FBCF Board of Directors

Aimee Sanchez-Zadak, Ed.D.

Board Chair / Ft. Lauderdale

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Aimee Sanchez-Zadak has dedicated her life to teaching through empathy and understanding the human need to be understood. Dr. Zadak's sensitivity to human behavior allows her to understand each person’s situation and empathize with her client. Her training in psychology stresses confidentiality in an educational setting.

She is an adjunct professor of Psychology at NSU, Behavioral Strategist and Life Editor™ and developed “Counting Down," to educate individuals in the corporate and private environments. Dr. Aimee Sanchez-Zadak holds a masters degree in Mental Health Counseling and a doctoral degree in Educational Leadership and Human Services, both from NSU. She has been an adjunct professor at Nova Southeastern University since 1997, teaching various courses in the School of Psychology and Neuroscience.

Dr. Zadak sits as Chair of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, where she reviews grants for the Educational Committee awarding over one million dollars in grants be used in the State of Florida.   She is an advocate for a women's right to choose their health outcomes and she was named Hispanic Women of Distinction in 2012.'

Dr. Zadak lives in Davie, Florida with her husband of 26 years, her two daughters, two dogs, 4 horses , 2 gold fish and 2 goats.  She continues to be an advocate for women’s choices in healthcare and believes that if we take the time to understand who we are we can then move forward in resolving our professional and personal road blocks.

Conor Lynch, Ph.D.

Vice-Chair & Governance Chair / Tampa

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Dr. Conor Lynch has served as the Vice-Chair and Governance Chair of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation since 2016. As an Associate Member of the Tumor Biology Department at the Moffitt Cancer Center and Associate Professor of Oncologic Sciences at the University of South Florida, Dr. Lynch’s laboratory has always focused on metastatic breast cancer and defining how active and established metastases manipulate the surrounding normal tissue microenvironment in order to establish and grow.

Since joining the Moffitt Cancer Center in 2011, he has been aware of the passion, enthusiasm and dedication of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation to educate women about breast cancer and their commitment to raising funds to support breast cancer research.

“When I was invited to join the board I did not hesitate to sign up. I am committed in any way I can helping the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation be successful in its mission.”

Dr. Lynch also serves as Treasurer for the Metastasis Research Society.

Lowell Rush, CPA, MBA

Treasurer / Miami

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Lowell M. Rush has been a member of the Board of Directors and Treasurer since December 2008. He is a CPA with an MBA in International Business, with experience in public and privately held companies across diverse industries, including technology, marketing, retail, food, and professional services. 

He currently serves as Chief Financial Officer of T-ROC (The Revenue Optimization Companies), a fast-growing sales solutions company based in Coral Gables, Florida, and is on the Board of another public company, with the designation of “financial expert.”

Lowell joined the Foundation’s Board shortly after losing his wife to breast cancer, hoping to end the suffering caused by breast cancer to its victims and caretakers.

Kathy Durham

Secretary / Ft. Lauderdale

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Bio coming soon...

Jeri Francoeur, MS

Director & Advocacy Chair / Ormond Beach

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Bio coming soon...

Annette Khaled, Ph.D.

Director & Scientific Co-Chair / Orlando

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Dr. Khaled has been a research scientist for over 20 years and is a tenured Professor in the College of Medicine (COM) at the University of Central Florida (UCF).  She heads the Division of Cancer Research in the Burnett School of Biomedical Sciences (BSBS) and, in this role, is contributing to the formation of the new UCF Lake Nona Cancer Center. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Florida, Gainesville, FL, and completed her post-doctoral training at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Frederick, MD. 

Dr. Khaled’s laboratory at the UCF Lake Nona Medical Campus consists of scientists and graduate students and has been funded over the years by NIH, the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation (FBCF), and most recently by the Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF).  Her research spans the development of cancer therapeutics and diagnostics that target the lethal, metastatic forms of cancer using innovative technologies in nanoscience and immunology.

To date, Dr. Khaled has produced over 100 published works and has presented her research at numerous national and international venues. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Khaled teaches immunology to graduate students.  Past leadership activities include being a senator for the UCF Faculty Senate and president of the COM Faculty Council.  Dr. Khaled is involved in service outside of UCF as a grant reviewer for NIH, manuscript reviewer for numerous publications, and is on the editorial board for Cytokine.

As a board member of the FBCF, she helps advance the mission of the foundation and co-chairs the Scientific Committee.  Dr. Khaled is a fellow of the 2018-2019 class of Hedwig van Ameringen Executive Leadership in Academic Medicine (ELAM) program and has received numerous awards such as the UCF Research for the Stars award, UCF Luminary award, and was an NCI CURE Lifetime Achievement honoree.

Shahla Masood, MD

Director & Scientific Co-Chair / Jacksonville

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Shahla Masood, MD

Professor and Chair, Department of Pathology

University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville

Medical Director, UF Health Breast Center Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine UF Health Jacksonville

Dr. Shahla Masood is a Persian born physician, who currently holds the positions of Professor and Chair of the Department of Pathology at University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville and Chief of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine at UF Health Jacksonville.  She is also the Director of the Cytopathology and Breast Pathology Fellowship Training Program. In addition, Dr. Masood is the Medical Director of UF Health Breast Center.

An internationally recognized expert in breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis, Dr. Masood has fostered the concept of an integrated multidisciplinary approach in breast cancer care, research, and education. Dr. Masood joined the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation (FBCF) in 2006. She serves as a Member of the Board of Directors and Co-Chair of the Scientific Committee for FBCF.

She is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Breast Journal, the founder and past president of the “International Society of Breast Pathology,” the Director of the “Annual Multidisciplinary Symposium on Breast Disease,” and “The Breast Cancer Public Forum”. Dr. Masood is heavily involved in the study of minimally invasive procedures such as fine needle aspiration biopsy and ductal lavage in providing diagnostic and prognostic information in high risk and breast cancer patients.

She defined the cytomorphology of high-risk proliferative breast disease in the early 1990s  and  has  pioneered  the  concept  of  cytomorphology  as  a  breast  cancer  predictor.  Dr. Masood is the author of several textbooks, book chapters, and numerous publications. She is a frequent speaker at national and international symposiums and consensus meetings. She is also a member of the board of trustees of several prestigious scientific societies and organizations at local, regional, national and international levels.

Dr. Masood has received numerous awards and recognition for her scientific work, her contribution to advancing global breast health education and her efforts to improve the quality of breast health care. She is the recipient of “The 2010 Breast Health Global Initiative Award,” “Courage to Teach Award” from National Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education, and Florida Times Union “Eve Award,” to name a few. She has been named as one of the Top Doctors in America, Top Doctors in Cancer and one of the 20 Top Most Influential Professors in Oncology at an international level.

In 2015, Dr. Masood was honored in Rome, Italy by Susan G. Komen Italia, a partnership between Susan. G. Komen and the Catholic University in Rome for her widespread contributions to breast cancer advocacy, and initiation of the Italian “Race for the Cure” in 2000. Dr. Masood is a patient advocate, a partner in community affairs and an accomplished artist and gourmet chef. She is the mother of two accomplished physicians, Dr. Ali Kasraeian, a urologist, and Dr. Sina Kasraeian, an orthopedic surgeon.

Lawrence Mendlow, MS

Director & Education Co-Chair / Jacksonville

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Lawrence Mendlow graduated from Cooper Union in New York City with a Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering in 1972 and from the University of Miami with a Masters in Ocean Engineering in 1977. Lawrence worked as a civilian engineer for the Navy for 30 years; the first 22 years, as a project engineer/project manager designing and installing fixed ocean facilities (mostly submarine cable systems and specialized moorings); the last 8 years, as the Technical Director/Chief Engineer of a small program office tasked to modernize the Navy's Lighterage Systems (methods and equipment to offload resupply ships at sea). 

After a a massive heart attack in 2008--from which he was considered lucky to survive--he retired from the Navy in 2009 and moved to Jacksonville, FL.  Soon after moving, his wife was diagnosed with metastatic breast cancer. Despite a clean report the year before, tests showed a large mass in her breast. Further tests revealed that the cancer had already spread to much of her body and his wife passed away 21 months later. With her death, Lawrence took to volunteering to help the groups that meant much to him, the American Heart Association, various breast cancer groups, and Mayo Clinic where his wife had been treated.

Lawrence, a former long-time volunteer of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation, and now a Board Member and Co-Chair of the Education Committee, said what drew him the Foundation was the emphasis on education, research and advocacy. Also, he said he felt the Foundation fit him better as a male better than many of the other breast cancer organizations.

Lawrence is currently retired and spends his days working part time as an Ocean Engineer to PCCI, Inc, a small Government Contractor, and part time as a softball umpire. He still volunteers three days a week at Mayo Clinic and on an as needed basis for other charities. When he's not busy helping others, he enjoys spending time with his three daughters, one who lives in Winston Salem, NC and the other two who are nearby in Jacksonville.

“I am simply trying my best to see that the afflictions that have affected my family do not affect other families, and that children do not have to see their parents in a hospital, hoping that they will recover from that heart attack. I wanted help keep others from going through the pain and suffering that my wife went through and that I was going through.”

 

Valencia Robinson, Ed.S.

Director / Daytona Beach

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Mrs. Valencia Robinson, Ed.S was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in October 2006. She was busy enjoying life as a high school English teacher and a mother of a 3, 4, 5, and 8 year old.  She continued teaching during chemotherapy and this ignited in her a passion to be an advocate for others as she saw many women suffering and dying after their diagnosis. Her advocacy work is very extensive.

As board member of the Florida Breast Cancer Foundation she serves on various committees where she visits the state capitol in Tallahassee advocating for legislation that would make life easier for cancer patients and for funds to continue research and treatment for patients. She has also advocated for similar legislation in Washington DC working along with the National Breast Cancer Coalition.

She serves on the triple negative patient advisory board of the pharmaceutical company Astra Zeneca where she advises the company on clinical study design and planning efforts in order to optimize patient experience.  She also works with the Department of Defense, Congressional Directed Medical Research Programs, specifically the Breast Cancer Research Program which challenges the scientific community to design research that will address the urgency of ending breast cancer. 

The National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute, and the Oncology Nursing Society are all organizations that she is currently working with to help improve care for women who are diagnosed with breast cancer. In her local community she has sponsored a Wellness Retreat for 8 years where breast cancer patients and survivors come for a free three day weekend of rest and relaxation. 

Local doctors talk to the those in attendance and estheticians and massage therapists are on hand to provide a joy filled weekend of strength, serenity and smiles. In 2013 she was selected as a National Teacher of the Year by People Magazine.  She is an author and speaker who uses her personal testimony which is life affirming and encourages all to change their outlook on the miracle of daily life. Valencia Robinson has continued to educate herself as a patient advocate, through various outlets that has allowed her to encompass a wide range of knowledge and training that she disseminates in her community and beyond.

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