Six volunteers constitute our Board of Directors. No member of the Board (or any family member of that board member) receives compensation from Brain Support Network. Most members of the Board are motivated to serve as a result of their experience with a family member who was diagnosed with an Atypical Parkinson’s disorder.
Robin Riddle, Board Member and CEO, learned about neurodegenerative decline when her late father, Larry, was diagnosed with Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP) in 2004. With the help of three other caregivers, in July 2004, Ms. Riddle started the “San Francisco Bay Area PSP Support Group.” This Group became Brain Support Network in 2005 with expansion to include MSA, CBD, and LBD. The donation of Larry’s brain in 2007 to Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida, was Robin’s first organization of a brain donation. In June 2011 the “PSP Genetics Study Group”, including scientists from Mayo, published in Nature Genetics a landmark study using Larry’s brain tissue that identified three new genes linked to PSP.
Earlier, in the corporate world, Ms. Riddle worked in marketing for high‐tech companies in Silicon Valley, including Covad, Unisys, and NetGravity. She holds BA and MA degrees from Stanford and an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania Wharton Business School.
Phillip Myers, Board Member and Treasurer, joined the San Francisco Bay Area PSP Support Group in 2009 after his late wife, Jackie, was diagnosed with PSP. He has been an active participant in the caregiver support group meetings, driving the discussion among PSP caregivers. Mr. Myers arranged for the donation of his Jackie’s brain for medical research via what is now the Brain Support Network. Phillip is a certified Parkinson’s Research Advocate for the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation and speaks at seminars and public forums supporting and encouraging clinical trial participation and brain donation. He established and now leads a support group for Parkinson’s patients and spouses in Lakeport, California.
In the corporate world, Phil led a division as General Manager and Vice President in the aerospace and defense business. Since retirement, he became certified as a Registered Representative in financial investments.
Mindy Lumm, Board Member and Secretary, joined BSN’s NorCal Support Group in 2013 after her late mother, Susan, was diagnosed with CBD (confirmed through brain donation). Mindy joined Brain Support Network as its Secretary in early 2017. She works in high-tech as a project manager.
Chu Chang, Board Member, joined BSN’s NorCal Support Group in 2015 after her late mother, Jane, was diagnosed with multiple system atrophy (MSA). Chu was her mother’s primary caregiver, and was able to keep her mother at home throughout the journey. Chu joined the Brain Support Network Board in 2019. She has a background in biotech, and works in the Office of Technology Licensing at Stanford University.
Linda Higueras, Board Member, joined the Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) caregiver support group in 2008, California, after her father, Carlos, was diagnosed with LBD. After Carlos passed away, Linda became the primary caregiver for her mother, who suffered two strokes before passing away. In 2010, Linda organized a conference for 200 family caregivers on non-Alzheimer’s dementias in Sonoma County, California. This conference was one of the first events organized by Brain Support Network. In November 2015 Linda organized a dementia caregiver conference in Santa Rosa.
Linda’s career is in Human Resources; she has worked in winery, retail, and financial services industries. She is the first Human Resources director of Williams Selyem Winery.
Candy Welch, Board Member, Support Group Meeting Facilitator, joined BSN in 2005 and was the first meeting facilitator for MSA. Candy cared for her husband, Bob, who was diagnosed with MSA in December 2002, until he died in 2008 at the age of 57. She has continued to volunteer as primary support group organizer, support group MSA discussion facilitator, and BSN event coordinator.
Sharon is a semi-retired physician of nuclear medicine. Her husband Gerry was thought during life to have progressive supranuclear palsy. Sharon was Gerry’s main caregiver and joined BSN’s caregiver support group several years ago. Upon Gerry’s passing, his brain was donated to research. Surprisingly, the brain autopsy report revealed he had Lewy body dementia, Alzheimer’s Disease, and other pathologies. Sharon is still part of BSN’s caregiver support group, helping both PSP and LBD caregivers. She joined the BSN Board in late 2018.