Please consider serving COCA as a Director
Listing of COCA Board of Directors, COCA Staff & Associates
Karen Boylan, BSN, RN, CPN, President
Karen was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2015, but her commitment to helping those with cancer began 20 years earlier. Shortly after losing her mother to breast cancer in 1995, Karen accepted a fellowship at the University of Colorado Hospital for cancer research. She worked in research for several years prior to accepting a position in Ireland to care for pediatric patients with cancer and blood borne diseases. Upon her return to Denver, Karen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from Regis University. She is currently a registered nurse case manager for the Interdisciplinary Pain Team at the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Center. Karen is a proponent of grassroots advocacy and has represented COCA as a COCA Ambassador at the Colorado State Capitol.
Mike Kopcha, Secretary
Mike has served on the COCA board since 2011 and has held the positions of both Secretary and Chairperson of the Governance Committee. His efforts have been instrumental in creating many of the policies and procedures that govern the organization today. Mike knows first-hand the effects that ovarian cancer has on the entire family as he supported his mother before she lost her battle with the disease in 2007. Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Regis University and a Master of Science degree in Enviornmental Policy and Management from Denver University. He worked in a variety of management positions during his nearly 40-year career at Coors Brewing Company and has served on the board for the Coors Hispanic Employee Network, the Institute of Environmental Solutions and the Kathleen Bennett Foundation of Hope for Ovarian Cancer.
Mira Finè, CPA, Treasurer
A partner at Moss Adams, Mira has a long history of supporting nonprofits and volunteer organizations. In 2003, she was honored by the Colorado Society of CPAs with the CPA Making a Difference award for her significant contributions. Following her diagnosis with ovarian cancer in 2008, Mira continued to provide tax planning and compliance services to individuals and business organizations. In 2012, she was recognized in the Experienced Leader Category of the Women to Watch awards. She has also received the Denver Business Journal’s Power Book Award and was named one of the top wealth advisors and estate planners for five years in a row by both Colorado Business Magazine and 5280 Magazine.
MEMBERS AT LARGE:
Felicia Clark, Ed.D.
Plus size cover model turned mathematics curriculum developer, Dr. Felicia Clark combined these two passions to crack the code on how women learn to appreciate their body - no matter age, size, or circumstance. 90% of women dislike their body in some way. Let's turn the tide. Founder of Body Peace University and the Ms. American Goddess Pageant for positive body image, Dr. Clark speaks to college students, women's groups, and counseling organizations on how to overcome negative body image, adapt holistic healthy grooming practices, and embody femininity.
She is a leading body acceptance coach, international author and media expert. As a plus-size model, she modeled for Richard Simmons, Just My Size, Macy's, Jones New York, Kelly Price Collection, several magazines and many designers. Check out her body acceptance journal and take one of the life changing courses. Learn more at DrFeliciaClark.com.
Edward Dauer, LL.B., M.P.H.
Edward, the surviving spouse of a woman with ovarian cancer, serves COCA as a member of the Policy Committee for the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative and as a representative on the Chronic Care Collaborative. He provides COCA with invaluable expertise gained during his career as an attorney, educator and health policy consultant. Edward also brings the perspective of a caregiver to COCA’s board, having cared for his wife Carol who died of ovarian cancer in 2017. In addition to advocating for COCA, he has been a governor-appointed member of the Nurse-Physician Advisory Task Force for Colorado Healthcare, a member of the Advisory Council for the Colorado Physicians’ Health Program (CPHP), a board member and past president for Ability Connection Colorado, an elected Life Member of the American Law Institute, and has been appointed to the Prescription Drug Affordability Advisory Council as the representative of “Statewide Healthcare Consumer Advocacy Organizations.” He has earned degrees from several universities, including Brown University, A.B. (1966), Yale University, LL.B. (1969), and Harvard University, M.P.H. (2001). Edward is also an Adjunct Professor at the Colorado School of Public Health and Dean Emeritus and Professor Emeritus of Law at the University of Denver Sturm School of Law.
Jodeen Garcia has had an extensive career with 25 years’ dedicated to working in the Health Services Industry with a progression of roles including 8 years in the business and 17 years in Information Technology. Her current responsibilities encompass leading an IT Enterprise Organization dedicated to Business Insights and Service Quality programs within the Customer Business Experience Organization.
Jodeen has a master’s degree in Computer Information Systems and received her Bachelors of Accounting and Business Administration from the University of Southern Colorado. She is a member of the Project Management Institute. She was recognized with a President‘s award for her efforts as a leader of the IT Web Portal project that revolutionized how Great-West interacted with their customers and members on a day to day basis. Her efforts and dedication garnered a nomination in the coveted Cigna Customer-Centric Ambassador Program where she was vetted across hundreds of participants. As one of the first wave of participants – she has helped shape the program and currently is active in expanding its participation throughout the Information Technology Organization.
Kay's enthusiastic welcome and warm smile have greeted hundreds of cancer survivors during the nine years she has served as the chairperson of the Survivors Breakfast at Jodi's Race. She's also provided the Jodi's Race planning committee with exciting new ideas, strong organizational practices and valuable connections. Kay graduated Magna Cum Laude with a degree in education from Metropolitan State University. During her teaching career, she worked at an elementary school and also taught computer technicians at a large oil company. Kay received the highest adult honor provided by the Girl Scouts of America for her volunteer efforts, has been awarded outstanding volunteer of the year by both the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies and Komen Colorado and was honored with the Teal Hero award at the 2017 Jodi's Race. She also volunteers with the American Lung Association, Sense of Security and Table of Grace.
Sharisse is a certified genetic counselor residing in Denver. She currently works with patients who have been diagnosed with ovarian cancer and well as individuals who have a family history of ovarian cancer as well as other cancer types. While Sharisse does not have a personal or familial tie to ovarian cancer, she has always found the genetics of ovarian cancer and the potential familial implications of genetic testing for this patient population to be fascinating. Sharisse received her Masters in Genetic Counseling and her Masters in Bioethics from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH. She has always had a passion for community outreach and enjoys playing a part in helping women advocate for themselves when it comes to genetic testing. She believes knowledge is power when it comes to genetic testing. Sharisse is a bilingual provider who speaks Spanish and has a passion for working with the Spanish-speaking population. As a member of the Board, she hopes to help create initiatives aimed at educating women about the importance of genetic testing for themselves and for their family members.
Sharisse es una consejera genética certificada que vive en Denver. Ella trabaja con pacientes que han sido diagnosticadas con cáncer de los ovarios y también con individuos que tienen una historia familiar de cáncer de los ovarios y otros tipos de cáncer. Mientras Sharisse no tiene una conexión personal o familiar con el cáncer de los ovarios, siempre ha encontrado fascinantes la genética de este cáncer y las posibles implicaciones familiares de las pruebas genéticas para esta población de pacientes. Sharisse recibió su Maestría en Consejería Genética y su Maestría en los Estudios Bioéticos de Case Western Reserve University en Cleveland, OH. Ella siempre ha tenido una pasión por el alcance comunitario y disfruta ayudar a las mujeres a abogar por sí mismas cuando se trata de pruebas genéticas. Ella cree que el conocimiento es poder cuando se trata de pruebas genéticas. Sharisse es un proveedor bilingüe que habla español y le apasiona trabajar con hispanohablantes. Como miembro de la junta de directores, ella desea crear iniciativas destinadas a educar a las mujeres sobre la importancia de las pruebas genéticas para ellas mismas y para los miembros de su familia.
Barbara Yondorf retired in 2020 and is now an active community volunteer. She sits on the boards of the Colorado Ovarian Cancer Alliance, Mental Health Center of Denver, Center for African American Health, and Colorado Center on Law and Policy. She volunteers with the Red Cross, Project Angel Heart and Denver Health. Prior to retiring she was president of Yondorf & Associates, a Denver-based, health policy consulting firm. Her areas of expertise include health policy research and analysis, feasibility studies, strategic planning, facilitation, legislative drafting and analysis, and grant writing and review. Before starting Yondorf & Associates, Barbara served in senior positions at Rose Community Foundation, the National Conference of State Legislatures, Colorado Division of Insurance, and Colorado Department of Health. She was a budget analyst for the Colorado General Assembly and, before that, served on the Public Health and Public Administration faculties of the University of Washington. She has a BA with Honors from the University of Chicago and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.
COCA STAFF & CONTRACTORS
Rachel Dauer, Director, Carol's Wish Clinical Financial Navigation
Rachel has always had a passion for nonprofit work and has been a long time volunteer for the Make-A-Wish Foundation of Colorado and the Dumb Friends League. That passion, along with her mother Carol's fight against ovarian cancer, brought Rachel to COCA. Even as she braved her own cancer journey, Carol had one wish: that nobody should receive substandard medical care for financial reasons. To carry on her mother's legacy, Rachel and the Carol's Wish team work as advocates to generate creative, proactive solutions, unique to each individual, to help minmize the often extraordinary out of pocket costs for cancer treatments. The goal of their work is to eliminate financial toxicity before it begins, allowing those diagnosed with cancer to focus on what's most important - getting well. Rachel holds a BA from the University of Northern Colorado, a JD from the University of Virginia, and is a licensed attorney and real estate broker.
Karen Carter, Financial Advocate
Karen Carter earned her degree in court reporting at the age of 19 and pursued her legal profession for several years. Subsequently, Karen also created a financial management / medical billing practice for physician's offices, which she owned and operated in the Denver area for approximately five years. Following a 2009 intraperitoneal / ovarian cancer diagnosis and treatment, she began volunteering in various capacities with COCA projects. Then, subsequently spent a year with AmeriCorps, Boomers Leading Change program, as a fully-trained Patient Navigator. Carol's Wish program is a very passionate fit for Karen, who enjoys working with patients by sourcing programs to assist financially to reduce the stress and anxiety created by out-of-pocket costs for gyn-onc cancer patients. Karen currently volunteers with several non-profits and manages her corporation's various businesses.
Patrice Hauptman, Executive Director
Patrice has always had a passion for cause oriented work. She has worked in the US Senate, helped start a national nonprofit, worked in advocacy groups and has run a private sector company. She is honored to work for COCA and all the women and families it serves. She invites all supporters of COCA to feel free to call her and learn about everything COCA does.
Heili Lehr, Supportive Services Counselor
Heili is a Licensed Professional Counselor Candidate and owner of Navigating Loss, PLLC a private practice in Northglenn specializing in individual therapy for those experiencing loss, change, grief and life transitions. After a long first career in Private Wealth Management, Heili had a midlife career change, earning her BS in Applied Psychology from Regis University in 2017 and her MA in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regis in 2020. As a 20+ year breast cancer survivor and a 5+ year hospice worker, Heili is passionate about supporting people who are navigating all of the unique challenges of their personal cancer journey. Heili has joined COCA as a Supportive Services Counselor who will be helping with COCA Outreach, Nicki’s Circle Support Groups, and the Individual Support Program.
Christi Ng, Fianancial Advocate
Christi has been interested in the nonprofit world since she was young as a member of the March of Dimes youth council. Since then, her involvement in nonprofit work has expanded from volunteering to serving on boards of organizations and now in her present role at Carol's Wish and COCA. She enjoys her work as a Financial Advocate assisting patients by helping them navigate and alleviate some of the financial stress their diagnosis brings. Christi earned her MPA with a concentration in Nonprofit Management with honors.
Jeanene Smith, Associate Director
In 1999, Jeanene was diagnosed with Stage IIc Ovarian Cancer. Her story is a testament to the importance of early diagnosis! Jeanene joined COCA in 2012 as a contract employee, overseeing COCA’s first ever Ovarian Cancer Summit. She transitioned to Associate Director shortly thereafter. In 2017, Jeanene became the Jodi's Race Director and also currently manages the COCA Cares Financial Assistance and Comfort Kit programs, acts as the volunteer coordinator, is responsible for all COCA and Jodi's Race communications, and spearheads COCA’s ovarian cancer awareness efforts. Prior to joining COCA, she worked in the wealth management industry for more than 12 years. Jeanene holds a degree in Vocal Music from the University of Colorado Boulder, and has sung with opera companies in Colorado, Hawaii, and Washington DC. You'll see her wonderful husband Patrick volunteering at nearly every COCA event!
Melanie Stachelski, MA, Nicki's Circle Facilitator
As a cancer patient going through treatments for Leukemia, Melanie Stachelski wanted to know how she could not only survive, but how she could THRIVE. This path of inquiry led Melanie to pursue a Master's Degree in Counseling Psychology and open her own private practice: Colorado Cancer Counseling. Now, as a cancer therapist and co-facilitator of Nicki's Circle Support Groups, Melanie feels that it is her passion and privilege to combine all of the training, education, and insight she has gathered over the past decade with the life-changing experience of her own cancer diagnosis in order to give other cancer survivors the tools, information, hope, and inspiration to continue their journey towards health and well-being.
Yiara Urquidez, Financial Advocate
Yiara is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, with a bachelor's degree in Healthcare Management. She graduated in December 2019, right before the world suddenly stopped. She interned with COCA during the last semester of her undergraduate program and is so happy to come back and work with us! She is part of Carol's Wish program and has learned so much from the team. Yiara is a fluent Spanish speaker and is a life line for COCA's Spanish speaking only survivors. She has dabbled into other programs and loves what we do and the impact we're making. She has said, "I don't know what my ultimate goal is, but if the pandemic taught me anything, it's not to plan and just do."
Katlyn Von Muenster, Clinical Programs Manager
Katlyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor and owner of Von Muenster Counseling, LLC. Since receiving her Master of Arts degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Regis University, she has specialized in providing Cancer Counseling with a concentration in Ovarian Cancer. Katlyn serves as our Clinical Support Programs Manager, helping to facilitate our Nicki’s Circle Support Groups, COCA Connections Program, and COCA Outreach. She holds a special place for those experiencing the effects of Ovarian Cancer as her aunt lost her own battle with the cancer. In addition to being a part of the COCA team, Katlyn practices individual and couples’ therapy in the Denver Metro area.