Staff and Board Of Directors
Jane Saccaro, Chief Executive Officer (Camp Name “Pocket”) Jane joined Camp Kesem as Chief Executive Officer in December 2010. Prior to joining Camp Kesem, Jane worked at Bain & Company, eToys.com and Princess Cruises, where she developed strategies, implemented change, and collaborated to demonstrably impact results. Jane brings those same skills to Camp Kesem, an organization that has tremendous personal meaning to her. Jane is honored to work with thousands of college student leaders and her colleagues to bring the life-changing “magic” to children whose parents have or have had cancer. Jane earned a M.S. in Engineering-Economic Systems, and a B.A. in Economics and Psychology, both from Stanford University. Today, Jane resides in the Chicago area, with her husband and three children.
Laura Probst, Chief Development and Marketing Officer (Camp Name “L.A.”) Laura joined Camp Kesem as Chief Development Officer in October 2012. A seasoned fundraiser, she has developed and executed philanthropic strategies for a variety of nonprofit organizations and brands over the past 14 years, including Warner Bros, Dermalogica, USA Network, WebMD, Seventh Generation, Step Up Women’s Network, Break the Cycle, the National Council on Family Violence, and American Cancer Society. Laura is also the President and Founder of Do. Good. Make Money., a Los Angeles based cause marketing consulting firm working with companies and brands to best achieve their business goals through philanthropy and community investment. She is a trusted advisor on corporate giving and speaks regularly on topics like cause marketing, CSR, and media cause placement. As a mother of three who lost one of her dearest friends/fellow mom to colon cancer, she is extremely grateful to raise funds for this incredible cause.
Cristin O’Leary, Development Manager (Camp Name “Babalu”) Cristin joined Camp Kesem as Development Manager in April 2013. Prior to joining Camp Kesem, Cristin provided capacity-building services to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations at Draper Consulting Group, particularly focusing on fundraising, strategic planning, and board and staff development. She previously served as Grants Manager at Margery Tabankin & Associates, a philanthropic and political advisory firm for high-profile, high-net worth individuals and family foundations. A native of the East Coast, Cristin grew up in Connecticut and earned her M.A. in Comparative Politics and B.S. in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston. Cristin currently resides in Los Angeles.
Mai-Lan Pham, Marketing Manager (Camp Name “Mama”) Mai-Lan joined Camp Kesem as Marketing Manager in July 2013. Prior to joining Camp Kesem, Mai-Lan worked as a publicist in the entertainment, fashion, and consumer goods industries. She also previously worked at FUEL TV and annually with the ESPN X GAMES. As a native of Southern California, Mai-Lan grew up in Irvine, CA and earned her degree in Communication Studies at UCLA where she also served as a Camp Kesem counselor, committee member and eventually, co-chair. Mai-Lan currently resides in Los Angeles.
Adam Ryan, Alumni Relations Manager (Camp Name “Steak”) Adam joined the Camp Kesem National team as the Alumni Relations Manager in February 2013. He was the Founder of Camp Kesem Mizzou, a recipient of the 2011 LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project. Adam has also served as the Alumni Representative for three chapters, Intern for Camp Kesem National, and Co-Chair of the Alumni Representative committee in the Camp Kesem Alumni Association. As the son of a breast cancer survivor he is reminded daily how important this organization is to a family affected by cancer. Adam earned a M.Ed in Workforce and Business Education and a B.S. in Secondary Education, and a minor in History, Psychology, and Multi-Cultural Studies, both from the University of Missouri. Adam currently resides in St. Louis, MO.
Scott Arizala, Camp Director (Camp Name “Funsize”) Scott began working as the Camp Director for Camp Kesem in Spring 2010. He is one of the leading experts and premier trainers on kids, staff and the experience of summer camp. He has been involved with camps and youth development for over twenty years as a camper, counselor, director and consultant. As a professional speaker and educator, he has given keynotes, workshops and educational sessions at numerous professional conferences, training events, and with organizations. He is currently the CEO of The Camp Counselor, a consulting and training company working with hundreds of camps and thousands of staff and administrators across the country. He is also the Camp Director for Dragonfly Forest, a resident camp for kids with serious illnesses and disorders in the Philadelphia area. He is a pioneering contributor to Expert Online Training, the world’s leader in online training for camp staff and is the award-winning author of the best-selling book on summer camp and youth development, S’more Than Camp.
Liz Gray, Manager, Programs and Operations (Camp Name “Phishy”) Before joining the Camp Kesem staff in May 2008, Liz grew up and worked at summer camps and in elementary schools. She was a camper, CIT, and counselor at Goldman Union Camp Institute (GUCI) in Zionsville, IN and a Program Counselor and Program Director at Dragonfly Forest in West Chester, PA. She also worked in multiple elementary schools with K-8th graders. She helped found Camp Kesem at Indiana University in 2004 and served as a coordinator and a co-chair at Indiana for three years. Her extensive background working with children in the camp setting has made her a firm believer in the positive transformational power of summer camp. A 2007 graduate of Indiana University, with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a minor in Outdoor Recreation and Resource Management, Liz hails from Indianapolis, Indiana and currently resides in Delray Beach, FL.
Abby O’Leary, Manager, Programs and Operations (Camp Name “Avocado”) Before joining the Camp Kesem staff in 2011, Abby worked in youth development programming in Hillsborough, NC and volunteered extensively with Comfort Zone Camp, a national bereavement camp for children who have lost a parent or sibling. Having lost her own mother to cancer when she was 14, Abby was drawn to Camp Kesem’s model of peer support and college student engagement. In her free time, she is working towards a Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management at North Carolina State University. A 2007 graduate of Barnard College/Columbia University, Abby hails from McLean, Virginia and currently resides in Raleigh, NC.
Lauren Ellis, Senior Program Director (Camp Name “Marzipan”) Lauren joined the Camp Kesem National team in June 2011 as a National Program Director and has moved up to be a Senior Program Director as of 2013. She also oversees the Camp Kesem National Student Panel. Lauren was an active member in Camp Kesem at Indiana University from 2006 to 2009. While involved in Camp Kesem, Lauren has served as a coordinator, a co-chair, and camp advisor to multiple Camp Kesem chapters. She graduated from Indiana University in May 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Musical Theater. She also received her teaching license for Secondary Language Arts and Theater. Lauren currently resides in Nashville, TN.
Alex Monyhan, Program Director (Camp Name “Lola”) Alex joined the Camp Kesem National team in May 2013 as a National Program Director. She got involved with Camp Kesem at Michigan State University in 2008 and served as a coordinator, co-chair, camp advisor, and intern with Camp Kesem National throughout her college career. Alex graduated from Michigan State University in 2012 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Criminal Justice. She is from Greencastle, PA and currently resides in East Lansing, MI.
Cortney Lebeda, Program Director (Camp Name “Jazz”) Cortney joined the Camp Kesem National team in May 2013. She was part of the founding coordinator board at Augustana College and served as co-chair for two years. Augustana was a 2011 LiveSTRONG Community Impact Project recipient. Cortney’s goal is to utilize her strategic planning skills to help promote chapter success and to increase national awareness of Camp Kesem’s unique mission. She graduated from Augustana College with a degree in Communication Studies and English in 2013. Cortney is from and currently resides in Bourbonnais, IL.
Mark Manning, Program Director (Camp Name “Shaggy”) Mark began working as a Program Director for Camp Kesem in May, 2013. Initially, Mark became involved in Camp Kesem as a counselor in the summer of 2008 at the University of Virginia. Since then, he has served as both coordinator and co-chair. After graduating in 2011 with a B.A. in Psychology, he continued to volunteer as a Camp Advisor for Southern Utah University and the University of Richmond. Before joining the Camp Kesem ranks as Program Director, he worked as a snowboard instructor at Lake Tahoe and as Senior Program Staff for Camp Fire USA Alaska Council’s Rural Program. Mark grew up in Virginia Beach, VA but currently resides in Kings Beach, CA.
Tracey Landstrom, Program Director (Camp Name “Pebbles”) Tracey began working for Camp Kesem as a National Program Director in May 2013. She graduated from UCLA in 2012 with a Bachelor’s in Political Science. She first got involved with Camp Kesem in 2010 as a counselor and continued on to become a committee member and a co-chair. After graduating, Tracey spent the year working for lululemon athletica in a managerial role. She is very excited to develop student leaders across the nation and help Camp Kesem extend its reach to the millions of kids affected by cancer. Tracey grew up in Oakland, CA and currently resides in Los Angeles.
Fanny Wilson, Accountant (Camp Name “Bean”) Fanny began working as the Accountant for Camp Kesem in December 2010. Fanny has over 14 years of professional experience working in the accounting field. She is a graduate of Saint Mary’s College in Moraga, California and is a Certified Public Accountant in California. Fanny has previously worked as a volunteer treasurer for several non-profit organizations. Fanny resides in Moraga, CA, with her husband and two children.
Kayla Ferdon, Executive Assistant (Camp Name “Yogini”) Kayla joined Camp Kesem National as Executive Assistant in March 2013. While in college, she was a camp counselor in Ramstein, Germany through a student-run summer camp program for children living on international American military bases. Kayla has a wide skill set from her time as a summer camp specialist, as an event planner and as a coordinator of alternative textbooks for students with disabilities. She graduated from the University of Northern Iowa in 2012 with a B.A. in Communication/Public Relations, as well as minors in Spanish, Marketing and Textiles and Apparel. Kayla currently resides in Chicago, IL.
Camp Kesem Board of Directors
John Bradburn, CPA, Treasurer John received his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Indiana University, where he was involved with Camp Kesem as a coordinator and counselor for four years. John is an Associate at Sandbox Industries, a venture capital firm in Chicago, where he works with the team that manages the BlueCross BlueShield Venture Funds, approximately $300 million from over 20 Blue Cross Blue Shield plans focused on healthcare technology and innovation. Prior to Sandbox, John worked in investment banking with GCA Savvian and in M&A consulting with KPMG.
Emily M. Brakebill is Managing Director, Chief of Operations and member of the Investment Committee at HMI Capital, where she has been since the inception of the firm in December 2008. HMI Capital is a private investment firm pursuing a long-term, concentrated, value-oriented, global strategy. Prior to joining HMI, Emily spent four years as a Vice President and Investment Manager at Columbus Nova Partners, a private investment management firm with over $1.5 billion under management. Prior to Columbus Nova, Ms. Brakebill served as Vice President and Investment Manager at Sirrom Capital, where she made investments in the software, service, retail and manufacturing sectors. Emily previously spent two years in Strategic Development and as an Assistant to the Founder / CEO of a publicly traded restaurant chain. She also spent significant time in operating roles at two internet service businesses. Emily started her career as a Financial Analyst in Corporate Finance at Montgomery Securities. Ms. Brakebill received an A.B. with highest honors from Stanford University and an M.B.A. with distinction from Harvard Business School. She lives in San Francisco with her husband, Ken and their three children.
David Cronin, Secretary is currently Senior Vice President and General Manager, Payments Division for Transaction Network Services, Inc. He has over 25 years of experience in the financial services industry and has worked in New York, Hong Kong, Singapore, and is now based in Reston, Virginia. He holds a Masters of Management from Northwestern University, and specializes in Transformational Growth and building high performance teams. He has been on the Board for over 5 years and is the Board Secretary.
Becky Crowe has spent the past 15 years leading education reform efforts as a social entrepreneur, and an education policy and philanthropy advisor. Her clients include state departments of education as well as major foundations where she has led strategy development efforts. Becky served as Executive Director of Partners in School Innovation in San Francisco from 2003-2009. During her tenure, Partners doubled in size and became the key school improvement partner for urban Bay Area school districts. Prior to joining Partners, Becky was responsible for leadership development of principals and school district leaders at the Bay Area School Reform Collaborative. She also worked as researcher at Stanford University. Becky has an AB in English and an AM in Education from Stanford University, and was a 2010 Sloan Fellow earning a management degree from the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Deeply appreciating the need for stronger supports for families who are impacted by cancer and the unique leadership development opportunity that Camp Kesem provides for college students, Becky is honored to serve Camp Kesem as a Board Member.
Jeff Dinkin is the Managing and Founding Partner of Regent Properties, a real estate investment and development company. Since its formation in 1989, Regent has acquired, developed and financed more than 3 million square feet of retail, commercial, residential and mixed-use projects and 10,000 acres of master planned communities. Jeff, who has more than twenty-five years of experience in real estate development and investment, is engaged in directing all phases of the real estate development process and long-range strategic planning for Regent. He graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Washington University in St. Louis and has a JD degree from UCLA. Jeff has been actively involved with many non-profit organizations. Currently, in addition to the Camp Kesem Board, Jeff serves as Chairman of the Advisory Board to the Simms/Mann – UCLA Center for Integrative Oncology, as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Affordable Living for the Aging, and as Board Chairman Emeritus at PS #1, a private elementary school based in Santa Monica, California. Jeff lives in Santa Monica, California with his wife, Marci, and four children.
Brian Elliot is one of the student co-founders of the first Camp Kesem in 2001. He is also the founder and Board Chair of Friendfactor, a gay rights organization for straight supporters. Brian led Friendfactor to create a groundbreaking peer-to-peer online advocacy tool, which thousands of New Yorkers used in the landmark 2011 New York marriage equality campaign, and was featured on the front page of the NYT. He has worked at Endeavor Global, Bain & Company, The Bridgespan Group, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. He holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MPA from Harvard Kennedy School, and a Public Policy degree from Stanford University. Brian is a winner of the SXSW 2012 Dewey Winburne Community Service Award, the 2010 Harvard Business School Social Entrepreneurship Fellowship, and his work to start Friendfactor was also named one of Yahoo!’s Top 10 Inspiring Acts of 2010.
Frank Gaspari, born and raised in Chicago, is a 28-year veteran of the Document Output Industry. Mr. Gaspari co-founded his first company, Column Office Equipment, in 1990. After years of significant year over year growth and expansion, Column was recognized by Inc. Magazine in 1996 as one of the nation’s 500 fastest growing privately held companies. The company was acquired by Global Imaging Systems in 1999. In late 2005, after analyzing the document output space and recognizing the need for a National Provider for Managed Document Output, Gaspari founded FlexPrint, Inc. Today, FlexPrint supports national clients in every state, with direct offices in Arizona, California, and Illinois. FlexPrint was named to the Inc. 500/5000 list as one of the nation’s 500 fastest growing privately held companies the last four consecutive years. Mr. Gaspari lives in Paradise Valley Arizona with his wife and two daughters. He is an active board member for LaFrontera Behavior Health, Empact Suicide Prevention and is on the board of trustees for Xavier College Preparatory. Frank is a lifelong Chicago sports fan and a Phoenix Suns Fan!
Ron Glickman, Chairman is Senior Vice President and CIO for UTi Worldwide, a global supply chain solutions company based in Long Beach, CA. He is a global executive with a track record for leading innovative change programs, and delivering sustainable value from investments in business process transformation and enabling technologies. Ron has been the Board Chair for Camp Kesem (CK) since 2004. He joined CK to help the founder, Iris Rave-Wedeking, realize her vision to make CK available to families across the country that are coping with the horrific and unjust impacts of Cancer on the entire family, not just the adult patient. Ron was moved by Iris’ vision and drawn to the opportunities to change lives; children’s lives that are turned upside down when the joys of childhood are replaced with fears of losing a parent to Cancer and the lives of college students who want to make a difference now, while developing leadership know-how for tomorrow. CK has changed Ron’s life and he is honored to serve this extraordinary organization.
Jerry Katz is the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of Marlin Equity Partners, a private equity firm in Los Angeles, CA. Jerry has over 26 years of experience as lead counsel advising public and private corporations in complex transactions and general business ventures and as an executive involved in operational matters. Prior to joining Marlin Equity Partners, Jerry was a partner in the law firm of Glaser, Weil, Fink, Jacobs, Howard & Shapiro LLC. Jerry has worked with a wide range of clients including technology and internet companies; solar and renewable energy companies; sports, media & entertainment companies; real estate firms, and multiple lenders and investors across industries. Jerry, as a LEED Accredited Professional, is an expert on green building and renewable energy matters. Jerry earned a J.D., cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law and a B.S. from the University of California, Berkeley, Undergraduate School of Business.
Darren Macioce is senior vice president of diversified business development at Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield. He has over 25 years industry experience and has held senior management positions in operations, IT, business and health services research. Mr. Macioce holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science from West Virginia University and serves on the board of a number of organizations and national committees and currently resides in Pittsburgh, PA.
Mark Olson is a strategy consultant specializing in healthcare for Oliver Wyman. A noted speaker, he enjoys working with leadership teams to drive growth and accelerate performance. He holds undergraduate and MBA degrees from the MIT Sloan School of Management. Mark currently resides in suburban Chicago with his wife and four kids.
Michael Shapiro has spent the last six years within Wells Fargo Securities’ Investment Banking and Capital Markets division. Michael is responsible for all aspects of equity capital raising for Financial Institutions. In addition, Michael is an active participant on Wells Fargo Securities’ Development and Engagement Council. Prior to joining Wells Fargo, Michael had experience as an equity research analyst at Lazard Asset Management. Michael graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University receiving a BS in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance and a minor in Political Science. Michael currently resides in Manhattan, New York with his wife Lisa.
Carlyn Solomon is Corporate Vice President, Critical Care of Edwards Lifesciences Corporation, the global leader in the science of heart valves and hemodynamic monitoring. Carlyn has more than 25 years of leadership experience in the medical device, biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries. Prior to joining Edwards in 2005, he served in a number of positions with increasing responsibility at Baxter International, including interim president of the company’s BioScience division, vice president of global manufacturing, and vice president of global operations. Solomon has served as an executive board member for the California Manufacturers and Technology Association and the Plasma Protein Therapeutics Association. He also served on the board of directors for the Baxter International Foundation. Solomon earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Kansas State University.
Peter Sung is currently active in the private equity / venture capital space running Twilo Ventures. He has been a serial entrepreneur with a hybrid operator background based in ﬁnance, media and technology. He ran Business Development, Strategy and New Media, Mobile, at WireImage / MediaVast which was acquired by Getty Images for 208 MM. Additionally, Peter was VP of Business Development and Corporate Development at Viacom’s BET Networks, where he was tasked with running the Mobile Division. Presently, Peter is the Co-founder of the creative social network design:related™, Co-founder of the mobile immersive video company Condition One (backed by Mark Cuban), Co-founder of Russell Simmon’s greenRoks Ventures and most recently Founder & CEO of the mobile company, Gidget. Peter advises Softbank portfolio company Grab Media which was recently acquired by Blinkx ( A LSE traded company) in addition to various other startups. He started his career at Salomon Brothers, Inc. in Emerging markets Fixed Income Sales & Trading.
Iris Rave Wedeking, Founder developed the vision for the first Camp Kesem Chapter at Stanford University in 2000 and pursued national expansion of the program in 2002 after recognizing a nationwide need for Camp Kesem. She holds a degree in Child Development from Tufts University and an MBA from the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley. Iris has over 13 years of residential camping experience in staff and management positions. She is currently a Global Insights Manager at The Clorox Company in Oakland, CA.