Board of Directors
PD Gladiators, Inc. is a Georgia nonprofit corporation. We are governed by a Board of Directors currently consisting of the following members:
Sarah Blanchard, MS: Sarah is a personal trainer and wellness coach at her studio in the Decatur area. She is a person living with Parkinson’s disease. In 1992, she earned her Bachelor’s Degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz in History. She earned her Master’s Degree in Exercise Science with an emphasis in Wellness and Health Promotion from Georgia State University in 2001. She also received training through Wellcoaches to help individuals make lasting health related behavior change. Sarah is an active participant in PD Gladiators network classes and is passionate about movement and its’ effects on health. She serves as co-Chair of our Network Evaluation.
Andrew Friede, MD, MPH: Andy is a Registered Mediator at Cerulean Mediation. He is a senior leader and business-focused expert with 30 years of experience in leadership, strategic planning, management, medicine, public health, analytics, informatics, business and business development, finances, marketing, M&A, relationship development, dispute resolution, and strategic alignment. He is a former Vice President and Chief Medical Officer at SRA International and served as Branch Chief and Medical Epidemiologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Andy serves as co-Chair of our Grant Writing Committee.
Wendy Haggerty, C-IAYT: Wendy is a certified yoga teacher, yoga therapist and dance teacher with over 17 years’ experience. She holds a BA from Mount Holyoke College with a special major focused on Kinesiology & Psychology. Wendy holds multiple certifications including IAYT Yoga Therapy, Yoga for Parkinson’s and Movement Disorders, and MDT Education Solutions Community Exercise for People with Parkinson’s. She teaches PD Movement classes at the YMCA and has developed a Line Dance for Parkinson’s program which she teaches at Still Pointe Dance Studios. As a yoga therapist, Wendy works with people one-on-one to help them heal a variety of conditions and has a special passion for working with PWPs. Wendy also volunteers with the Parkinson’s Foundation Moving Day Atlanta where she works on the program committee and leads fitness demonstrations in the movement pavilion. Prior to moving to Georgia in 2015, Wendy owned a wellness studio helping people move beyond their limitations, inspiring students to push boundaries and strive to improve. Her passion is helping and educating people to live joyful, long and healthier lives focusing on what they can do instead of what they can’t do. Wendy serves as co-chair of the Consumer Outreach Committee.
Larry Kahn, JD: A 1985 graduate of Yale Law School, Larry is a retired tax attorney specializing in international mergers & acquisitions, a novelist and a person living with Parkinson’s disease. He is active in the Atlanta Parkinson’s community and is a true believer in the medicinal value of vigorous and varied exercise. Larry is also a director of the Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation, Inc. and the Yellow River Center, Inc., Georgia nonprofit corporations dedicated to providing PD-specific exercise opportunities to people with Parkinson’s disease and their care partners. He serves as the President and Chairman of the Board of PD Gladiators and co-Chair of our Grant Writing Committee.
Bill McFerrin: Bill is the founder of U.S. Electric, a seller of electric equipment and electrical construction material. He is a person living with Parkinson’s disease. He earned his Bachelor’s Degree at Auburn University in 1973 and worked for 10 years at General Electric. He retired in November 2017 after 31 years at U.S. Electric. Bill actively participates in the boxing training for PD program operated by Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation, a member of the PD Gladiators Metro Atlanta Fitness Network. He serves as the co-Chair of our Affiliate Relations Committee.
Amy Morse, PT, DPT: Amy is as a physical therapist at Emory Neurological Rehab at Brain Health Center in Atlanta. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise/Sports Science from Elon University and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2011 from the Medical University of South Carolina. Amy specializes in the treatment of neurologic disorders, with an emphasis on Movement Disorders. She is a certified LSVT® BIG therapist and a trained PWR! clinician. Amy teaches Parkinson’s Disease lab to Doctorate of Physical Therapy students at Emory University and Georgia State University. She volunteers with the National Parkinson Foundation Moving Day® Atlanta and coordinated volunteer physical therapists and DPT students for Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation’s PD Gladiators Boxing Training for PD program. Amy serves as Chair of our Network Evaluation Committee.
Tim Nantz, MSEE: Tim is currently Director of Technology for ERISAPros, a professional services firm offering ERISA compliance services. He holds a BSEE from the University of Pennsylvania and an MSEE from Northeastern. Tim worked 35+ years in the telecommunications industry – Bell Labs, AT&T, Lucent and Avaya. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2013 and has been active in the PD Gladiator’s boxing for Parkinson’s program operated by Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation to help slow the progression of the disease. Tim has a family history of Parkinson’s – grandmother, father, and brother. Tim serves as chair of our Governance committee.
Lloyd Spann: Lloyd retired early from KPMG, LLP (a global accounting and consulting firm). While at KPMG, he worked with clients to design and implement management and governance structures for major outsourcing and shared services programs. Prior to his 15-year career in business consulting, Lloyd worked for General Electric for nearly 20 years. He received a BS in Commerce (Business Administration) in 1976 from the University of Louisville. Diagnosed with Parkinson’s in early 2015, Lloyd has been an active participant in PD Gladiators network classes, including the boxing for PD classes operated by Livramento Delgado Boxing Foundation and the PD Gladiators at the Y program. He serves as chair of our Clinical Outreach Committee.
Board Advisors: The following individuals participate in the deliberations of, and advise, the PD Gladiators Board of Directors and serve on the volunteer committees that conduct the day-to-day operations of the organization.
Madeleine E. Hackney, PhD: Dr. Hackney serves as PD Gladiator’s Research Advisor. She is a Research Health Scientist at the Atlanta VA Center for Visual and Neurocognitive Rehabilitation and an Assistant professor of Medicine in the division of General Medicine and Geriatrics at the Emory School of Medicine. She holds a Ph.D. in Movement Science from Washington University and a BFA in Dance from NYU, Tisch School of the Arts and has also been an American Council on Exercise certified personal trainer since 2000. Dr. Hackney’s extensive research interests include inquiry into challenging exercise programs–traditional exercise, Tai Chi and partnered tango classes–designed to improve physical function and quality of life in people with PD, older adults and those with serious mental illness. In 2014, she co-founded MDT Education Solutions, which has trained dozens of fitness and allied health professionals how to develop and lead safe, evidence-based exercise programs for people with PD at all stages of the disease, including almost all instructors in the PD Gladiators Metro Atlanta Fitness Network (including the YMCA of Metro Atlanta). She posts a popular blog on the PD Gladiators website, “The Exercise Files: A Researcher’s Perspective.”
Kelly Hayes: Kelly serves as PD Gladiator’s YMCA Liaison. She is the Wellness Director of the Carl E. Sanders Family YMCA in Buckhead and instructs the Parkinson’s Movement Class at that branch as part of the PD Gladiators at the Y program. A 2012 graduate from the University of South Carolina with a degree in Exercise Science Health Fitness, Kelly has a passion for educating individuals on ways to incorporate lifestyle changes to improve their overall health and physical well-being. As YMCA Liaison, Kelly will participate actively in PD Gladiators’ management, seeking to find synergistic opportunities that strengthen the YMCA’s “PD Gladiators at the Y” program and PD Gladiators’ mission.
Eric J. Joiner, MBA: Mr. Joiner serves as the Chairman of PD Gladiators’ Advisory Board. He co-founded AJC International, Inc. with Gerald Allison in 1972. Mr. Joiner served as President and COO for almost 20 years. During his time as President, Mr. Joiner led the company in its rapid expansion into China, South America and Russia and to its position as the premier international protein provider. Mr. Joiner currently serves as Vice Chairman for AJC International, Inc.
Mr. Joiner is a past Chairman and Director for Life of the United States Poultry and Egg Export Council (USAPEEC). He currently serves as the Chairman of the World Poultry Foundation. Mr. Joiner serves on the Board of Advisors for The Carter Center in Atlanta and is past Chairman of the Board of Advisors for the Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University. In 2012, he received the GSU Robinson College of Business Global Leadership Award and was inducted into the Robinson College Hall of Fame. Mr. Joiner serves on the Board of Directors of the World Affairs Council of Atlanta and is past Chairman of the Board of Senior Citizens of Metro Atlanta. Mr. Joiner received a BBA and MBA from Georgia State University.
Jorge L. Juncos, MD: Dr. Juncos serves as PD Gladiator’s Medical Advisor. He is Associate Professor of Neurology at Emory University School of Medicine and a practicing movement disorder specialist and clinical investigator in the Emory Movement Disorders Program. A graduate of the Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, he served residencies in internal medicine at Roosevelt Hospital in NYC and neurology at Massachusetts General Hospital. He did research in Parkinson’s at the National Institutes of Health Clinical Center and at the Salpetriere Hospital in Paris, France. He is the co-author of over 70 scientific publications and has a keen interest in studies on the effect of exercise on Parkinson’s disease patients. Dr. Juncos is the Medical Director on the Executive Board of the Georgia Chapter of the American Parkinson Disease Association. He served as a director of PD Gladiators from 2014 to 2016.
The Board of Directors is also advised by the members of the Parkinson’s community on our Advisory Board.
Annie Long: Annie serves as PD Gladiator’s Executive Director and is responsible for the day-to-day administration of the organization, together with the President. A 2006 graduate from Texas Christian University with a degree in English, she has a passion for PD Gladiators’ mission—her mom is a Gladiator, too. Annie brings a decade of nonprofit experience to PD Gladiators, including leadership experience as the National Manager, Signature Events for the National Parkinson Foundation. Before her promotion to National Manager, she launched the inaugural Moving Day Atlanta event for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2013. Her prior experience as a communications consultant positions her well to lead PD Gladiators’ outreach efforts.