The PD Gladiators Advisory Board consists of clinicians, fitness instructors, people with Parkinson’s disease, care partners and other members of the community who advise the Board of Directors and, in many cases, volunteer to work on the committees that do the day-to-day work of the organization. The current members of the Advisory Board are:
William R. Carkhuff: A graduate of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga with a BS in Biology and Education, Bill began his professional career as a high school Biology and English teacher at Notre Dame High School in Chattanooga, where he also coached football and wrestling. He then embarked on a 30-year career with Novartis Pharmaceuticals, retiring as the Executive Director of Sales. Bill’s pharmaceutical career concluded with executive level positions with Reliant and Amarin Pharmaceuticals. Bill served on the Board of Directors of the Georgia Special Olympics and the Davidson College Football Parents Association. He currently holds a Board position with the Kids & Pros youth football program. He is a certified Georgia High School Football Official.
Tricia Creel, DPT, NCS: Tricia serves as an outpatient physical therapist. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2009 from Georgia State University. Tricia specializes in the treatment of neurologic disorders, with an emphasis on Parkinson’s disease. Her other clinical interests include vestibular rehabilitation and balance impairments. Tricia is a member of the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA) Neurology Section and the Physical Therapy Association of Georgia (PTAG). She is a Board Certified Neurologic Specialist (NCS) and has written articles for the American Parkinson Disease Association (APDA) on physical therapy for Parkinson’s disease, as well as presented at multiple patient/family seminars on Parkinson’s disease. Tricia is a certified LSVT® BIG therapist and is certified in vestibular rehabilitation. She is also a trained PWR! clinician. She is one of the founders of a new company, MDT Educations Solutions, offering a training course for fitness instructors and personal trainers called “Community Exercise for People With Parkinson’s Disease.” Tricia served on the PD Gladiators Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.
Norman De Walt: Norm is a dedicated participant in Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation’s Boxing Training for PD program geared towards people with Parkinson’s disease who remain in the workforce. He is a computer engineer employed by Lockheed Martin Marietta Georgia. Norm served in the U.S. Airforce in Viet Nam from 1971 to 1976. He is an active member of IAM Local 709 Machinist Union and has participated in lobbying activities at the federal and state level.
John Dixon, BS. John is a retired laboratory technician and a person with Parkinson’s disease. During a 20-year career at the Emory Genetics Lab he analyzed patient samples for inherited genes that cause diseases from cystic fibrosis to galactosemia in both adults and newborns. With a lifetime of experience in folk and ballroom dance, whitewater kayaking, yoga and martial arts, he has always been an active sportsman, but since his PD diagnosis in 2008 he has combined his interests in science, exercise and helping others. John has participated in at least six clinical studies, with a specific interest in research investigating Tango dance as a therapy to improve balance and coordination. He participates in several group exercise programs adapted for people with PD, including noncontact boxing training, Tango, Tai Chi and Zumba. John served on the PD Gladiators Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.
Steven Haas: Steve is a retired telecom professional and a person with Parkinson’s disease. He is an active member of the metro Atlanta Parkinson’s community and an avid exerciser. His dream is to help bring facility-based Parkinson’s Wellness Centers to the Atlanta area. Steve served on the PD Gladiators Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.
L.E. Kahn: Ellie likes to call herself an “iCare Partner” rather than the caregiver of a person with Parkinson’s disease. She believes PD strikes families, not just individuals and is an advocate for including care partners in community-based exercise programs adapted for people with Parkinson’s. Ellie is the facilitator of the APDA’s support group in Dunwoody, Georgia and is also a director of the Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation, Inc., a Georgia nonprofit corporation whose missions are (a) to develop children of all ages in need of direction into the best persons that they can be by positively influencing their lives through fitness, focused determination, fundamental beliefs and fun associated with the sport of boxing, and (b) to educate and vigorously train adults with disabilities, in particular Parkinson’s disease, and their care partners in the fundamentals of the sport of boxing to improve their overall health. She is currently PD Gladiators’ Secretary and Acting Treasurer and served on the Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.
Lisa Kiely: Lisa is the Director of Enrichment at Lenbrook, a Life Plan Community in Atlanta. Having been in this field since the 1980’s Lisa is focused on positive active aging, an approach that helps all people live as fully as possible within all dimensions and domains of wellness. Lisa speaks on Enrichment and Well-being at both local and international conferences. She has served on Leading Age Georgia’s Institute on Aging Board. Lisa is an artist, is a certified Eden at Home Associate, and has been teaching group fitness for 30 years. She holds many fitness certifications, including: personal trainer, ballet bar, BodyPUMP, and MDT.
Kimberly Rodriguez: Kimberly is a member of the APDA-Georgia Exercise Committee, the Aerobics and Fitness Association of America, and the Zumba Instructor Network. Her current goals and passions are to share the Zumba experience with special populations that have barriers to health, fitness, and well-being. Kimberly instructs a Zumba Gold class for people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners in Sandy Springs, Georgia. She has a degree in Community Health with over 15 years’ experience in the field of Human and Social Services. Kimberly served on the PD Gladiators Board of Directors from 2014 to 2016.