Below is the speaker listing from 2020. Speaker bio's will be updated in 2021 as they become available.
Allison Arnett, MS, RD, CD-N
Allison Arnett is a dietitian specializing in chronic disease prevention and food system resilience. Allison has worked with numerous organizations to create, direct and consult on wellness programs and initiatives. She promotes manageable and sustainable solutions for improved health outcomes and encourages a shift toward healthier habits, sustainable foods and positive health outcomes.
Allison graduated from New York University with a Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition and completed her dietetic internship at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, The University Hospitals of Cornell and Columbia. Allison has held positions in oncology for St. Vincent’s Medical Center and Dana Farber Cancer Center. She has also worked in corporate wellness, university dining and weight management. Allison also enjoys working as an adjunct instructor supporting the growth of aspiring students. As a mother of three young children, Allison shares her passion for wellness with her family through her love for cooking, activity, learning and adventure.
Alan Astrow, MD, FACP
Alan Astrow is Chief of the Division of Hematology/Medical Oncology at New York–Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital, where he focuses on the care and medical treatment of breast and gynecological cancers. He is also Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medical College.
Dr. Astrow has a long-standing interest in improving communication between doctor and patient. At NY–PBMH he is working with the medical center leadership to develop a clinical cancer center in collaboration with Weill Cornell Medicine and to make available the full range of Weill Cornell cancer program clinical trials.
A Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Yale University, Dr. Astrow obtained his MD from the Yale School of Medicine. He did his internal residency at Boston City Hospital and his fellowship in hematology and medical oncology at NYU Medical Center.
Dr. Astrow has received several awards and is included in New York Magazine’s list of Best Doctors in New York and the Castle Connolly Guide to Top Doctors New York Metro Region. He serves the editorial advisory board for the Art of Oncology section of the Journal of Clinical Oncology and on the advisory board for the annual Conference on Medicine and Religion.
Rachel Becker, LMSW
Rachel Becker is Senior Director of Programs of Cancer and Careers. Rachel’s responsibilities include oversight of Cancer and Careers’ 14 accredited webinars. She also provides direct support and referrals to CAC’s diverse audiences; co-manages the travel scholarship program for the National Conference on Work & Cancer; and works to ensure all programs meet the continuing education accreditation standards of various state and national accrediting bodies. Additionally, Rachel regularly presents on topics related to cancer and work at community-based events and cancer conferences around the country.
Before joining Cancer and Careers, Rachel was Head of Client Services at CarePlanners (co-founded by Dr. Nancy Snyderman), where she designed and implemented a technology-based infrastructure for delivering and monitoring support services. Prior to that, she completed a fellowship in psycho oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, and worked in a clinical capacity at the Jewish Child Care Association and New York Methodist Hospital.
Rachel holds a BA from Rutgers University and graduated summa cum laude with an MSW from NYU’s Silver School of Social Work. She is a member of NASW, AOSW, and a proud recipient of the Zelda Foster Fellowship in Palliative and End-of-Life Care.
Victoria Blinder, MD, MSc
Victoria Blinder, MD, MSc, is a board-certified medical oncologist, dedicated to the treatment of patients with breast cancer at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City. Her research focuses on employment disparities during and after treatment for breast cancer, as well as the financial and quality-of-life sequelae of these disparities. Dr. Blinder has conducted qualitative and quantitative research on barriers to return to work among ethnically and socioeconomically diverse breast cancer survivors in NYC and California. She is the principal investigator of Breast Cancer and the Workforce, a large multi-center, prospective, longitudinal study of disparities in employment outcomes among African-American, Chinese, Korean, Latina, and non-Latina white NYC breast cancer survivors, funded by the American Cancer Society. Preliminary data from the nearly completed study led to the development of an NCI-funded intervention, currently in pilot testing, to improve job retention.
Dr. Blinder also serves the larger oncology community through committee work with the American Society of Clinical Oncology and the Alliance for Clinical Trials in Oncology. In addition, she has partnered with other nonprofit and business groups to develop a free, publicly available, employer-targeted intervention to help supervisors in corporations accommodate employees who are cancer survivors (http://workplacetransitions.org/).
Sage Bolte, PhD, LCSW, OSW-C, CST
Sage Bolte serves as Chief Philanthropy Officer and President of the Inova Health Foundation. She joined Inova 15 years ago as an oncology counselor and most recently served as Executive Director of Life with Cancer and Patient Experience for the Inova Schar Cancer Institute. She is known nationally for her work in sexual health and cancer and is respected as a leader in the field of oncology social work. Sage received her bachelor’s degree in both psychology and social work at Hope College, in Holland, MI, and later continued her studies at the University of Michigan, where she received her master’s degree in social work. She received the American Cancer Society’s Doctoral Training Grant in 2008 and obtained her PhD in social work from The National School of Social Services at the Catholic University of America in 2010.
Joanna L. Fawzy Morales, Esq.
Joanna Morales is a cancer rights attorney and CEO of Triage Cancer, a national, nonprofit organization providing education on practical and legal issues that may impact individuals coping with cancer and their caregivers, through events, materials, and resources.
Joanna has spent 25 years working on behalf of individuals with cancer, including as an adjunct law professor at Loyola Law School, and at the John Wayne Cancer Institute’s Psychosocial Care Program.
Joanna has presented hundreds of seminars on employment, insurance, financial, and advocacy issues. She has also served on numerous cancer community boards, including as Chair of the American Cancer Society’s California Division Board.
She co-authored a book titled Cancer Rights Law for the American Bar Association. In 2017, she wrote a book chapter, “Preventing or Minimizing Financial Toxicity Across the Continuum of Cancer Care,” for the Oncology Nursing Society. She also contributed to a book entitled Work and Cancer Survivors and has been published in a variety of other publications, such as Psycho-Oncology and Coping with Cancer.
Joanna has received numerous awards and recognition for her service to the cancer community. In 2010, she was also recognized by the Los Angeles Daily Journal as one of the Top 20 Attorneys in California Under the Age of 40.
Maya Feller, MS, RD, CDN
Maya Feller, of Brooklyn-based Maya Feller Nutrition, is a registered dietitian nutritionist who works with patients to provide medical nutrition therapy for diet-related chronic illnesses. Maya received her Master of Science degree in clinical nutrition at New York University and completed her clinical rotations at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She is also an adjunct faculty member at NYU. When working one-on-one and with groups, Maya believes in meeting the whole person where they are and using a patient-centered, culturally sensitive approach to effect agency and enable each client to meet his/her unique nutrition-related goals. Maya is dedicated to promoting nutrition education that helps the public to make informed food choices that support health and longevity. Maya shares her approachable, real-food based solutions to millions of people through regular speaking engagements, writing in local and national publications, via her social media accounts @mayafellerRD, and as a national nutrition expert on Good Morning America, Strahan, Sara & Keke and more. She is the author of The Southern Comfort Food Diabetes Cookbook: Over 100 Recipes for a Healthy Life.
Jenny B. Fine
Jenny B. Fine has been Executive Editor, Beauty, for WWD since November 2017. She joined the company in November 2001 as Editor-in-Chief of Beauty Inc. Prior to joining Beauty Inc, Jenny was Editor of Luckymag.com, where she was responsible for overseeing its launch and editorial content. She was previously Director of iVillage.com’s Beauty Channel and Beauty Director at SELF. She began her career in magazine publishing at Fairchild, where she served as Senior Associate Editor of Salon News and Beauty News Editor of Women’s Wear. A native of Louisville, KY, Jenny received a BA in art history and an MA in journalism from New York University.
Kathy M. Flora, MA, NCCC, MCC
Kathy Flora is a nationally certified career counselor, master certified coach, and author who is actively pursuing her life’s passion, helping others find and fulfill theirs. Known as a positive change agent, she has assisted hundreds of individuals understand and capitalize on their strengths while working through life and career transitions.
No stranger to transitions herself, her experience spans more than 25 years in executive management and leadership, career development, and consulting in private firms, universities and federal agencies. She was a three-term elected State Representative in New Hampshire, managed HR programs for the Congressional Research Service of the Library of Congress as well as leadership training for the Defense Intelligence Agency before retiring from public service in 2015. Her most recent experience as a caregiver for her mom led her to publish the internationally best-selling memoir Walking My Momma Home, chronicling their journey through her mom’s dementia.
A joyful cancer survivor of 15 years, Kathy is a longtime volunteer for Cancer and Careers as a career coach, speaker and webinar facilitator, a role she highly cherishes among all others.
Katy Fung, MS, RD, CDN, CSO
Katy Fung is the Outpatient Oncology Dietitian for Sodexo at New York–Presbyterian Queens. She developed a love for food early in life, when her parents taught her how to prepare meals using ingredients from their garden. Some of her fondest memories involve cooking dishes like pork and chive dumplings. As a dietitian, Katy primarily works with cancer patients to help ease the treatment’s side effects. When not seeing patients, Katy enjoys educating the local community with presentations and food lectures on cancer prevention and survivorship. Often, you will find Katy exploring New York City’s concrete jungle in search of the next best food. She earned her MS in clinical nutrition from NYU and her BA in dietetics from CUNY, Queens College.
Wade Iwata, LICSW, OSW-C
Wade Iwata is currently the neuro-oncology social worker at Seattle Children’s Hospital. He has spent his entire career working in oncology, focusing the majority of his work on supporting pediatric and AYA patients and their families. Wade has worked with all cancer diagnoses and has partnered in the past with a variety of different organization to provide support and connection within the cancer community. Wade received his bachelor’s degree in human development from Eckerd College, in St. Petersburg, FL, and his master’s in social work from New York University. Wade received the Association of Pediatric Oncology Social Workers Outstanding Leadership/Social Worker of the Year award in 2020.
Julie Jansen — author, executive and career coach, motivational speaker, and resume and LinkedIn-profile writer — empowers professionals to find success, satisfaction and fulfillment at work. She works with clients of every age and across all functions and industries to develop and enhance skills and competencies.
A fully revised, third edition of her book I Don’t Know What I Want, But I Know It’s Not This: A Step-by-Step Guide to Finding Gratifying Work was published by Penguin in 2016. The book has also been published in the U.K., Germany, Austria, Romania, the Czech Republic and Indonesia.
Julie is the author of You Want Me to Work With Who? Eleven Keys to a Stress-Free, Satisfying and Successful Work Life…No Matter Who You Work With as well as of a workplace coach e-booklet series.
She is consistently interviewed on TV and radio and quoted in numerous national publications as a career and workplace expert.
Julie Larson, LCSW
Julie Larson is a licensed clinical social worker who has spent her career working in oncology supportive care. She has a vibrant private practice working primarily with individuals under the age of 40 facing an unexpected medical diagnosis. Julie is a frequent speaker-educator to both survivor and professional audiences on the impact of a serious illness at a young age and the innate capacity to live fully after a cancer diagnosis.
Working alongside her clients and audiences, Julie helps people learn to identify inherent strengths and cultivate additional resilient behaviors to build confidence in the ability to navigate hardship. Her clinical work has led her to be a trusted advisor to many advocate organizations on strategies to improve and grow their young adult programming and she has been a featured contributor for many online and print publications.
Rebecca V. Nellis, MPP
Rebecca Nellis is the Executive Director of Cancer and Careers. Since 2004 she has helped evolve the organization from early concept to national prominence. Rebecca oversees CAC’s programming and fundraising strategies to ensure long-term growth and sustainability. Under her leadership, the organization’s services transform the everyday lives of survivors while promoting lasting, systemic change for tomorrow’s workplace.
Featured in The Washington Post, Philadelphia Inquirer, Women’s Health and on the TODAY show, Rebecca is a subject-matter expert on cancer–workplace issues. She travels the country presenting at national conferences, leading hospitals and community events about the intersection of life, work and cancer. She has been an invited speaker for the American Public Health Association, the Association of Oncology Social Workers, the National Business Group on Health and South by Southwest Conference, among others.
Over the years, Rebecca has launched many of Cancer and Careers’ breakthrough programs and services, including the National and Regional Conferences on Work & Cancer, accredited Educational Series for Healthcare Professionals and library of Spanish-language resources. As an active member of the cancer community, she has served on numerous committees and working groups. Currently, she is on the steering committees for Workplace Transitions for People Touched by Cancer and Breast Cancer: A Story Half Told — Supporting Workplace Conversations, and the advisory committees for “Work Ability in Young Adult Cancer Survivors (WAYS): A Mixed-Methods Study,” at Wake Forest University, and “Women at Work: Multi-Ethnic Comparison of Cancer Survivors with Low-Status Jobs,” at University of South Florida.
Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Georgetown University. Her graduate thesis was entitled “Implications of Cancer Survivorship on Financial Assets, Work Productivity and Employment Circumstances.”
Ruth Oratz, MD, FACP
Ruth Oratz is Professor of Clinical Medicine at NYU School of Medicine/NYU Langone Health, where she practices and teaches. She is a medical oncologist specializing in the care of people with and at risk for breast cancer. She is especially committed to helping the individual with cancer continue to live life actively and fully, placing significant attention on flexible treatment programs and those that address concerns about career, family life, relationships and sexuality. Her teaching focuses on the art of medicine, bringing humanities to the sciences. Dr. Oratz is President of the Advisory Board of The Bellevue Literary Review, a journal published by the Department of Medicine at NYU, committed to cultivating the humanistic side of medical practice.
Dr. Oratz is also an advisor to several national advocacy organizations, including breastcancer.org, Living Beyond Breast Cancer, CancerCare, Young Survival Coalition, Moving For Life and Sharsheret. She served as Chair of the Medical Advisory Board of Susan G. Komen, Greater NYC, and on the National Board of the YWCA, USA. She was named “Physician of the Year” by CancerCare and has been recognized in “The Best Doctors in America” and “The Best Doctors in NYC.” Dr. Oratz is active both locally and nationally as a speaker and healthcare educator, appearing on television and radio and lecturing to the public.
Ali Schaffer, LCSW
Ali Schaffer, LCSW is an expert re-framer, dot-connector and noticer. She has a private counseling practice in Nashville, TN, and provides individual and group therapy for adults navigating life transitions, coping with health challenges and desiring to live more fully. Since 2003, Ali has worked directly with people impacted by cancer across the cancer care continuum in various clinical settings. Prior to starting her private practice, Ali was a faculty member and clinician with the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center (VICC) psycho-oncology team and the Manager of Patient and Family-Centered Care. Additional clinical social work experience includes working with at-risk youth and their families at an outdoor wilderness program and a residential psychiatric hospital.
In life and in her work, Ali is deeply influenced by nature and incorporates inspiration from the natural world along with her super power of noticing to help people make sense of their world and create meaningful change to build a life they love. She is a dynamic national speaker and contributes content for articles, online blogs, and webinars on a variety of health and wellness topics.