Below are the speakers presenting at the 2020 West Coast Conference on Work & Cancer.
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.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.
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 17 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.
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.
Joanna F. Morales, Esq.
Joanna Morales is a cancer rights attorney and CEO of Triage Cancer, a national, nonprofit organization providing free education on practical and legal issues that may impact individuals diagnosed 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 nearly 1,000 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.
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.”