PD Gladiators Names Annie Long Associate Director

PD Gladiators is pleased to announce that Annie Long will serve as its new associate director effective October 2, 2017. Long brings a decade of nonprofit experience to PD Gladiators, including executive experience as the National Manager, Signature Events for the National Parkinson Foundation. As associate director, she will be responsible for PD Gladiators’ program-related functions and will be the public face of the organization.

Before her promotion to National Manager, Long launched the inaugural Moving Day Atlanta event for the National Parkinson Foundation in 2013. Earlier in her career, she held various positions with OP3, the operator of the OP3-Avon Walk for Breast Cancer. Her experience as a communications consultant with PartnerComm, Inc. positions her well to lead PD Gladiators’ outreach efforts.

“On behalf of PD Gladiators’ Board of Directors, I am excited to welcome Annie Long as our new associate director,” said Board Chair Larry Kahn. “We conducted an extensive search to fill this important position and vetted over 60 candidates. Without a doubt, we found the best candidate to lead PD Gladiators’ transition from volunteer to professional management. Annie comes to us with many years of leadership experience, but it’s her passion for our mission that makes her stand out. We are confident the Atlanta PD community will love her.”

“As the daughter of someone living with Parkinson’s disease (PD), I’m honored and excited to join the PD Gladiators team,” Long said. “I’ve seen firsthand the impact that exercise can have on symptom management and look forward to supporting, encouraging and inspiring people with PD in metro Atlanta.”

Founded in 2013 as a nonprofit organization, PD Gladiators promotes the role of exercise in slowing the progression of Parkinson’s disease. Using a two pronged-approach to promoting exercise, PD Gladiators manages a network of community-based exercise programs for people with PD and provides education and outreach to the medical community.

The PD Gladiators Metro Atlanta Fitness Network is an affiliation of independent fitness instructors, the YMCA of Metro Atlanta, personal trainers, experienced volunteers with Parkinson’s disease and care partners offering a package of PD-specific exercise classes and support that helps people with PD design a personal exercise program that is effective, fun and sustainable. With 60 weekly classes like Ageless Grace®, boxing training, dance, general fitness, tai chi, YMCA Parkinson’s Movement Classes, yoga, and more offered by instructors with PD-specific training, the network is one of the largest programs of its kind in the country.

Long’s first public event with PD Gladiators will be meeting and greeting members of the Parkinson’s community at PD Gladiators’ table in the Resource Pavilion at the Parkinson Foundation’s Moving Day Walk in Piedmont Park on Saturday, October 21.

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