Board of Directors

Edward E. Bjurstrom

Edward Bjurstrom, Founder of CompassioNow, currently serves on the Board of the International Leadership Foundation, is a board member for Affordable Medicines for Africa, and Blackaby Ministries International. He is also the Co-Founder of the Jon Whitney Foundation. Mr. Bjurstrom has 30 years of operating experience in the bio-pharmaceutical industry, including executive leadership roles at Amgen, the world’s largest biotechnology company and more recently, Gilead Sciences, the world's most important innovator of treatments for HIV/AIDS.Mr. Bjurstrom earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from California State University at Long Beach and completed the Executive Business Program at the University of Michigan.



Wendy Bjurstrom

Wendy Bjurstrom is the co-Founder of the CompassioNow along with her husband, Ed. They determined to establish CompassioNow in 2005 after they visited a number of rural villages in Africa during trips there in 2002 and 2004. On their visits, they found many people not only suffering from HIV/AIDs, but many who were in great need of the most basic healthcare services. Today, Wendy is very active in overseeing the day-to-day work of CompassioNow, as well as assisting with fundraising activities for CompassioNow. 
Wendy served on the board of Women of Vision, San Gabriel Valley Chapter, from 2002-2008. The mission of Women of Vision is to educate others about the plight of women and children in poverty around the world. This helped to prepare her for the work she is currently doing at CompassioNow. She led two mission teams to Cambodia in 2004 and 2006. Wendy also co-founded, and serves as a board member of the Jon Whitney Foundation, which helps send teens to summer camps around the world. 

She and Ed have three children. Wendy enjoys reading and world travel.



Lee Kennedy

Lee, one of the founders of Compassion Tea Co., has over 40 years’ experience in Information Technology, much of it in executive leadership positions. Corporations where he held senior positions include Westinghouse Electric, Kinkos, and 24 Hour Fitness. Since retiring from the corporate work environment, Lee spent five years as the Executive Pastor of the Conejo Valley Community Church and is currently the President of Compassion Tea. He also served on the board of the Lily of the Valley AIDS Foundation and has been to Africa visiting orphanages and clinics. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from Adrian College.



Jack Faherty

Jack is a CPA and has served in senior finance executive positions for a number of multinational companies. He moved to California from his native Boston to assume the role of CFO for the Aerospace Division of Senior Plc and spent 15 years with Digital Equipment Corporation, principally in their Semiconductor Division. He is currently the VP of Financial Planning at Aramark Uniform Services in Burbank, CA. Jack has been to South Africa and Zambia, visiting several CompassioNow supported clinics along with his wife, Chris, a CompassioNow board member. Jack longs for the return to glory of his beloved Boston Red Sox.



Chris Faherty, RN.

Chris Faherty, RN, has worked for over 24 years in pediatric critical care settings. After taking a break from nursing, she was compelled to continue using her skills to help others who do not have easy access to health care. Chris has worked with CompassioNow since 2006 and has often helped to coordinate shipments of medical equipment, supplies, and medicines to South Africa and Zambia. In 2008, Chris traveled with Anne Kennedy to South Africa and Zambia to review CompassioNow projects, administer nursing care with the mobile clinic in Zambia and investigate new projects.



Susan Hundshamer, RN


Susan Hundshamer, RN, is currently working as an Emergency Room nurse in northern California and teaching at the University of San Francisco. After graduating from Azusa Pacific University, she moved to Zambia, Africa to pioneer a mobile medical clinic. With the help of CompassioNow, the clinic was started and sustained for over 2 years, including the training of 7 Zambian national health workers. Now back in the United States, Susan is anxious to share her knowledge of Zambia and third world medicine. She wiill work with the board of CompassioNow to improve the health care of those in need so they will not be forgotten.



Anne Kennedy

Anne Kennedy took a trip to South Africa in 2006 to visit several orphanages and impoverished areas near Durban and became passionate about helping the least served people in this part of the world. Wanting more hands-on involvement, she volunteered with CompassioNow at fundraising events and other tasks to further the awareness of the needs in South Africa. She made a second trip to South Africa and Zambia in 2008 to assist in areas supported by CompassioNow and to investigate new projects where CompassioNow can continue to make a difference. As a board member of CompassioNow, Anne is enthusiastic about speaking for those who have no voice.



Ed Maliski

Ed Maliski is currently an executive with Cure Pharmaceutical in Southern California. He is an accomplished research scientist with 30 years experience in the development of pharmaceutical and biotechnology products, a noted lecturer and strategist who has contributed his expertise in pharmaceutical product development at the Sterling Winthrop Research Institute, Glaxo Research Institute, Merck and Company and Amgen. Ed comments, "I spent 30 years in the commercial pharmaceutical industry, and want to use that experience to make a difference in areas of the world that are least served. I am especially interested in the health issues in Africa related to infectious diseases."



Sally Maliski, PhD. RN.

Sally Maliski, PhD. RN. is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at UCLA, as well as the Clinical Coordinator for the Westminster Free Clinic in Thousand Oaks, CA. Her research interests have been in improving cancer symptom management for the underserved communities of men with prostate cancer. Sally commented that she is "very excited about expanding globally what I do locally" as part of the CompassioNow board of directors.



Peggy Pence, PhD.

Dr. Pence’s is Founder, CEO and President of Symbion Research International, Inc. which provides contract clinical expertise to companies in pharmaceutical drug development. Startup companies and small scale developers gain significant benefit from her 30 years of experience in the research and development of traditional pharmaceuticals and biotechnology-derived products. Therapeutic areas of experience include neurology, oncology, hematology, infectious disease and rheumatology. Dr. Pence has a particular interest in the development of treatments for infectious diseases in general and HIV/AIDS in particular. Dr. Pence also serves on the international committee for the local Rotary Club in Westlake Village, California, and has made many trips to Africa.



Samuel Thomas

Sam Thomas has over 22 years in the pharmaceutical industry where he has authored and co-authored several scientific papers. Sam has extensive knowledge of separation science in drug discovery, particularly supporting and optimization of small molecule therapeutics at Abbott and Amgen. Sam co-founded a SANDS Analytical lab that was sold to BHK labs in Chicago. Sam holds a Masters degree in Analytical Chemistry from Northeastern Illinois University.



Paula Day Williams, EA

Paula Day Williams is an Enrolled Agent and principal of NumberCrunchers Business and Financial Services; she’s been solving tax problems in Simi Valley for more than twenty years. She has a BS in Accounting and Information Systems and is currently pursuing a Masters in Taxation. When she’s not rescuing taxpayers, Paula leads seminars on individual and small business finance and taxation. She’s also a guest columnist on tax issues for the Ventura County Star. Paula is an active member of the Simi Valley community where she lives and works. She is a member of the board of directors of the Simi Valley Community Foundation, the Rotary Club of Simi Sunrise, the Simi Valley Public Library Foundation and the Simi Sunrise Rotary Charitable Foundation. She is also an active supporter of the Simi Valley Chamber of Commerce, the Simi Valley Police Foundation, Delta Sigma Theta Public Service Sorority and Executive Women International. 
Her hobbies include writing, travel, photography and cooking. Paula’s a gourmet chef - she’s trained at Le Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris – and enjoys putting her skills to use entertaining friends.

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