MEET THE TEAM BEHIND ACCO
Since 1970 American Childhood Cancer Organization has been respected as an essential and integral provider of programs and services required by families of children and adolescents with cancer across the country. Together with our local affiliates, we address the critical needs that families face today. We believe strongly that families need accurate information, advocacy, and support from the first day of diagnosis through the rest of the child s life. As a grassroots leader in the childhood cancer community, it is our responsibility to speak for the needs of the families and survivors, and to help shape policy, research and programs on the national level that impact the lives of families today and tomorrow.
Our organization was founded by a talented and committed group of parents of children with cancer, and we have placed a priority on ensuring that those making policy decisions today understand what a family goes through when their child has been diagnosed with cancer. Over two-thirds of our organization s Board of Directors and staff are either survivors or a direct family member of a child or adolescent who had cancer. We understand personally that this is a family disease and it is a disease that impacts the family for life. The board and staff of ACCO are committed to serving our community until the day no child dies or is left with life-long effects from this devastating disease.
Looking for Help?
ACCO offers FREE books and resources for children with cancer and their families.
Click on the button to order your free resources!
Ken Wegner, President
Mr. Ken Wegner is President of the Jel Sert Company and father of a childhood cancer survivor. Mr. Wegner is the grandson of Jel Sert founders Charles and Lillian Wegner and has worked at Jel Sert since 1985. A graduate of Denison University in Granville, Ohio, Mr. Wegner has a long and noted history of charitable and philanthropic endeavors, including serving as Chairman of the Elmhurst Memorial Hospital Foundation Board, a board member at the Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, and membership in WPO – Chicago.
Mr. Wegner’s partnership with ACCO began in 2008 with the introduction of two incredibly important programs in support of childhood cancer awareness. First, Jel Sert began proudly displaying the gold ribbon, the internationally-recognized awareness symbol for childhood cancer, as well as information about ACCO on their Fla-Vor-Ice freezer pops. Jel Sert’s support for the Gold Ribbons for Childhood Cancer Awareness now extends to many more of their packaging, including Otter Pops and Pop-Ice. Second, Jel Sert founded the Take a Pop, Share a Smile program. Recognizing that freezer pops play a critical role in easing the pain of mouth sores, keeping children hydrated, and alleviating many other negative side effects of cancer treatment, Jel Sert generously donates freezers and a continuous supply of freezer pops to cancer treatment centers across the United States. Jel Sert’s ongoing partnership with the ACCO and support of the ACCO’s mission to raise awareness about this disease became personal for Mr. Wegner when his teenage son was diagnosed with cancer in 2011.
Janine Lynne, Vice President
Janine has been a board member of ACCO since 2003 and is grateful for the opportunity to be part of the largest national grassroots nonprofit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children and adolescents with cancer. Her teenage son is a survivor of acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Janine has worked and volunteered as a child advocate in many capacities over 20 years with a special interest in children with special needs. She has a B.S. in Child Development and Family Studies from Montana State University and pursued graduate work in psychology and education. She currently lives in Hawaii.
Ken Phillips, Treasurer
Ken is a retired Air Force Officer of 23 years and following that retired from Computer Sciences Corporation after an additional 20 years of service. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA. Ken as been on the Board of Directors of CCCF since 1994, and has held the office of Treasurer since 1995. He and his wife Marie were active on the Board of Directors of Candlelighters affiliate Candlelighters of Southern Colorado, Colorado Springs, CO from 1990 to 2004, at which time they moved to Spirit Lake in North Idaho. Currently, Ken also attends and supports the monthly Board of Directors meetings of Candlelighters of the Inland Northwest in Spokane, Washington, in addition to supporting their activities throughout the year. Ken and Marie are bereaved grandparents. Their precious granddaughter died from acute myelogenous leukemia.
Judy Mendoza, Member
Judy Mendoza grew up in Lafayette, IN, where she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Education from Indiana University in May 1993. Subsequent teaching jobs led her to the corporate world of an education publishing company and then to the formation of her own free-lance education business. In February 2007, Judy and her husband Michael’s lives changed forever. It was then when they learned that their three-and-a-half-year-old daughter had Stage IV neuroblastoma. After supporting her daughter Abigail through six cycles of high dose chemotherapy, followed by a stem cell transplant, twelve radiation sessions, and a very rough clinical trial with monoclonal antibodies, Judy now regards herself as a proud Cancer Mom on a Mission. Judy lives by the premise that she continues to teach her children to never give up! Judy is active in raising awareness of the gold ribbon for childhood cancer.
Steve Payne, Member
Steve Payne is an active board member and father to Kristin, a stage IV neuroblastoma survivor diagnosed at a mere seven months old. Being an active part of the ACCO board, he is able to support those children, families, and professionals nationwide who battle this dreaded disease until a cure is found. Steve works for IBM and served as president in 2003 & 2004.
Jeff Walters, Member
Jeff Walters is a Senior Director in the Commercial & Consumer Products division of Acumen Solutions where he is responsible for the delivery of business and technology consulting services to the Educational Services and Non-Profit Sectors. In his professional career, Jeff helps organizations to maximize their efficiency and impact and he brings that same passion to his work with ACCO. Jeff holds a Masters of Business Administration from the Lally School of Management and Technology at Rensselear Polytechnic Institute and a Bachelor of Science in Aerospace Engineering from Pennsylvania State University. Jeff and his wife Valeria live in Chantilly, Virginia with their two daughters.
Dr. Greg Aune, MD, PHD, Member
Dr. Greg Aune’s interest in pediatric oncology began at age 16 when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. The experiences he encountered as a patient initiated a path towards a research and clinical career aimed at developing less toxic chemotherapy regimens. His experience as a long-term survivor included open-heart surgery at age 35 to replace his aortic valve and bypass three blocked coronary arteries that were damaged by his teenage cancer therapies. His training to become a successful physician scientist and pediatric oncologist has included time spent at some of the most well-respected oncology institutions in the United States including, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, the National Cancer Institute, and Johns Hopkins Hospital.
Dr. Aune, MD, PHD directs the Greehey Children’s Cancer Research Institute Shared Resource for Cardiac Function Assessment. In the laboratory setting, Dr. Aune has a wide range of experience in the laboratory approaches to investigate tumor biology and experimental therapeutics. Most recently he has applied this existing knowledge to both the in vitro and in vivo studies of the cardiovascular system from the level of the cardiac fibroblast to global cardiac function. His laboratory has successfully developed a novel pediatric mouse model of anthracycline-induced cardiac toxicity.
Dr. Aune is also the Director of Survivorship Research for the South Texas Pediatric Cancer Survivorship program at University Hospital. In this role, he serves as co-principal investigator and clinical director of the first investigator-initiated survivorship study in the South Texas region. His expertise in the clinical arena is further supported by two recent appointments to national task forces focusing on the cardiac effects of chemotherapy and radiation—National Cancer Institute Community Cardiotoxicity Task Force and the Children’s Oncology Cardiometabolic Task Force. Most recently, Dr. Aune was appointed to the National Cancer Institute Council of Research Advocates (NCRA) which was announced at a White House briefing on childhood cancer.
ACCO Staff Members
Ruth I. Hoffman MPH, Chief Executive Officer
Ruth is the mother of eight children, including Naomi, who is a survivor of Acute Myeloid Leukemia, (diagnosed in 1987 at the age of 7), and a radiation-induced secondary cancer. Since 1999, Ruth has been the CEO of the National office of the American Childhood Cancer Organization. She is immediate Past-President of Childhood Cancer International (CCI).
Nationally, Ruth has spent more than thirty years raising awareness and strengthening advocacy of childhood cancer. As one of a handful of women who founded the gold ribbon for childhood cancer, Ruth has expanded recognition of that symbol nationally and internationally, as well as originated the campaigns, “GO GOLD®” and “PJammin for Kids with Cancer®.” She is co-founder of America’s largest childhood cancer awareness event entitled “Light Up the Holidays with Hope.” Ruth has participated as a patient representative for the FDA where she has served on ODAC as well as the pediatric subcommittee of ODAC. She is a founding member of the Alliance for Childhood Cancer.
Internationally, Ruth works closely with the World Health Organization (WHO). In 2017, she was the invited guest speaker at the United Nation’s launch of the WHO’s Global Initiative for Childhood Cancer. In 2018, while President of Childhood Cancer International, Ruth formalized the official relationship between the WHO and CCI, and in 2020 created CCI working groups aligned with WHO’s regional offices. She also formalized an MOU with the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) in 2018. From 2018 to 2020 Ruth led a three-year global awareness campaign during International Childhood Cancer Day. The “no-more” campaign focused on the need for no more complacency, no more pain, no more loss and no more borders for children with cancer around the world, working towards the goal of a 60% global survival of childhood cancer by 2030. Through Ruth’s compassion for children with cancer in developing countries, Ruth provides funding for nutrition programs in Ethiopia, Uganda, and Myanmar. Alongside Dr. Avram Denburg, Ruth is cofounder of ACCESS, a research initiative to assess and overcome the barriers to accessing essential medicines in five East African countries (Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Ethiopia, and Rwanda.)
Ruth’s leadership has resulted in the publication of twelve books for children with cancer, their family members and teachers. She is the author of three journals―one for children diagnosed with cancer, one for teens, and the other for parents. She is editor of three comprehensive resources including Educating the Child with Cancer, Understanding the Journey, A Parent’s Guide to DIPG, and A Parent’s Guide to Enhancing Quality of Life in Children with Cancer. More than 10,000 copies of these books are provided without charge to children with cancer and their families across the U.S. each year.
Ruth has personally responded to thousands of requests for childhood cancer information. She is the proud recipient of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Tree of Life Award which honors an individual who has played a major or lasting role, with national impact in improving the quality of life for patients with cancer and their families.
Ruth received her BA in Psychology and her Bachelor of Education from the University of Western Ontario, Canada, and Masters of Public Health at George Washington University’s School of Medicine.
Jamie Bloyd, Director of Government Affairs and External Relations
With nearly 15 years of public policy and advocacy experience Jamie Ennis Bloyd advocates to focus on the most prominent issues of this generation – health care reform, human wellness, and scientific advancements.
Jamie distinctively worked on the “statewide smoke-free public places” campaign in 2008 as Kentucky Public Advocacy Manager for the American Heart Association. Additionally, in 4 consecutive legislative sessions, Jamie led the Kentucky Academy of Physician Assistants to a series of legislative victories. She has also advocated for the National Alliance on Mental Illness, Kentucky Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, Kentucky Association for School Social Workers, Kentucky Association for Psychology in the Schools, and Kentucky Athletic Trainers Society.
In the middle of the 2014 legislative session Jamie’s 5 year old son was diagnosed with Stage 4 Burkitt’s Lymphoma. Following his diagnosis she was named national Director of Government Relations and External Affairs for the American Childhood Cancer Organization, the oldest and largest grassroots advocacy organization in the US. In this position Jamie secured the corporate support of Amazon. Through Jamie’s leadership Amazon + ACCO created a historical campaign that became the highest social media engagement campaign in the history of Amazon. Jamie also serves on the Alliance for Childhood Cancer Policy Committee and chairs the Alliance State-Level Working Group. She also serves on the Center for Disease Control STAR Act working group to implement better surveillance tools for childhood cancer incidence. Additionally Jamie is President of the Kentucky Pediatric Cancer Research Trust Fund, overseeing all state-level budgeted childhood cancer research projects.
Jamie is a former Washington DC intern for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell. She is also a graduate of Leadership Somerset, Leadership Lexington, and Leadership Kentucky. Jamie was named one of the top 50 most powerful women in Kentucky politics in the Fall 2019 Kentucky Gazette newspaper. Jamie sits on the publishing board for Cancer Health Magazine out of New York City, and was named one of America’s top cancer change makers in 2020. Jamie was also awarded a Healthy Policy Champion Award by the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky for her advocacy work to secure $10 million in state-level funding since 2018. Jamie is currently pursuing certification in the Psychology of Leadership from Cornell University. She is the mother to 3 children – Paxton (12), Ansley (10), and Maura (5).
Anya Broverman-Wray, Creative Director
With more than a decade of experience in the creative industry, Anya comes to ACCO with a myriad of expertise. Anya’s positive attitude and collaborative nature make her the ultimate teammate when it comes to designing anything for a campaign.
Anya’s design reach is international with her most recent project going to the World Health Organization. She developed a logo for the World Health Organization’s “Cure All” campaign which launched on February 15, 2021. Her graphics for ICCD have been translated and circulated internationally.
On any given day, Anya can be found doodling or drawing figures of Cozy, the Port-a-cat and various other creatures for ACCO. She works as ACCO’s web manager and graphic designer, but she does so much more. Anya works tirelessly to create engaging graphics for corporate campaigns with companies like Amazon. When it comes time to designing the September shirts campaign, she comes with lots of ideas and lets her mind run wild. Anya can also be found doing occasional writing for ACCO and coding.
Anya’s creative background started in middle school when she got familiar with Adobe Illustrator. She works with many mediums including ceramics, pottery and jewelry making. Before ACCO, Anya was a freelance illustrator and worked in advertising and branding. She is no stranger to non-profits, she volunteered as a camp counselor with Wiser Girls, an organization that empowers and educates Kenyan girls.
Anya graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design with a Bachelors of Fine Arts in Illustration.
Aubrey Reichard – Eline, Director of Corporate and Community Engagement
Aubrey is a high energy, goal-oriented leader who connects with people on multiple levels through her enthusiasm and “can do” attitude.
Regardless of what is going on, Aubrey embraces every challenge with a positive attitude. In 2018, her 9-year-old daughter was diagnosed with a rare pediatric brain tumor. A true test of her good vibes, attitude, and resiliency, the family rallied and treatment began. The family also had a new mission: pediatric cancer. Turning this motivation into action, Aubrey and her family, led by her daughter Grace, have dedicated time to helping others battling pediatric cancer through fundraising, advocacy, and direct care opportunities.
Aubrey is passionate about helping others on this journey and looks forward to making an impact on behalf of kids fighting cancer through this role at the American Childhood Cancer Organization.
Aubrey joins us with a corporate background of 20 years in merchandising, sales and branding for companies that include Tommy Hilfiger, Calvin Klein, DKNY and Swarovski. Her area of focus with ACCO will be expanding community advocacy initiatives to impact federal and state awareness under ACCO’s “What About Kids?™” program, as well as leading strategic efforts to cultivate external partner support and collaboration for ACCO. We are grateful for Amazon’s support in the expansion of ACCO’s “What About Kids?™”
Aubrey graduated from Drexel University with her Bachelors of Science in Design & Merchandising with a concentration in Marketing & Art History.
Blair Scroggs, Public Relations Coordinator
Blair started working with ACCO three years ago after accepting the Social Media Manager position. She was thrust into the childhood cancer community just a week before September Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM) started, and hit the ground running.
The first campaign Blair worked on was the launch of the Amazon “GO GOLD®” prime airplane giving her vital knowledge about the community and the power of social media. From there, she navigated the popular September CCAM Shirts Campaign and several other campaigns throughout the year.
Blair engaged the community on social media by writing weekly Gold Ribbon Hero stories. With an extensive writing background, Blair was able to feature more stories about children through the Hope and Healing campaign for ICCD in 2019. She has since used her talents to transform ACCO’s social media and engage the community even more.
In 2019, Blair took six months off to explore other opportunities but ultimately came back to ACCO in the Public Relations Coordinator position. Even though Blair has no personal ties to childhood cancer, she is passionate about raising awareness and funding programs for the kids. Her life has been forever impacted by these brave heroes, especially after meeting a few in person. Once the COVID restrictions are lifted, Blair plans to visit more kids in person.
In 2020, Blair successfully ran a staggering CCAM shirt sale with more than 7000 sold. In response to COVID, Blair started a weekly engagement series called “Circle Up” featuring childhood cancer warriors and professionals doing what they do best. This popular series featured Steven the Cancer Crusher cooking for ACCO, Grace doing Yoga, and read alongs by pageant winners. Blair continues to work with the team to create compelling campaigns for the community.
Before ACCO, Blair’s background was in retail, management and public relations. She was able to pivot that experience and excellent follow through into both roles at ACCO, bringing a different perspective to the team. With her retail background, Blair was able to use her customer service skills to engage with the community both online and in person. With her public relations background, she was able to use her design skills and writing expertise to enhance ACCO’s social media.
Blair proudly received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte with a major in Public Relations and minor in Journalism.
Hannah Adams, Regional Advocacy Officer
When Hannah Adams was five and a half years old, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 Nephroblastoma, which meant that a softball-sized cancerous tumor was enveloping her left
kidney. After radiation treatment, chemotherapy, and surgery, she was declared cancer-free eleven years ago!
Hannah has served as an ambassador for various non-profit pediatric cancer organizations such as the American Cancer Society Gold Together for Childhood Cancer and Hyundai Motor Company Hope on Wheels. As ambassador, she helped raise over $30 million for pediatric cancer research, spoke nationally at 40 hospitals, and connected with thousands of brave pediatric cancer fighters. Hannah and her family founded their own non-profit H.U.G.S. (Helping U Get Stronger) 4 Childhood Cancer, which focuses on legislative and community awareness as well as family support.
In 2019, Hannah won Miss Florida’s Outstanding Teen through the Miss America Organization. She traveled across the state of Florida as well as the country serving and connecting with individuals. At the national competition, she was awarded the “Teens In Action Award” for her lifelong dedication to ending pediatric cancer. During her years of service, she broke the record number of appearances with 215 accomplished, raised awareness surrounding the Miss America program, and ultimately focused on making a difference in the lives of others.
To further her knowledge about politics and legislation, Hannah has worked on various successful political campaigns. She has lobbied on Capitol Hill since 2016 for increased pediatric cancer research funding to help pass federal pediatric cancer legislation. To further her interest in the legislative process, Hannah is a freshman within the Honors College at the University of Alabama studying Political Science and Business.
Hannah joined ACCO’s “What About Kids?” initiative, where she is working with the team towards passing state-level pediatric cancer legislation by partnering with legislators and advocates. Hannah will continue fighting for a day without pediatric cancer and is excited to be working with the American Childhood Cancer Organization.
Leanna Headley, Regional Advocacy Officer
Amy Shields, Regional Advocacy Officer
Renea Abate, Office & Resource Manager
Renea eagerly joins the ACCO team to return to the nonprofit sector and be part of our important efforts. She has been away from this field for several years and is looking forward to getting back to serving a community in need.
Renea’s prior work experience focused on various aspects of office management, team support, and customer service. Most recently, Renea was involved in daily operations with the concessions developer company at BWI Airport. She oversaw the security badge processing and management for the entire concessions program, working closely with airport security officials to ensure compliance. She also served as administrative support to the VP of the BWI program and the Sr. VP of Operations for the national company. Other projects included hosting members of the international Board of Directors, volunteer efforts in partnership with the BWI staff, managing the parking tags for all 55 concessions companies, and traveler outreach and support through several annual campaigns.
Prior to that unique experience, Renea worked for various charities and organizations, including the Maryland Hospital Association, Interfaith Works of Montgomery County, and The Humane Society of the U.S.
Her role at ACCO includes managing our distribution of resources and materials to children with cancer and their families and hospital contacts, as well as overseeing the daily office operations and support for the ACCO team.
Her personal experience with cancer is that of a survivor; she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009. While every case is different, Renea calls upon her journey through treatment and survivorship to relate to the children and families we support.
For more information about American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO) Click Here
- To Donate to find a cure for childhood cancers
- To Join Us or Volunteer your time
- For Support & resources