Extraordinary Board Members Retire

Recognizing Retiring Board Members

August 1, 2012

It has been quoted, “Real leaders are ordinary people with extraordinary determination”. The Vasculitis Foundation has benefited greatly from the determination and contributions of retiring board members – Phyllis Lasky, Cassie Keane and Victoria Lown.

Phyllis Lasky joined the board in 2004 with an extensive and accomplished background in non-profit management. Her interest in volunteering for the VF began after her son, Matthew, was diagnosed with GPA (Wegener’s). She served the VF in a variety of roles from president of the VF Board to chair of the Grassroots Committee and was involved with many additional committees and initiatives. Phyllis was instrumental in developing the look and the logo that the VF is known for today. In addition, she was integral in growing the number of chapters that the VF has during her tenure. She initiated efforts to launch the first annual appeal to increase funding to support the VF’s mission. Commitment to the VF is important to the Lasky family.  Phyllis’ husband, Fred, has served on the Research Committee for a number of years.

When Cassie’s son, Nick, was diagnosed with GPA (Wegener’s) at a young age, Cassie Keane dedicated herself to the VF and became a board member in 2006. During her time on the board Cassie assumed many roles and served on numerous committees. Cassie chaired an Advocacy Committee which implemented the first structured advocacy campaign to increase awareness of vasculitis with government officials. Cassie also served on the Medical Awareness Committee and helped spearhead the creation of the 2010 VF Research Report, which detailed the results of the studies funded by the VF. Not only did Cassie found a VF Chapter in New Hampshire, she also worked with various chapters in the New England region. In fact, it was because of the hard work and efforts of Cassie Keene and Phyllis Lasky that the VF offered a New England Regional Symposium in 2011. As board president in 2010, Cassie wrote, “My service has been a labor of love, stirred by my passion to help the VF improve the lives of vasculitis patients worldwide.” These heartfelt words exemplify Cassie’s dedication to the VF.

When Victoria Lown lost her father, Peter Bolton, to vasculitis, she knew she wanted to help others fight this disease. Victoria, who resides in the United Kingdom, began attending support groups in England. Her desire to help others led her to a leadership role within the VF and in 2009, Victoria became a VF board member. During her time on the board Victoria helped solidify and expand outreach efforts for vasculitis patients within the UK. She provided a valuable international perspective to our board. Additionally, Victoria, along with her mother, April Turner, held events to raise both awareness of vasculitis and funding for the VF.

Phyllis, Cassie and Victoria have been real leaders. Each has shown “extraordinary determination” to improve the lives of people with vasculitis. Yet, each of these retiring board members is “extraordinary” to our vasculitis community. Thank you!


Vasculitis Foundation

The Vasculitis Foundation is the international organization for patients with vasculitis, their families, friends and the health care professionals who care for them.