Meet the Board

Would you like to join our board? Let’s talk!

Jodie Shagrin Kavensky, Founder/CEO

Jodie is the second child and oldest daughter of Norma Yecies Shagrin. Her first volunteer job was as a candy striper in a local hospital at age 13. After receiving her BA in Journalism/PR from The Ohio State University and her MA in Advertising from Northwestern University, she spent seven years working in advertising in Chicago where her clients included the Mayo Clinic Health Letter and Michael Reese Hospital among others. When she married, she moved to Rock Island, Illinois where she became a marketing consultant and volunteer in the non-profit sector — primarily for health and arts organizations, including a start-up mail order pharmacy. She is currently a board member on the Illinois Arts Council and is a sustaining member of Junior League of the Quad Cities. She also serves on the Rock Island Mayor’s Arts Commission.

Jane Fleming, Vice Chair

Jane Fleming has survived ovarian cancer twice and is on a mission to save other women’s lives from this disease (and see her grandbabies grow up). She received her BS in Speech and Hearing Science from the University of Iowa and retired in 2014 from her position as a medical scheduler for the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics after her second bout with the disease. Jane leads the Survivors Teaching Students program at the University of Iowa Medical School and has been instrumental in starting a gynecologic cancer support group in Iowa City. She also serves as a volunteer liaison on many oncology projects at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. Helping other women live a better quality of life when faced with this disease is a driving force in her efforts.

Kimberly Shagrin Buckley, Treasurer

Kimberly is Norma’s third child and youngest daughter. She received her BA in Sociology/Criminology from The Ohio State University. Her career has included jobs as a Student Loan Specialist at Bank One Corporation and as a Sales Assistant for PaineWebber and Shearson Lehman/Saloman Smith Barney. She currently works as Collections Manager at MVI HomeCare and Hospice Care in Youngstown, Ohio. She has volunteered for many years at Heritage Manor Jewish Home for the Aged and for the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life. She is also member of the Board of Trustees at Congregation Rodef Sholom.

Deborah Hantman Briggs

Deborah is Leah’s only daughter and understands the importance of self-awareness and advocating for our needs. She received her MA in Organizational Psychology from Teachers College of Columbia University. Her current endeavor is as a Certified Sage-ing Leader, a spiritual practice that harvests the wisdom of our lives, transmits it as a legacy to future generations and gives back through service. Deborah has worked with business start-ups, arts organizations and as a college professor. She has two children, a son and a daughter who were very young when their grandmother died from ovarian cancer.

Gary Rowe

Gary is the fortunate husband of a 20+ year ovarian cancer survivor and is dedicated to educating others about this disease. Gary received his BS in Journalism from the University of Illinois and his MA in Journalism from the University of Iowa. He also holds a Certified Fund Raising Executive Accreditation from CRFE International. Throughout his career, Gary has served in directing and development capacities for organizations such as Western Illinois University, Bethany for Families and Children, Mississippi Valley Girl Scout Council, Visiting Nurse & Homemaker Association of Rock Island County, Illowa Health Systems Agency, Cleaveland Insurance, Modern Woodmen and United Way of the Quad Cities Area. Gary has held numerous board positions on a variety of community organizations. He brings a tremendous amount of non-profit experience and a depth of understanding of the disease to our board.

Anna Kyer

Anna received her Bachelor of Business in Accountancy and Master of Accountancy from Western Illinois Univeristy. As a Certified Public Accountant, she is a member of the American Insitute of Certified Public Accountants and the Illinois CPA Society. She is an Audit Senior Manager at RSM US LLP in Davenport, Iowa. For the past few years, Anna has been a steadfast supporter of her mother who is undergoing ovarian cancer treatment. She is dedicated to sparing other women what she is witnessing with her mother. With three young children at home, Anna keeps very busy.

Matt Tahja

Matt Tahja unexpectedly became a caregiver for his wife and three children when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2018 at the age of 37. He studied communications and psychology at University of Minnesota Duluth before becoming a financial planner and franchise business owner. After his wife’s recovery, Matt decided to take a different path in life and now works at the Rock Island Arsenal. Passionate about educating women about this disease and supporting women and families impacted by ovarian cancer, Matt’s “can-do” attitude is a breath of fresh air.

Hannah Strickler

Hana Strickler joined our board in 2019. Her mother died of ovarian cancer when Hana was a young girl. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts from Cornell College, she earned a Master of Accounting at St. Ambrose University. Hana has worked at several financial organizations and is currently the Controller at Grace Technologies. As a mentor and mentee in Lead(h)er QC, she brings a fresh enthusiasm for rallying the community around important issues. She is a vigilant advocate for her ovarian health and that of her two daughters.

Advisory Board:

Elizabeth Eagle is an attorney at the law firm of Eagle & Eagle in Rock Island, Illinois.

Dr. Randall Oyer is Program Director for the Lancaster General Health Oncology Program and directs the Cancer Risk Evaluation Program at Lancaster General Health. Additionally, Dr. Oyer sees patients at Hematology/Oncology Physicians of Lancaster, PA. He is board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology.