We would like to thank the Board Of Directors for serving on “The Susan Fund” board. We understand the value of your time and we are deeply grateful for your time and dedication to our fund and recipients.
Ann Lloyd, Westport
Logan Barer, Easton
Susan Baron, Fairfield
Christine Cua, Westport
Kathleen DiGiovanna, Greenwich
Matthew Garnett, Norwalk
Ed Grossman MD, Westport
Brandon Held, Monroe
Diane Giannitti Karazulas, Easton
Will Lloyd, Westport
Lesley Palange, Stamford
Kelly Frey Pollard, Westport
Our board of directors serve on a voluntary basis. They each share an experience with cancer and a knowledge of the burden the disease places on the individual and the family.
Meet Members of The Susan Fund Board
Jeff Booth, Chair
I was very fortunate to have known Susan; we worked together at the Fine Arts movie theater in Westport. I recall seeing her after her initial diagnosis. We were all in shock, but she was already determined to beat it and get on with her life. A friend and I visited Susan at Mass General Hospital shortly after her leg was amputated. During the drive to Boston, we wondered if she’d be up for visitors and what to say. We should have known better!
Despite the pain she was in, Susan was more concerned about how we were doing and when she could get back to work. It didn’t take long, as Susan was soon back at the theater selling tickets and inspiring us all with her courage and dry sense of humor. Most of all, Susan was determined not to let cancer dictate her life. Not only did Susan continue to work several days a week, she was an active participate in our after work shenanigans.
My wife Kathy and I have been married for 30 years and we live in Norwalk. Our daughter Katie is a senior at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville NY. Since 1999 I have run my own marketing communications firm that caters to financial services companies.
The best part of being a Board member is meeting with the candidates, hearing their stories and being inspired by the same determination and courage that I saw in Susan. It certainly helps put things in perspective in my life. I look forward to serving on the Board for many years to come.
Ann Lloyd, Chair Emeritus
Ann Lloyd is the chair and founder of The Susan Fund and the mother of Susan Davis Lloyd in whose honor the Fund was established. She is a long time resident of Westport and raised her four children there. During their school years, she worked at IBM, National CSS and Xerox, primarily in computer systems. Following her early retirement from Xerox, Ann worked for Children in Placement as a guardian ad lidem and volunteer coordinator for abused and neglected children in the Stamford court. She also became involved in community organizations, such as the Westport Sunrise Rotary Club.
I was diagnosed with Stage III melanoma at age nine, and went through treatment. Fast forward a few years and I was lucky enough to become a four-time Susan Fund recipient as I went to Ithaca College. I started as an environmental science major, but switched to communication studies my sophomore year. After graduating, it took me some time to find my niche while doing some baseball writing, coaching, and substitute teaching. I have recently found a career at Momentum Solar, helping people save money and, more importantly, helping the environment, which has always been a passion of mine. I am elated to be on Susan Fund board and hope to be a part of it for a very long time.
Susan has been on the Board for more than 15 years. She feels that family and friends, work and volunteerism give her the most pleasure in life. She and her husband, Stan, have been married for almost 50 years and are the parents of three sons and have six grandchildren ages 2 to 14. They love spending time with them all, watching them explore the world and discover their talents and interests. Susan is a clinical social worker and co-founder of Touched By Adoption, a Westport based counseling service. She and her partner provide clinical support and education to families formed by adoption and the professionals who interact with them.
Christine‘s father passed away several years ago after a year long battle with Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. She was very honored to be asked to join the Board after having worked with Kelly Pollard at the National Charity League (NCL) of Westport. Christine brings her technological and other skills developed over the years from a wide range of experiences from bond trader to molecular biology research.
I have been a Susan Fund Board Member since 1985. I never fail to be touched by our survivor’s stories. Knowing them is my privilege.
Cancer is capricious. There is no way that young people, many of our candidates had cancer as babies, should ever have to face this disease. Yet, they all showed a courage and a strength far beyond their years when they underwent the treatments for cancer. And they all developed a vision for goals in their lives that impresses me every year.
As a survivor of childhood Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma, I was honored and touched when The Susan Fund supported me through both my undergraduate and graduate degrees as a recipient. Attending the annual interviews was always special and felt like going home to see the same faces on The Susan Fund Board asking how my last year went and spending time to really get to know me. The financial support was great but knowing that the board genuinely cared about me, my health, growth and my development was even greater. It was also refreshing to be able to speak candidly about my experience with cancer and some of the longer term issues that I had as a result of my treatment as back then, there was a stigma to talking about such things.
I was once again honored by The Susan Fund when they be asked me to join the board in the early 2000’s. As a board member who has been a recipient, I can tell you that the real privilege is meeting with these wonderful students year in and year out. As we get to be a small part of their stories and lives, we have the gift of seeing these courageous students grow and develop over the years as they move on from being students to their respective careers.
A longtime Fairfield County resident, I currently live in Norwalk with my wife, Jessica and two wonderful children, a son Jackson and a daughter Emma.
Ed Grossman, MD
Malignancy had a low cure rate when I graduated from medical school fifty years ago. There have been striking advances since, especially with childhood malignancies such as leukemia. Fifty years ago, there could not have been a Susan Fund as there would not have been enough students to give scholarships to. What an amazing and gratifying change. Malignancy, although frequently curable, still evokes significant emotional upheaval. The wonderful thing I’ve seen in interviewing The Susan Fund recipients is their positive attitude whether they have been or currently are being treated. They are rarely depressed.
I learned a lot from these young adults when I developed a malignancy six years ago and felt some of the emotional turmoil that our applicants have experienced. I’d like to continue to support these applicants emotionally and financially, lend a medical hand if needed and appeal to you to support The Susan Fund so we can continue to help our children. Perhaps I need these students as much as they need me.
Brandon Held was a Susan Fund recipient from 2007-2011. During that time, he attended the University of Connecticut’s School of Business in Storrs. Brandon graduated in May of 2011 with an Accounting major and a Communications minor. He took on numerous leadership roles within his fraternity.
Upon graduation, Brandon began his postgraduate life as a member of the Risk Management team in the Operations department of Bridgewater, the Westport-based hedge fund. He later requested a move from that team to increase his breadth of knowledge within the department. Brandon then went on to work on the Collateral Management team in Bridgewater’s Dedicated Middle Office following the Bank of New York Mellon’s agreement with the hedge fund to assist the Operations department with its day-to-day procedures.
In November 2013, Brandon’s leukemia relapsed nearly 10 years after being in remission. After again receiving chemotherapy in the Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale-New Haven and further treatment at the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York, Brandon achieved full remission in April of 2014 following a bone marrow transplant.
Presently, Brandon is doing extremely well. His doctors are very pleased and even a bit surprised by his quick rate of recovery. Physically, Brandon has begun light training to rekindle his passion for running and plans to complete his third full marathon in 2015. He is also anxiously awaiting the strengthening of his immune system as he looks forward to returning to work at Bridgewater’s Dedicated Middle Office early in 2015. One of Brandon’s future ambitions is to be an inspirational public speaker and share his experiences with cancer with those who want to accomplish their goals and keep a positive mindset.
Diane Giannitti Karazulas
Susan Lloyd and I were classmates at Staples High School. We also both worked in downtown Westport; Susan at the Fine Arts movie theater and I at Country Gal with her close friend, Laura Passman. Through Laura, I became aware of the challenges Susan was facing as she tried to fight her cancer and go on to college. I was in awe of her attitude and spirit each time I spoke to her. I was deeply affected by Susan’s death; memories of that time in our lives are with me still.
I was thrilled when Board member, Kelly Pollard, invited me to join The Susan Fund nine years ago. I enjoy participating in many facets of the organization.
Will is Susan’s oldest brother and the newest member of The Susan Fund Board. He reflected, “Susan was a wonderful, courageous and generous person. I can now see just how much the scholarship recipients capture her spirit. I have always been a supporter of The Fund, be it financially or as a member of The Susan Fund team in the CT Challenge. This is the first year I had the opportunity to participate in a different way – to meet the candidates, hear their stories and learn about their highs and lows. I discovered that everyone has a different way of dealing with cancer. Learning about the recipients first hand has been an amazing experience. Supporting The Susan Fund financially and riding 50 miles in The CT Challenge was great, but being a part of the Board has been incredible and I look forward to serving for many years to come.”
Will and his wife Jen live in Westport. They have five children and two grandchildren. He is a Managing Director of TCW, a global asset management firm based in New York City.
The Susan Fund has been a part of my life for over 12 years. I was a recipient for 6 years and now a board member. Even as a student and meeting the board members, yearly at my interview, I knew I always wanted to continue to be a part of this wonderful fund. After graduating graduate school and establishing my career, I reached out to Ann and expressed my interest in becoming a board member. I was immediately welcomed aboard and consider this group a second family.
I am a middle school counselor in the Greenwich school system. As a pediatric cancer survivor, I feel an instant connection to many of my students who are dealing with cancer in their own lives whether it be their family members or friends. I love coming to work everyday and meeting the challenges of this wonderful age group.
I am married and have two young boys, Jagger and Ryder. In my spare time, I love going to the beach and watching baseball.
Kelly Frey Pollard
I am honored to have served on The Susan Fund Board since 1998. I joined the Board when I moved back to Westport. Each spring I am humbled throughout the interviews. Whether we are speaking with a new recipient or a returning one, their stories and determination remind me so much of Susan. I know she would be so proud of all the recipients we have been able to help in her memory.
Susan and I became friends when we met in 7th grade at Bedford Jr. High School. We ran track, sang off key while sitting next to each other in chorus and passed notes back and forth to each other in the hallway – notes that I still have today in the Snoopy jar she gave me for my birthday. When we got to Staples, we still ran track. However, she kept getting faster and I slower, so I became the team manager. We worked together at The Fine Arts movie theater in town and shared a love of popcorn.
In September of our senior year at Staples, we planned a road trip to visit colleges. Our route included a stop at Union College to visit her oldest brother, Will, and a stop to visit her brother, David, at Colgate where we spent the rest of the weekend. During the trip, Susan was on crutches. We knew something was wrong with her knee, but all the tests results had not come back yet. Despite the pain she was in, she insisted on doing her share of the driving.
I have been in the Travel business for over 25 years and currently a Travel Consultant. I live in Westport with our daughter, Kaeleigh, and two dogs. At a young age Kaeleigh learned the lesson of giving back; she has raised money for The Susan Fund by participating in the Westport Young Women’s League road race and organized and ran a kids’ tag sale with a friend.
Susan’s courage and kindness have impacted my life profoundly. For the few short years that we were together on earth the lessons she taught me are still with me every day and I am proud that I have instilled those in our daughter. What a legacy Susan has left!