Regional Directors

Southern Regional Director

Paul Watford

Paul lives in Gainesville, Florida. Paul was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2014 and based on a suggestion from a Physical Therapist attended Gary’s original Boot Camp (Foundation) class. He recognized the benefits immediately and soon became a certified instructor. Paul has been an instructor with the GZ Sobol’s Parkinson’s network for three years and has acted as southern regional director for the past two years. As an instructor, he is enthusiastic in working with class participants to improve their physical capabilities, cognitive recognition and socialization. As a regional director, he is passionate in promoting the program to encourage and enable more people with Parkinson’s (PWP’s) to improve their daily lives and to slow disease progression. This program is now available in five Florida cities with weekly attendance  of over 250 people. There is no more rewarding service and role.


International and Colorado hiking, cycling, University of Florida sports programs, fund raising, developing friendships, and enjoying my two dogs Bella and Sterling

Northeast Regional Director

Mike Bleecker

Mike has lead a very active life throughout his 3 careers. He traveled extensively while in the Navy and when employed by Northrup Grumman. He moved to Fleming Island Fl. in 2003 from Fairfax Va. and started his own business. He was diagnosed with PD in July 2013 and met Gary Sobol and Paul Watford at the Davis Phinney Victory Summit in Jacksonville Fl. in February of 2014. He was impressed and encouraged by Gary and Paul and the exercise program developed by the Parkinson’s Network. He participated in the Gainesville Fl exercise program lead by Paul Watford and was certified as an instructor in June of 2014.

Since then Mike has been assisting and subbing for Paul. Mike started teaching a Foundations class in Fleming Island Florida on September 4, 2014.

Mid-Atlantic Regional Director

Lauryn Mayer

Lauren Mayer 2017

Lauryn Mayer has been happily teaching a large and enthusiastic group of Foundations participants in Penn Hills for the last two and a half years, and is very, very proud of the progress her participants have made and the close-knit community they have formed. She first discovered the Parkinson’s Network classes after seeing the remarkable improvement the Foundations classes made in her mother’s physical and emotional state, and stayed on to become first an instructor and then Regional Director for the Mid-Atlantic Region.

The program around Pittsburgh has now expanded to four other YMCAs in the region and and other exercise facilities, and she looks forward to expanding the program into Ohio and West Virginia.

Mid-North Regional Director

Wendy Barton

Wendy BartonWendy retired from an everyday walk as a meter reader after 21 years in April 2013. She’d worked at the local Y as a fitness instructor and was asked to bring a program for people with Parkinson’s to the Y. After meeting Gary Sobol and visiting his program the Y brought it to the community. Wendy taught it there for 3 years then moved to Montana where she is now the Regional Director in the area.

She has years of experience as a personal trainer and much passion for GZSPN.

Mid-West, Mountain, Mid-South, West Director

Gary Sobol

Gary Sobol, founder of GZSobol’s Parkinson’s Network, lives in Boulder, Colorado. He was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in February, 2008. The disease caused Gary’s health to deteriorate to the point where he needed help with most Activities of Daily Living (ADL’s). Gary did considerable research and learned that exercise could dramatically improve his quality of life. In January, 2012, he designed and created a Parkinson’s boot camp class that is now called GZSobol’s Parkinson’s Network Foundations Class.® Gary has recruited a team of professionals who share his passion for improving the quality of life of those with Parkinson’s disease. Parkinson’s Network classes incorporate exercises that target specific deficits. Gary, personally, has taught over 1000 classes and is training instructors to bring the classes to cities across the United States. Gary has expanded his 501 (C) (3) to over 320 instructors who teach classes in 50 cities in 13 states. His classes reach over 1930 PWP/week. Gary has been an invited speaker at various Parkinson’s conference. In addition his exercise programs are highly recommended by his participants and their Neurologists. In addition the Foundations class has been successful in improving quality of life in people with MS and Traumatic Brain Injury.