Meet the Staff
Our Advisory Board is composed of Camp Kesem alum in the Chicago area who meet with our executive board monthly to discuss ways to improve our program. They are an invaluable resource. Meet some of them here!
Deanna “Snickers” Becker is a former Co-Chair of Camp Kesem – Northwestern. She graduated from Northwestern with a degree in Economics and Social Policy and enjoys staying involved with Camp Kesem in as many ways as possible. Deanna currently works as a Knowledge Manager at Jones Lang LaSalle, a global commercial real estate services company. Previously, she was an Associate at MacGregor Global Investments, where she was responsible for capital formation and consulting campaigns on behalf of institutional real estate investment managers. In addition to her continuing involvement with Camp Kesem, Deanna sings with the Apollo Chorus of Chicago and volunteers with Jones Lang LaSalle’s Junior Achievement program, which provides professional mentoring opportunities to underprivileged Chicago-area high school students.
Gary “G-Money” Hanson joined Camp Kesem in the summer of 2006 at UCLA after they had had a successful first year, and has not looked back since. While in school, he served as counselor, Admin/Programming Coordinator, and was the Co-Chair for the summer of 2009. Upon graduating, he spent a year traveling and working as an accountant, at which point he moved to Chicago to become a high school math teacher at the Air Force Academy High School. He has been a Camp Advisor for Indiana University in 2011, Augustana College in 2012, and University of Texas in 2013. Gary is also part of the Camp Kesem Alumni Legacy Circle and is in his second year on the Northwestern Advisory Board.
Sharon “Phebes” Ioffe graduated from Northwestern in 2011. During her time at school, she was lucky enough to attend four amazing years of camp and plan fun camp activities and fancy fundraisers during the year. Since graduating, she has loved staying involved by being on the advisory board and serving as teen camp advisor one summer. She currently lives in Lakeview (Chicago) and works at an investment management firm in the city.
Paul “Achilles” Reinhart joined Camp Kesem originally at Indiana University where he attended undergrad. He graduated in 2013 with a BS in Speech and Hearing Sciences and BA in Classical Civilizations. At Camp Kesem Indiana University he served as camp counselor, unit leader, and fundraising coordinator. He is now pursuing his PhD at Northwestern University in the Communication Sciences and Disorders department focusing on hearing aid research. While at Northwestern, he strives to continue to give back to such an incredible organization as an advisory board member for Camp Kesem Northwestern.
Jane “Pocket” Saccaro 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.
Rachael “Pippy” Suffrin was thrown into Camp Kesem in 2006 as a freshman at Northwestern University (NU) as their Programming/Admin Coordinator and Treasurer. Later as NUCK’s Co-Chair in 2009, she helped launch their first teen camp, and in 2010, chaired their first Make the Magic fundraiser. Rachael went on to serve as a Camp Advisor at multiple universities across the country, and now sits on NUCK’s advisory board, as well as the Chicago CK alumni committee. Currently, she is working with Camp Kesem to conduct research looking at the positive impact of Kesem involvement on college students. Rachael graduated in 2010 from Northwestern University with a B.S. in Education and Social Policy, double majoring in Human Development and Psychological Services, and Psychology, with a Certificate in Civic Engagement. After graduating, Rachael was a Northwestern Public Interest Fellow and worked at Center for Companies That Care in Chicago. Rachael currently lives in Chicago and is getting her Ph.D. in Clinical/Community Psychology at DePaul University.
Sharon Weingarten is a licensed social worker, teacher and an expert on intergenerational communication. She has had over 30 years of educational and therapeutic experience with children, adolescents, adults and families. She earned her Master’s degree in Social Work from Loyola University of Chicago, and specialized in special education at the University of Illinois and National Louis University, where she later joined the faculty.
Sharon also worked in the Department of Adolescent Psychiatry at NorthShore University HealthSystem, as a teacher in the Therapeutic Day School and then in the Department of Community Wellness. Most recently Sharon was invited to be a guest teacher in the Samoan school system with WorldTeach, an affiliate of the Center for International Development at Harvard University.
Sharon has been a consultant and advisor to a wide variety of local and national youth and mental health organizations, as well as to Prevention Researcher Magazine. She is an active member of Rotary International and has been the Chair of the Rotary Literacy Program. She is currently working with a pediatrician on a book which will include ideas and opinions of children and teens from all over the world.