A New Orleans native, Shannon McCloskey Able is a dedicated volunteer. She has more than 18 years of experience in public relations, retail and event planning. Shannon is the proud wife of Patrick Able and mother of three children - Sydney, Madison and P.J. Able. With so many friends and family members impacted by cancer including pancreatic, breast, lung and thyroid; Shannon is dedicated to honoring those that have lost their courageous battle with cancer including her best friend’s father and her two uncles. Shannon draws strength from the inspiring victory of her 100-year old grandmother who has survived colon cancer twice. Shannon believes working together we can save more lives in fight against cancer and is honored to work with the American Cancer Society.
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Meaghan Ryan Bonavita
Meaghan was born and raised in New Orleans. She attended Isidore Newman School and then graduated from Villanova University. She lived in New York for 5 years working as a Sales Associate for fashion house, Lafayette 148 New York. She moved back to New Orleans in 2005 to pursue an MBA at Loyola University. She is married to Joe Bonavita and has two children, Bear 6 yrs and Coco less than a year old. Meaghan’s philanthropic inspiration comes from her grandmother, Vada Reynolds, and her mother, Pamela Ryan. Upon returning to New Orleans she has dedicated her time to various organizations. She served 6 years on the Arts Council of New Orleans Board where she chaired the Community Arts Awards and worked on various initiatives including LUNA Fete. She currently serves on the board of Ogden Museum of Southern Art, where she chaired the Magnolia Ball and has worked on the Oh What a Night Gala Committee. She has been involved with the Louisiana Children’s Museum and The New Orleans Museum of Art. She is currently Board President of Dress for Success New Orleans where she has chaired the organization’s biggest fundraiser, Suits and Salads Luncheon, for the past 3 years. For the last 6 years she has served as Chair of the Fabulous Under Forty Committee for the Saks Fifth Avenue Key to the Cure Gala. This Gala benefits the Louisiana Cancer Research Center. She says that “cancer knows no age and it is imperative that young people become involved in supporting initiatives that aide Cancer Charities.” Her hope is that with continued support from the Community, The LCRC, The American Cancer Society and other local cancer charities will continue to discover and develop therapies for early detection, treatment and prevention of cancer.
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Susan and her husband Andre' have been married for over 25 years. They are the proud parents of four children. They are the owners of Peoples Drugstore in Houma, Louisiana. Peoples, established in 1939, specializes in providing medications to long-term care facilities across south Louisiana. Susan feels that you must lead by example. She is a proud supporter of Nicholls State University, and many of the Catholic Charities in south Louisiana. She is a firm believer in preserving and encouraging the propagation of the culture of our area through her support of many organizations supporting food, music, arts, and coastal restoration. She has taught her children that they must help others, and as such the children are all involved in service organizations from elementary school on to college. Many of the children's weekends and summer days are spent volunteering at the local food bank. She originally began supporting Ross Mulloolly at the request of her oldest son. Following the passing of Ross, she increased her support for the Ross Mulloolly Project. After the death of Andre's mother as a result of complications from kidney cancer, and learning patient and caregiver needs firsthand, she has supported Hope Lodge and many other area cancer fundraisers.
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Susan Foret is the Director of Cancer Services for Ochsner Health System. Susan has been a nurse for 25 years with a focus on oncology patient care and leadership for most of her career. Susan is currently perusing a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration in the Executive Tract Program at UNO and will complete her studies in December. A native to New Orleans, Susan is married to Kent and together they have 3 children, Rebecca, Elizabeth & Joshua. In 2015, Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer and is happy to report she is a survivor.
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Heidi Fox received her Master's in Social Work from LSU and is currently working as a heart transplant Social Worker. Heidi is married and has two daughters, ages 5 and 7. In December 2015, Heidi was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma. After undergoing 3 months of chemo, she is happy to report that she is cancer free.
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Mary Beth Lobrano, M.D
Dr. Lobrano is a radiologist with a special interest in cancer imaging, particularly cancer diagnosis. She has worked in the EJGH Breast Care Center since it first opened in 2002. During the past 14 years, Dr. Lobrano has met some amazing breast cancer patients and breast cancer survivors who’ve really been inspirational to her. She has also had the opportunity to work with the Oncology and Radiology Directors to implement a lung cancer screening program at East Jeff, which is flourishing (special thanks to Dr. Ashish Udhrain for his help with this project!). She serves on multiple hospital committees such as, Oncology Committee, Oncology Service Line Board, Clinical Research Committee, Utilization Review Committee, and Continuing Medical Education Committee as well as being the editor-in-chief of the EJ medical staff journal. Whenever Dr. Lobrano is asked to give a lecture on cancer, she always turns to www.cancer.org for the latest statistics on a particular cancer. She finds the American Cancer Society website to be a tremendous resource and frequently refers her patients who want more information on screening, prevention, diagnosis and treatment to the website as well. Dr. Lobrano also has a personal connection to cancer, her father-in-law is a bladder cancer survivor, and one of her aunt’s is a breast cancer survivor. A native of Fort Worth, Texas, she met her husband of 23 years here in New Orleans when he was a Tulane Law student and she was a Tulane Med student. Together they have two awesome children, Charles (16) and Robert (19).
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Lauren is the Diversity & Community Relations Coordinator for Woodward Design+Build. She served as Board President of Louisiana Green Corp, a non-profit organization for 3 years. Lauren is a New Orleans native but has lived in Los Angeles and Salt Lake City. Coming home has made her love and appreciate New Orleans even more. She is happily married to Allison Marshall, and together they have 4 children and 2 grandchildren that she loves spending time with. Lauren lost her uncle, Harold Baquet and 2 dear friends to cancer in the past year and a half and wants to do her part in helping in the fight against cancer.
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Suzanne D. Phelps
Suzanne is the proud mother of Ashley, William and Porter Nolan, and grandmother of Wilder and Jack. A graduate of Sacred Heart Academy and Newcomb College, she later co-founded Stuart Hall School for Boys in 1984 in New Orleans. She remains an active member emeritus of its Board of Trustees. She co-chaired a major fundraising Gala for Touro Infirmary, where her father, Homer Dupuy, practiced medicine for over fifty years. Because her mother, Charlotte Dupuy, died of cancer, and she herself survived uterine cancer, she is committed to helping others cope with this disease.
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Claudette is a registered nurse who has worked in both adult and pediatric oncology for more than 25 years. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Louisiana State University and is employed by Children’s Hospital. Claudette is passionate about and committed to supporting patients and families navigating the journey of a cancer diagnosis. Her faith is paramount in helping her achieve this goal. She is an active member of St. Peter Claver Catholic Church. She is a native New Orleanian. Claudette and her beloved husband Reginald are the proud parents of Christopher and Jennifer.
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Mullady Voelker, GSW, LMSW is a New Orleans native and graduate of Vanderbilt University. She earned her master’s degree in social work from Tulane University in 2008 and is President of Patient Care Services and part-owner of GIFTED Healthcare – a company whose purpose is to improve the patient experience by empowering nurses and providing frontline care in both the hospital and at home. She serves on the Boards of the Children’s Bureau, Daughters of Charity, Legacy Foundation, and New Orleans Council for Community and Justice, and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization and WHEN. Voelker was featured in Gambit Weekly’s “40 Under 40” people to watch. Having lost her grandfather to pancreatic cancer, she is passionate about the impact of cancer and chronic disease on the entire family. She often speaks publicly about inclusive approaches to care planning by highlighting the benefits of compassionate support to all those affected by a diagnosis.
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Tony Abadie was born in New Orleans and began his career in the family restaurant industry with his father and grandfather. Following college, he reconnected to the hospitality industry with the Hilton New Orleans Riverside in 1982 as a Food & Beverage Manager. He has escalated though various departments over 30+ years to the position as the Director of Catering & Events. Tony’s joined the BRG family in 2016 to help launch the Our House Hospitality Group with the Pontchartrain Hotel project along with the Grand Re-Opening of the historic Caribbean Room restaurant. Tony is involved with many organizations in the industry including the Louisiana Restaurant Association as Board of Director and Past State Chairman for 2015. Additionally, Tony is the Co-Founder and Vice-President of the Louisiana Hospitality Foundation, a non-profit, started after Hurricane Katrina which produces the Louisiana Seafood Festival to help support the people of New Orleans and Louisiana in the Hospitality Industry in their time of need. Cancer has touched Tony’s life in many ways, in 2007 he was diagnosed with Kidney Cancer and had a nephrectomy to remove his right kidney due to the malignant tumor. He also lost his father to pancreatic cancer 19 years ago; and younger sister in 2015 to lung cancer.
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Sidney W. Degan, III
Sidney W. Degan, III is the Managing Partner of Degan, Blanchard & Nash, a law firm in the Central Business District in New Orleans, Louisiana and Baton Rouge. Mr. Degan was born in New Orleans, and attended Tulane University School of Law, where he received a Juris Doctor degree. Mr. Degan is a national and international speaker, a leader in the American Bar Association, as well as owning various other local businesses. Mr. Degan has provided emotional support and assistance to several cancer survivors who have played important roles in his life, including his wife and her battle with thyroid cancer, his co-worker’s recent battle with breast cancer, and his Executive Assistant’s experience with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. Mr. Degan has a long history of philanthropic work, having chaired and/or served on many charity, educational, non-profit, and health based boards or associations, including President of a university’s alumni association and Chair of the Board of Trustees of a private school.
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Ken Friend is president of Friend and company Fine Jewelers on Maple Street in Uptown New Orleans which is a family owned business founded in 1976. Ken dedicated his time and resources to many important philanthropic work which includes The American Cancer Society, The Tom and Gayle Benson Cancer Center, The Zoo to Do, along with other numerous school, community and religious organizations. Ken is a nineteen-year cancer survivor and is married to Nina Brammell Friend from Lafayette, LA. Together they have two children, Davis and Charlotte.
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Hunter Hill joined IBERIABANK in New Orleans as Market President and Executive Vice President in February 2014. Hunter manages all aspects of a $1.7B market, including Commercial Banking, Private Banking, Business Banking and Retail. He currently serves as a Board Member for Bureau of Governmental Research, The New Orleans Center for Creative Arts and is a member of the New Orleans Regional Leadership Institute Class of 2015 as well as an active member of Young Presidents Organization. Prior to moving to New Orleans, Hunter was the Commercial Banking Manager and Senior Vice President for IBERIABANK’s Birmingham office. While in Birmingham, Hunter was an active member of the Kiwanis Club of Birmingham and the Monday Morning Quarterback Club. He was also active with the United Way of Central Alabama and the Greater Alabama Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Hunter holds a Masters of Business Administration from Auburn University with a concentration in Finance and a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting. In 2015, Hunter completed the High Potential Leadership Program at Harvard Business School.
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Keith LeBlanc, M.D
Dr. Keith LeBlanc was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. A graduate of Jesuit High School, he then attended the University of Virginia, where he graduated with a B.A. in Human Biology/Bioethics and a minor in Spanish. He returned to New Orleans for his undergraduate medical education at the LSU School of Medicine in New Orleans. Upon completion of his undergraduate medical education he then completed a residency in dermatology at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta. Dr. LeBlanc is board certified by the American Board of Dermatology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology; he is an Associate of the American College of Mohs Surgery. Dr. LeBlanc is also a member of the American Medical Association, the American Society of Dermatologic Surgery, the Women’s Dermatologic Society, the Lousiana State Medical Society, the Jefferson Parish Medical Society, and the Louisiana Dermatological Society. Dr. LeBlanc is also a Certified Member of the MD Anderson Cancer Network–he is the only Mohs surgeon in the state of Louisiana to have achieved this distinction. Dr. LeBlanc was delighted to return to his hometown to open The Skin Surgery Centre, a patient-centered, state-of-the-art dermatologic surgery facility for the treatment of skin cancers by Mohs micrographic surgery. Since opening the practice in October of 2013, Dr. LeBlanc has performed nearly 3000 Mohs surgeries. Dr. LeBlanc resides in Lakeview with his wife Ashley, his son Ian, and daughters Grace and Hannah.
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Michael W. Murphy, II
Michael is the CEO and President of M Squared, a specialized marketing firm and instrument for education and outreach in New Orleans. Although not a New Orleanian by birth, Michael has a great passion for this city. He sits on the board for Firstline Schools and The PRC. He is also no stranger to cancer fundraising. His grandmother passed away from cancer in 2009.
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Council Powell is the District Manager of CVS Caremark Corp over the New Orleans, LA market. Council grew up in Mobile, Alabama where he had his first introduction into business management by his father. Council’s father was a small business owner with multiple locations and a large staff of employees. This is where is he truly learned to treat people with respect, inspire and tailor his message to his specific audience. Council received his PharmD from Xavier University College of Pharmacy in 2000. He and his wife Amber have a 3-year-old daughter named Marie and 1year old son, named Council Powell III. Council began his career at CVS as a Pharmacy Supervisor in Lafayette, Louisiana in July 2009. Council’s leadership and his ability to display the CVS core values led to his nomination as the 2011 Chairman’s award recipient. Prior to CVS, Council was the Group Pharmacy Leader for Target for 4 years covering the Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and South Florida markets. He had the opportunity to interact, partner and develop talent for diverse backgrounds and cultures. In his spare time, he enjoys traveling, reading, restaurants and boxing.
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Ike Ryan is a partner at Deutsch Kerrigan and a lifelong resident of New Orleans. Ike is active in the legal community and is a board member of the Louisiana Supreme Court Historical Society. His exposure to the fight against cancer came at a young age, as his mother, Dr. Donna Ryan is a board certified medical oncologist and long time faculty member at LSU Medical School. His wife, Sophia Ryan, is active in organizing the Moonlight and Miracles Gala. Together they raise their two children, Claire and Luke.
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Ronald Stein is a clinical instructor and nurse practitioner at Tulane University School of Medicine. His primary areas of focus are breast and prostate cancer. He has been in the nursing profession since 1998. He has also been an attorney licensed to practice in Louisiana since 1991. Mr. Stein received a BA degree from the University of Virginia, a JD and MHA from Tulane, a BS in nursing from LSU and an MS in nursing from Loyola. In addition to his clinical duties, he frequently lectures on legal matters and ethics to medical staff, medical students and graduate nursing students. As a board certified oncology nurse practitioner, Ronald’s biggest passion is oncology nursing. His brother-in-law is a prostate cancer survivor, and his father has survived both prostate and bladder cancer.
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Steven Venturatos, M.D
Dr. Venturatos is a graduate of Tulane Medical School, a board certified gastroenterologist and a fellow of the American College of Gastroenterology. He has practiced his entire career with Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, which now includes 22 gastroenterologists serving the needs of the greater New Orleans area. He serves as the managing partner of this group. Dr. Venturatos was integral in the initiation of the annual Colon Health Fair at West Jefferson Medical Center. He has personally given presentations expressing the benefits of colon cancer screening via colonoscopy. Together with West Jefferson Hospital Foundation, Dr. Venturatos supported the purchase of a huge inflatable colon exhibit. The exhibit has drawn in over 5,000 vistors. Within his own practice, Dr. Venturatos has established a program whereby every patient seen by his practices is screened for Lynch syndrome, an underdiagnosed disorder characterized by a strong genetic predisposition to colon cancer and other malignancies. This has allowed for more intense surveillance for this select population and their families. Dr. Venturatos' efforts to combat colon cancer and other malignancies are part of a family affair. His wife Carol, who has a Master’s in nursing from LSU, has served on the local board of the American Cancer Society.
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Save the date Friday, September 23rd at Mardi Gras World!
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For more than a 100 years, The American Cancer Society has been leading the fight to end cancer. With your support, we have helped usher in an era where more people survive cancer than ever before. By translating our research findings into action, we've seen a 20% decline in US cancer death rates since the early 1990s. Join us to help finish the fight.
2605 River Rd
New Orleans, LA 70121