The Basser Center Leadership Council tirelessly advocates, informs, and engages on behalf of the Basser Center. The Council enhances and supports the Center’s broader mission and provides hope to patients and families by securing the resources needed to accelerate BRCA-related research, care, and education.
Mindy Gray, Chair
Mindy is Board Chair of the Basser Leadership Council.
Mindy Gray is the Co-Founder of the Gray Foundation, a private foundation committed to maximizing access to education, healthcare and opportunity for low-income children in New York. The Gray Foundation is also focused on funding initiatives to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA mutations.
In 2012, Mindy and Jon Gray made a transformative gift to establish the Basser Center for BRCA at Penn Medicine’s Abramson Cancer Center and to date have given over $55 million towards its mission. The Basser Center was named in honor of Faith Basser, Mindy’s sister who died of BRCA-related ovarian cancer at the age of 44. At the time of its founding, it was the first and only center in the world dedicated to funding research across the globe, educating providers and patients, and advancing care for individuals and their families living with BRCA1/2 mutations.
Mindy is the Board Chair of the Basser Leadership Council and a former member of the Executive Board of Directors of the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund Alliance (OCRFA) where she served for over 10 years. Mindy is also actively involved at the Harlem Village Academies charter schools and sits on the Leadership Council of Peer Health Exchange, an organization dedicated to giving teens a comprehensive health education.
Previously, Mindy worked as an editor at Ziff Davis Publishing and then as a marketing executive at Edwin Schlossberg, Inc., an exhibit design firm. She and her husband Jon reside in NYC where they are raising their four daughters.
Mindy received her Bachelor’s of Arts in English with a minor in History from the University of Pennsylvania, where she graduated magna cum laude in 1992.
After graduating cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania, Tamsen received her Master's in genetics from Brandeis University. She currently works as a licensed genetic counselor in the oncogenetics department at Boston Medical Center.
Previously, Tamsen worked as project manager and head genetic counselor for the multi-site REVEAL study (Risk Evaluation and Education for Alzheimer Disease). She also worked as a genetic counselor at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and a fetal malformations/teratology researcher at Massachusetts General and Brigham and Women's hospitals.
Tamsen has co-authored numerous scientific articles with her colleagues at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston University School of Medicine and Cornell-Weill Medical School. She received the best abstract award from the National Society of Genetic Counselors, and has presented research findings to that organization as well as to the American Society of Human Genetics.
She lives in the suburbs of Boston with her husband and three children. She is thrilled to be part of the Basser Center's Leadership Council!
Cindy Price Gavin
Cindy Price Gavin has over 25 years of professional experience in the non-profit and financial services fields. She is currently the founding Executive Director of Let’s Win, a new, interactive community providing information and support for pancreatic cancer patients and their families. Prior to joining Let’s Win, Cindy was the founding Executive Director of Michael’s Mission, a 501(c)3 organization focused on improving the quality of life and treatment options for colorectal cancer patients.
Cindy was formerly a Partner in Price Waterhouse Cooper’s New York Financial Services assurance practice and led many of the firm’s initiatives in the areas of People, Quality and Corporate Responsibility. In 2011, Cindy was nominated by PwC to receive the United Way - The Power of Women to Make a Difference Award.
Cindy has served as a trustee for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (“LLS”) since 1999, as well as the PwC Foundation. Cindy also serves on the Leadership Council of the East Harlem Tutorial Program, AKTIV Against Cancer and is a member of the WellMet Group. In May 2016, Cindy will be honored at the LOL for LLS event for her commitment as a board member, advocate and champion of LLS.
Susan has been active in various philanthropies focused on empowering women and teens to take responsibility of their own breast health. Susan was diagnosed with breast cancer at 32 years old in 1990, before the days of the pink ribbon. After a mastectomy and chemotherapy treatment, Susan discovered years later she has the BRCA2 mutation. Thyroid cancer followed, then a prophylactic oophorectomy, and at age 50, Susan had another primary breast cancer appear and additional surgery and treatment. This personal experience has inspired Susan and her family's dedication to this cause.
Susan and her daughter Anabel, have been at the helm of fundraisers for breast cancer organizations, staging multiple events for mothers and daughters including, 'Tickled Pink,' and most recently 'Protect Your Girls,' which showcased bras designed by teens to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.
Susan Getz, a longtime resident of NYC, has enjoyed a successful career in marketing and creative services in the fashion publishing and media industries, working at Harpers Bazaar and New York Woman magazines, Giorgio Armani, and Time Warner. She is currently a luxury residential real estate broker. Susan is honored to be a part of the leadership council and is looking forward to focusing her energies in support of the Basser Center.
Michael J. Haas
Michael Haas attended Cleveland State University (J.D.) as well as Syracuse University (B.A. in Political Science). Michael represents clients in real estate, real estate finance, private equity, and real estate fund formation. He negotiates joint venture agreements and large portfolio transactions and counsels clients in relation to distressed assets and workouts and in connection with troubled joint ventures. In addition, Michael has experience with mezzanine, mortgage, and lease finance. He regularly advises clients regarding the acquisition, disposition, leasing, and management of multifamily, industrial, office, retail, and hotel properties in the United States. He co-leads Jones Day's Real Estate Practice worldwide.
Michael is president of the board of trustees for The Agnon School and serves on the board of trustees for The Cleveland Jewish Community Foundation and B'nai Jeshurun. He is a former member of the United Jewish Community's National Young Leadership Cabinet and the Historic Warehouse District Board and current member of the International Council of Shopping Centers and the American Bar Association (Real Property Section). He is a frequent speaker on real estate, has been a guest commentator on Fox Business News, and is regularly quoted in various publications.
Lisa Jacobs is a graduate of The George Washington University (BS ’88 in Business Administration) and of NYU (Masters ’93 in Arts and Administration). She has an extensive background in credit analysis, finance, as well as corporate advertising. She has been the president of a custom stationary business for the past 10 years, while at the same time a passionate yogi.
Lisa has taken a leadership role on several non-profit education boards, donated her time to children in Camden for the Bookmates Project, and has also undertaken numerous fundraising efforts designed to raise cancer awareness. Losing her father, a BRCA carrier, at the age of 68 to pancreatic cancer, has fueled her passion to raise awareness of the BRCA mutations.
Lisa and her husband, Sam, live in Cherry Hill with their three children Eliza, Max, and Isabelle. She is honored to be part of the Leadership Council and excited to be part of the Basser Center to facilitate ongoing BRCA research and awareness.
Michele Konner is a proud "previvor" of BRCA1 after losing her mother to premenopausal breast cancer at the age of 56. With information and unprecedented technological advances, Michele feels very fortunate to have been diagnosed in October 2002 with BRCA1. She looks at this information as a gift and appreciates life with a very different perspective.
Michele would like to share her gratitude and help others who have higher genetic risks for ovarian and breast cancers. As a former lawyer with a B.A. in accounting, she brings with her practical and analytical skills to this very personal journey.
As a mother and a wife, she brings with her passion and enthusiasm to the search for new technologies in the care and ultimately elimination of hereditary cancers for future generations. Michele has been actively involved in numerous organizations over the years in an effort to create awareness and promote research to find a cure for the multitude of cancers that affect so many people around the world today.
Shari is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (BA '87) and of Fordham University School of Law ('90). She practiced Environmental Law in New York City at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius and Kramer, Levin, Naftalis & Frankel before retiring in 1999 to raise her three children. Shari lives in Scarsdale, NY, with her family where she is active in many community and school district activities. In addition, Shari mentors students at Harlem Village Academies.
Shari and her sister Mindy both lost their older sister Faith at the age of 44 to ovarian cancer. Until that time, they had never heard of the BRCA mutations. Shari and her husband, Len, established the Basser Global Prize initiative at the Center, which provides funding to world-renowned research in BRCA.
Shari is a passionate and tireless advocate for the Center and firmly believes in its role of raising awareness, counseling and treating patients, and conducting and sponsoring groundbreaking research which will benefit countless people who are touched by a BRCA mutation.
Jessica Queller is the author of the acclaimed memoir Pretty is What Changes (Random House, 2008), which chronicles her journey of inheriting the BRCA1 mutation from her mother. Jessica has written Op-Ed pieces on the subject for both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. She has delivered speeches throughout the country, including keynote addresses at the annual FORCE conference in Florida, and at the Bright Pink gala in Chicago.
She has spoken about the BRCA gene extensively on television and radio, including Good Morning America, Nightline, Tavis Smiley, and NPR's Morning Edition. She is the recipient of the 2008 Hero Award from the Val Skinner Foundation and the 2007 Lynne Cohen Spirit Award, which she received along with her sister, Danielle Queller Lifton. Jessica is also a television writer/producer, and has written for shows that include Felicity, Gilmore Girls, Gossip Girl, Vegas, and most recently, The Carrie Diaries. She lives in Los Angeles with her 4-year-old daughter, Sophie.
Mara Burros Sandler is a graduate of UW Madison with a BA in psychology, and holds a MA/Edm in counseling from Teachers College Columbia University. In keeping with her educational focus on fostering strong emotional and physical health, Mara has dedicated a great deal of her time to non-profit work in the arenas of health and well-being. She has served on the boards of numerous organizations with health related missions, including the Ovarian Cancer Research Alliance, Casa Columbia, Facing Addiction, 92nd Street Y, Facing History and Ourselves, and she served as the director and co-president of The Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine. Mara's special focus on women’s health was born of the loss of her mother to ovarian cancer at the age of 57 after a five year battle with the disease. Mara co-founded the Janet Burros Memorial Foundation in her mother’s honor which she served as a director for 15 years.
Mara also has a keen interest in philanthropic activities related to strengthening educational and artistic institutions, building community, and fighting bigotry. As such Mara currently sits on the boards of The Hewitt School, The Women’s International Zionist Organization, and the Aspen Art Museum. In recent years, Mara has become a prolific documentary film producer, harnessing the power of this medium to galvanize public awareness and action around issues of national and international concern. The films she has produced or co-produced include the Peabody Award-winning Newtown; I Voted; Killer Bees; Dark Money; The Great American Lie; and Hazing: How Badly Do You Want It?. Mara supports bold films that shine a light on critical social and political problems, and films that propose solutions to these complicated issues.
Mara worked as a buyer at Bergorf Goodman for 9 years before taking time away from full time work to raise her three children and to focus on philanthropic activities. She is a co-producer of Head Over Heels, a new musical coming to Broadway this year.
Stacey Sager is an Emmy award winning reporter at WABC-TV, 'Eyewitness News,' where she has covered news in the tri-state area since 1996. She is also a BRCA1 survivor of two cancers, and a concerned mother of two.
Stacey was diagnosed with breast cancer at the young age of 30, and had a bilateral mastectomy. At 42, she went in for prophylactic surgery to remove her ovaries and fallopian tubes. That's when doctors found a pre-invasive ovarian cancer in her fallopian tubes.
Stacey speaks out often on how that surgery saved her life, and about the power of genetic testing. She remains dedicated to finding better answers for BRCA mutation carriers in the future, and has been actively involved with many organizations that work to create awareness about BRCA, breast and ovarian cancers, including FORCE, Teal Walk, Sharsheret, and the American Cancer Society.
Jill Steinberg graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania in 2001 and received a master's in early childhood education from New York University. Jill taught kindergarten in the NY public school system before having two children of her own.
Through a chance 23andme home genetic testing, Jill discovered she was positive for the BRCA1 mutation. After counseling and retesting, she had a prophylactic double mastectomy and subsequently a salpingectomy. Her children were 20 months old and 5 months old at the time of her first surgery. Jill's sister Sara is a breast cancer survivor, despite being negative for the gene, and her father Jim is a prostate cancer survivor. Jill considers herself a pre-vivor and an advocate for BRCA genetic testing for high risk woman, as well as, medical research in the area.
She lives on the Upper East Side with her husband Jon and children Edie and Cooper. She is honored and thrilled to be part of the Basser Center, and to further engage in helping the community, medical research, and women facing the same choices she, herself, made.
Dana Zucker is the Executive Director of the Gray Foundation, a private foundation committed to maximizing access to education, healthcare and opportunity for low-income children in New York. The Gray Foundation is also focused on funding initiatives to advance the care of individuals living with BRCA1 and BRCA2 mutations.
Previously, Dana worked with Teach For America, growing the movement of leaders who work to ensure that kids growing up in poverty get an excellent education, and Peer Health Exchange, an organization committed to giving teenagers the knowledge and skills they need to make healthy decisions. Before that, she was a Vice President at Lazard Freres & Co. working in both Paris and New York. She also was a consultant at Bain & Company, as well as worked in the Venture Capital and Investment Banking Groups at Morgan Stanley. She holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and graduated Phi Beta Kappa, magna cum laude from Brown University.
Dana and her husband live in New York where they are raising their 3 boys. Having lost a number of close family members to cancer, Dana is thrilled to be part of the Basser Center Leadership Council and looks forward to the day when individuals living with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer have better preventative and therapeutic options.
Some people wish to remain anonymous to the public, but still make a tremendous impact, helping the Basser Center achieve its mission through their involvement, advocacy, and support.