Director & Education Co-Chair — Jacksonville
Lawrence Mendlow graduated from Cooper Union in New York City with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and from the University of Miami with a Masters in Ocean Engineering in 1977. Lawrence worked as a civilian engineer for the Navy for 30 years; the first 22 years, as a project engineer/project manager designing and installing fixed ocean facilities (mostly submarine cable systems and specialized moorings); the last 8 years, as the Technical Director/Chief Engineer of a small program office tasked to modernize the Navy's Lighterage Systems (methods and equipment to offload resupply ships at sea).
After a a massive heart attack in 2008--from which he was considered lucky to survive--he retired from the Navy in 2009 and moved to Jacksonville, FL. Soon after moving, his wife was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Despite a clean report the year before, tests showed a large mass in her breast. Further tests revealed that the cancer had already spread to much of her body and his wife passed away 21 months later. With her death, Lawrence took to volunteering to help the groups that meant much to him, the American Heart Association, various breast cancer groups, and Mayo Clinic where his wife had been treated.
Lawrence, a former long-time volunteer of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, and now a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Education Committee, said what drew him the Foundation was the emphasis on education, research and advocacy. Also, he said he felt the Foundation fit him better as a male better than many of the other breast cancer organizations.
Lawrence is currently retired and spends his days working part time as an Ocean Engineer to PCCI, Inc, a small Government Contractor, and part time as a softball umpire. He still volunteers three days a week at Mayo Clinic and on an as needed basis for other charities. When he's not busy helping others, he enjoys spending time with his three daughters, one who lives in Winston Salem, NC and the other two who are nearby in Jacksonville.
“I am simply trying my best to see that the afflictions that have affected my family do not affect other families, and that children do not have to see their parents in a hospital, hoping that they will recover from that heart attack. I wanted help keep others from going through the pain and suffering that my wife went through and that I was going through.”