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.
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.
Tani Sanghvi is a practicing obstetrician/gynecologist in New York City. She has been in private practice since 1998, after completing her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albert Einstein School of Medicine. Tani graduated summa cum laude from Amherst College in 1989 with a degree in French Literature and received a joint MD/MPH (Master’s in Public Health) in 1994 from Tufts University School of Medicine. Tani’s nephew, Amit, was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma in 2002 at age 2. After all conventional therapies, including a stem cell transplant, failed to eradicate his disease, he came to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, where treatment with 3-F8 cured him of cancer. Now, many years later, Amit thankfully remains free of the disease and is thriving. Tani joined Band of Parents in 2011, co-chairing the Band’s annual benefit, the Evening of Hope, from 2012-2016. She joined the Board in 2014.
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. 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 large group of 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 Nick would surely die. 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 college student, Nick loves to fish, drive around in his F-150 and build model drones. He won Angler of the Year for the past two years in the Future Pro Tour, which is a local Bass Fishing group. He is the youngest of four children. The family resides in Granite Bay, CA, near Sacramento.
Ronni joined Band of Parents in 2016 as Executive Director, after more than 20 years as an award-winning journalist and content creator. Prior to Band of Parents, she served as Managing Editor and Senior Producer at CNN in New York. At CNN, she rose through the ranks, managing teams of anchors, reporters and producers on major events – such as the World Trade Center attacks, the 2004 Republican Convention and the tense diplomatic lead up to the war in Iraq. Ronni launched and produced live and taped segments for all CNN’s programs and platforms, including New Day, Anderson Cooper 360, cnn.com and CNN International. Ronni is Band of Parents’ chief administrator, planning and managing fundraising events, patient outreach, grant proposals, and external communications.
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 two 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
Kelly became involved with the Band of Parents in 2015. Currently, she is a resident of Williamsburg, Brooklyn and provides accounting and advisory services at an entertainment Business Management firm in NYC. Growing up she had to have reconstructive kidney surgery at age 7, and then again at age 19. Her own experience of trying situations – including spending a lot of time with doctors and in hospitals — helped her recognize that she wanted to give back. In her case, there was a cure for her pain, but as she grew older she realized that one of the worst things someone can hear is that their child has cancer. When her cousin Lewis was diagnosed with neuroblastoma at age 3, Kelly remembers everything changing for her family. There were a lot of ups and downs, not just for her aunt and going through this, but for her own devastated parents. Seeing a young child in the hospital who doesn’t understand what is going on is so unfair. When Kelly’s aunt and uncle, MaryEllen and Mark Unger, asked her if she would consider being be a part of Band of Parents, the answer was easy: yes, of course — she would do all she could to help now and in the future.
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 currently a medical student at Penn State Hershey College of Medicine, with plans to apply to an Internal Medicine residency. She is a Curriculum Representative for her medical student class and a President of her school’s American Medical Association student chapter. Some of her volunteering experiences have included time at the Hershey Medical Center’s Children’s Hospital and time at the local Ronald McDonald House; both experiences have exposed her to families coping with childhood cancer. She graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a degree in Chemistry in 2014. Before her travels to Baltimore, MD and Hershey, PA, Jackie resided in Bergen County, NJ.
Yesul is currently a fourth year medical student at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, PA. She is from Briarcliff Manor, NY and graduated from Brown University with a degree in Biology in 2011. At Penn State, she was the President of the Otolaryngology- Head and Neck Surgery Student Interest Group and a Women’s Health Clinic Coordinator for LionCare Clinic, which is a free clinic that serves the uninsured in downtown Harrisburg, PA. She was also part of the MedNotes, an A Cappella group at her medical school that has performed for multiple community and fundraising events at the Hershey Medical Center and Children’s Hospital. She has a particular interest in Oncology and has done multiple research projects in head and neck cancers. She plans on applying to Dermatology for residency.
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.
Jaime has dedicated her career and life to helping children battling cancer. As Outreach Coordinator for Patient AirLift Services (PALS), Jaime manages patient recruitment and building relationships with hospital systems and organizations. She is also in charge of training patient outreach volunteer Ambassadors for Patient Airlift Services. In addition, Jaime is the Volunteer Assistant Director of Camp Adventure and sits on the Board of Directors at KIDS NEED MORE, which provides services to children and families dealing with life threatening illness or trauma. Prior to joining PALS, Jaime served as Senior Manager, Special Events at CancerCare, Care Coordinator at FEGS, and Director of Special Events at American Cancer Society. Jaime received a B.A. in American Studies from Rowan University. Jaime is a native of the Jersey Shore and now calls Huntington, NY, home.
Emily is the Special Projects Manager at Northeast Business Group on Health, exploring purchaser-driven solutions for today’s most prevalent health issues in chronic pain, diabetes, cancer and others. Emily manages the operations of the Solutions Center including funding procurement, partnership exploration, member communications, and program and resource development. Emily also contributes to NEBGH special projects for provider quality, innovation and consumer engagement in mental health and maternity care. Emily also leads strategy and project management for the maternal health portfolio at NEBGH, designing alternative payment models and developing consumer tools to improve birth outcomes in New York City hospitals. She is excited to find how healthcare’s diverse stakeholders can influence system-wide transformation to providing high-value care. Prior to joining NEBGH in early 2015, Emily developed and managed a rural maternal health program between INGO Tevel and Dhulikhel Hospital in Nepal. While pursuing her degrees, she worked with employer coalitions, community health partnerships, and local health departments in New York, Florida and Pennsylvania. Emily received her BA in Political Science and Religion and MPH from the University of Florida.