A hero among us: Foundation Board of Trustees spotlight
Paying Homage to a Foundation Trustee for a Lifetime of Generosity and Service
“I don’t get involved in these things to get recognition. I’m doing it because I’m paying back.”
It’s easy to see why Dr. J. Kenneth Lund was recently honored as a West Covina Citizen of the Year and received the Outstanding Older American Award from the City of West Covina. His real-life stories could compare to the adventures of Indiana Jones.
From serving as a U.S. Army combat engineer in Germany to volunteering in support of the needs of people locally and in destitute areas of Mexico, Dr. Lund is undeniably a hero.
Thankfully, he opts to use his powers for good on the Emanate Health Foundation Board of Trustees.
Growing up in Brooklyn, N.Y., Dr. Lund learned a strong work ethic and the value of giving back. He began working for his father’s business at the age of five and remained there until college graduation. “I am a proud son of immigrant parents,” he shared. “Helping out in my father’s business I was exposed to how other people felt about him. He was a really outstanding person, just so highly regarded — that influenced me.”
Starting as a student at NYU Polytechnic Institute, Dr. Lund earned a degree in Chemical Engineering before joining the U.S. Army where he served for eight years on active duty and in the reserves, including a deployment to Germany. He then returned home to attend graduate school at Princeton University, earning a master’s degree in Plastics Engineering and then a PhD in Chemical Engineering.
After graduating and getting married, Dr. Lund worked in Research & Development management for several large chemical companies before moving into the field of energy research.
A sudden shift
His career all but came to a halt when he experienced a major heart attack while traveling. Dr. Lund returned home to have an angioplasty at Emanate Health Inter-Community Hospital. “It was time to focus on how I was going to live longer and live in good health,” he explained.
After building the success of his family business, he and his family partners began considering charitable organizations to which the business could contribute. “It doesn’t take long before you’re looking at ‘how can this be put to good use?’”
Over time, Dr. Lund has had multiple hip operations at Emanate Health Queen of the Valley Hospital (QVH). “As a result of being a patient — and being very impressed with the care — I joined the Foundation Board,” recalled Dr. Lund.
He is also part of the Finance committee of the Board. “I would like to see the organization run as effectively as possible — and it is,” explained Dr. Lund. “I am very pleased with the leadership of the Foundation and am more than pleased with Emanate Health through [the leadership of] the CEO. Rob Curry and his team have done an absolutely outstanding job.”
Both Dr. Lund and his family business, the Cloos Family Partnership, have since generously donated to Emanate Health Foundation in support of QVH’s new Emergency Department and at last year’s annual gala. “I had reached a point in my life where I was thinking more about the idea of giving back to the community and to the world around me,” Dr. Lund relayed.
Looking back on his upbringing, life’s adventures and charity work, Dr. Lund took time to reflect. “I don’t get involved in these things to get recognition. I’m doing it because I’m paying back. I’ve been very fortunate … I’ve got a great family, friends and associates. It’s very humbling to have somebody pat you on the back and thank you.”
Thanks to heroes like Dr. Lund, the citizens of West Covina — and Emanate Health — will sleep well tonight.
“I am very pleased with the leadership of the Foundation and am more than pleased with Emanate Health through (the leadership of) the CEO. Rob Curry and his team have done an absolutely outstanding job.” – J. Kenneth Lund, PhD