served on Boards of Directors for over 50 years. Bruce received the Queens Diamond Jubilee Medal in honour of his significant contributions and achievements to our community.
He was one of the founders of BIASD (Brain Injury Association Sudbury District); he organized a Northern Ontario Chapter of the Blue Knights Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, and has sat on many not-for-profit sectors committees. He currently sits on the Delegates Board of the Northern Credit Union Long Lake Branch.
Bruce suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and although recovery was a challenge he persevered, more recently he has was diagnosed with Asthma and then Chronic Bronchitis (COPD) in 2007. Life after a traumatic brain Injury in 1988 made Bruce aware of the need for support of his peers. Living with COPD renewed his passion to help those with a lung condition understand the importance of receiving and giving support and not giving up.
Bruce currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Lung Disease Support Group as Vice-President.
Mike joined the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) in November 2009 and accepted a position on the Board of Directors. He brings a passion for the mission, a wealth of work experience, valuable fundraising experience and volunteerism.
He was the Pro/Manager, at Huron Pines Golf & Country Club for many years and is currently the President at Advize Sudbury. Mike works closely with other professionals such as lawyers, financial advisors and specialized accountants to bring his clients the optimum service for their small business and personal financial needs.
Mike currently sits on the Board of Directors of Lung Disease Support Group as Treasurer.
Brenda (Neill) Cunningham
Secretary & Bookkeeper
Brenda is a founding member of the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.), one of only two that remains on the Board of Directors. She brings passion for the mission, advocacy for lung health at the grassroots level, and over 30 years of experience living with Lung Disease to LDSG Inc.
Her determination and compassionate spirit keep her focus on inspiring and helping others. She has had articles in Carp Sudbury, the Ontario Lung Association’s (OLA) Newsletter Breath Works, the Ontario Respiratory Care Society (ORCS) Target, the OLA 2012 Annual Report, and COPD Canada. She has also done numerous interviews in various media throughout Ontario and is noted for her public speaking.
Brenda’s family have a history of Lung Disease. Both her parents were carriers of the genetic disorder Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (A1AD). On her father’s side his sister had Tuberculosis and he had Emphysema, both passed away at young age. On her mother’s side, her great grandmother had Asthma, at least one of the brothers had emphysema, and she had Chronic Bronchitis (COPD). Brenda was diagnosed with the genetic disorder Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency in 1973, Emphysema (COPD) in her early thirties, and placed on oxygen in 1994. She knows the emotions you will experience when diagnosed with pulmonary disease, and as you continue the journey. Brenda understands living with lung disease. She feels what she brings to the LDSG Inc. Board is life experience and empathy. Experience, in that living with lung disease she has first-hand knowledge of what is required in a support group; and empathy, because she understands how both the caregivers and the affected feel, not because she can imagine what it is like to be them, but because she is one of them for she is walking in their shoes.
Brenda currently sits on the Board of Directors of Lung Disease Support Group as Secretary and Bookkeeper.
Karen joined the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) in June 2009 and accepted a position on the Board of Directors in June 2010. She brings a passion for the mission and varied work and volunteer experience to LDSG Inc.
Karen was the Clinical Leader of the Pulmonary Rehabilitation Clinic/Asthma Clinic for twenty seven years prior to retirement.
Karen currently sits on the Board of Directors of Lung Disease Support Group as the Education Director.
Ron expressed interest in possibly joining the board of directors in the summer of 2016, but as our elections would not be until April 2017, we asked if he would be willing to be appointed to a temporary board position to see how well it would work out. Ron accepted the temporary appointment in September 2016 and he is planning on officially running for the position of Social Director in April 2017.
Ron currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Lung Disease Support Group in a temporary trial position as the Social Director.
Corporate Relations Director
Larry joined the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) in January 2012 and accepted a position on the Board of Directors in September 2013. He brings a passion for the mission and a wealth of work experience in the mining sector, as well as funding and extensive volunteer experience to LDSG Inc.
He is a volunteer at Sciences North, is a member of Carp Sudbury and sits on many committees.
Larry currently sits on the Board of Directors of the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. as the Corporate Relations Director.
General Meeting Director
Sandra joined the Lung Disease Support Group Inc. (LDSG Inc.) in June 2009 and accepted a position on the Board of Directors in September 2013. She brings a passion for the mission, a well-rounded education, as well as valuable work and volunteer experience to LDSG Inc.
Sandra holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Toronto, a Diploma in Home Care and Dispute Resolution from both Laurentian University & Cambrian College in Sudbury, and is a Canadian Professional Consultant on Aging (CPCA).
She opened Comfort Keepers in May of 2010, a business that helps seniors and other adults from the Greater City of Sudbury and surrounding communities. Sandra was involved with Valley Community Theatre for seven years as secretary and fundraiser. She is a member of CARP National and sits on the Sudbury Chapter Board as secretary. Sandra volunteers with groups and attends seminars that appeal to an older demographic to increase her knowledge, to attain a better perception of what is needed in the community, and to enable her to better help our seniors. Many of the members in the groups she volunteers for have become her clients requiring one or more of her company’s services.
Sandra supports the work which LDSG provides for its members and considers it a very worthy group for those affected with Lung Disease as well as their family and caregivers.
Sandra currently sits on the Board of Directors of Lung Disease Support Group as the General Meeting Director.