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Alumni Leadership Board

Admittance to the Alumni Leadership Board (ALB) is an honor reserved for members of the Kesem community who have demonstrated their ability to be a successful student leader, a dedicated alumnus, and an individual committed to Kesem’s mission and expansion. Board members commit to a minimum two year term on the ALB creating thoughtful strategy to expand the engagement of Kesem Alumni across the United States.

Pictured: The inaugural Alumni Leadership Board in 2014 attending our "Alumni Board Retreat" as part of Kesem's National Leadership Summit in Michigan.

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Mike Abrams (Camp Name "Yoshi") joined the Camp Kesem family in 2005 where he has held multiple different coordinator roles and currently serves as a member of the Advisory Board for Camp Kesem Indiana University. Yoshi proudly holds the self-proclaimed title of “Best Sports Coordinator” at IU’s camp which still sparks controversy amongst active alumni. Post-graduation, he played an early role in the Camp Kesem Alumni Association development serving as the Marketing/PR coordinator in 2010 & 2011 and as a member of the mentorship committee in 2012 & 2013. Outside of Camp Kesem, Yoshi works at Angie’s List as the National Accounts Program Manager developing manufacturer campaigns. When Yoshi is not busy making the world a better place, you will find him focused on his hobbies which currently include ice hockey, TV sitcoms, and YouTubing movie montages from the 80s.
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Brian Brown (Camp Name "Rev") Brian's camp name "Rev" comes from quarterback Jerry "Rev" Harris in "Remember the Titans". Serving first as a counselor and two subsequent years as Co-Director, Brian worked to establish a tradition of sustainability and servant leadership for the Chapter at Brigham Young University. One of the highlights of his CK experience was participating in the "Let Them Be Kids" photo story. In the years since his day-to-day camp involvement, Brian has held various marketing positions at Information Technology businesses including most recently, Vice President at InfoTrax Systems. He and his wife (CK Alumni "Wink") are raising a little munchkin ("Sweet Pea") along the mountain vistas of Salt Lake City, Utah. When not babysitting executives, you can find he and his family exploring the great outdoors.
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Liyan David Chang (Camp Name "Toasty") joined the Camp Kesem family at MIT where he met the most amazing kids and families who continue to inspire him to this day. After cofounding a startup in San Francisco, he flew across the country to help fix Healthcare.gov. Nearly three years later, David now works at The White House for the US Digital Service, helping government use technology to deliver better services to the American people.
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Michael Finegan (Camp Name "Jello") graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2009 where he was a counselor, Financial Chair and Co-Director for Camp Kesem North Carolina. When arriving on day one of his first counselor orientation, Michael and his twin brother Patrick were given the choice of either "Jello and Pudding" or "Spaghetti and Meatballs" as their camp names. After fighting about who would have to be meatball, they gave up and settled on Jello and Pudding, and it's been that way since. Upon graduation he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa to work as a volunteer educator, teaching remedial literacy and math to underprivileged high schoolers with learning disabilities. Returning home led to graduate school studying Health Administration at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Jello currently works as the Administrator of Medicine at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore, MD and has also served a short tenure as the Interim Executive Director of Cancer Services at GBMC. Jello serves on the Advisory Board for Camp Kesem JHU and has continued to stay involved in CKNC.
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Mark Howard (Camp Name "Gramps") first became involved with Camp Kesem while seeking his undergraduate degree at Indiana University. Before that, Mark spent his formative years as a camper, CIT, counselor and senior staff at a summer camp in Brown County, Indiana. Mark became involved with Camp Kesem in 2006 as a volunteer counselor. During his six years with the IU organization, he also served as a unit leader, fundraising coordinator, public relations coordinator and helped start the teen program at IU. Currently, he volunteers as a camp advisor during the summer camp season and has traveled to camps at OSU, Miami, Vanderbilt and Emory. He is from Oakland, California and resides in Bloomington, Indiana. Mark has experience as a college administrator and currently works as a Special Education Teacher and ABA Coach at Clear Creek Elementary School and began his graduate studies in the fall of 2013.
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Caroline Huang (Camp Name "Congo") is the founder of Camp Kesem’s MIT chapter. Since joining the Camp Kesem community in 2006, she has served as a co-director, senior advisor, and advisory board member for MIT; a co-chair of the National Student Advisory Board; a summer intern for Camp Kesem National; a camp advisor for Florida, UPenn, and JHU; a coordinator for the Camp Kesem Alumni Association; and a member of the alumni Legacy Circle. She is a Public Health PhD candidate, Rhodes Scholar, and World Economic Forum Global Shaper who researches, teaches, and writes about medical ethics and health policy at the University of Oxford’s Ethox Centre. Her thesis examines ethical issues surrounding access to care for breast cancer gene mutations, a topic inspired by Camp Kesem families. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Brain and Cognitive Sciences from MIT, where she was named a member of the USA TODAY All-USA College Academic First Team and recipient of an Institute Award for public service. Caroline currently splits time between Newark, Delaware and Oxford, England.
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Elizabeth Hyatt (Camp Name "Dunkin") joined the Camp Kesem family in 2011 at the University of Florida. She served as a unit leader, Operations and Programming Coordinator, Teen Camp Coordinator, National Student Advisory Board member, and Alumni Advisory Board Member at FSU. Passionate about cancer advocacy, Elizabeth lobbied on Capitol Hill as Camp Kesem’s Student Representative for One Voice Against Cancer and worked on oral chemotherapy parity legislation in Florida. While completing her masters at UF, Elizabeth participated in Florida’s Gubernatorial Fellowship and developed policy research focused on creating a state-wide telehealth infrastructure and network to improve access and specialty care for cancer patients She holds a bachelor’s in Political Science and a Master’s in Political Campaigning from the University of Florida. Currently, Elizabeth works for Deloitte Consulting in Washington D.C. helping federal agencies develop strategies to tackle their complex business challenges.
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Kye Kolar (Camp Name "Big Bird") became involved with Kesem as a cabin counselor at the University of Virginia in 2007 and his heart has stayed close to the cause as he and his wife have lost 3 grandfathers, an aunt, and many friends in the decade since. He has over ten years experience managing complex projects for energy companies, technology firms, financial institutions, two branches of the armed forces and a handful of Fortune 500 companies. He currently serves as a Director at Aquilan Technologies, where he develops and implements financial crimes risk-management solutions for the financial services industry to undermine fraud, insider trading and terrorist funding. He holds an MSc in Engineering & Crisis Management from The George Washington University, a BA in Government from The University of Virginia, and currently resides in Austin, Texas with his wife Courtney and baby Savannah.
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Jeff Leibach, Co-Chair (Camp Name "Tiny") joined Camp Kesem as a co-founder of Camp Kesem North Carolina as a student at Duke University in 2003. Jeff served as a co-chair, and advisory board member, helping grow CKNC to serve over 100 campers per year by its fourth year. After graduating in 2006 with a B.A. in Public Policy from Duke University, Jeff served as Camp Kesem's first National Program Director. Working with incredible student leaders and board leadership during his two years as National Program Director, Jeff helped Camp Kesem grow from 9 campuses to 22 campuses during that two year period. During that time Jeff also helped organize Camp Kesem's first National Leadership Conference, and helped unify the Camp Kesem around its current logo and branding. In 2008, Jeff began a career in healthcare strategy consulting, helping hospitals and insurers transform the way the healthcare is paid for in the U.S. Jeff continues his work in healthcare consulting today, is currently pursuing an M.B.A from Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. Jeff lives in suburban Chicago with his wife Amy and daughters Kaylee and Kaia.
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Sarah Leibach (Camp Name "Pancake") is an Associate Director at Orr Associates, Inc. (OAI), a consulting firm to the nonprofit industry, where she assists clients with development management, event management, and strategic planning. Sarah co-founded Camp Kesem at GW in 2007 and has served as a co-chair, counselor, Camp Kesem National intern and camp advisor throughout her Camp Kesem career. Sarah received her undergraduate and Master's degrees from The George Washington University and currently lives in Washington, DC.
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Zach Morris (Camp Name "Binx") joined the Camp Kesem family in 2011 as the co-founder and Co-Chair of the University of Minnesota chapter, which served 44 campers in its inaugural summer. As a student, he also served on the National Student Panel for two years. Since graduating, Zach has served as a CIT Advisor, Camp Advisor, and Senior Camp Advisor for more than 8 schools and 10 weeks of camp, and currently sits on the Advisory Boards for both Emory University and the University of Georgia. During the summer of 2016, Zach joined Team Kesem and ran the San Francisco Marathon, raising enough money to send four more kids to camp! Zach works full-time in the Extramural Research Department at the American Cancer Society and teaches high school life sciences part-time in a hybrid education program he co-founded in 2013. He currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia (where he serves as a Kesem Alumni Ambassador!) with his dog, Henry, and black cat, Binx!
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Dana Percoco (Camp Name "Thumper") joined Camp Kesem at the University of California, Davis in 2007. During her time at Camp Kesem at UC Davis she held a variety of positions including, Admin Coordinator, Student Support Coordinator, and Co-Chair. After graduating in 2011 she continued her involvement with camp as an Alumni Representative and Advisor to Camp Kesem at UC Davis, Summer Camp Advisor, and Bay Area Alumni Ambassador. She worked for non-profits and in politics before becoming a Business Initiatives Consultant in Client Experience at Wells Fargo. She currently lives in San Francisco, California.
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Jeremy Reynard (Camp Name "Bubba") joined Camp Kesem in 2012 at UCLA, where was a counselor for 2 years and admin for 1 year. During his junior year, he was co-Development Director and co-Director senior year. Bubba even got to cross territory turf and attend USC's inaugural week of Kesem as a counselor in 2013! Bubba's proudest Kesem accomplishment was helping lead the expansion of Camp Kesem at UCLA to two week-long sessions of camp. After graduating in 2014, Bubba came back to be a CIT Advisor for Camp Kesem at UCLA in 2015. Originally from California, he moved to New York a year ago, and works as a Research Associate at LinkedIn. Best known for being called out to "Shake That Booty", Bubba loves all things Kesem and is excited to be joining the Alumni Leadership Board.
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Bethany Schwartz (Camp Name "Peach") joined Camp Kesem as a founding member and Camper Care Coordinator at Camp Kesem-UC Berkeley in 2006, where she graduated in 2008 Phi Beta Kappa and with Highest Honors in Cultural Anthropology. Since her time at UC Berkeley, Bethany has developed a career in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry holding various positions from Sales, to Corporate Communications/Public Relations, to New Business Development/Pipeline Management at Advantage Sales and Marketing (ASM), the nation’s largest CPG outsourcing firm. Currently, Bethany is a National Client Team Leader for ASM’s Abbott Nutrition business, touching over $900M in client invoice sales. Camp Kesem is her greatest passion. She owes the success of her career today to what this organization taught her as a student, and is very eager to pay it forward to the next generation as an ALB member. Today, she resides with her husband in Los Angeles, California.
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Joe Schlingbaum (Camp Name "Flounder") is a graduate of the University of Virginia (2007) who lives and works in Washington, DC, and is an attorney-advisor with the Federal Communications Commission. He was one of a group of students at UVA that worked to found the camp there, and held the first week of camp in summer 2006. Since graduating from UVA, he has worked with Camp Kesem in a variety of capacities – conferences, teen camp, and one of the early incarnations of the alumni association.
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Marty Shamon (Camp Name "Goofy") joined Camp Kesem in 2009 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. As a student at the University of Illinois, Marty held numerous roles with Camp Kesem, including counselor, coordinator, and chapter Co-Director. After graduating, Marty continued his involvement with Camp Kesem as National Summit Intern and Senior Camp Advisor, and then joined the Camp Kesem National staff in 2014 as a Program Director. A native of Illinois, Marty grew up in Chicago and graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and minor in Chemistry. He currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
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Michelle Silver (Camp Name "Silver") graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University in 2007 and then received an ScM in Epidemiology from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in 2009, and is currently a PhD candidate there as well, where her dissertation focuses on cervical cancer screening. Michelle became involved with Camp Kesem at Stanford in 2004, where she spent 3 years as a counselor and coordinator. Unable to part with camp after graduation, Michelle has since served as a Camp Advisor every summer since graduating Stanford, and also serves on CK JHU’s advisory board, and now the CK Alumni Leadership Board. Michelle hopes Camp Kesem will stay a part of her life forever!
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Bre Vergess (Camp Name "Brooklyn") Bre became involved with Camp Kesem at Berkeley in 2009, and continued on to serve as Finance Coordinator, Student Support Coordinator and Admin Coordinator for the Teen Program. In 2012, she served as a representative on Camp Kesem’s National Student Panel. Bre graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013 with a B.A. in Political Science and Peace and Conflict Studies, and went on to receive her Master’s in Public Policy with a focus in Nonprofit Management at the USC Price School in 2015. Bre currently works as a Principal Digital Consultant for Civic Resource Group which develops software solutions for the public and civic sectors. She currently resides in Los Angeles, California.
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Samantha Wierman (Camp Name "Sunshine") joined Camp Kesem at the University of Wisconsin in 2010, where she served as Co-Director in 2012 and 2013. Samantha is excited to be a member of the Alumni Leadership board, as well as, a Camp Advisor in the summer! She graduated from The University of Wisconsin in 2013 with a Bachelor’s in Elementary Education and a minor in mathematics. Samantha currently resides in Chicago, Illinois.
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Rebecca Wong, Co-Chair (Camp Name "Noodle") Rebecca's Camp Kesem journey began in May 2006. Bridging her love for her hometown of Chapel Hill and her alma mater Duke, Rebecca helped solidify the unique Duke-UNC partnership at Camp Kesem NC as the summer intern, development coordinator, co-director and senior advisory board member. After graduation, Rebecca stayed involved with the Camp Kesem Alumni Association in various roles including CKAA co-chair, coordinator and the camp advisor for the University of Washington. She is tremendously humbled to serve on the inaugural Alumni Leadership Board, and looks forward to sharing the Kesem magic with our campers, families, and volunteers whose strength and joy continually inspire her. Rebecca works as an early education consultant at ICF International, where she supports federal and state programs that strive to ensure that our youngest children have access to quality early care and education. Rebecca holds an MPP from from Georgetown University, and a BA in Public Policy Studies and a minor in Asian & Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University. Rebecca currently resides in Washington, DC.
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