Board of Directors
Updated: December 16, 2011
The Canadian Alpha-1 Community faces many issues of concern that impact the quality of life for those affected today and for future generations. The volunteers who sit on the Board of Directors of Alpha-1 Canada are committed to addressing these issues and to fostering a community that is well informed and responsive.
Mimi (Madelyn) McPhedran, President and Chairperson
Mimi, President and Chairperson, since 2006, was also the former Corporate Secretary, having been involved with the organization since its inception. In concert with the Board of Directors and the Medical Advisory Board her ever-evolving ambition is to build a national community and to affect positive change for Alpha-1 patients, their families and caregivers.
Employed for 31 years with St. Clair College of Applied Arts and Technology, Mimi recently retired. She was an Employment Consultant and certified Adult educator. Combined she has 35 years of experience as palliative caregiver, fundraiser, coordinator, chairperson, consultant, counsellor and mentor. She volunteers with several other organizations such as Hospice of Windsor and Essex County (for 30 years) and Big Brothers / Big Sisters.
Mimi has A1AD, as do family members, Mimi and her immediate and extended family have lived “the disease” for 22 years.
David Lawn, Vice Chairperson and Corporate Secretary
David Lawn, an Engineer, is the President of the MEDA Group of Companies. MEDA Limited provides professional engineering and support services to the automotive and manufacturing industries. In addition to his duties as President of MEDA Limited, David is also a trustee of the MEDA Charitable Trust. He serves on the advisory board of CARE (Auto21) at the University of Windsor, an organization which promotes innovation in automotive research. David is also a past President of the Society of Automotive Engineers Windsor Essex-Kent; a former Board Member of Big Brothers and is a member of many trade organizations. David and his wife Shelley own a managed forest and wildlife preservation.
Having lost his father to A1AD, David understands first hand it’s devastating impact.
Jerry Cunnuigham, CMA, Treasurer
Upon graduating from Laurentian University with an Honours Bachelor of Commerce degree, Jerry continued his studies with the Society of Management Accountants, earning the designation of Certified Management Accountant (CMA). He is employed as a financial controller in the mining supply and construction industry in Northern Ontario .
Jerry’s wife is an Alpha and his grown children are carriers, so he has experienced first- hand how families are affected by A1AD.
Patricia (Patti) Beek
Patricia (Patti) Beek was born in Petawawa Ontario, but has lived most of her life in the Atlantic Provinces. She has a degree in Computerized Business Management specializing in Accounting. Patti works full time and volunteers for many functions and organizations.
Patti was diagnosed with A1AD when she was 28. She went onto every website possible to find a support group and eventually found Alpha 1 Canada. She participated in a 16-month research study for A1AD at Toronto General Hospital with the hopes that her participation would help others. She has been to London, Ontario twice and Toronto once for transplant assessments, and, thankfully, she is too well to list yet.
Patti is concerned that there is very little awareness about A1AD in the Atlantic Provinces and wants to change that.
Constance (Connie) O’Connor, MN, RN (EC)
Connie O’Connor is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner (NP-Peds) in the Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition at The Hospital for Sick Children. Connie’s primary clinical interest is in providing comprehensive nursing care to children and families living with chronic liver disease including A1AD. Connie obtained both her Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Master of Nursing degrees from the University of Toronto . Connie is a member of Sigma Theta Tau: The International Honour Society of Nursing, the Canadian Association of Hepatology Nurses (CAHN), the Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses (APGNN) and The Nurse Practitioner Association of Ontario (NPAO).