LESLIE'S WEEK TEAM MEMBERS
Sandra Gunn, Founder/ceo, BOD - survivor
LESLIE’S WEEK founder, Sandra Gunn, was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, 2013. It was then that the full force of what she began as a small tribute for LESLIE’S WEEK came to have real meaning for her. She is the life force of LESLIE'S WEEK. Her passion for this cause ignites fires of awareness within cancer communities. A mother and survivor herself, she fully understands what Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer women experience. Her vision is to gift Stage 4 women and their families vacations where they create Memories that Outlast Cancer. Sandra believes that leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality; that a leader is a dealer in HOPE.
Sandra is one of the ten 2016 L'Oreal Paris "Women of Worth" Honorees, selected from more than 6,200 nominations for "Making a beautiful difference in the world". In 2015 she was selected from more than 9.000 nominees as an honoree by Massachusetts General Cancer Center to receive "the one hundred" award given to the "100 Everyday Amazing Groups or Individuals". She won the DeCesaris Cancer Institute's "Fire and Soul" award in 2014, "For the courage to look beyond oneself to bring joy to others".
Sandra is the founder of InnerImages, an interior design firm, established in 1983 for the hospitality industry. Her professional style is honest and straightforward. She is passionately committed to creating environments that are individually conceived and meticulously crafted. Her extensive resources and long nurtured relationships with world class manufacturers create distinctive interior settings.
Sandra is a writer and an award winning author of two books. Her latest book, TERMINAL, is written in collaboration with 43 LESLIE’S WEEK Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their fmaily members. She traveled extensively in Europe, where she spent time with Piero Busnelli, one of Italy's most inventive manufacturers of high design furniture. She traveled to the Middle East with her husband, where they were the guest of King Faisel and Bedouin Sheikh al Shalaan. She was given permission to create a portfolio of priceless photographs. She is bilingual and earned her BA from the University of Florida and her MA from Auburn University.
Board of Directors
Ani chang, Vice president, treasurer, bod, central & south America outreach
Ani Chang’s intuitive perception and remarkable Faith brings her much needed sensitive, compassionate, and loving nature to LESLIE’S WEEK and our Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their families. Ani’s uncommon insight into people and the challenges they face offers levity and balance within the LESLIE’S WEEK community.
Ani is the founder of Sem Fim, creating Hotel Design Inspiration, and of Grove-International, LLC, the fastest growing sales management agency in Florida, the Caribbean and Latin America . Grove-International has over 25 years of experience serving premier clients and developments. Her business experience is invaluable to LESLIE’S WEEK.
Ani is bilingual in Spanish and English. Her business takes her throughout the Caribbean, Latin America and China.
DR. CHRISTOPHER SPITTLER, BOD BOARD CERTIFIED PLASTIC SURGEON, BREAST CANCER reconstruction
Dr. Christopher Spittler has been a practicing Plastic Surgeon since 2000 and dedicates a large portion of his time to the care and treatment of breast cancer patients. He views his association with LESLIE’S WEEK as another opportunity to serve women confronting this disease.
His years of experience performing breast reconstruction on hundreds of patients gives him unique insight into the challenges facing women living with breast cancer. He is passionate about taking care of “His Ladies” and helping them to regain the confidence and self-image that mastectomy may take away.
After completing his training in plastic and reconstructive surgery at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, Dr. Spittler did an additional fellowship in breast reconstruction and cosmetic surgery at Georgetown University Medical center in Washington D. C.
Dr. Spittler is board certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgeons, is a member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons, the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, and a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons.
Corey McCarthy, secretary, bod, West Coast development & international outreach
Corey McCarthy is a high energy, creative, and intellectually inventive entrepreneur. Her intuitive instincts and uncommon business sense are invaluable assets for LESLIE'S WEEK. She brings nearly two decades of experience to LESLIE'S WEEK that encompasses branding and brand launches, strategic planning, account management, content curation, advertising, social media, and PR.
Before founding Testarossa Marketing, Corey was Vice President of Sales and Marketing for the digital media group Hotel Interactive. Prior to that, she spent the better part of a decade as Associate Publisher of Lodging Hospitality magazine. In both positions, she worked with hundreds of companies. Corey is Head of Global Marketing for Beekeeper, a Swiss Company located in Zurich.
McCarthy earned her MBA from St. Mary’s College of California, where she mastered strategic business practices and operations. Her marketing skills add and impressive dimension to LESLIE'S WEEK.
Dr. Lorraine Tafra, bod, board certified by the AMERICAN board of surgery
Dr. Tafra is a breast surgeon and the founding and current Director of the AAMC Breast Center, a position she accepted in 1999. She received her medical degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Her residency in General Surgery was at Thomas Jefferson University and Brown University. She serves on committees for national surgical organizations including the American College of Surgeons, American Society of Breast Surgeons, National Approvals Program for Breast Centers, National Consortium of Breast Centers, National Quality Forum, Surgical Quality Alliance, and others. She is past president of the American Society of Breast Surgeons, the largest and oldest society dedicated to breast surgery.
She has authored over 40 peer-reviewed papers and is a frequent invited speaker at conferences, both in the US and Internationally. She founded the Breast Surgery fellowship at AAMC, now in its 10th year, and participated in the initial development of the sentinel node technique for breast cancer. Dr. Tafra is active in research with collaborations at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, East Carolina University, and Johns Hopkins University Medical Center, with an academic appointment in surgery.
Dr. Carol Tweed, BOD, BOARD CERTIFIED IN MEDICAL ONCOLOGY & HEMATOLOGY
Dr. Carol Tweed attended Duke University, was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa, and graduated summa cum laude with a degree in Biology. She received her medical degree from Washington University in St. Louis, and was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha. She completed her Internal Medicine Residency and Hematology/Oncology Fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania.
From 2006 to 2012, Dr. Tweed was an Assistant Professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Abramson Cancer Center. She practiced as a breast oncology specialist and educated medical students, residents, and fellows. She moved to Anne Arundel Medical Center in 2012.
Dr. Tweed is a regional and national speaker on breast cancer and cancer genomics. She is a principal investigator on national and international clinical trials sponsored by Johns Hopkins, National Cancer Institute, and more. She is an Instructor of Medicine/preceptor for Johns Hopkins School of Medicine.
to be announced
Thassia Robetti-gunn, chairwoman, public and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS
Thassia Robetti-Gunn’s broad professional experience encompasses Public Relations, Government Relations, International Negotiations, Humanitarian Aid, Project Development, Event Planning, Public Policy, Human Rights, and Supporting Children in the Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). This fraction of her vast International and American experiences makes her the perfect choice to lead LESLIE’S WEEK on to the International Metastatic Breast Cancer stage.
Thassia has a bachelors Degree in International Relations and 2 Master Degrees, one in Constitutional & Tributary Law, and one in Human Rights. Her advanced course work at Harvard in 2016 & 2018, and MIT and Oxford in 2017 adds to her distinguished career in her passion for the neglected and forgotten. She brings an uncommon sensitivity to our Stage 4 MBC women and their families. Thassia is Moderating our CLUB4KIDS and expanding our GLAM4STAGE4 Day of Beauty in Boston and New York.
Thassia is Multilingual in Portuguese, Spanish and English.
Our Glass Hearts Symbol, Sempre Viva (Always Alive)
Caroline Thais Ravanello, GLASS HEART MANUFACTURER
Caroline Thais Ravanello is from Brazil and our LESLIE'S WEEK designer. At age 33 she was diagnosed with Breast Cancer HER2 + grade III and lung metastasis. After a radical mastectomy, she learned she was clean. Her protocol of treatment follows today with doses of 2 control antibodies every 21 days.
She found enlightenment through acceptance of her breast cancer and she never gave up. Her strongest motivation is a handcrafted glass heart pendant where she expertly places inside the heart a flower called "Sempre Viva" or "Always Alive". She believes that it breathes hope, courage, and optimism facing breast cancer. She started her Brazilian atelier with the Glass Heart. She is sharing all this power, as a breeze, as a garden, as a heart that became the LESLIE’S WEEK symbol of Life and Love!!
Caroline Ravanello is a woman for her time. She defies cancer. She defines what LESLIE'S WEEK represents 4 our Stage 4 Breast Cancer women…
DAN HAGER, CHAIRMAN ENDOWMENT FUND, leslie's kids
Dan Hager is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First Southern Bank. He was the former President of the West Florida Market for Harbor Community Bank and former Founding Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First America Holdings Corporation and First America Bank located in Bradenton, Florida. Dan is Chairman of the LESLIE’S WEEK Endowment Fund and a native of Manatee County, FL. He has over 35 years of banking experience in the Florida market. His extensive banking experience includes being the former President, Chief Executive Officer, and Board Member of Regions Bank of Southwest Florida, Liberty National Bank, Key Florida Bank and Key Florida Bancorp.
Dan’s wide-ranging nonprofit experience includes; past President of the Boys and Girls Clubs of Manatee County, Inc., past Chairman and board member for Tidewell Hospice & Palliative Care, and Manatee County Nursery School, Inc. He currently serves on the board and is Vice Chairman for the Florida Sheriffs Youth Ranches, and is a board member of The Word Plus Foundation. His investment and banking expertise is a valuable resource for LESLIE’S WEEK and all the children who will benefit from the educational fund under his management.
Danielle Joyner is a freelance graphic designer from North Carolina. Her seven years experience in graphic design has an extensive portfolio found on her website.
Danielle holds a B.F.A. in Graphic Design and Communications from the Rocky Mountain College of Art + Design, as well as an A.A.S. in Advertising and Graphic Design. Her clients range from life science and pharmaceutical companies, to automotive and small businesses. She handles LESLIE’S WEEK’s print, digital design, and brand management under the direction of Sandra Gunn.
Danielle joined this passionate team at LESLIE’S WEEK in hopes to find a way to use her talents for good! She has worked for several other nonprofits, but none quite as amazing, moving, and welcoming as LESLIE’S WEEK.
Danielle and Sandra worked to publish the LESLIE’S WEEK book, TERMINAL. Danielle desigend the book cover and supervised the 12 chapter illustrations, 2 of which were her own.
HEATHER ANDERSON, legal ADVISOR, TENNESSEE TEAM
Heather G. Anderson graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Tennessee where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her law degree from the University of Memphis School of Law and while there, received the Dean’s Award for Excellence in Trial Advocacy as well as worked on the Tennessee Journal of Practice & Procedure. Heather was named by both SuperLawyers as a Rising Star and CityView as a Top Attorney in Employment Law, for multiple years. AVVO has rated her as a Top Attorney in Litigation, Employment, Family Law, Construction Law and Real Estate. In 2015 she received the AVVO Clients’ Choice Award in those same fields.
Heather serves as the co-chair of the Fundraising Committee on the Foundation Board for the Sertoma Center, a non-profit which serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Heather's goal is to bring an awareness within the Southeast region about the passionate work of LESLIE'S WEEK, a nonprofit that advocates for Stage 4 Breast Cancer women and their families.
Tennessee Volunteer Coordinator
deborah nichols, aosw
association of oncology workers
Deborah Nichols is involved in the Oncology community at Cancer Centers and at Hospice. She is a Licensed Master of Social Work and a member of the Association of Oncology Social Workers.
She lived with her family in Costa Rica and Uruguay for 12 years return to the United States to live in Tennessee. She has a Masters of Social Work from Southern Baptist Theological Seminary with a BA in Behavioral Science. Program Directing is her focus.
Deborah advocates for LESLIE’S WEEK through Tennessee Volunteer Recruitment, donated entertainment tickets in the local Smoky Mountain venues, and coordination of our extracurricular events for our Stage 4 Breast Cancer Vacations Away from Cancer.