Meet the Advisory Board

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CKTexasLilo

Sam “Lilo” Canlas

Explain your camp name: I was talking with some potential counselors during a general body meeting and they were trying to figure out my ethnicity. They thought I was Hawaiian and they began telling me that I look exactly like Lilo from Lilo & Stitch, so I changed my name (Boo at the time) to Lilo. I think it suits me a lot better :)

What do you do currently: I graduated this past May (2013)! I’ve joined the fellow college graduates in the search for a job while I finish up requirements to sit for the Child Life Specialist certification exam. If you’re looking for a hardworking, patient, and self-motivated employee, I’m available!

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: Squirt (one of the original founding members) came and spoke in my O-chem class, got me hooked on the cause and thus began Camp Kesem-Texas.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: I’ve taken so many of these tests (no shame!) and each time I’m placed into Hufflepuff, one because I love to eat and their dorms were right next to the kitchen… and also because they value patience and loyalty.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: “Baby” by the Biebs

CKTexasPaws

Cat “Paws” Conner

Explain your camp name: I chose paws because I’m a huge dog lover and avid supporter of the many wonderful animal organizations in Austin. I have three dogs and I have seen their ability to bring comfort and unconditional happiness to people in the worst situations, so I thought that only fitting for a camp that does the same!

What do you do currently: Private full-time nanny
How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: My sister-in-law’s husband died from testicular cancer two years ago and both of them volunteered (and she continues to volunteer) with the BYU Camp Kesem chapter in Utah.  You probably saw their “Let Them Be Kids” photo campaign on Livestrong’s website this year.  One of my family members took the amazing photos.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: As much as I’d like to think I would join Harry in Gryffindor, I’d probably be in Ravenclaw because I love school and I love to study and be around people who prioritize education.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I think I played “Wrecking Ball” on repeat every day for about a month after it came out.  So embarrassing!

CKTexasCarrotTop

Kim “Carrot Top” Fryar

Explain your camp name: When I was a child we would go on road trips with my cousins and take 2 cars. “CB radios” were popular back then for short distance communication and we had 2 CB radios.  My cousins and I all came up with “handles” for our “CB’s”. My “handle” was Carrot Top because of my red hair.

What do you do currently: I work at Wonders & Worries where we provide free support to children who have a parent with cancer or other serious illness. I am currently the program director and have enjoyed working with children and families impacted by cancer for over 10 years.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: Through Wonders & Worries

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Hufflepuff “I’ll teach the lot and treat them just the same”. I love to teach and really enjoy working and interacting with many different people, especially with children. I am friendly and hardworking, modest and committed.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I am a country music fan but I do like some top 40 music and a more recent hit I enjoyed was “Call Me Maybe” by Carly Rae Jepsen.

CKTexasUncleBill

Bill “Uncle Bill”/”Flower Puff” Hinton

Explain your camp name: I have two camp names. 1)Uncle Bill – This one started by chance and just stuck. 2) Flower Puff – I was working with a group of 6 and 7 year old girls. They said they all had nicknames and I needed one too. I said I had never had a nickname before and I would leave it up to them. That is what you get when you leave your name up to a 6 year old girl. It does suit me well though.
What do you do currently: I am the Executive Director of YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I was approached by one of the leadership team at Camp Kesem National that thought YMCA Camp Flaming Arrow and Camp Kesem would be a good fit.  Once I learned about the population that was served and the leadership that college students gain I was hooked.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Whenever I have taken any online sorting (I am a mega fan by the way, I have read the entire series 10 plus times) I am put into Gryffindor. Though I have always had an affinity towards Hufflepuff as one of the values I hold to high esteem is Hard Work. I think that if I was sorted by the Sorting Hat it would take my choice into account and put me with the other Badgers of Hufflepuff.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I am and never will be embarrassed by any of my song choices that I enjoy. I am comfortable enough in who I am that there is no embarrassment no matter the ridiculousness of the song.

CKTexasPops

Brent “Pops” Iverson

Explain your camp name: Being the father of the founding students, the camp name “Pops” makes sense.

What do you do currently: I am the Dean of the School of Undergraduate Studies as well as Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Chemistry, at the University of Texas at Austin.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: My twin daughters, Alanna and Lexi, founded the UT Austin chapter of Camp Kesem three years ago.  I offered to serve as the faculty sponsor of the organization in honor of my own father who died of cancer in 2006.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: I have absolutely no idea what this means.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: Story of My Life by One Direction.  I heard this on the radio yesterday in the car with my youngest daughter (Mater’s little sister).  She was a little upset when I said it sounded like a nice song and she has made fun of me ever since.

CKTexasMudbug

Corinne “Mudbug” Jorgenson

Explain your camp name: Well, I am from Louisiana and one of my favorite times is crawfish season. Crawfish live in the mud and are aka Mudbugs. I thought the camp name Mudbug was well suited for my personality and reminded me of home just like the feel of going to camp!

What do you do currently: I have one of the best jobs ever! I am a Certified Child Life Specialist at Wonders and Worries in Austin, TX. I get to play with kids and hang out with teens every day whom have parents impacted by cancer.  I help them understand cancer through board games and art activities which help them express their feelings and find ways to cope.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I heard about Camp Kesem through Wonders and Worries. I was lucky enough to attend the Camp Kesem Summit to present some helpful tips on working with kids whose families have been affected by cancer. When I arrived I was given several pieces of Kesem swag which made my day. The welcoming presence of the college counselors and national staff got me hooked on the cause!

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Okay, so… I have watched a few of the Harry Potter movies and after consulting with Carrot Top she directed me towards a sorting quiz. I was told I would be in the “Hufflepuff” house! I’m a hard worker and from what the computer tell me I’m a dependable person.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: My dad has worked in radio since my birth and I used to be a disc jockey in high school. I love POP! Anything from Nsync, Britney Spears or Destiny’s Child will always be on my playlists.

CKTexasNoodle

Aubri “Noodle” Kottek

Explain your camp name: I decided upon Noodle mostly because it’s my niece’s nickname but also because I’ve always dreamt about swimming in a pool full of pasta noodles! Also, noodles are just so, so good.

 What do you do currently: I just started my first year of graduate school in a Masters program for Public Health at the University of Texas School of Public Health.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I was a counselor at my undergraduate college, University of California, San Diego, and fell in love with the magic of camp. Over the years, I have experienced first-hand how remarkable and meaningful Camp Kesem can be–not only for our campers and their families but also for the counselors and coordinators that make camp happen. The magic is truly life-changing. I moved away from San Diego after graduating, and a year later, CK Texas was founded, and I’ve been working with them ever since. It has been such a pleasure seeing this chapter grow from its first year of camp. Big things are coming out of CK Texas!

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: I’d probably be sorted into Hufflepuff. I’m not super competitive, I’m generally pretty laid-back, friendly, and non-confrontational. I’m a softie :)

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: Probably “Call Me Maybe.” It’s just too catchy!

CKTexasTeo

Matt “Teo” McEvoy

Explain your camp name: My Camp name is Teo, which is a shortening of the Spanish translation (Mateo) of my real name (Matthew). My best friend in high school thought of it and used it as a nickname for me.

What do you do currently: I am currently a medical student at Texas A&M on the Round Rock campus.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I was a counselor, coordinator, and co-chair at Camp Kesem Stanford from 2007-09. Since then, I’ve served on the Advisory Board for several CK chapters.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Surprisingly enough, I never caught on to the Harry Potter craze. I’ve been told that I would be Gryffindor, but I just now took an online quiz that says I’m Hufflepuff. So, some combination, perhaps?

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I have an appreciation for many top 40 songs that teenage girls love (ie, Justin Bieber, One Direction, etc) over the recent past, if only because they were played at a Camp dance party, and thus the songs remind me of Camp.

CKTexasBacon

Kristen “Bacon” Padavic

Explain your camp name: I absolutely love everything about bacon :) And my husband dressed up as bacon for halloween before we were ever dating – the moment I saw him I knew it was meant to be!

What do you do currently: I’m an architect here in Austin, and am the lead designer for all of the homes that our company, PSW Real Estate, builds.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: When my friend Susan Nelson Fleiss passed away from colon cancer in 2011, her sister told me about this wonderful camp that she was directing called Camp Kesem. After we moved to Austin later that year, she told me about the Texas camp starting, and I was excited to help.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: I have never read any Harry Potter books!

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: Party Rock- my twin 6 year old daughters play it all the time, and I can’t help but rock out with them.

CKTexasSneaks

Jordan “Sneaks” Parks

Explain your camp name: My original camp name from 2011 was “Yellow,” which lasted only about 6 months… the new class of counselors at the 2012 LIVESTRONG Assembly just thought it didn’t quite befit me so they did a little crowdsourcing and came up with “Sneaks.” The thought process went something like this… My name is Jordan -> Michael Jordan -> Air Jordan -> Basketball -> Basketball Sneakers -> Sneaks.

What do you do currently: I manage Community Programs & Engagement at the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Within this role I work with other national organizations to assist them with expansion to ultimately support more cancer survivors. While I work with many orgs, I gotta say, Camp Kesem is my FAVORITE!

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: One day, back in 2010, I was sitting at my desk when the front receptionist called me.  She said someone from an org called “Camp Kesem” walked in the door and wanted to talk to someone on our grants/programs team. I walked up thinking I’d be back at my desk in 15 minutes, but ended up sitting with her for more than two hours learning about all of the great things this organization does. The foundation then selected Kesem as one of the programs we would help fund in 2011, then again in 2013. Three years, nearly a million dollars in funding, 24 new camps, hundreds of new Kesem friends later… By far the best ever surprise drop in meeting request I’ve had.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Hmm, I’m probably going to get grief for this, but…I have no idea what any of this means. I’ve never seen the Harry Potter movies, or read the books. I tried.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: Anything early 2000’s pop related: Britney Spears, Ricky Martin, Boy bands, etc…I was in college then and every time I hear one of these kind of songs I think of two things: 1) How everyone would illegally download them from this new amazing website called napster, and 2) Watching Total Request Live on MTV in my dorm after class, which inevitably had one of the afore mentioned people co-hosting. It was a simpler time. Sigh….

CKTexasMango

Kevin “Mango” Rustagi

Explain your camp name: I love mangoes and even planted a mango tree as a kid.

What do you do currently: I currently help startups and am writing a book here in Austin before heading back to business school.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: A fraternity brother said it was one of the most valuable things he had ever done, and he meant it. I managed to get a spot as a counselor freshman year at MIT and have been a part of it ever since :)

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Has to be Gryffindor, no question.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: My friend and I, who both play hard rock together are huge fans of Taylor Swift’s ‘I Knew You Were Trouble’ – I’m currently listening to it now, and I totally know all the words.

CKTexasKarlFiller

Adam “Steak” Ryan

Explain your camp name: Growing up in the Midwest as an oversized child, my favorite food to feast on was a big piece of red meat!

What do you do currently: Currently I’m on staff for Camp Kesem National as their Alumni Relations Manager.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I found about Camp Kesem on Google. After being blown away from it’s incredible mission I decided to apply to start a chapter at the University of Missouri (Go Tigers!). That next year I held the role of Co-Director.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: This is a tough one. I’m too competitive to be in Hufflepuff, but I’d categorize most of my friends here. I think if I had to choose I’d be Slytherin, just so I could beat Harry in quidditch.

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I Believe I Can Fly is just a song that I love. How can you not? To me, it is the best song to listen to when you are looking for a little motivation.

CKTexasHoney

Jess “Honey” Valle

Explain your camp name: A lot of people have their theories on the origins of my camp name, but I don’t really have a great explanation for it. I will say I never get sick of people having to refer to me so sweetly.

What do you do currently: I work in development for ZACH Theatre. My main fundraising projects are special events, our capital campaign, and individual giving that supports our education programs.

How did you become involved with Camp Kesem: I founded the UGA chapter of Camp Kesem.

Which Harry Potter house would the Sorting Hat place you in and why: Ravenclaw… I just love learning!

What’s one Top 40 song that you’re embarrassed to enjoy: I love anything by Britney Spears. No shame, though.