Directors & Officers
The twelve Directors of the Cryonics Institute Board are elected for three years in groups of four every September at the Annual General Meeting held at the Cryonics Institute facility. All Officers of the Cryonics Institute are Directors. The Officers are elected from amongst the Directors.
Dennis Kowalski is a Fire Fighter and a Nationally Registered EMT-Paramedic (NREMT-P) for the city of Milwaukee. He is also certified in advanced cardiac life support (ACLS), advanced pediatric life support (PALS), and as a CPR Instructor for the American Heart Association. As a Fire Fighter and Paramedic Dennis has had a lot of experience dealing with life and death. His training and skills have given him numerous opportunities to be a part of saving lives while helping others in great distress.
Paul Hagen is a native of Michigan who has been living in Waupaca, Wisconsin for the past twenty years. He graduated from Northern Michigan University with a Bachelors in Finance in 1986. For several years he worked in the banking industry doing customer service and lending. His most recent position in banking was as a Personal Banker at a regional Wisconsin institution, Associated Bank. Currently Paul works for the State of Wisconsin as a Financial Specialist assisting Veterans with financial counseling, Medicaid claims, and funeral trusts.
(Robert) Alan Mole was born in Baltimore in 1943. He earned a BS in Civil Engineering at the University of Denver and an MS (Structural Stress Analysis) at the University of Colorado in 1971. After a career as an aerospace stress analyst, an engineer who determines whether rockets and satellites will break, he is now semi-retired. His background in Biology consists of a high school class, plus reading Stryer's Biochemistry and books by Darnel et al and Alberts et al, on molecular cellular biology, to learn of later advances. And reading Scientific American etc., so as to be conversant with current work.
Debbie Fleming is 46 and currently lives in Palm Bay Florida with her two hairy children; Morgan (dog) and Peaches (cat). She started working at a local semiconductor company 20 years ago in an entry level position and has worked her way to her current position as an Engineering Tech. Her most recent accomplishment was obtaining her bachelor's degree in Organizational Management. Her father, John Bull, has been involved in Cryonics since the very first days back in the 60s and is currently the editor of Long Life magazine.
Marta Sandberg was born in Sweden in 1955, in a town that straddled the Polar Circle. She immigrated to Australia as a teenager and went from the freezing north to a hot dessert mining town. It was there she met her husband Helmer. They shared twenty-three years together until he died of a pituitary brain tumour. Although Marta had been interested in cryonics since she read an article about the Dora Kent case, it was Helmer's illness that rekindled her interest. After spending several years investigating cryonics — and then more years trying to convince her husband — they both signed their contract with CI. Marta also has a B.S. in Mathematics and a B.S. Business Accounting
John K. Strickland, Jr. was born in New York City during the Second World War. He lived for 30 years in western New York state where he received a B.A. in Anthropology with a minor in Biology from S.U.N.Y. at Buffalo in 1967. He moved to a spot just outside Austin, Texas in 1976, and earned a second B.A. in Computer Science from St. Edwards University in Austin in 1986. He also earned graduate credits in both Anthropology and Biology. He has been a professional programmer/analyst since 1980, and has been employed by the State of Texas in Austin from 1989 to 2009.
Ben Best was elected President of the Cryonics Institute in September, 2003, and stepped-down as President in October, 2012. Ben discovered cryonics many years ago, when he bought Robert Ettinger's PROSPECT OF IMMORTALITY in a health-food store in Vancouver, Canada. He has been deeply involved in cryonics since the late 1980s, and was one of the founders of the Cryonics Society of Canada (CSC), was President for most of the 1990s, and remains a Director of that organization.
S. R. Luyckx was born in Detroit, Michigan, the fifth of six children. Mr. Luyckx graduated from Michigan State in 1986 with a BA in Logistics and a Masters degree in Finance a few years later. His professional career includes Kraft Foods, Chrysler/DaimlerChrysler Financial and in 2009 became the President of a joint venture between ADP and Reynolds. He first became interested in Cryonics when a neighbor friend who was an important influence in his life introduced the topic. He has been one of the longest serving board members dating back almost 20 years and has attended every annual meeting since 1988.
CI Director Andy Zawacki is also the Chief Operations Officer and Secretary of the Cryonics Institute. Some of his responsibilities at CI are processing membership sign-ups, preparing documents for members, membership database entries, facility & patient maintenance, preparing cryostats for service and patient suspensions. Andy Zawacki has been working for the Cryonics Institute since 1985.
Constance M. Ettinger, J.D. (Doctor of Jurisprudence), is a native of Michigan, and a resident of that state. She currently resides in Franklin, Michigan with her husband, David Ettinger, who is himself an attorney with a large Detroit law firm and the son of Robert Ettinger. Connie and David met at the University of Michigan as law students, and Connie is a long-time legal professional as well, having received both her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Michigan. She has been a licensed attorney for 19 years, previously specializing in personnel and employment law.
Pat Heller is a Certified Public Accountant, though for the most part he deals in Rare Coins and Precious Metals. He is the owner and chief executive officer of Liberty Coin Service, of Lansing, Michigan. He became Treasurer of CI in 1980, and has also served as Vice President of CI. He took office as Vice President in late 1995, following Andrea Foote, and stepped down in 2001, though he continues as Director and Treasurer.
Joseph Kowalsky was born and raised in the Detroit area in an Orthodox Jewish home. Both his parents are teachers, a fact he feels encouraged his own lifelong love of learning. He recalls that he first became aware of cryonics when a seventh grade science teacher brought some cryonics material to class. Joe was hooked: for the next fifteen years Joe kept abreast of the movement, eventually becoming an Associate member of the Immortalist Society.