Board of Directors and Staff

Our Foundation

BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Board Chair
Jill Noack

Principal: Noack Retail Group

After serving for two years as Merchandise Director for Hope Chest, I had the opportunity to engage in the day to day operations at the HC corporate offices and retail stores. From the top down, the energy, enthusiasm and effort that results in support to those battling breast cancer in Minnesota was all the inspiration I needed to commit to the organization indefinitely.

Vice Chair, Treasurer
Anne Schoolcraft

Chief Executive Guru: a COUPLE of GURUS

I love the mission of the Hope Chest because it fills such a unique and important niche: serving the practical needs of our neighbors with breast cancer. It’s a way to do tangible good in our community. I also love the entrepreneurial way the Hope Chest raises funds, giving people a variety of ways to contribute, and building sustainability.

Board Secretary
Shannon McDonough

Shareholder and Head of Law Firm’s Employment and Litigation Groups - Fafinski Mark & Johnson

I first became involved with Hope Chest as pro bono employment counsel in 2014. I was motivated to continue my involvement as my Mom is a breast cancer survivor. I was a first-hand witness to the incredible challenges cancer patients and their families face throughout the entire journey. Hope Chest is there to help by alleviating financial strains and providing basic but important daily needs. I am incredibly proud to be a part of the Board to further this mission.

Founder Visionary
Barbara Hensley

Hope Chest for Breast Cancer

I was motivated by my two sisters’ fight-against and loss-to breast cancer. My dedication to the work of the Hope Chest has increased with every breast cancer story I have heard, every family I have met, every shopper in the store, every donor of merchandise and money. The need is great and I am honored to be part of the solution.

Board Member
Lindsey Hagan

VP Integrated Health Business Unit at Medibio Limited

Working in healthcare I have been amazed at the pace of innovation and improvements in care. I have also seen the cost limit access to that care and feel that we can do more to lessen this burden. Nobody should go bankrupt or loose their home to pay for healthcare. I was inspired by Barbara's mission to provide impactful grants that cover the costs that insurance does not. I believe that Hope Chest provides a high value and low cost model to ease the burden of cost. I am looking forward to working with the talented board at Hope Chest.

Board Member
Camille Hepola

Communications Manager: City of Brooklyn Park

Cancer, unfortunately, has affected Camille’s life. She lost her mother to cancer and she has seen the affects breast cancer has had on close family and friends. Using her strengths and expertise in marketing and communications, Camille felt a need to give back to her community and to an organization that is truly saving families from having to deal with the financial hardship that often time comes with battling this life-threatening disease.

Board Member
Callie Briese

Director of External Affairs: Thrivent

Callie has been a long-time supporter of Hope Chest for Breast Cancer and is thrilled to be part of the board, using her strategic communications experience to make a difference in the lives of those experiencing and being impacted by breast cancer. After seeing the financial implications of breast cancer firsthand, Callie believes that financial support allows patients to focus on their physical and emotional journey of healing. Callie’s life has been impacted by breast cancer as her mother battled the disease twice; first in 2004, and again when diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer in 2018.

Board Member
Elizabeth Grabek

VP of Strategy: Space 150

Like so many of us, Elizabeth and her family have been impacted by cancer, so being a part of Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation is incredibly meaningful to her. She has seen first hand the challenges that even people with seemingly ample resources and support can face. Elizabeth has 15 years of brand building experience with much of that time spent on some of the worlds most beloved brands. She has lead strategy and insights teams at some of the largest agencies like Olson and Carlson Marketing and have helped companies like General Mills, United Health Care, BISSEL, Target, P&G and P.F. Chang’s reinvent their brands and galvanize their workforces.

Medical Advisor
Anne Blaes

Director U of M Masonic Cancer Center

Dr. Anne Blaes offers phenomenal expertise as the Medical Director Board Member for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation, by providing valuable insight and knowledge of the latest research and treatment methods regarding breast cancer. Dr. Blaes graduated from the University of Notre Dame and then received her M.D. degree from Loyola University Chicago, Stritch School of Medicine. She performed her residency at the University of Minnesota, where she was named the Resident Teacher of the Year and received the Gold Foundation Humanism and Excellence in Teaching Award for her outstanding contributions as a resident role model. She served as Chief Resident in Internal Medicine and then subsequently completed a Hematology and Oncology fellowship and a Master of Science in Clinical Research degree at the University of Minnesota, prior to joining the faculty. She is an active medical oncologist with a special interest in the late effects of cancer therapy. She is the Chair for the American Society of Clinical Oncology’s Cancer Survivorship Committee, a member of the Executive Board for the Global Cardiooncology Society, and an active member of the ALLIANCE for Cancer Clinical Trials.

Staff
Jamie Flaws

Executive Director, Jamie Flaws, a former media executive, enjoys solving intractable problems, advancing missions and teams while fostering big-picture ideation that strengthens strategy and improves execution. She has spent over 20 years leading and advising hundreds of for-profit and not-for-profit companies helping them to grow, scale, turn around and transform their business.  Feeding a passion to better support organizations in the community of Minnesota, she now applies her skills to increase the impact of nonprofits and companies committed to doing good – especially Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation.  Having lost her Aunt to breast cancer, Jamie is steadfast in her focus to grow Hope Chest so that we can have a deep and lasting positive impact on Minnesota breast cancer patients.  Jamie can be contacted at jflaws@hopechest.com.

Danielle Van Peursem

Marketing Manager, Danielle Van Peursem offers non-profit marketing and communications experience from working with Community Health Centers and the Edith Sanford Breast Cancer Foundation. Her role as Marketing Manager for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation ignites those areas of expertise through event fundraisers, fostering relationships, as well as developing and executing marketing strategies. Danielle is passionate about helping breast cancer patients, so they are not burdened by everyday expenses when battling for their lives. Danielle lost her Aunt Denise to breast cancer in 2007 and understands how important a support system, like Hope Chest is when fighting breast cancer. Danielle can be contacted at dvanpeursem@hopechest.com.

Nancy Benedict

Nancy Benedict provides unique insight as the Patient Grants Administrator and Office Manager for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer. She has been deeply involved with the organization for over 14 years. She spent a year as Interim Executive Director and served 4 years on the Board of Directors. The past two as Chair. She is thrilled to now be on staff and excited by the dynamic vision and assertive growth plans for the organization. She is looking forward to working directly with breast cancer patients on receiving grant assistance. Personally, Nancy’s life has been greatly impacted by cancer. She is so thankful that her family had the financial capacity to handle the medical and personal costs of cancer. Now she is helping directly ease those financial burdens of others not as blessed. Nancy can be contacted at nbenedict@hopechest.com.

Michelle Nayar

Michelle Nayar is the finance expert for Hope Chest for Breast Cancer Foundation. Her past experience includes roles in public accounting as well as finance and accounting positions at for-profit and non-profit organizations. Like many others, Michelle’s family and a few of her good friends have been touched by breast cancer. The financial burdens can be immense when going through treatment, so she is inspired by the mission of this organization to help people when they need it the most. Michelle can be contacted at mnayar@hopechest.com.

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