Executive Director, TCF/USA
TCF Executive Director Patricia Loder has been involved with The Compassionate Friends for many years. Driving home on the first day of spring, 1991 from a day spent helping her father, Pat and her 8-year-old Stephanie and 5-year-old Stephen never made it to their destination as her car was struck by a speeding sport motorcyclist. Though Pat survived, her children did not. Having experienced the death of her older brother from cancer only six months before the death of her children, Pat was unprepared for the grief struggle that would reshape her life. She found TCF a few months later, and received so much help and support, she went on to co-found a TCF chapter in 1993 nearer to her home, and later served as regional coordinator for Michigan.
On a national level, she became involved as co-editor of the National Newsletter and the sibling newsletter, STAGES. Pat and her husband Wayne, became co-founding editors of TCF’s national magazine, We Need Not Walk Alone. Pat played a dual role as she was hired as development director of The Compassionate Friends in 1998. Two years later she was asked to fill the vacant executive director position. Pat spearheaded the first TCF Walk to Remember which has become a popular annual event at each national conference. She has written many stories regarding grief and bereavement following the death of a child and is a frequent workshop presenter and grief speaker. As the face of TCF/USA, she has led the organization through many positive changes as it has continued to grow and move forward in its mission. Pat has a background in government and owned a municipal consulting service for many years.
Chapter Services Coordinator/Office Manager
Terry Novy has worked at the National Office for 16 years. For the past 11 years, Terry has worked as the Chapter Services Coordinator managing over 640 TCF chapters. She coordinates TCF’s Chapter Development Program and works hands-on with bereaved parents, adult siblings, and grandparents who are interested in forming a chapter. In addition she spends much of her time working with existing chapters to encourage, advise, and problem solve. Terry pocesses a great knowledge of IRS regulations and chapter financial matters. Therefore, she lends those skills to facilitating the Financial Module at the three Chapter Leadership Programs held each year and participating in chapter teleconference calls. In addition to her Chapter Service duties, Terry is the Office Manager at the National Office in Oak Brook, Illinois.
Public Awareness Coordinator
Wayne Loder has been the Public Awareness Coordinator of The Compassionate Friends since 2001. He and his wife, Pat, became bereaved parents in 1991 when their only children at the time, Stephanie, 8, and Stephen, 5, died in an auto-motorcycle collision. He and Pat co-founded the Lakes Area Michigan chapter of The Compassionate Friends in 1993 and were co-chapter leaders for eight years. A former newspaper reporter and editor, Wayne became co-editor, with Pat, in 1995 of The Compassionate Friends national and sibling newsletters which they converted into the award winning TCF magazine We Need Not Walk Alone. During that time, he also handled national organization publicity on a volunteer basis.
Wayne has written many stories regarding grief and bereavement following the death of a child, and is a frequent workshop presenter at TCF national conferences. His duties as Public Awareness Coordinator include national publicity and interacting with the media, support of chapters in their publicity efforts, editing and writing the monthly TCF e-newsletter, writing content for the national website, and heading special projects such as the 2006 When a Child Dies Survey. He is creator and Admin. of The Compassionate Friends/USA Facebook Page which has shown phenomenal growth since its introduction in June, 2009.