Home   »   Accordion   »   Staff



Jane Saccaro, Chief Executive Officer (Camp Name “Pocket”)
Jane joined Camp Kesem as Chief Executive Officer in 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.


Jim Higley, Chief Development & Marketing Officer (Camp Name “Pops”)
Joining the team as Chief Development & Marketing Officer in 2014, Jim oversees all of Camp Kesem’s partnerships, fundraising and marketing efforts. With over 30 years experience building relationships with individuals and organizations, Jim spent the first 25 years of his professional career as a partner in a commercial real estate firm, where he helped the organization grow significantly. After being diagnosed with prostate cancer at the age of 44, Jim made a major career shift, and became a stay-at-home father to his three children. Motivated by the loss of his own mother to cancer when he was a child – as well as the loss of his father and young brother to cancer – Jim’s become a visible and passionate voice in both the cancer and parenting communities and regularly speaks and writes about topics related to cancer, positive parenting, and raising children.

Aaron Hadley, Chief Operating Officer (Camp Name “H”)
Aaron joined Camp Kesem in 2014. As Director of Operations for Imerman Angels 1-on-1 Cancer Support, he helped build the world’s largest organization dedicated to personalized peer support for cancer patients. As Associate Director for B’nai B’rith Beber Camp he managed a residential summer camp and retreat center. While attending The University of Arizona, Aaron volunteered for Camp Wildcat, a campus club similar to Camp Kesem, and led the organization as chairperson while earning a degree in Family and Consumer Resources. He has spent more than 25 years at camps as a camper, counselor, and camp director. Additionally, Aaron currently serves on the boards of Beber Camp, Perlman Camp, and Friends of Camp Wildcat. Despite living in Chicago since 2000, Aaron will always remain loyal to his hometown St. Louis Cardinals.

Abby O’Leary, Director of Finance & Administration (Camp Name “Cadillac”)
Before joining the Camp Kesem staff in 2011, Abby worked in youth development programming in Hillsborough, North Carolina 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. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management from North Carolina State University, a Bachelor’s degree from Barnard College/Columbia University, and is a member of the global public affairs and administration honor society Pi Alpha Alpha. Abby hails from McLean, Virginia and currently resides in Raleigh, North Carolina.

Cristin O’Leary Jones, Development Director (Camp Name “Babalu”)
Prior to joining Kesem in 2013, Cristin provided capacity-building services to nonprofit and philanthropic organizations at Draper Consulting Group, particularly focused on fundraising, strategic planning, and board and staff development. She served previously as Grants Manager at Margery Tabankin & Associates, a philanthropic and political advisory firm for high-profile, high-net worth individuals and family foundations. Cristin grew up in Connecticut and earned her M.A. and B.S. in Political Science from Northeastern University in Boston. Cristin currently resides in Los Angeles.

Rebeca Enriquez, Development Coordinator (Camp Name “Mini”)
Rebeca joined the Camp Kesem National team as Development Coordinator in 2016. After losing her mother to cancer in her junior year of college, Rebeca fell in love with the mission of Camp Kesem. Her love for Camp Kesem inspired her to help start a chapter at the University of Southern California in 2013 where she served as a Volunteer Coordinator. After graduation Rebeca has since served as a national intake volunteer, local chapter advisory board member, and a senior camp advisor to multiple Camp Kesem chapters. Rebeca graduated from USC with a Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration. She grew up in San Diego, California and currently resides in Los Angeles.

Bree Turner, Development Associate (Camp Name “Cheddar”)
Bree joined Camp Kesem in 2015. Prior to joining Camp Kesem, Bree specialized in event management, donor engagement, and capacity building at youth-focused organizations, Austin Children’s Shelter and Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County. Bree is a graduate of University of Baltimore where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services Administration. A native of Ellicott City, Maryland, Bree now resides in Los Angeles.

Kim Porter, Marketing Coordinator (Camp Name “Diggz”)
Kim joined Camp Kesem in 2015 as Marketing Coordinator. Prior to joining Camp Kesem, Kim spearheaded the social media programs at two luxury real estate brokerages, creating and fostering substantial social and digital growth for the companies. A 2009 graduate of Florida International University with a Bachelor’s in Communication, Kim has also worked as an editor for petMD.com, and as a freelance journalist published in the Miami Herald, Social Affairs Magazine, Miami’s Community Newspapers, and various websites. Kim was born and raised in Miami, Florida and currently resides in Chicago.

Lauren Ellis, Alumni Relations Manager (Camp Name “Marzipan”)
Lauren joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2011 as a National Program Director, moved up to be a Senior Program Director in 2013, and has now moved up into the role of Alumni Relations Manager. She also managed the creation of and oversaw the Camp Kesem National Student Panel from 2011 to 2014. Lauren was an active member in Camp Kesem at Indiana University from 2006 to 2009. While involved in Camp Kesem, Lauren served as a coordinator, a co-chair, and camp advisor to multiple Camp Kesem chapters. She graduated from Indiana University in 2009 with a Bachelor’s in Musical Theater. She also received her teaching license for Secondary Language Arts and Theater. Originally from Holland, Indiana, Lauren now resides in Nashville, Tennessee.

Fanny Wilson, Finance & Accounting Manager (Camp Name “Magee”)
Fanny began working as the Accountant for Camp Kesem in 2010, moving into the role of Finance & Accounting Manager in 2015. 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, California, with her husband and two children.

Liz Firestone, Manager of Programs (Camp Name “Phishy”)
Before joining the Camp Kesem staff in 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, Indiana and a Program Counselor and Program Director at Dragonfly Forest in West Chester, Pennsylvania. 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 Director 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 Saint Petersburg, Florida with her husband, baby boy, and 3 cats.

Tracey Landstrom, Manager of Operations (Camp Name “Pebbles”)
Tracey began working for Camp Kesem as a National Program Director in 2013 and has since moved into the role of Manager of Operations. As a student at UCLA, Tracey held multiple leadership roles in Camp Kesem including chapter Co-Director. After graduating, Tracey spent the year working for lululemon athletica in a managerial role. A native of California, Tracey grew up in Oakland and earned her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA. She currently resides in Denver, Colorado.

Alex Monyhan, Manager of Programs (Camp Name “Lola”)
Alex joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2013 as a National Program Director and became a Manager of Programs in 2015. She got involved with Camp Kesem at Michigan State University in 2008 and served as a coordinator, director, 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, Pennsylvania and currently resides in Columbus, Ohio.

Jenna Barnett, Program Director (Camp Name “Goose”)
Jenna joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Program Director in 2014. She helped found the University of Georgia chapter of Camp Kesem, a LIVESTRONG Community Impact Project recipient, in 2011 and served as Co-Director for the three subsequent years. She also served on the Camp Kesem Student Panel during this time. Jenna graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014 with a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and a minor in English. She is from Marietta, Georgia and currently resides in Greenville, South Carolina.

Cody Ferrantino, Program Director (Camp Name “Mufasa”)
Cody joined the Camp Kesem National team as a Regional Program Director in 2015. Initially, Cody became involved with Camp Kesem as a cabin counselor at the University of Notre Dame during summer 2012. After his first camp, he served as Co-Director at CKND for the next three years, while also learning about the broader organization as a member of the National Student Panel in 2013 and an Operations Intern in 2014. He graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science. Originally from San Diego, California, Cody now resides in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Cortney Lebeda, Senior Program Director (Camp Name “Jazz”)
Cortney joined the Camp Kesem National team in 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, Illinois.

Ciara Lepanto, Program Director (Camp Name “Wishbone”)
Ciara joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2015. She first got involved with Camp Kesem in 2012 as a counselor and continued on to become a member of the coordinator team and a co-chair. As a long-time camp enthusiast, Ciara was drawn to Camp Kesem because of the organization’s emphasis on community support and the simple art of play. She graduated from the University of Florida in 2015 with a Bachelor of the Arts in English and a minor in Women’s Studies. She is from Tallahassee, Florida and currently resides in Austin, Texas.

Marge Lobeck, Program Director (Camp Name “Mama”)
Marge joined Camp Kesem National in 2015. Before doing so, she founded Camp Kesem William & Mary’s chapter in 2013 and served as Co-Director for the following two years. She also worked as a Camp Kesem National Operations and Development Intern and served on the National Student Panel this past year. Marge graduated from William & Mary in 2015 with a B.A. in Literary and Cultural Studies with a concentration in Africana Studies. A native of Minneapolis, Minnesota, she now resides in Washington, D.C.

Laura Redmond, Program Director (Camp Name “Giggles”)
Laura began working as a Program Director for Camp Kesem in 2015. Laura became involved with Camp Kesem as a Unit Leader in 2010, and continued on to become a Development Coordinator and Co-Director. Laura graduated from UC Berkeley in 2013 with a B.A. in Psychology. She continued her involvement with Camp Kesem post-graduation as a camp advisor, advisory board member, and intake volunteer. Before joining the Camp Kesem team, she spent five summers working for Special Camp for Special Kids and a year working for Head-Royce School in programs administration. Laura is passionate about working with youth, and is excited to work for an organization that truly creates lasting meaningful impact. Laura grew up in Galway, Ireland, and currently resides in Berkeley, California.

Marty Shamon, Program Director (Camp Name “Goofy”)
Marty joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2014 as a National Program Director. He has found inspiration in the Camp Kesem mission after having lost his own father to cancer at age ten, and is dedicated to helping children going through the same things he did as a child. Marty got involved with Camp Kesem at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2009 where he served as a counselor, coordinator, and co-director throughout his college career. He has also served as senior camp advisor to multiple Camp Kesem chapters and as the National Summit Intern with Camp Kesem National. Marty graduated from the University of Illinois in 2013 with a Bachelor’s of Arts in Psychology and minor in Chemistry. He is from Chicago, Illinois and currently resides in Venice, California.

Kelsey Wrightwood, Program Director (Camp Name “Fizz”)
Kelsey joined the Camp Kesem National team in 2015 as a National Program Director. Having had lost her mother to cancer at the age of three, she was drawn to the mission of Camp Kesem at the Augustana College chapter. She served as a counselor and co-director at Augustana College and also worked with Camp Kesem National as an event page intern and newsletter reporter. Working with all the incredibly strong campers and student leaders is Kelsey’s inspiration for her involvement with Camp Kesem. She graduated from Augustana College in 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, a minor in Multimedia Journalism and Mass Communications, and a Certification of Nonprofit Leadership Development. Kelsey currently resides in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin.

Kristen Elfering, Executive Assistant (Camp Name “Crush”)
Kristen joined Camp Kesem as Executive Assistant in 2014. She became involved with Camp Kesem at Indiana University in 2010, where she served as a counselor, development coordinator, and Co-Director over the next four years. She graduated in 2014 from Indiana University with a B.S. in Marketing and Management. Kristen has previously worked at the Grand Ole Opry in Nashville, Tennessee. She grew up in the Chicago suburb of Lake Zurich, Illinois and currently resides there.

Scott Arizala, Camp Director (Camp Name “Funsize”)
Scott began working as the Camp Director for Camp Kesem in 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.