Dana L. Dornsife: President
Dana received her undergraduate degree in business from Drexel University, Philadelphia, Interior Design Certification from JFK University, San Francisco and her Lighting Design Certification through the Illuminating Engineering Society of North America. In 1991, she co-founded Axiom Design, Inc., a lighting design and architectural electronics consulting firm.
In 2003, Dana’s focus turned to cancer as she watched a family member succumb to pancreatic cancer at age 42. In 2006, she founded Lazarex Cancer Foundation and currently serves as its President. Lazarex is a non-profit that exists to help fill the gap in resources for cancer patients seeking life through FDA clinical trials. Lazarex Cancer Foundation improves the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to end stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and education. Lazarex Cancer Foundation improves the outcome of cancer care, giving hope, dignity and life to end stage cancer patients and the medically underserved by providing assistance with costs for FDA clinical trial participation, identification of clinical trial options, community outreach and education.
Dana serves on several boards; Epeius Biotechnologies, developing genetic medicines for the treatment of cancer; the USC Brain and Creativity Institute; USC Center for Civic Engagement and the Yosemite Conservancy. Dana and her husband, Dave Dornsife, a USC Trustee, are Council Members of the Yosemite Conservancy and support a WASH initiative; Water, Sanitation and Hygiene in 22 countries throughout Africa through World Vision, an international humanitarian agency.
Maribel Montanez: Chief Advancement Officer
Maribel Montanez (formerly De La Torre) joined Lazarex Cancer Foundation in March 2015 as Chief Advancement Officer. She leads the organization’s development initiatives overseeing all development and fundraising programs and marketing initiatives.
Montanez is a seasoned development professional which is complimented by a unique background in government leadership, both roles span over a period of 15 years. As the CAO, she will utilize her private, public and nonprofit sector networks to ensure Lazarex’s continued growth.
Before coming to Lazarex, Montanez formulated and developed all internal and external organizational structures for the Development Department at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Northern California Chapter, turning a program with annual giving of $667,000 to $2.5 million. In addition, she was appointed by the President of LLS to serve on the Hispanic Market Steering Committee, which piloted Hispanic market strategies and served as a sounding board and incubator for new, innovative outreach approaches for both fundraising and patient program service initiatives to Hispanic markets across the United States.
Prior to LLS, Montanez was the Director of Development for Granada Hills Charter High School and before that, the Director of Development, Marketing and Communications at PADRES Contra El Cáncer in Los Angeles, California.
Montanez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley. A Southern California native who resides in the Silicon Valley, she enjoys participating in Ironman triathlons, traveling and volunteering her time to teach individuals to swim. She has been known to “encourage” new swimmer to become triathletes!
Robyn Burchfiel: IMPACT Program, Major Gifts
Robyn Burchfiel is a senior development professional and the former Vice President of Major Gifts and Development for the LIVESTRONG Foundation. Her diverse expertise in major gift fundraising and corporate management, including relationship building, strategic planning, and visionary leadership helped her design and implement a comprehensive development program for the foundation while in the midst of extraordinary organizational change. Robyn was a pioneer with LIVESTRONG, creating new and previously un-tapped strategies such as non-traditional planned-giving opportunities and targeted social events that re-engaged and re-energized donors and partners. Click here to read more.
Tami Keeler: Office and Patient Services Manager
A San Ramon, CA resident, Tami Keeler joined Lazarex Cancer Foundation in 2007 as Office Manager and Patient Coordinator. With over fifteen years of customer service experience under her belt, Tami is well prepared for the most important part of her work - looking after Lazarex’s VIPs (Very Important Patients) by coordinating patient applications, reimbursements, travel logistics and clinical trial assistance. Tami applies her vast array of other skills to the administration, event planning, accounting, design, and logistical aspects of the Lazarex organization.
Titles and work functions aside, Tami is a woman of persistence, humor and compassion. These are qualities greatly needed in the daily striving to offer hope, dignity and life to those seeking assistance through Lazarex's program services. She is also an artist, photographer and mom. Her best work of art is her son. Tami is thankful to be able use her talents to help Lazarex fulfill its mission of providing hope and assistance to people with cancer who have been told they have run out of options.
Karen Ambrogi: Communications Manager
Karen Ambrogi joined Lazarex Cancer Foundation in February 2009. Karen manages Lazarex's internet presence and online community development through websites, blogs, newsletters and social media. She has a strong base in relationship building and service – from working with the mentally handicapped to a very long career incorporating technical sales, account management, technical writing and leadership skills training.
A pre midlife career change led her to establish a company that offered education and travel programs designed to encourage more conscious, authentic and creative living by exploring the mind/body/spirit connection. After losing two brothers in law to pancreatic cancer, she is grateful to have the opportunity to give her focus and her heart in the service of building a bridge to hope for cancer patients and their families.
Cynthia Sandoval: Community Relations Manager
Cynthia, a San Francisco native, joined Lazarex's Team for Life management in 2012 with over 6 years of Event Planning and Fundraising experience. She majored in Public Speaking and Communications at San Francisco State University and has since earned her recognition within the Event world.
Cynthia has helped to coordinate every type of event imaginable and takes pride in being the “Go- to-Gal” for an array of both large corporations and smaller local businesses. Luckily for Lazarex, her specialty and passion is Charity Events. For over 5 years she has worked alongside Mr. Steve Haworth of Charity Auction Fundraising, LLC, conducting live auctions for hundreds of nonprofits, speaking to over 20,000 high net-worth individuals , working at the largest and most famous venues of the San Francisco Bay Area, helping to raise over $10 million for the various causes. In doing so, Cynthia has built strong working relationships with a long list of connections which will greatly benefit our fundraising strategies.
Cynthia has been a “pleasure runner” for as long as she has been able to run, and in 2011 ran her first half-marathon. After that she became “addicted.” She feels very blessed for the opportunity to combine her event planning skills with her addiction to running, her fundraising experience, her many connections, and her love for people to help fulfill the Lazarex mission. Cynthia lost both her paternal Grandparents to cancer, and is honored to be a part of a cancer fighting Team for Life.
In addition to everything else Cynthia does, she is also a singer-songwriter, and spends her free time being a “Wannabe Rock Star!!”
Briana McCready: Sports Marketing Manager - Team for Life
Briana McCready has been around running for as long as she can remember. As a child Briana would ride her bike alongside her mom as she ran. Briana ran track in middle school, then cross country in high school and in college. She finally ventured into the longer distances on her own. Now she runs because it's her passion!
Briana attended the University of Hawaii at Manoa as a Psychology major. After returning the Bay Area she worked in sales in the for-profit education sector. It didn’t take her long to realize that she needed to have a passion for what she does day in and day out so Briana looked for companies that were centered around her interests in health and fitness. She landed an Event Manager position for an endurance racing company up in North Lake Tahoe and immersed herself in the endurance racing world. Briana returned to the Bay Area to join Lazarex Cancer Foundation, managing the Team For Life program and could not be happier!
Briana has BIG visions for Team For Life. She is focusing on establishing a strong Bay Area presence in the endurance racing space. It is her goal to get the word out about Lazarex Cancer Foundation and inspire people to sign up, lace up and put some meaning behind their miles.
Jenny Grau: Executive and Program Assistant
Jenny has had two close family members affected by cancer and is pleased to be serving the patients of Lazarex Cancer Foundation as Financial Coordinator. Her main task is to provide timely and accurate patient reimbursements in order for patients to remain in their clinical trials which potentially could be interrupted by financial difficulties.
Her experience in retail merchandising, sales, marketing and community volunteering brings a variety of skills to the position. She is a graduate of Oregon State University, lives in Pleasanton with her husband and has two grown children.
Carol Meyer: Database Management and Special Projects
Carol Meyer joined the Lazarex Cancer Foundation team in the summer of 2011. Looking to serve in an organization committed to supporting others, Carol is grateful to have found Lazarex. Like so many, cancer has profoundly affected the lives of several members of Carol's family. She is thankful to have the opportunity to assist those who find themselves in a similar situation. Presently, Carol is responsible for the Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge database in addition to other database management and various special projects in support of development and fundraising.
Carol holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley and California State University, East Bay, and she has over 10 years’ experience in the financial services industry. Her favorite role, however, is Mom; she is the parent of a daughter, Kristiana and a son, Jackson.
Ryan Noonan: Receptionist
Ryan Noonan is administrative assistant in charge of patient calls, inputting patient information into the database, and other inner office logistics. Ryan graduated from Auburn University in Auburn, AL in 2007 with a degree in Communications and also obtained a Master’s degree in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles, CA. He has a passion for mentoring youth and he is determined to bring that very same passion to Lazarex to help those who are in need.
Ryan feels a special connection to Lazarex that dates back to before its founding. Ryan lost his uncle to pancreatic cancer back in 2003, which now is one of the many reasons he wants to help others and do what he can to contribute to the Lazarex cause.
Susan Blick: Program and Events Support
Susan joined the Lazarex team in July 2015 after graduating from Colgate University with a degree in Environmental Studies and Sociology & Anthropology. She was a member of Colgate’s rowing team and over her four years she gained a passion for fitness and liquid water (it was usually frozen in Upstate New York). After taking a course on medical anthropology, she learned that there is often more than meets the eye when it comes to medical care. She’s excited to be part of an organization that makes cancer care more accessible to people of all backgrounds.
Linsdey McGonegal: Communications Assistant
Lindsey joined Lazarex Cancer Foundation at the beginning of 2016, coming from a background in digital marketing and communications in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. She now focuses on the social media strategy and execution for Lazarex. Having gone through a thyroid cancer diagnosis and treatment in 2011, Lindsey is thankful for the opportunity to utilize her marketing skills for a cause that is so deeply personal. Lindsey earned her bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and a master’s from Western Seminary.
Karen Weixel: Patient Navigator
In 2005 Karen was diagnosed with breast cancer. It was through this experience she learned the importance of being very involved in one’s treatment and the value that an outside advocate can bring to the process. It is with this personal experience in mind that Karen feels blessed with the opportunity to make use of this knowledge and expertise on behalf of others who are currently undergoing a similar life experience.
Karen has always been interested in health education and patient navigation. She received her BA in Community Health Education form CSU Chico and recently went back to school and earned a certificate in Patient Navigation from Sonoma State University.