Kenneth E. Aneser
Vice President / Chair TNT
My daughter Kelly was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia when she was only 18 months old. After 2 ½ years of chemotherapy treatments and multiple hospitalizations she went into full remission. At that time we realized how very fortunate we were and I wanted to do something to raise funds for leukemia research. I came across Team in Training and began doing marathons, century rides and triathlons to raise money for research. My family attended numerous Light the Night Walks, Jello Jumps and any other fundraisers that LLS held.
I became a member of the Board of Trustees because I know first- hand that the research dollars make a difference in people?s lives. LLS does great work with its never ending quest to save and improve the lives of those battling blood related cancers. I hope to be able to continue to raise substantial funds for LLS and cultivate 3rd party events to generate revenue for the chapter. Our Board must continue to find creative ways to maximize funding for patient services and critical research. As with all who become involved with LLS, the Board?s ultimate goal is put to the Society out of business once we find a cure for all blood related cancers.
Board of Directors / Treasurer
My wife Melissa and I had always been philanthropic and interested in giving something back to the community, but our efforts didn't have a clear focus. Then, in July 2002 I was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia, a rare blood cancer. During the course of my treatment, a nurse at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center connected Melissa with the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, indicating LLS could defray some of the parking costs she incurred visiting during my hospital stays. A few months after my discharge, Karen DeMairo, the remarkable LI Patient Services director, invited us to participate in a wheelchair basketball fundraiser. Melissa, our daughter Avery, and I attended the event. We had a really great time and had the opportunity to meet the extraordinary Long Island chapter staff. The next thing I knew, we were participating in the Light the Night events and raising money for a cause that was now very near and dear to us.
After a few years of fund raising and events, Tammy Philie, the persuasive LI chapter Executive Director, asked me to join the Long Island Board of Trustees. She suggested that my financial background could help fill a need. I considered the potential time commitment and took the plunge. I had no idea I would gain so much from giving a reasonably small amount of time and effort. My role on the BOT lead to an opportunity to join the LLS national Board of Directors. These have been among the most rewarding experiences of my life.
LLS performs amazing work, giving hope to millions of people afflicted with various blood cancers. Our vision to Create A World Without Blood Cancer seems closer to realization every day. LLS plays a central role in developing innovative treatments that will change the way blood cancer drugs are developed, approved and provided to patients. As the leading global voluntary blood cancer agency, LLS focuses on cures and patient wellness, including survivorship issues and improving the quality of life.
Going forward, the LI chapter and LLS as a whole will need to navigate through a challenging economy to expand revenues to fund research and patient care. I would like to see LLS become a forceful voice to raise awareness of blood cancers and engage a broader audience of prospective volunteers, donors and researchers. Additionally, I would like to see LLS drive regulatory policy to accelerate the development of and access to blood cancer therapies for everyone.
Committe Chair - Patient Services
Joel A. Wirchin has been involved with LLS since recovering from his own personal bout with non-Hodgkin lymphoma, diagnosed late in 2008, for which he was last treated in March, 2009. Appreciatively in remission since then, Joel has channeled his efforts towards helping others, after having been shown great kindness, support and encouragement from the team and wonderful overall efforts by all at LLS. In 2009, Joel and his family were active participants and fundraisers for the jell-slide event on Long Island. In 2010, Joel was the third runner up among men in the Man of the Year competition which saw him raise nearly $16,000 on the strength of literally one letter sent to a wide family, friend, colleague and community constituent base of his. Joel was elected to the Board of LLS in 2011 where he serves on the Patient Services Committee and is a volunteer in the First Connection Program. Earlier in 2012, Joel was a member of the current year's MWOY planning and support committee. And, most recently, Joel encouraged his law firm employer to sponsor a "Jeans Day" with proceeds going to LLS. That event, which rotates from month to month for various worthwhile causes, netted nearly $1,500 for the organization.
Joel, along with his wife and three college age (and beyond) children live in Huntington and are extremely grateful to LLS for all that the organization has done to help contribute to Joel's positive medical outcome - and that of countless others. Joel's hopes for his ongoing board service is that the experience will offer more and more opportunity for him to "give back," to encourage newly diagnosed patients and their families, and to continuing being a force for helping LLS bring brighter and brighter days to all those afflicted with the array of blood cancer and other illnesses that fall within the spectrum. He can think of no greater gift that can come of service.
Board of Representatives - Committe Chair TNT
Like many people, I got involved with LLS as a Team in Training participant in 1992. I was training for the NYC Marathon and my partner at work told me I should raise money and get involved with this great charity. At the time I did not know anyone with Leukemia, but I felt like a fortunate person and I was happy to ?give back?. Those were the days when they sent you a singlet and you send them money after the race. I did this for a couple years and then just stopped for a reason I don?t remember. Several years later I got a call from the office to come to a meeting, to see what was going on. I had nothing to do that night, so I figured why not.
It was at that meeting where I heard a survivor speak who really changed my life. He talked about an organization that not only raised money to cure a disease, but of a family of people who really cared and really made a difference in people lives. And it was at that moment that I decided that I wanted to be part of this, not just for a trip, but because in some way I may make a tiny difference in someone?s life. That speaker was Pete Macaluso and while he passed shortly after that ? I will not forget his inspiration.
As for what I would like to see for the future of the Society, of course all of us look forward to the day there is a cure and we need to look for another job. As a board member I hope to be able to help people realize that there is great progress being made towards these goals and to continue to raise funds for services and research. I believe an important way to do that is to make sure our TNT alumni continue to know that and hopefully continue to be inspired to help make a difference in so many people?s lives.
Special Events Committee
I had been introduced to the Leukemia Society through Team in Training. Intrigued by all that was being done to find a cure for leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's disease and myeloma and realizing how much more needed to be done to accomplish the mission, I decided I wanted to give back and help by being involved with the society.
I would like our chapter and the society to grow and find more ways to work together to raise awareness and funding to help find cures for all the blood related diseases.
Stephen F. Melore Stephen F. Melore is a partner in the firm's corporate and banking departments, concentrating in general corporate practice with an emphasis on close corporation counseling, mergers and acquisitions, secured lending, receivables financings and distressed assets.
Mr. Melore has extensive experience in counseling businesses with respect to internal matters, including the negotiation of shareholder agreements and other corporate governance agreements, as well as counseling businesses with respect to external matters, including strategic transactions such as acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint venture, recapitalizations and Chapter 11 restructurings. He also routinely represents lenders in secured financing, acquisition financing and lease financing, and buyers and sellers of portfolios of performing, sub-performing and non-performing consumer and commercial receivables, including auto and credit card receivables, mortgage loans and REO properties.
Mr. Melore is a member of the Huntington YMCA Board of Managers, a member of the Advisory Board of the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society of America and a member of the Board of Trustees of New Ground.
Mr. Melore began his career in 1987, as an associate at Rogers & Wells, New York where he practiced until he joined Farrell Fritz in 1992.
Mr. Melore received his Juris Doctor degree in 1987, from Cornell Law School, where he was an editor of the Cornell Law Review, and his Bachelor of Arts degree, summa cum laude, in 1984, from the State University of New York College at Geneseo. Mr. Melore is admitted to practice in New York.
Peter H. Macaluso
Special Events Committee Chair
Peter H. Macaluso is Vice President of FMi Retirement Services (Melville, NY), a leading provider of retirement services featuring benefit plans, flexible investment options and centralized pension administration.
At FMi, Mr. Macaluso has been instrumental in the company?s steady growth in providing defined-benefit and defined-contribution administration services for diverse U.S.-based businesses. The company maintains a strong reputation for accurate, efficient administration of plan transactions. In 1990, FMi expanded its services to multiple offshore jurisdictions including Bermuda, the Caribbean and Europe. FMi founder, Peter L. Macaluso, consulted on the development of Bermuda?s National Pension Act of 1997 and currently, the company?s principals serve on Bermuda?s Pension Commission Advisory Committee.
Peter has been involved with the Society since 1999. His father, who was diagnosed with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), got him involved when he was doing 100-mile bike rides with Team in Training. He has completed several events including century rides, half-marathons and hikes. He has also volunteers and fundraises for the Society?s Light the Night program, and just recently was named the Long Island Chapter?s Man of the Year.
Mr. Macaluso received his Bachelor of Science in Accounting and Finance from Fairfield University, Dolan School of Business. He is an actively involved in the benefits administration profession as a long-time member of the American Society of Pension Professionals and Actuaries (ASPPA), an organization for which he has volunteered to serve on its Political Action Committee (ASPPA PAC). Mr. Macaluso also is a member of the Melville Chamber of Commerce and its Young Professionals Group, Action Long Island, and the Young Adult Alliance of Long Island.
Committee Member - Patient Services
My initial involvement with the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (?LLS?) was in 2004, shortly after I was diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia (?CLL?) at the age of 34. At the time of diagnosis, my wife was 7 months pregnant with our second child. I completed the Montauk Century that year, which was to be my first of countless Team in Training events. Among the many wonderful people I would meet through TNT was Pete Macaluso, a truly great man and a legend amongst Long Island TNT participants, who would ultimately succumb to his own battle with CLL. It was Pete who coined our team motto, ?U can do it?. In Pete?s honor, the cycle team rides to this day with Santa Claus hats or jingle bells. Also riding my first year with us was Nancy Driscoll, who at the time was the physician assistant to Dr. Kanti Rai. At Pete and Nancy?s urging, Dr. Rai accepted me as a patient. The chain of events that led to me being here today, a cancer survivor, and one of the all too few who have been cured of CLL, were put in motion as a result of my participation in that TNT event. The care I received was available, in no small part, due to drugs and research funded by LLS.
As a member of the Board, I am committed to assisting our chapter expand the patient base it serves and fund ever more research. Though much remains to be done, I have no doubt that through the efforts of LLS, we will find an easier cure and one that works for all CLL patients in particular, and blood cancers in general. In 2010, along with Thomas Foley and Brian Griffin, and the support my family, and the staff and attorneys at my law practice, Joseph & Teeter, P.C., we founded the annual Massapequa Turkey Trot, a 5k run on Thanksgiving Day, the proceeds from which go to LLS. I will continue to do everything I can to assist in helping LLS achieve its goals.
Patient Services Chair
Lisa Azzato, an attorney in the Melville law office of Lazer, Aptheker, Rosella, & Yedid, has served on the Board of Trustees of the Long Island Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society ("LLS") since 2008. Lisa serves on the Board of LLS in memory and in honor of her grandfather and stepfather, who both passed away from leukemia and lymphoma at the age of 50. It is Lisa's greatest hope that her work with LLS will contribute to its mission to cure blood cancers and to improve the lives of cancer patients and their families. Given her training as an attorney and her interest in local government, Lisa's goal is to positively impact and advance legislation benefiting cancer patients.
In addition to her role on the Board of Trustees of LLS, Lisa was selected to serve as the Chapter?s National Advocacy Delegate and its New York State Delegate. In her role as Advocacy Delegate, Lisa is responsible for coordinating the Chapter?s advocacy plan and promoting the mission of LLS to cure blood cancers. As Advocacy Delegate, she is responsible for advancing the passage of legislation critical to the lives of cancer patients and for training fellow advocacy volunteers and committee members in effective communication with local and national elected officials in order to promote the mission of LLS. A recent success in working with the LLS team includes securing the passage of legislation in New York State to require insurance coverage of oral chemotherapy on par with IV chemotherapy treatment. Other activities as Advocacy Delegate include annual participation as National Delegate at the Delegates Summit in Washington, D.C. While in Washington, D.C., she has lobbied on behalf of LLS for passage of national legislation such as the Cures Acceleration Network to speed the discovery and development of new cancer treatments and the Preserving Access to Life Saving Medications Act to address issues of drug shortages. She also acts as team leader for LLS?s annual visit to Albany on Mission Day to advocate for the passage of legislation benefiting cancer patients and their families at the state wide level.
Not content to limit her activities to the more formal role of a Board Member, Lisa has participated in several LLS campaigns including Man and Woman of the Year, Canines for a Cure, Light the Night, and (exchanging her business suit for a bathing suit) the annual LLS Gello Slide.
Lisa Azzato earned her law degree from Emory University School of Law where she received a merit scholarship and also received the American Jurisprudence Award in Ethics. She earned her undergraduate degree from Vassar College receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English with honors.
Lisa Azzato is admitted to practice law in New York, Florida, Georgia, and the District of Columbia. She is admitted into several courts, including, most recently, the Supreme Court of the United States.
Jennifer serves as a Partner, Not-for-Profit Services in Grant Thornton?s Metro New York practice and is a fully dedicated member of Grant Thornton?s Northeast Region Not-for-Profit Practice. She joined Grant Thornton in September 2003 after spending eight years at a Big 4 firm.
Jennifer has over sixteen years of experience serving clients in the Not-for-Profit sector and brings a variety of experience and skills to her clients. Her clients have included social service organizations, religious organizations as well as foundations and higher education institutions. In addition, Jennifer serves as the primary Concurring Reviewer for Not-for-Profit engagements in Metro New York. and a frequent speaker at Grant Thornton?s industry seminars and training sessions. Jennifer served on a task force responsible for reviewing and writing the AICPA?s Not-for-Profit Risk Alert and the AICPA Not-for-Profit Disclosure Checklist.
Jennifer was selected by Long Island Business News as a member of their ?Top 40 Under 40? class of 2010 as well as ?Who?s Who in Women in Professional Services? in the 2010 edition.
Jennifer graduated from the University at Albany where she received a B.S. degree in Accounting in 1995. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a member of the AICPA. Additionally, Jennifer is a member of Grant Thornton?s National Not-for-Profit Leadership Team and is also active in the community. She has served as a fundraising participant, as well as a mentor and training captain, of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society?s Team in Training program. Jennifer also volunteers as a coach in the East Islip Soccer Club and with her daughter?s Daisy and Brownie troops.
My introduction to the Long Island Chapter of LLS started with the Triathlon Team In Training St. Anthony's event in St. Petersurg, Florida. Many of the Tri-athletes I associated with were on the coaching staff for LLS or had participated in TNT events. One positive event led to the next positive event. My relationship with the Long Island staff, coaches and athletes continued to positively develop resulting in a desire to increase my charitable participation to pursue a course of helping those suffering from blood related cancers.
As a Board member, broad based particpation is encouraged and naturally develops due to the ficus and energy of the positive staff. My increased particpation resulted in accepting a Board of Trusteee position. As a Board member, we assist in funding clinical trials, and charity in hopes the chapter's efforts resulting in funding clincial trails, and chapter objectives all of which I believe will continue to accelerate the path to discovering a cure for blood related cancers. My hope is that the Board continues to assist the staff in their ever expanding efforts so our joint efforts reach the ultimate objective of curing blood related cancers in our lifetime.
Secretary / LTN Committee
The word ?cancer? did not mean much to me prior to 1992. It was just another illness, as others, that some people acquired and I was too busy working and living a normal life to pay attention to. I learned to hate the word ?cancer?, and I may always, until we find a cure. Out of nowhere, my mom was diagnosed with cancer, received treatments and was gone within months. How and Why her treatments did not work? I cannot explain. The next year, my son Gregory, 12 years old, was diagnosed with a brain tumor. Out of nowhere once again. My simple life was not normal any more. I was really optimistic as Gregory?s team of doctors was one of the best pediatric neurology/oncology teams in NYC. Chemo, radiation, chemo and I lost him within one year of diagnosis. How and Why? I still cannot explain, however just going back and writing this still bothers me greatly. My decision making and not wanting to think about or speak about what happened with my other children was clearly off.
A few years later, I started working for a large bank who was supporting the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society with our ?Light The Night? campaign. It was then that I decided to support the fundraising efforts in our branches. The next year, I volunteered to be a Long Island Captain for ?Light The Night?, to strengthen participation with fundraising efforts and awareness. Our bank has been successful over the past 9 years fundraising to support LLS with patient care and research. I was asked a few years ago to consider being a BOT for the L.I. Chapter. I will tell you that Tammy, her team and my board partners are creative and passionate to support. My participation on the board is to support this wonderful chapter succeeds in any way possible, even running a 5K recently for our ?Health and Wellness? program after inactivity for the past 10 years from a hip replacement. We have made some nice progress over the past few years to bring awareness and gain more participation and support from Corporate Long Island with reach to many employees and families across Long Island. We need more help with this effort as there never seems to be enough time. I am hopeful that more employees would solicit support from their employers to take an active role in participation to support.
In summary, my friend?s wife was recently diagnosed with lymphoma. It is wonderful to hear that her prognosis is good and treatments are going well thanks to ?LLS? and support of research. This is why continued awareness and participation is so needed. We are making progress but not as quickly as I would like to be able to accept and face the word ?cancer? without fear.
TNT Committee Member
Even though my dad died of lymphoma in 1975, this was not the reason why I joined the LLS board originally. I actually decided to train for a marathon and at the same time support a viable charity in which 75%-90% of every dollar collected actually did something instead of being earmarked for operations. Having been a member of numerous boards, I understood how many non-profits worked and even if it was not the intent, this high percentage of revenue dedicated towards mission was not the norm in my experience. So it was refreshing. As I got involved in the triathlon circuit, I kept on raising money for LLS through Team in Training, until I was approached by the chapter to leverage some of my experience both with non-profits and marketing into a board position. Even though I had sworn off all participation with boards, LLS has become special to me due to the relationships I had built both with participants and patients and their families. And today besides a couple of honorary board positions, LLS is my exclusive active board position.
In terms of the future, I personally would love to eventually participate in marathons and triathlons and not have to raise money because all blood cancers have been cured and there are no more blood cancer patients in need. Until that time, I hope to help motivate TNT alumni to become leaders in bringing new participants into the LLS family, especially as the marketplace for charitable-based athletics has broadened. It is critical that we maintain our leadership position, and the easiest way to do that is to engage alumni.