Passing the Torch


November 30, 2012
This article first appeared in the November 2012 PXE eNewsletter


Approximately three years ago, Elizabeth Terry, daughter of PXE International founders Pat and Sharon Terry, decided she wanted to give back to the PXE community. She consulted with a friend, Kemp Battle, who worked with her to determine just what that activity should look like. Together they discerned that she should become the second executive director of the foundation, taking the reins from Sharon. Elizabeth, just graduated from college, knew she had to put together a good package, complete with milestones, to present to the board of directors – both so she would be taken seriously as well as to make the mark she had in mind. The board approved her for the proposed two-year stint as Executive Director. That two years (more like two and a half) has just come to an end.

Elizabeth exceeded all of her milestones, which means PXE International has risen to a new level as an organization. During her tenure, she rebranded the organization, instituted a monthly health challenge, set a rigorous fundraising challenge of $1,500,000 over five years, reinvigorated the regional meetings, infused social media tools into the communications of the organization, and renewed the website. She also provided consistent and solid coordination for the staff. In short, she was a wonderful gift to the PXE community. Elizabeth stepped down at the recent PXE International Biennial Conference, and has secured a Teach for America position for 2013.

Having raised the bar for leadership considerably, it is important for PXE International to continue all of the practices Elizabeth put in place and more. Therefore, we are delighted to announce that Terry Mac Dermaid is the new Executive Director of PXE International! Terry has been with PXE International for more than four years as the Assistant Director. She brings a great deal of energy to everything she does. She is very organized, yet flexible. Terry has a special compassion for individuals who need our help, and a professionalism that serves our clinicians and scientists well. Further, despite the typical challenging financial situation of a nonprofit, she is able to do a great deal with very little. Our members feel well served by Terry, and we are delighted to have her step into this senior leadership role.

Sharon Terry continues as CEO and spends most of her time on research coordination and fundraising.