After a decade of remarkable leadership of the LAM Foundation, Sue Sherman has informed the Board of Directors of her decision to step down from her position as CEO, effective December 31, 2023. The Board is incredibly grateful to Sue for all she has accomplished on behalf of The LAM Foundation, and we celebrate her success. Under her dynamic leadership, The LAM Foundation has thrived as she consistently translated vision into reality for our community.
As Executive Director and CEO, Sue has transformed how we operate as a foundation. This has translated to mission-driven programming and unparalleled support for the LAM community. Her pioneering approach and perseverance have energized over $18M in donations, ultimately directing $9M into research grants and initiatives. Under her guidance, the LAM Clinic Network has expanded to 72 global sites, linked to 18 Worldwide LAM Patient Coalition members. Sue’s leadership has yielded an innovative range of conferences and meetings, such as the LAM Biomarker Innovation Summit, Patient Benefit Conference, joint research conferences with the Rare Lung Diseases Consortium and the TSC Alliance, seven dynamic LAMposiums, and countless regional meetings across the country. These events and relationships have built a cohesive and forward-thinking global LAM community committed to advancing LAM research and optimizing clinical care for women with LAM.
Under Sue’s leadership, the Foundation’s impact on the pace and excellence of global LAM research has expanded. The rigorous grant program inspires submissions by the best LAM scientists in the world. Sue created the Circle of Hope Transplant Support program, reliably delivering essential lung tissue samples to investigators. She has encouraged early investigators to pursue careers in LAM research via networking experiences. Vera Krymskaya, Ph.D., Interim Scientific Director, and Vice Chair of The LAM Foundation Board of Directors says, “Sue has an intuitive talent for connecting ideas and professionals around the world and across specialties. She has inspired a passionate LAM research community by sharing patient needs in ways that spark new thinking and novel approaches.”
Sue’s unique combination of strategic leadership and operational excellence has made The LAM Foundation a highly admired organization. She succeeded in modernizing infrastructure, attaining financial stability, and courageously weathering the COVID-19 pandemic. Externally, Sue has advocated for and represented The LAM Foundation as an active member of the American Thoracic Society’s Public Advisory Roundtable, the ATS Oxygen Special Interest Group, a former board member of The National Health Council, and a member of the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network’s Coalition of Patient Advocacy Groups.
Sue’s genuine love of the LAM community and desire to build relationships have meant ten years of shared personal experiences. Sue may have helped you feel part of a community as a newly diagnosed patient. Perhaps you were inspired by her opening remarks at LAMposium or a local fundraiser. Or she might have connected you to lifesaving care.
Some have shared Sue’s passion for cycling by training and riding with her in multiple Million Dollar Bike Rides at the University of Pennsylvania. Her exceptional personal commitment and deep connections to patients, families, clinic directors, and scientists have brought us closer together across thousands of miles. Steph Dreyer, LAM patient and Vice Chair of The LAM Foundation Board of Directors, says, “One of the things that makes Sue so deeply treasured by our community is the depth with which she cares about each of us. You are more than just a patient, researcher, or colleague—you are someone she is willing to fight for.”
Sue’s dedication to the continued success of the LAM Community is reflected in the thoughtful timing of her decision to step down. In Sue’s words “I have loved leading this organization and investing my whole heart into our mission and relationships that will always be deeply meaningful to me. While this decision is bittersweet, I am confident that this is the right time for The LAM Foundation to leverage its strength and explore new directions. Similarly, I am ready to continue growing– right after I take a well-deserved vacation to recharge for my next meaningful role.” Sue will graciously lead the Foundation until the end of the year.
After thoughtful consideration, the Board of Directors has chosen to pursue an Interim Executive Director search to guide The LAM Foundation into its next chapter. This critical moment is an opportunity to strategically assess what is needed most for the next decade of success. We are confident we will continue to benefit from Sue’s legacy while strengthening our organization for the future as we pursue our mission of finding better treatments and ultimately, a cure for LAM.
On behalf of the Board of Directors and the LAM Community, I thank Sue for her decade of dedication to LAM and wish her much success in her future endeavors. If you have questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I value your participation, trust, and support. Thank you for the continued privilege of serving you.
Chuck Wehland, Board Chair