Cancer Connection Board of Directors
Are you interested in joining our Board of Directors?
An application to join our Board of Directors can be found HERE.
Saskia Coté, D.C.Ed
Saskia is the Founder and owner of Bottom-Line Bodywork, LLC. specializing in employee wellness through massage programs at work. Even though she did not grow up in the area, she has numerous friends and family members affected by cancer, and feels strongly about the programs Cancer Connection offers to patients as well as their caregivers. She has been a practitioner and teacher in the Holistic Health field for the past 27 years, and is honored to be a part of the organization.
Becky Jones (President)
of Northampton has a private counseling practice and is also a writer who leads bereavement writing groups. She served for 18 years as a chaplain at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. She is a breast cancer survivor and has been both participant in and leader of Cancer Connection activities and groups over the years.
Douglas Loux (Secretary)
of Florence served as the area systems coordinator for the Social Security Administration in Holyoke for 14 years. He was a board member and then chair of the River Valley Counseling Center for 27 years, and is currently chair of the Board of Directors of the Florence Congregational Church and treasurer of the Friends of Lilly Library.
Susan Lowery, M.D. (Vice President)
Dr. Lowery practiced primary care medicine in the Pioneer Valley since 1991, and co-owned a busy practice in Amherst. She has been involved in several non-profits addressing issues of food insecurity, poverty, early literacy and supporting at risk families in order to build stronger communities. She brings that passion to Cancer Connection as the organization grows to meet ever-increasing demands within The Valley.
Peter is a Commercial Lines Account Executive at Webber and Grinnell Insurance in Northampton. He is a native of Northampton, having grown up in a family business on Main Street and is now raising his two children here along with his wife. Cancer has impacted many people in Peter’s life and has had a profound impact on him. He believes in the mission of Cancer Connection to provide a wide variety of services and as a resource to those impacted by cancer which inspired Peter’s involvement in the organization.
Brandon O'Donnell (Treasurer)
Brandon is a Certified Public Accountant providing tax, accounting, and consulting services to local businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals in western Massachusetts and northern Connecticut. He was moved to learn of the resources and support Cancer Connection provides to our local community. Having family and friends impacted by cancer, he wanted to get involved and is excited to be a part of the Organization. Brandon resides in Easthampton with his wife, Shira.
Lisa M. Sihvonen-Binder, MS NMP
Lisa has worked as a nonprofit consultant since 2008, specializing in grants, development plans, and communications. Her nonprofit clients include agencies that provide services in: adult literacy, animal welfare, arts and culture, economic development, education, employment training, health and human services, higher education, independent living, veterans services, youth development, and more. Sihvonen-Binder holds a Master of Science in Nonprofit Management and Philanthropy with a Graduate Fundraising Management Certificate, and a Bachelor of Arts in Writing with a Communications minor. Prior to becoming a consultant, she worked for over 17 years in the fields of publications and program management in both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. In addition to joining the Cancer Connection board, she has been a board member of the Grant Professionals Foundation since 2016. Lisa is also an adjunct faculty member for Bay Path University, teaching the Grantwriting for Corporations and Foundations graduate level course, and a comprehensive editor of nonprofit management and fundraising books for CharityChannel Press.
No compensation is given to members of the Cancer Connection
Board of Directors for their services.
Lindsay Rockwell, D. O.
Medical Oncologist and Hematologist
lives in Northampton and practices at Cooley Dickinson Hospital. She completed her fellowship and residency at Tufts University and Baystate Medical Center
Kristen Elechko, Interim Executive Director
Kristen joined Cancer Connection in September 2016 as Interim Executive Director. Kristen brings experience in nonprofit management from Women's eNews and Imagine Philanthropy. She honed her leadership skills as an athlete and graduated from the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts Leadership Institute for Political and Public Impact (LIPPI). She later served as the Interim Director for LIPPI. Kristen has previously volunteered for Cancer Connection's WMass Mother's Day Half Marathon and also served as a befriending volunteer in our center.
The Executive Committee works closely with the Executive Director by collaborating on vision and strategy. The committee conducts the business of the Board in the interim between Board meetings; participates in decision-making or signatory responsibilities as governors of the Board; is responsible for developing and initiating the hiring process for an Executive Director, including salary and benefits negotiations; conducts the Executive Director’s annual performance appraisal; is responsible for executive and key management succession planning; and establishes the Board meeting agenda.
A strong nonprofit requires constant oversight of its finances. This committee creates the annual budget and presents it to the Board of Directors for adoption; monitors Cancer Connection’s financial condition; presents monthly financial reports to the Board of Directors; establishes policies for gifts or other endowed moneys; recommends appropriate investment of gifts or endowments; and ensures that all financial reviews and audits that are required by statute or by any outside agency are performed in a timely manner.
The Governance committee is responsible for the health and functioning of the Board. It recruits and nominates new members, conducts orientation, produces board materials, and evaluates the performance of the Board itself.
Human Resources Committee
The Human Resources Committee is responsible for creating fair, reasonable, and competitive human resource policies and practices that are consistent with the mission of Cancer Connection and with local, state and federal laws.
Board members also serve on additional committees that welcome and encourage community participation. Descriptions of these committees can be found on our volunteer page.
Are you interested in joining a Committee? An application to join a committee can be found HERE.