Board of Directors
Jill is a physician who has been practicing internal medicine at WestMed, in her hometown of New Rochelle since 2016. For 18 years, she worked in private practice on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, and was on the staff of Mount Sinai Medical Center. Jill currently has privileges at Greenwich Hospital in Greenwich, CT. After graduating with a degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, she earned her medical degree from Albany Medical College in 1993. Jill completed her internship and residency in Internal Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in 1996. She spent an additional year of training serving in the position of Chief Resident of her program.
Jill became involved with the Band of Parents after her youngest son, Andrew, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in May 2010 at the age of 3 1/2. Andrew was treated at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, but relapsed in 2012. He was blessed to receive Hu3f8 and the neuroblastoma vaccine. Because of this treatment regimen, Andrew is currently NED (no evidence of disease) and has been able to resume a normal life. Jill looks forward to the day that a cure is found for neuroblastoma and all of the children who fight this dreadful disease will be saved. Jill’s husband Bruce is an oncologic radiologist and the medical director of an outpatient radiology center affiliated with Montefiore Medical Center. They have three sons, Lucas, Ethan and Andrew.
Marc is the founder of Oxis Capital, a middle market financial advisory firm and has been an active investor, entrepreneur and financial advisor for over 20 years. Prior to Oxis, Marc was a co-founder of Triangle Capital, a boutique investment bank and a director in the technology investment banking group of Prudential Volpe, where he was responsible for developing the next generation telecommunications investment banking practice. Prior to Prudential, he was a Vice President at Advantage Capital Partners, a $750 million private equity fund where he held board and executive positions at seven portfolio companies and had primary responsibility for troubled portfolio company management. Marc was also a founder and president of a successful retail business in Florida and worked in the investment banking departments of Kidder Peabody and Salomon Smith Barney
In addition to the Band of Parents, Marc is a Vice President on the Board of Directors of Kehila Kedosha Janina Synagogue and Museum, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving Romaniote culture. Marc has an MS and BS in Nuclear Engineering and Engineering Physics from the University of Wisconsin Madison. He is married to Susan and has three children, Talia, Jackson and Kaitlyn. Talia was diagnosed with neuroblastoma on February 14, 2007 and after 7 years of fighting, she lost her battle on July 16th, 2013. Marc is the co-host of the annual Play Like a Pro Charity Hockey game at Madison Square Garden benefiting the Band of Parents and the Garden of Dreams and has been featured on CNBC and New York 1 for his philanthropic work.
Jenn is a Chief People Officer in the technology sector and oversees Human Resources, Talent Acquisition, Learning & Development and Employee Experience. She is the President and Founder of JWI, a People Operations and Talent Consulting Company and serves as a Portfolio Advisor to a leading Venture Capital Firm.
Directly impacted by her grandmother’s cancer diagnosis as a young girl, Jenn became determined to help find a cure for cancer and has been deeply passionate about cancer research ever since. Her initial introduction to the field of biomedical research occurred during a summer internship at the Mote Marine Laboratory where she became uniquely interested in the observed low incidence of cancer in sharks and other marine life. Jenn has continued to work with children’s hospitals and cancer research foundations over the years, including Texas Children’s Cancer Center, Relay for Life and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
In 2008, Jenn’s cousin Jessie was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer at the age of twelve and unfortunately lost her battle two years later. Jessie’s incredible strength, infectious positivity and unbounded resilience have served as a daily inspiration to Jenn and her family. Jenn cares deeply about supporting cancer research in the rigorous pursuit of one day finding a cure for childhood cancers.
Mark Unger is an owner and director of Unger Global, a leading manufacturer of commercial and retail cleaning tools. Mark was born in Germany where he lived for the first 12 years of his life before moving to Connecticut. He earned a bachelor of science from Babson College and currently resides in Connecticut with his wife, Mary Ellen and his two sons, Harry and Louis. He enjoys golf, fishing, snowmobiling and travelling. At age 3, Mark’s son, Louis was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma. He battled this treacherous cancer for 5 years with the leadership of the neuroblastoma team at Memorial Sloan Kettering. After relapsing with the cancer in his brain, his incredible team of doctors developed a new treatment protocol that cured him – made possible by funding from Band of Parents. This protocol is now helping to save many other children who are diagnosed with a brain relapse. Today, Louis is a healthy teenager attending Endicott College. He loves to ski, fish and play bass guitar. His son’s journey made it clear that innovative doctors who are willing to try new treatment paths can make the impossible possible. The Band of Parents’ mission is to fund new lifesaving treatments to help children reach their dreams.
Francesca is an educator who lives in Connecticut with her husband Jeff, and her two sons Jack and Brendan. Jack was diagnosed with stage 3 neuroblastoma, NMYC amplified NB, when he was two years old in January of 2004. Although he has had several relapses over the years, Jack has been in remission and NED since January 2011. Fran has battled alongside other Band of Parents board members to get more treatment options for neuroblastoma – and has endured inspiring moment moments as well as horrors that no parent should ever have to know. In addition to being a full-time parent to Jack and Brendan, Fran assists with many fundraisers, providing creative and technical expertise to fellow Band of Parents families.
Dana has been a elementary school teacher for 15 years, currently teaching 5th grade in Pelham, N.Y. She holds a Bachelors Degree from State University of Plattsburgh in Special Education and Elementary Education, a Masters in Science from Long Island University in Literacy K-12, and a Masters in Science from New York Institute of Technology in Instructional Technology K-12. She has been involved with community service her whole life and especially the last 8 years at Hutchinson Elementary School where she is the student government advisor that plans many fundraisers to bring awareness and teach children empathy. She resides in Hawthorne, N.Y. with her husband, Carmine and her three children, Gia, Jordana, and Santino. Dana felt passionate about being involved in the Band of Parents after her daughter Gia was diagnosed at age 6 with Stage 4 Neuroblastoma in November 2016. She is currently doing 3f8 treatment and enjoying the time off to be like a “normal” kid and excited to be starting second grade! Gia loves to sing, dance and read! The Gentiles ran several fundraisers this year to bring awareness. Dana hopes to be able to keep the strength of The Band going strong and help to find a cure.
Caryn is a founder and was the President of the Band of Parents from 2009 to 2012. She is a long-term successful entrepreneur and is currently the owner of Total Potential LLC. Over the course of her career, Caryn has parlayed her background in education into two successful businesses. After a two-year coach training program in the late 90’s, she partnered with a corporate training company to do strategic planning and small business coaching. She also had a private life coaching practice for 4 years. The other arm of her business is sales and training for Shaklee Corporation. Since 1994 she has run leadership seminars, and developed a strong customer base selling wellness products. After her son was diagnosed at age 15 with stage 4 neuroblastoma, Caryn let go of her coaching business. Her son, Nicholas Toms Franca, lost his battle with neuroblastoma in May 2011 at the age of 21. Caryn recently finished writing a book that is currently in the publishing process. It chronicles the years of their journey with childhood cancer, and the history of Band of Parents. It is a book of inspiration and of lessons learned and wisdom gained when life is turned upside down. “Lessons From My Son’s Tattoo” will be available in 2017. She hopes to do public speaking and help bring the lessons to audiences nationwide.
Ken is a Managing Director with Corporate Finance Associates, a middle market investment bank. http://www.cfaw.com/locations.html#KennethLynch Prior to that, Ken served as a software executive, helping to grow and sell two companies. He graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, in 1981 with a degree in business. Ken enjoys traveling, baseball, grilling and spending time with his friends and family. His son, Nick was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in May 2006. Ken and his wife Carolyn were told that the tumor was inoperable and that they should consider hospice. With that news, they frantically sought other treatments — and fortunately found that better options were available. The family moved to New York City so that Nick could be treated at MSKCC. The disease was treated and the great Dr. Michael La Quaglia at MSKCC removed the “inoperable” tumor. Nick has been NED since the surgery in August of 2006, and off treatment since October 2007. Now a Senior at UC Davis, Nick loves to fish, and work with the animals in the Veterinary Science lab. He is the youngest of four children. The family is from Northern California but Ken and Carolyn now reside in Sandpoint, Idaho.
Priscilla began her career in advertising and direct marketing and worked for global agencies including Saatchi & Saatchi, Ogilvy and McCann, in Paris and New York.
A sabbatical and 14-month back-packing trip inspired Priscilla to make a transition into the non-profit sector in 2005. She was able to adapt her business and marketing knowledge and experience to generate awareness and raise funds for international organizations such as Smile Train and World Animal Protection.
Priscilla has a Bachelor of Commerce from McGill University and an MBA from Richard Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario and has been living in New York since 1994.
Kimberly Roginski has over 15 years’ experience in communications, publishing and most recently the nonprofit arena, with a focus on development and volunteer management, along with a varied and dedicated record of personal volunteerism. Prior to joining Band of Parents as the organization’s Development Director, Kim was the Volunteer & Development Coordinator at Part of the Solution (POTS). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and three children.
Doris has been the treasurer of Band of Parents since 2007. Working on a pro-bono basis, Doris processes all of the Band’s receipts and disbursements. In addition to coordinating the annual audit and tax return, she also organizes the annual mailing. Doris is a 1993 magna cum laude graduate of Bucknell University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting and Business Administration. Doris became a licensed CPA in 1994 in Virginia and has held her license in New York since 1997. Doris came to the Band after her nephew was treated at MSKCC for neuroblastoma. Her nephew is now a teenager and living a very full life thanks to the treatments and care that he received at MSKCC. She continues her work for the Band of Parents, hoping that the new treatments, such as those funded by grants from BOP, will allow families to experience similar success stories.
Young Professional Board Members
Amit is a Warrior of the Band! He was diagnosed with stage IV Neuroblastoma when he was almost 3 and it nearly took his life. His odds were not great, but he is one of those fortunate enough to say they’ve beat this terrible pediatric cancer. After brain surgery to remove the tumor around his optic nerves, chemo, radiation and the super power of 3F8, Amit successfully defeated Neuroblastoma.
Amit has been in remission for over 18 years, but his fight with Neuroblastoma left him legally blind. Even so, he refuses to let that stop him from living life to the fullest.
As a high school Senior in 2016, Amit won the Student of the Year for Individuals with Disabilities Award. He is an avid baseball fan and has been Home Run Champion at the Miracle League of Arizona multiple times. Amit also has skills on the court: in 2017, he led his Arizona Special Olympics basketball team to a 3rd place finish in the district tournament (winning the Bobcat of the Year “best player” award) and this year, in 2020, he helped his Special Olympics basketball team in Michigan qualify for the State Championship Tournament.
Amit is currently a 3rd year Pre-Business major at the University of Michigan—Dearborn.
Neuroblastoma is a devastating disease and Amit wants to be on the front line with the army that defeats it. It caused his family a lot of heartache and suffering and Amit is determined to do everything he can to prevent any other family from going through the same. Along with Band of Parents, Amit is committed to winning our war of hope to bring an end to Neuroblastoma.
Sydney Spinner is an attorney at the firm Weil & Kestenbaum, and Of Counsel at Steve Zissou & Associates, both located in Bayside, Queens. She is a lifelong Queens resident who received her B.A. from CUNY Queens College in 2014 and her J.D. from Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University with a J.D. in 2018. She is admitted to practice in the State of New York, U.S. District Court, Eastern District of New York, U.S. District Court, Southern District of New York, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. She is co-chair of the Young Lawyers Committee of the Queens County Bar Association. Sydney joined the Young Professionals Board after becoming highly involved with Band of Parents during the coronavirus pandemic. She hopes to educate others and fundraise to help find a cure for neuroblastoma.
Christopher grew up in a small town in Connecticut and started working at a young age at his family’s business which instilled a strong a strong work ethic in him. In the past few years, he has branched out of the family business to make a name for himself. Growing up, Christopher played sports but hockey has always been his passion. He plays in hockey leagues throughout the tri-state areas now and participates in many charity events. He became involved with the Band of Parents after participating in many fundraisers throughout his younger years. One fundraiser that stuck with him was to help a local family whose son was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Christopher sold paper hearts to help raise money for the family and since then he’s been hooked. Christopher feels like the Band of Parents community is one big family – there to support each other and work together to battle this disease.
Gianni DiFroscia is a Financial Planner for Clarfeld Financial Advisors headquartered in Tarrytown, NY. He graduated Cum Laude from Pace University, Westchester campus, where he majored in Finance and minored in Economics. He became a CFP® professional in 2016 and have been at Clarfeld since 2012. I currently live in Yorktown Heights, NY. He joined the Band of Parents Young Professional Board with the purpose of collaborating with other like-minded motivated individuals to raise awareness in the battle against neuroblastoma. Gianni hopes to become better educated about this type of cancer, and what could be done to find a cure.
Jackie is an account manager at Mirriad Advertising PLC, a video technology company that inserts brands into video content, post-production. Prior to that, Jackie was a sales planner across a variety of digital properties such as Crave Online and Momtastic. Jackie graduated from Fordham University in 2014 with a BA in English and minor in Marketing. Jackie joined the Band of Parent Young Professionals Board in hopes of educating herself and others about neuroblastoma and to help find a cure for this cancer. Jackie grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York and currently lives in Manhattan.
Lucia is a current sophomore at the University of Pennsylvania majoring in Psychology, and minoring in Consumer Behavior as well as the Biological Basis of Behavior. On campus, Lucia is captain of her field hockey team as well as an active member of Sigma Delta Tau and Relay for Life. Outside of school, Lucia enjoys travelling, listening to music, and visiting her family back in Argentina, her hometown. In 2008, her younger brother Tomas was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. He was treated at MSKCC and battled hard for six years, but unfortunately lost his fight in June of 2014 at the age of 14. In order to continue his fight, Lucia and her family became involved with Band of Parents. She sang the national anthem at Band of Parents’ Play Like a Pro charity game from 2014 to 2016. Lucia joined the Young Professional Board to help spread the word around her college campus, and hopefully one day end the fight against neuroblastoma.