Board of Directors 

Laura Van Tuyl - President and CEO

I have been active as a developer and leader in non-profit organizations for over 25 years. I enjoy mentoring other women. Along with my husband, Larry, we have mentored couples and church leaders in the States as well as in Russia and Mexico. I am committed to helping others thrive along their life journey. I am a veteran WLS post op (4/4/2003) and I am actively involved in local support groups since my surgery. I have co-led a local peer support group in Portland, Oregon for 5 years – bringing relevant speakers and topics to our quarterly meetings. As I attended the very first WLSFA Las Vegas Meet and Greet in 2010, I caught the vision of then president and CEO, Antonia Namnath (Toni), and joined the board in 2011. During my years as a board member she I have coordinated the yearly fundraising conferences, directed the Stomp out Obesity Virtual 5K, and gave oversight to the development of the chapter program. Upon the retirement of Toni on July 31, 2019, I was elected to the position of president & CEO. I now lead an amazing team of board members who share with me in the mission of the WLSFA.

Sandi Henderson - Vice President and Secretary
Board Member since 2012, Vice president and Secretary since 2019 I have done everything from selling fruit and vegetables off the back of a box truck, teaching pre-school, selling dental supplies, managing a dental practice, owning and operating a business selling computer equipment and supplies in the corporate world to mentoring and educating those who have had weight loss surgery. Every position I ever held that I enjoyed included helping others get what they needed and wanted. After having WLS in 2004 I became active in my doctor’s practice at informational seminars and support groups. I have facilitated support groups all over the country and shared my WLS story with thousands of corporate sales people. I have walked the halls of the US Senate and Congress advocating on behalf of weight loss surgery patients. I am a bariatric coach, educator and support group leader. This post WLS life is my passion. I learned about the WLSFA in early 2011 from one of the founding members, attended my first Meet & Greet in 2012 and have been passionate about bringing this gift of a second chance at life to those who need it and can not afford it ever since. I have been on the Board since 2012 and bringing doctors and sponsors to the foundation as well as coordinating the food for our annual events and co-chairing a local chapter and organizing events. I am proud to serve with our incredible board members as we begin a new chapter with the retirement of Antonia Namnath the founder of the foundation as we continue to bring reality to her vision.

 

Cleo Savala - Treasurer and CFO

Cleo Savala, I grew up in Southern California and I am the one of nine children. Growing up we never wanted for something to do or someone to help. I’ve continued to live with the desire to help others into my adult life. I live in Jacksonville, Florida with my daughter and her family, which includes twin granddaughters, that keep me on my toes. I am who am today because of my family and am grateful for their influence in my life.

 I was first introduced to bariatric or Weight Loss Surgery (WLS) when my mother’s made the decision to undergo a gastric bypass in February of 1975, she was a very successful WLS patient. I personally had a gastric band procedure in June of 2010 and in May of 2016 I underwent a revision surgery to the Roux-en-Y (RNY) Gastric Bypass. I am committed to being a successful WLS patient, just as my Mother was.

 My chosen profession for the past 40 plus years has been Health Insurance, everything from a small Third Party Administrators to a Large National Insurance company. I have seen so many changes over the years, good and bad. I take great personal pride in the fact that I have the opportunity to affect change and help others in the process. Whether it was customers or coworkers it’s been and continues to be a rewarding career for me.

 I have been a member of the Board of Directors for the Weight Loss Surgery Foundation of America since 2015. This year I am honored to have been named as the Treasurer and CFO.  I look forward to meeting more members of the WLS community, fellow weight loss surgery patients, while working together to make a difference and “Saving Lives One Grant at a Time”.

Bill Streetman - Public Relations

Athletic as a child and teenager, I participated in every sport available to me.  In my early 20’s I taught dance and gymnastics and continued to be active.  In my late twenty’s I began a career as a consultant to the gas and electric utility industry and 30 years of corporate travel and living on the road spending someone else’s nickel.  Those 30 years were not kind to me as I abused my body by eating poorly, never exercising, getting limited sleep and living in a stressful environment.  My body paid the price and my weight rose from 195 to over 400 pounds.

Today I again live a healthy and active lifestyle.  My RNY bypass has given me a tool for self-management of my nutritional needs.  My weight loss has once again ignited my love for sports and physical activity.  I enjoy snow skiing, hiking, Tai Chi, soccer, and bicycle riding.  I am the founder of the Tour of Hope – a week-long bike ride that raises money for the WLSFA.  I was also honored as the 2017 Male BariAthlete of the Year.

My New Life has been possible because I was able to afford my WLS.  I want those who need WLS – who have been referred by a surgeon, but who cannot afford to pay for it themselves and do not have insurance to cover it – to be able to receive the same life-saving tool that has helped me change my life.  That is why I am a supporter of the WLSFA and serve on the Board of Directors of the Foundation. 

Tosha Stafford - Social Media

In 2019, I won the Social Media Influencer of the Year and attended my first national conference.  I was a volunteer for 2 years before joining the Board in 2021.  In 2013, I self paid to have the gastric sleeve at 289 pounds.  Since, I have found a passion in helping others be successful in their weight-loss journey.

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