Jim Gooden

Jim Gooden started his relationship with the American Lung Association of South Carolina when he was a news director at a local radio station. Given his background, his early volunteer involvement was with media activities and he continues to serve as a media consultant for the Lung Association. Over the years, his involvement has grown to include coordinating fundraising events such as the Asthma Walk, the Diamond Dig, and the Breath of Life Breakfasts for the Raise More Money campaign. Jim also works as an advocate for Lung Association goals. His advocacy support shows in his letters to the editors and his recent presentation of our case for a cigarette tax increase to our state legislators. His appearances on television newscasts and radio programs to promote the Association are extremely well done and consistently lead to inquiries from the public for more information.

As a local volunteer, Jim co-hosts the Asthma Walk Kick-offs and the Asthma Walks, where he encourages participants to continue to support our mission through contributions - financial and otherwise. He is the immediate past chair of the board of the American Lung Association of the Southeast Region, after having served as chair of the American Lung Association of South Carolina's board. He continues to strive for improved accountability and effectiveness within the organization. He is a member of our local board and Executive Committee.

In an effort to reach youth with the American Lung Association's message, Jim created an Online Essay Contest on Tobacco that has reached thousands of school children in 5th-8th grades. Since its inception, we have received more than 3000 essays from children who give the reasons why they don't smoke or why they wish others would not smoke. In addition, teachers use the contest as an opportunity to have their students research the effects of tobacco, so the program reaches many students who do not submit essays. The Essay Contest on Tobacco has grown and now requires more than a dozen volunteers to judge.

We also have an annual program that involves younger children and the local fire departments. Through Jim's help at the program's start, we have had firefighters from 3 counties participate by reading a story about Santa having to be a better role model by becoming a non-smoker. In 2006, the City of Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas was shown reading to the children during the Charleston Mayor Joe Riley's televised State of the City address.

Recently, Jim's commitment to the American Lung Association was recognized by the local CBS affiliate. A televised presentation highlighted his work with the American Lung Association and he has been included in the station's Hall of Fame.

Jim's service to the national American Lung Association includes serving on the national Marketing and Communications Committee. He chaired the committee during the Lung Association's 100th anniversary and worked to increase awareness of our research and lung health education services. Jim is constantly finding ways for marketing and communications efforts to advance the organization's mission and goals. He has been especially helpful in focusing other volunteers on how can best to target important audiences to reach them and influence them efficiently. He has also sought to ensure that we recognize and respond to diverse communities in our communications.

Jim is a terrific leader at both the local and nationwide level, offering thoughtful advice and counsel to staff, collaborating with other volunteer leaders and bringing his expertise and insight to these collaborations and constantly challenging us to do better than our current level of performance. He has rolled up his sleeves and supported the mission by sharing his expertise and knowledge, first on the local level, than state, then on the national council, and now, in his position on the national Board of Directors. He is a complete volunteer who is willing to help in whatever possible way.