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Our Staff

Laurie Fenton Ambrose

President & CEO
Laurie Fenton Ambrose

Laurie Fenton Ambrose is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Lung Cancer Alliance (LCA) responsible for managing the overall mission and strategic direction of organization.  Hired as LCA’s first President in 2004, Laurie has managed LCA’s relocation, restructuring and realignment from a west coast-based operation to its current headquarters in Washington, DC.  Today, LCA is nationally and internationally recognized as the premier non-profit dedicated solely to patient support and advocacy for those living with or at risk for lung cancer.

Laurie is responsible for overseeing the creation and implementation of LCA’s patient empowerment programs, public health policy agenda and national grassroots and awareness initiatives.  Laurie is also LCA’s primary liaison to community and government leaders, national media, collaborating agencies, health care professionals, and other strategic alliances.

Laurie brings almost two decades of public policy experience to LCA having served in senior management positions in both the legislative and executive branches of government.  Prior to joining LCA, Laurie was tapped to serve as the first Chief of Staff to United States Department of Commerce Secretary Don Evans, where she helped set the strategic and policy direction of the Department in the first years of the Bush Administration. Before serving in the Commerce Department, Laurie worked for 6 years in the United States Senate as Chief of Staff to Senator Jon Kyl (R-AZ).  Prior to her work in the Senate, Laurie served 11 years in the House of Representatives, 6 as Chief of Staff to Congressman Jim Kolbe (R-AZ), and the remaining as Legislative Assistants to Congressman Amo Houghton (R-NY) and Congressman Edward Madigan (R-IL).  Laurie has also served in the private sector as Federal Relations Director for Honeywell.

Laurie is a graduate of The George Washington University and Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government Senior Management in Government Executive Program.  Laurie was inspired to join LCA by her friend and associate Sheila Ross, a two time lung cancer survivor.

   
Sheila Ross

Special Counsel
Sheila Ross

Sheila Ross, special counsel to The Lung Cancer Alliance, was previously the Washington Representative for its forerunner organization, ALCASE. She worked for 20 years on Capitol Hill as chief of staff in both the House and the Senate for Democrats and Republicans. She was a member of First Lady Hillary Clinton's Health Care Task Force in 1993 and 1994. Prior to moving to Washington DC, she was Director of Public Information for the Legislature of the U.S. Virgin Islands. She attended the University of Pennsylvania and is a two time lung cancer survivor.

   
Emily Eyres

Chief Operating Officer
Emily Eyres

Emily Eyres has more than 20 years of fundraising and non-profit management expertise stemming from her work with the world’s largest non-profit environmental organization. She has helped to design, launch and successfully complete several multi-million dollar capital campaigns, as well as lead fundraising, marketing and board development efforts for several state and international programs. Emily was inspired to join the Alliance after experiencing her mother and father-in-law’s courageous battles with lung cancer. She holds a bachelor's degree in Biology from Mary Baldwin College in Staunton, Virginia.

   
Edy Whidden

Chief Administrative Officer
Edythe Whidden

Edythe Whidden joined the staff of LCA as the Director of Administration and Finance in December 2009.  She has more than 30 years of non-profit experience and has worked with three non-profits to implement systems, improve operations and lead them through substantial financial and organizational growth.

She holds a B.S. in Business Administration from Georgetown University.  She lost her brother to lung cancer after a short but courageous battle in April 2009.

   
Kay Cofrancesco

Director of Marketing
Kay Cofrancesco

 Kay Cofrancesco holds a BA in Biology from the University of Delaware.  She joined LCA in November 2004 as Program Specialist and has held many positions within the organization.

Kay is responsible for formulating and overseeing the execution of a comprehensive marketing and communications strategy with the goal of advancing the brand, mission, programs, events and achievements of the organization to targeted constituencies through effective and measurable communications strategies.

   
Maureen Rigney

Director of Community and Support Services
Maureen Rigney

As Director of Community and Support Services, Maureen Rigney oversees LCA's portfolio of support and outreach services. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Maureen has been with LCA since 2005. She received her BS in Psychology from South Dakota University and her Master of Social Work degree from the Jane Addams College of Social Work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Prior to joining LCA, Maureen worked in the field of community mental health, primarily supervising programs designed to help those with serious mental illness in three states and the District of Columbia.

   
Amy Pearson

Director of Medical Outreach
Amy Copeland

Amy Copeland joined LCA in 2007. She is currently Director of Medical Outreach. In this role, she works to expand LCA’s national network of medical institutions serving lung cancer patients, those at risk and their loved ones through collaborative relationships with healthcare professionals. This focus on relationship building, collaboration and coordination will ensure a solid continuum of care from screening through survivorship. Prior to this position, Amy served as Associate Director of Support Services where she assisted with a variety of support programs and materials development to help educate those affected by lung cancer about  research advances. Prior to her arrival at LCA, she spent seven years working in international health, primarily with community-based health and nutrition programs in Latin America. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from The College of William and Mary and a Master of Public Health from The George Washington University.

   
 Kate Abramson

Support Services Manager 
Kate Abramson  

Kate Abramson joined the LCA staff in June 2014 as one of the Managers of Supportive Services.  Her primary focus on the supportive services team is managing the lung cancer support groups across the US.  She also assists with answering the helpline at LCA while supporting other endeavors on the team. Prior to working at LCA, she worked as a licensed social worker in Washington DC in the field of community mental health.  She received her bachelor degrees in Social Work and Political Science from Syracuse University and her Master of Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. 

   
Tara Perloff

Support Services Manager 
Tara Perloff

Tara joined the LCA staff in May of 2012 from the Philadelphia area. As the Manager of Support Services, she is primarily working with the Phone Buddy Program.  She holds a BS in Health Science from Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Tara has had numerous internships in the health care sphere and has been an active volunteer in various hospital settings, including ambulatory clinics and a hospice facility in the Philadelphia area. She is very excited to be a part of the LCA team and living in DC!

   
 Gabby Geier Communications Manager 

Gabby Geier 

Gabby Geier joined the LCA staff in June 2013 as the Communications Manager. She works closely with the Director of Marketing to develop and execute social media tactics. Gabby is responsible for creating and managing content, expanding the online community and fostering engagement on LCA’s social media channels. She also assists in the implementation of communications and marketing projects. Prior to joining the staff she worked for MATTER, Inc., the Sports and Entertainment Marketing division of Edelman PR, in New York City. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Trinity College, CT.

  

 Chris Davis

 

Media Relations Manager 
Chris Davis  

Chris Davis joined LCA in September 2014 as the Media Relations Manager. He is a member of the communications team working closely with the Director of Marketing to develop and execute impactful media relations efforts for programs, events and other initiatives. Before joining LCA, he worked at several public relations firms in the Washington, DC area. Christopher is a graduate of Duke University and holds a B.A. in History. 

   
 Lanni Boyd

 

Senior Manager of Events and Volunteers 
Lanni Boyd 

Lanni Boyd joined the staff in the summer of 2011 from Fort Worth, TX. She is currently our Manager of Annual Giving and Special Events, where she works closely with event organizers on fundraising events around the country, including Team Lung Love. Lanni studied Biology and Social Work at Texas Christian University and upon graduation stayed in Fort Worth and worked for a nationally known homeless shelter coordinating volunteers and engaging donors. She is working toward her Masters in Global Public Health at GWU and enjoys living in Virginia with her husband and two labs.

 

   

 

Volunteer and Events Coordinator
Kristen McAvoy 

Kristen McAvoy holds a BA in Journalism and Mass Communication and Political Science from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and joined the LCA staff in May 2013. As the Events and Volunteers Coordinator she helps to coordinate and execute LCA’s portfolio of fundraising and awareness events including Shine a Light on Lung Cancer, Team Lung Love and Lung Love Run/Walks. She also assists in supporting the advancement of the lung cancer community through mobile, fundraising and sponsorship platforms, and digital marketing and social media communications strategies. Outside of work Kristen enjoys traveling and water skiing. 

   
 Kenny Palmer

 

Health Policy Coordinator 
Kenny Palmer 

Kenny Palmer joined LCA in April, 2014 as our Health Policy Coordinator. Kenny is from South Carolina and graduated from Furman University in May 2013 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and History. Prior to joining LCA, Kenny completed multiple internships with the U.S. House of Representatives and spent time as the Policy Assistant with AIDS United.

 

 

   

 


Outreach and Support Coordinator 
Lili Kiefer 

Lili Kiefer has joined Lung Cancer Alliance as the Outreach and Support Coordinator. Before coming to LCA, Lili worked at Goodwill of Greater Washington, where she assisted in recruiting DC residents who were financially disadvantaged or disabled into the Marriott Marquis Jobs Training Program.  Lili also held an internship as a communications intern at the W.G. Bill Hefener Veterans Affairs Medical Center, where she assisted veterans specifically with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). In the future Lili would like to build on her Communication Arts degree from Catawba College in Salisbury, North Carolina with a Masters in either health promotion or global health. Before settling in DC, Lili lived in several countries including France, Germany, Switzerland and the UK.

 

   
 Rachel Bartolo  

Development and Operations Assistant   
Rachel Bartolo 

Rachel Bartolo is our Development & Operations Assistant, taking a seat at our front desk and greeting everyone who comes into the office with that great smile! She is new to D.C. from Michigan. Before starting at LCA, Rachel attended the University of Michigan and, while there, held a variety of internships with health and community development organizations.

 

 

 

 

Administrative Assistant