Dave Barringer first learned about COPD while he was working for an oxygen therapy company in the 1980s. During his orientation to the job, he rode on the trucks that delivered oxygen tanks and met individuals with COPD who were confined to their homes.
I spoke to them while the driver was working on their equipment and found out more about the disease and how it affected their lives. This was before the internet age, so it shocked me to see how truly isolating this disease can be, Barringer says. Teese people couldnt leave their homes without extreme effort. The oxygen therapy wasnt just life saving, it was lifestyle saving.
Barringer, who became the COPD Foundations Executive Director in January, brings more than 25 years of proven leadership to the role, drawing on his extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector. Formerly Senior Vice President of Member Relations for Goodwill Industries International, he is a recognized expert in exceptional mission branding, social enterprise and problem solving in complex social service and health organizations. Barringer earned a Bachelor of Science in Journalism/Public Relations and a Masters of General Administration from the University of Maryland.
"Were proud to welcome Mr. Barringer, a recognized leader in helping nonprofits grow and thrive, says John W. Walsh, president of the COPD Foundation. With his extensive experience at one of the nations largest nonprofits, Mr. Barringer will deliver significant results in organizational development, fundraising, marketing and communications, risk assessment, and even finance and HR. We are confident he will be a driving force to improve every aspect of our organization and help better the lives of the individuals we serve.
Although he personally does not have a family member with COPD, Barringer was the caretaker for one of his parents, and says he is beginning to acquire a greater understanding of all diseasesespecially COPDwhich he calls a family disease.
Anytime someone in your family has a chronic illness, it affects everybodythrough mobility issues, lifestyle, expenses and emotions. From my work as both a volunteer and leader of national organizations, I understand that and hope to use that knowledge for the Foundation, whether its through patient/family interactions, advocacy or education efforts. ?ere has to be an understanding that its not just about the medical part, its the social aspects and how the disease affects a person and their family. That is equally important.
Barringer says he feels blessed to work with the Foundations qualified Board of medical professionals and talented staff.
The COPD Foundation is poised for growth and weve done a good job for a young organization, coming a very long way in a short amount of time. We now want to advance into a more mature organization to become truly national and even international, he says. Im excited that we have a staff of young, creative, energetic people who are at the cusp of organizing from a start-up cause to a formal non-profit. I hope that my experiences help organize the staff in themost efficient way possible, and utilize the board leadership to really catapult growth forward.
Barringer says that although its unfortunate that COPD is such a large cause of death in the United States, what this also tells him is that there is huge potential for people to learn more about it, spread awareness and provide support.
My background is mostly in marketing and brand awareness, and I am thrilled my skills will be used for something so important, prevalent and worthwhile, he says. We have the opportunity to help people learn they have this disease earlier, and help them have a better quality of life.