Dynamic Leadership to Fight a Devastating Disease
Pancreatic Cancer North America is led by a dedicated group of professionals and thought leaders, with the collective aim of raising the rate of survival for those facing pancreatic cancer. Together, they steer our research investments, fundraising endeavors, and champion the thousands of North Americans that will face a pancreatic cancer diagnosis.
Meet Our Leaders
President & CEO
Over the last two years while the charitable sector has grappled with the COVID-19 pandemic, Michelle has kept her eyes on the future, spearheading the development of Pancreatic Cancer North America and championing a bold approach to improving pancreatic cancer treatment options and care through unexpected partnerships and collaborations. Prior to being with Pancreatic Cancer North America and our sister organization Pancreatic Cancer Canada, Michelle was a senior staff member of the MS Society of Canada, preceded by a long-term tenure with the Easter Seals Research Institute. At these organizations, she provided leadership on numerous national new business development ventures, resulting in revenues in excess of $1M per year for the charities and a clear increase in brand recognition, employee engagement and a positive charity affiliation for corporate partners.
Chief Operating Officer
Amanda has been aligned with the pancreatic cancer movement since 2017. Having spent 20+ years in the not-for-profit sector with incredible organizations like the MS Society of Canada, Three to Be and Pancreatic Cancer Canada, she brings knowledge, experience and insights that will help PCNA elevate our outreach efforts and the achievement of our mission. Amanda is particularly committed to changing the outcomes for people affected by pancreatic cancer because she does not accept that this deadly disease has seen little to no meaningful progress over the span of decades. She is passionate about sharpening our focus on raising survival rates through novel and multi-sector approaches while not turning our backs on those who face the likely outcomes of this disease as it stands today. This means a call for greater access to palliative care and more humane interventions for those at the end of life stage. Amanda is a very proud mom, wife and friend which inspires her dedication to this work.
Vice President, Partnerships and Development
Amy joins Pancreatic Cancer North America with close to 20 years experience in various fundraising roles with the MS Society of Canada and Pancreatic Cancer Canada. She is helping to guide revenue development for PCNA, including philanthropic giving, strategic and corporate partnership. Amy is passionate about relationship building and finding unique and creative ways of working with partners and donors. She finds great value in putting her skills to work for such an underfunded form of cancer. In her spare time, Amy enjoys traveling and spending as much time as possible outdoors with friends and family.
Ricky Ray Butler
Ricky Ray Butler is a 15 year digital veteran who has been at the forefront of reimagining the advertising landscape in a world of ever growing digital content. He found Plaid Social Labs in 2009 which was later acquired by BEN. Today BEN is leading the way in connecting brands to the right audiences in non-ad supported media across social, streaming and traditional platforms, and with the recent acquisition of TubeBuddy, has expanded that mission to help the 6M+ creators on the platform.
Butler serves as an advisor and investor for entrepreneurs and charities who share his relentless quest for disruption and deep learning, including applications of natural language generation in gaming with AI Dungeon and powering automated machine learning using unstructured data with Zeff (acquired by DataRobot). As one of AdAge’s 40 Under 40, and a member of Forbes Agency Council, Butler is serving as the catalyst for the next generation of data driven entertainment and advertising. Like any true digital nerd, Ricky spends his free time creating art no one should see and reading about the myriad of ways data has and can improve the 21st century.
Board Director and Medical Advisor
Dr. Kirpalani is a radiologist, medical educator, and healthcare entrepreneur with over 15 years of broad practice experience in both academic and private/community settings in Canada and the USA. He has been a staff radiologist at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto since 2009, where he is also the Head of Abdominal Radiology, Chair of Medical Imaging Research at St. Michael’s, and Associate Professor in the Department of Medical Imaging at the University of Toronto. In addition to maintaining a busy clinical practice, Anish has authored over 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and has given over 40 invited lectures in radiology, focused mostly in MRI. Anish has a background in both engineering and medicine. He lives in Toronto with his wife and two young children.
Russell Browne is a Managing Director Sales and Structuring, Metals Trading FICC, providing metals risk management solutions and structures to clients in the Mining, Energy, Chemical and Institutional Investor sectors. Russell recently joined BMO in November 2018, having previously worked at Scotiabank (ScotiaMocatta) for 10 years, as a Director in Precious Metals Sales and Trading. Prior to working in metals, Russell worked 7 years in Currency Sales and Structuring. Russell began his career in Montreal, working as an open-outcry Pit Trader at the Montreal Exchange, trading futures on 5 and 10 year Canadian Bonds and 3 month Bankers Acceptances. Russell has a B.A. in Economics from Concordia University (Canada).
Lauren Israel is Executive Director, Business Management at the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) in New York City. Her current responsibilities include coordinating employee giving, sponsorships and donations for the US Capital Markets team. Prior to her role with CIBC, Lauren held several positions at the Bank of America Merrill Lynch where she served as Director in several Technology departments over her 12 year tenure, including Global Markets and Risk Technologies, Legal and Compliance Technology and Finance Technology in New York and London. She obtained her Masters of Business Administration and Bachelor of Science at the University at Buffalo, with concentrations in finance and international business. Lauren has also been a dedicated volunteer on the United Way of New York City Campaign Council since 2017.
Mr. Paul is a Vice-President, Client Wealth Management at Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., a member of the Firm’s Asset Mix team and a registered Portfolio Manager. Mr. Paul received an Honours Business Administration degree, with distinction, from the Richard Ivey School of Business at Western University. He has also earned his Chartered Accountant (CPA, CA) designation and Chartered Investment Manager (CIM®) designation. Prior to joining Gluskin Sheff in 2009, Mr. Paul was a Senior Associate with Deloitte & Touche, Corporate Finance Canada Inc. Mr. Paul is a member of the Toronto Hebrew Memorial Parks Investment Committee.
Richard Weldon is a Managing Partner at Romspen and is responsible for special projects, including the restructuring of development strategies and asset enhancement. Richard has over 30 years of experience in real estate planning, construction and leasing. He has built, owned and managed over 1,000 commercial and residential projects across North America. Prior to joining Romspen in 2011, Richard was Vice President of Sotheby’s International Realty focusing on the successful restructuring, marketing and sale of major residential and commercial projects for many of Canada’s largest financial institutions.
Richard was trained as a Chartered Accountant and received his Commerce degree from Concordia University in Montreal.
Pancreatic Cancer North America
14724 Ventura Boulevard
Sherman Oaks, CA
Toll Free: 1-844-274-3640
Pancreatic Cancer North America is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit recognized by the IRS. Tax ID #84-5185853. Any contributions to Pancreatic Cancer North America are tax-deductible as permitted by law.
Pancreatic Cancer North America is proud to work in partnership with Pancreatic Cancer Canada.