Executive Team – Pancreatic Cancer Action Network

Executive Team

Julie Fleshman, President & CEO

Community Outreach

Jenny Isaacson, Vice President of Community Engagement
Pamela Acosta Marquardt, Founder & Director of Donor and Corporate Relations
Donna DeDario, Director, Corporate and Community Relations

Government Affairs and Advocacy

Megan Gordon Don, Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy

Human Resources

Cathleen Togut, Vice President of Human Resources

Information Technology

Tak Fujii, Vice President, Information Technology
George Hsing, Director, Information Technology

Marketing and Communications

Lisa Gilmour, Vice President of Marketing and Communications
Bonnie Widerman, Director, Marketing and Communications

Scientific and Medical Affairs

Lynn Matrisian, Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs
Anitra Talley, Director of Patient Services & Medical Relations

President & CEO
Julie M. Fleshman, JD, MBA, Los Angeles, CA

Julie Fleshman serves as the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s President and CEO. In 1999, Julie lost her father to pancreatic cancer and is committed to change the course of this disease. She became the organization’s first full-time staff person and Executive Director in April 2000. In July 2004, the Board of Directors appointed Julie as President and CEO of the organization. The Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has grown to a staff of nearly 100, with offices in Los Angeles, CA and Washington, D.C and is providing programs to people across the country.

Under Julie’s leadership, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network has laid the groundwork to make true inroads on this disease. The organization’s advocacy and grassroots efforts have led to a 500% increase in federal funding for pancreatic cancer research and the organization has awarded 95 research grants across the country. Nearly 70,000 patients and families have been served through the Patient and Liaison Services program. Its grassroots network has grown to 58 volunteer affiliates, and in 2006, its first international affiliate in Japan opened.

Julie graduated from Santa Clara University School of Law and Leavey School of Business in December 2000 with a JD/MBA degree. Julie graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1997 with a B.A. in Law & Society and was awarded most outstanding graduating senior in the Law & Society program. She also studied abroad at Oxford University and in Tokyo, Japan.  
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Vice President of Government Affairs & Advocacy
Megan Gordon Don, Washington, DC

Megan Gordon Don leads our public policy and advocacy activities and heads our Washington, DC office.  She and her Government Affairs & Advocacy team members work to educate Members of Congress and the Administration about pancreatic cancer and the need for more federal funding for pancreatic cancer research as well develop and implement our national grassroots advocacy program. 

Megan has extensive experience in developing advocacy programs for non-profit patient associations and working with the cancer and broader public health policy communities. She came to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in July 2006 after working as an independent consultant focused on helping clients such as the Parkinson’s Action Network and the National Health Council with government relations activities. Her previous experience also includes working as a senior lobbyist at the American Cancer Society (ACS), a healthcare legislative aide to U.S. Representative Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), the Director of Socioeconomics and Quality Management for the Dallas County Medical Society and as a healthcare industry analyst for Andersen Consulting (now known as Accenture).

Megan received her B.A. in Modern European Studies/Economics from Smith College, and her Master’s in Health Policy & Management from Johns Hopkins University.
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Vice President, Information Technology
Tak Fujii, Los Angeles, CA

Tak Fujii joined the senior leadership team in the role of Vice President of Information Technology. Tak is a proven executive with over 20 years of experience establishing strategic technologies for companies like Warmington Residential, Hearthstone and The Olson Company. Tak has a long history of delivering transformational enterprise-level initiatives like ERP, BI, CRM, Scheduling, ITIL, Disaster Recovery, SOC compliance, Outsourcing and Cloud Computing.

Tak’s experience spans several industries, including financial investment advisory, commercial banking, software, consulting, real estate development and higher education.

A native of Southern California, Tak has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a MBA in eBusiness from the University of Phoenix. Tak is also an Adjunct Instructor with the University of La Verne, where he teaches courses in Management Information Systems.
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Vice President of Marketing
Lisa Gilmour, Los Angeles, CA
As our Director of Marketing and Communications, Lisa brings more than 20 years of experience in the area of strategic marketing and planning, marketing programs and marketing communications from the high tech industry. Having worked for two of the largest and most successful high tech companies, Symantec Corporation and Microsoft, Lisa brings a wealth of marketing and management expertise to the position. Her marketing and management skills have brought her many awards throughout her career. Lisa completed her education at the University of California, Santa Barbara. Lisa’s passion to create effective marketing and communication programs to help raise national awareness about this disease, stems from the death of her brother from pancreatic cancer in 2002.
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Director, Information Technology
George Hsing, MBA, Los Angeles, CA
George has over 20 years of experience in the technology sector. He received his B.S. in Computer Science from Cal. State University Northridge, and MBA from Cal. Lutheran University. Prior to joining at Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, George took on positions at Prudential Insurance and Metlife Investors as programmer, network administrator, and technology manager.
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Vice President of Community Engagement
Jenny Isaacson, Los Angeles, CA

Jenny Isaacson joined the senior leadership team in the role of Vice President, Community Engagement. Jenny comes to us from the Starlight Children’s Foundation where she served as Vice President, Brand Marketing and Communications. Her experience includes a wide spectrum in the areas of visioning, strategic planning, budgeting, fund development and communications/marketing as well as a strong background in building and maximizing corporate partnerships, cause-related marketing and national fund raising promotions. Jenny has more than twenty-five years of experience and previous roles include leadership positions in Marketing and Public Relations. She received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of East Anglia, Norwich, Great Britain where she graduated with Honors. Reporting to the CEO, Jenny will provide overall management and strategic direction of the organization’s Donor Relations, Corporate Relations and Community Outreach programs.
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Founder & Director of Donor and Corporate Relations
Pamela Acosta Marquardt, Los Angeles, California
Pamela Acosta Marquardt, who lost her mother to pancreatic cancer in 1996, is the primary founder of Pancreatic Cancer Action Network and the original creator of the An Evening with the Stars gala.

Marquardt comes to us from her position as Executive Director of the American Heart Association in the Inland Empire area of Southern California. She was responsible for overseeing the generation of more than $10 million dollars of local revenue raised during her tenure, to assist the organization in achieving their mission of reducing death and disability due to heart disease and stroke.

Formerly Vice President of Ontario Metal Recycling, in Ontario, California for 12 years. Her responsibilities included developing the company’s marketing strategies, operational systems for efficiency, and media and advertising efforts. Prior to that, she was the Vice President of Property Development for a chain of West coast clothing stores for 12 years, handling site development, lease negotiation, and the design and construction of more than 30 retail clothing operations.
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Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs
Lynn Matrisian, Los Angeles, California
Lynn Matrisian joined the senior leadership team in the newly created role of Vice President of Scientific and Medical Affairs. Lynn received a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from the University of Arizona and put her scientific training to work over the past 25 years leading a research laboratory dedicated to understanding cancer metastasis. She has published more than 200 original scientific articles and trained more than 30 young scientists who have gone on to join the fight against cancer in the academic, biotechnology, pharmaceutical, government, and non-profit sectors. Lynn was the founding chair of the Department of Cancer Biology in the School of Medicine at Vanderbilt University, the President of the 30,000+ member American Association for Cancer Research (AACR), and a Special Assistant to the Director of the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health. In March 2013, Lynn was elected into the inaugural class of the Fellows of the AACR Academy, which recognizes and honors distinguished scientists whose major scientific contributions have propelled significant innovation and progress against cancer. Her extensive experience and passion for cancer research makes her well-positioned to lead the organizations scientific and medical affairs teams as they strive to reach the goal of doubling the survival rate from pancreatic cancer by 2020.
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Director of Patient Services & Medical Relations
Anitra Talley, Los Angeles, California
Prior to taking on her current position as Director of Patient Services & Medical Relations, Anitra worked in a number of capacities within the PALS program. Most recently she worked as the PALS Manager of Operations. In this role she was responsible for managing and overseeing the PALS call-in program, training new team members, and ensuring the high quality of the information provided by PALS Associates. In her current and previous roles, Anitra has been committed to providing pancreatic cancer survivors and their loved ones with the best service possible.

Anitra graduated from the University of Minnesota -- Twin Cities with a B.S. in Biology and a minor in Spanish Studies. Before joining the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, she gained a tremendous amount of experience working and volunteering in a number of health related capacities. Also, as part of her studies for the College of Biological Sciences Honors Program, Anitra worked in a thoracic oncology laboratory where she conducted research for a thesis project.

Anitra’s interest in oncology began as a child after losing several close family members and friends to various cancers. Her interest grew throughout her studies and research work and she has embraced the opportunity to continue in this field with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.
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Vice President of Human Resources
Cathleen Togut, Los Angeles, California
Cathleen Togut has over thirty years experience as a Human Resources executive working primarily in the technology and communications industries. Past leadership roles include Hughes Space and Communications, GE Capital-ResCom, and GlobeCast (a subsidiary of France Telecom). Cathleen has extensive experience developing and managing Human Resources departments and working closely with senior leadership to establish organizational strategy. Cathleen has lost several family members to cancer and an aunt to pancreatic cancer and is honored to be able to work in an organization dedicated to creating hope for those fighting this deadly disease. Cathleen has a Bachelors of Science degree in Social Sciences from California Polytechnic State University-San Luis Obispo.
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Director, Marketing and Communications
Bonnie Widerman, Los Angeles, California

Bonnie Widerman brings more than 20 years of experience in marketing and communications to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network. Bonnie has a strong background in healthcare, as well as in the technology and financial services arenas, having worked for such companies as HealthCare Partners Medical Group and Experian, as well as several technology start-ups.

Bonnie graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UCLA with her B.A. in Linguistics and earned her M.A. in Communications Management from the USC Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism. She also completed a fellowship in non-profit leadership and feels that serving with the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network gives her a chance to make a difference in people’s lives.

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