Meet the Team


Joy McMeekanJoy McMeekan, Executive Director
Joy joined the Gilda’s Club team in February 2016.  She handles planning and overseeing all the fundraising that happens here at Gilda’s Club.  She has over 20 years experience as an executive retail buyer, where she also did event planning and marketing, as well as 4 years experience running a small non-profit.  She decided to leave the corporate world behind after losing her husband in 2014 and her mom in 2015, both to cancer, and find a career where she could give back to others.  Her knowledge of how crucial support is to families impacted by cancer is what drives her to raise the necessary funds at Gilda’s Club to support our free programs and services.  Joy lives in Taylor Ridge with her three girls.

You can e-mail her at

Melissa WrightMelissa Wright, Program Director
Melissa (or Missy) has been with Gilda’s Club as the Program Director since it opened in 1998 and feels truly blessed to be part of something so special, and to have met so many amazing people. The members, staff and volunteers of Gilda’s Club have become her extended family. Her inspiration to work at Gilda’s Club has always been her mother, who had ovarian cancer -and always displayed such courage and determination through the journey. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work, with an Oncology Social Work Certification; and also is a certified yoga instructor with special training in yoga 4 cancer (y4c) teaching weekly classes at Gilda’s Club.

You can e-mail her at

Anita ShaftAnita Shaft, Program Manager/Noogieland Coordinator
Anita began her Gilda’s Club career in October 2002. Anita has a wonderful ability to connect with children and adolescents as evidenced by the number of children participating in our Noogieland program. Anita has been instrumental in establishing the Ambassadors Club, a volunteer group of students from area high schools and colleges who serve as on campus resources to other students affected by cancer. Anita works with parents and with children to assist them in understanding and coping with the dynamics and fears of living with a cancer diagnosis.

You can e-mail her at

Kelly HendershotKelly Hendershot, Program Manager
Kelly’s first introduction to what lays behind the big red doors was in December 2007 at the urging of her husband’s oncologist. She has been active with Gilda’s Club as a family member, bereaved widow, intern and the first president of the Associate Board. In May 2013, Kelly earned her Masters in Social Work. In July 2013, she joined the team as a contract facilitator and in October 2014 became a part-time employee. In July 2015, Kelly left her role as VP of Project Management at Vibrant Credit Union to join the staff on a full-time basis.

You can e-mail her at

Stevie Lorenz, Development Director
Stevie joined the Gilda’s Club team in October 2017.  She handles planning and overseeing all fundraising that happens here at Gilda’s Club.  After graduating from the University of Northern Iowa in 2015 with a degree in Public Relations, she worked for two years as an Advancement Associate at a local non-profit where she handled event planning, web design and marketing. She lives in her hometown of Durant, close to her family.

You can e-mail her at

Pam TonePam Tone, Officer Manager
Pam is often the first voice you hear when calling Gilda’s Club. She assures volunteers are on hand when needed and keeps the office running. Pam is always eager to help in whatever way she can whether it be a staff, member, or volunteer request. She is most often seen sporting a picture of her granddaughter and especially enjoys getting to know members and building relationships within the Gilda’s Club family.

You can e-mail her at

Board of Directors

2017 Board of Directors

Chair: Chris Curran, City Attorney, City of Bettendorf

Chair Elect: Drew Dennis, Dennis Company Inc.

Secretary: Holly Oppelt

Treasurer: Laura Hoss, Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C

Jenn Cobb, Vera French

Lori Evans, WQAD TV

Susan Kaiser, UnityPoint Health — Trinity

Carol Kovach, Medical Concierge and Iowa Cancer Specialists

Steve McCann

Cris Ryder, EXIT Realty

Sherri Wagler, Wells Fargo Bank

Jill Weaver, Modern Woodmen of America

Sally Werner, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

Associate Board

2017 Associate Board

President: Mandy Mason

Vice President: Paige Nagle

Secretary: Laura Bjustrom

 Board Liason: Drew Dennis

Jacy Rangel

Joshua Maxfield

Julie Bray

Joy McMeekan, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities

Professional Advisory Board

2017 Professional Advisory Board Members

Toni Weeks, Social Worker, UnityPoint Health- Trinity Cancer Center

Doug McCollum, Retired Psychologist

Jennifer Hildebrand, RN, BS, Coordinator of Health Ministry, Genesis VNA

Wendy Ballou, RN, Oncology Nurse

Chris McCormick Pries, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director, Vera French Community Mental Health Center

Dr. Suneel Kumar Parvathareddy, UnityPoint Trinity – Muscatine