Meet the Team
Joy Bush, Executive Director
Joy (She/Her) joined the Gilda’s Club team in February 2016 as our Development Director, was appointed to Interim Executive Director in October 2017 and Executive Director in February 2018. She handles day to day operations as well as managing our amazing staff at Gilda’s Club. She has over 20 years experience as an executive retail buyer, 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 have a better work/life balance as well as give back to others. Joy understands in an extremely personal way the impact of a cancer diagnosis and the critical mission for patients and their loved ones. Her knowledge of how crucial support is to families impacted by cancer is what drives her to bring awareness to Gilda’s Club’s free programs and services to make sure no one faces cancer alone.
Joy lives in Eldridge with her husband, Brian, daughter Bella, as well as their dog Molly and cat Twitch. Together they are also parents to four adult children; Kelsi, Trevor, Vanessa, and Sydney.
You can e-mail her at email@example.com
Kelsey Allen, Program Director
Kelsey (She/Her) joined the Gilda’s Club team full-time in September of 2020. Kelsey earned her master’s degree in social work with a focus in End of Life Care from the University of Iowa in May 2016. Kelsey originally joined Gilda’s Club as an intern during the 2015-2016 school year and then went on to serve her time with a local Hospice agency helping patients/families navigate the end of life journey. Although she loved the work she did in hospice, she felt called back to the cancer support community where she connected with many individuals, families and community partners. Kelsey has over 13+ years of social work experience ranging from end of life care, child welfare and working with older adults.
Kelsey lives in Bettendorf with her husband Bret and together they have two energetic boys, Bentley and Karson and two boxers, Tyson and Harley. When Kelsey isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with her family and crafting.
You can e-mail her at Kelsey@gildasclubqc.org
Lexi Bull, Development and Event Manager
Lexi (She/Her) joined the Gilda’s Club team in March of 2023. Lexi is a Quad City native who earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing with a minor in Event Planning in May of 2022 from Western Illinois University. While earning her degree she interned at Girl Scouts of Eastern Iowa and Western Illinois. Upon graduating she began working at Christian Care, a nonprofit homeless service provider where she managed all Marketing and Events. Lexi has a passion for helping others and that is why she enjoys working in the nonprofit sector.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her high school sweetheart, Alec. Lexi has a green thumb and enjoys all things plants! She also enjoys spending time with her pets, thrift shopping, cooking, and working on home projects.
You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kelly Craft, Program Manager
Kelly (She/Her) joined the Gilda’s Club team in June 2018. She earned her B.S. in Psychology from University of Iowa in 2012 and earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from DePaul University in 2014. She first joined the Gilda’s Club family while interning at Gilda’s Club Chicago in 2012-2013. After five years in Chicago, she decided to move back to the Quad Cities to be close to her family. She is excited to work with Gilda’s Club’s amazing volunteers who give their time to help those impacted by cancer. Kelly also facilitates support groups, teaches chair yoga classes, and works full-time at our UnityPoint Health – Trinity Moline Clubhouse.
Kelly lives in Davenport with her husband Joe, daughter Shawn, and Great Dane/Black Lab mix Anya.
You can e-mail her at email@example.com.
Vicente Solis, Program Manager
Vicente (He/Him) joined the Gilda’s Club team in May 2022 as a Program Manager working primarily with children, teens, and families. Vicente earned his B.A. in Psychology and Theatre in 2016 and completed his Master of Social Work Degree in 2020 from St. Ambrose University. Vicente started his social work experience observing an after-school program called Safer Foundation: Impact while completing his psych degree. During his Master courses, Vicente interned for a year at a Substance Abuse and Addiction Outpatient facility for teens and adults as well as a year at an Inpatient treatment facility serving at-risk youth between the ages of 12-21. Vicente served at-risk youth in his last position for 2.5 years.
In his free time, Vicente likes anything music related whether it be dancing, singing, playing the guitar or piano. Vicente grew up playing sports and continues to play soccer and volleyball after work as well as coaching volleyball at a club and high school level. When Vicente isn’t working or coaching, Vicente hangs out with his cats, Luna, Tigre, and Rae, or plays video games. Vicente is very excited about his opportunity to work with such an amazing staff as well as the amazing group of people he will encounter during his time at Gilda’s Club!
You can e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pam Tone, Officer Manager
Pam (She/Her) began her service to Gilda’s as a volunteer in 1997 and joined the Gilda’s Club team in July 2002. Pam is often the first voice you hear when calling Gilda’s Club. Pam makes sure the office runs smoothly and helps in whatever way she can, whether it is a staff, member, donor or volunteer request. Pam enjoys serving and helping others, getting to know members and donors and being that listening ear when someone just needs to talk, a gift she learned from her mother who died of cancer in 2015.
When not working she enjoys spending time with her family and spoiling her 4 grandchildren. Pam lives in Hampton with her husband Ryan.
You can e-mail her at email@example.com.
Kayla Arkebauer, Social Work Intern
Kayla (She/Her) joined Gilda’s Club as an intern, for the second time, in August 2022 and will conclude her internship at the beginning of May 2023. She is currently getting her Master’s Degree in Social Work at the University in Iowa. Kayla hopes to focus on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion and feels passionate about helping communities through policy and judicial changes. Gilda’s Club has given Kayla the opportunity to see a side of social work by helping oncology patients, families, and caretakers through many lenses. She’s thankful for the opportunity to return to Gilda’s to be able to connect with members and hear their stories while researching and learning what else can be done to help this wonderful Gilda’s Club community.
In her spare time, she enjoys thrifting for treasures, gardening, and spending time with her husband, fur babies, family and friends.
Ruth has been a social worker in the community for 44 years. She has worked in the medical field including Palliative Care, Hospice and the Cancer Center at both local hospitals. Ruth has also worked in case management and has facilitated various support groups at Gilda’s Club since 2010. In her spare time, she fosters kittens and elderly hospice cats for several shelters and has sponsored children in Romania. She also enjoys plays, musicals and reading.
María joined the Gilda’s Club team in October of 2011. She proudly earned her Master’s in Social Work degree from the University of Iowa, in May of 1994. Maria retired in after 27 years of service as a School Social Worker for Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency. She also had a private practice for 14 years at the Four Seasons Counseling Clinic in Muscatine, IA.
María has enjoyed her experience as a wellness group facilitator for Gilda’s Club and working with persons diagnosed with cancer and their family members in Muscatine, IA. She has also developed a recent interest and participated in a multi-generational genetic study of cancer in her family history to explore potential risk factors with a focus on preventative and proactive health measures. María is bilingual,(English and Spanish), and bicultural, and her passion has been serving Latino children, families and communities.
María has lived in Muscatine, IA for the past 18 years and treasures spending time with her son, Jonathan, and her grandson, Nash, and her three dogs, Javier, Antonio and Nico.
Theresa has been a School Social Worker for the Mississippi Bend Area Education Agency for 25 years. She was first involved with Gilda’s Club as a member in 2007 after a diagnosis of breast cancer. She eventually started volunteering for Gilda’s and is excited to start facilitating groups in March 2022.
Theresa lives in Coal Valley with her husband, Mark. She enjoys staying active, traveling, and spending time with her family including her 3 grandchildren.
Nancy (She/Her) originally worked in the Education field. After being a Reading Teacher for many years, she earned her master’s degree in Social Work with a focus on End of Life Care from the University of Iowa in May, 2013. Nancy originally joined the Gilda’s Club team when she was an Intern from September, 2012 to May, 2013. From 2013 to 2021, Nancy worked in the hospice field and is now thrilled to be working again with Gilda’s Club. She is a huge fan of Gilda Radner and of Gilda’s belief that “No one should have to face cancer alone.”
Nancy lives in Geneseo with her husband, Mike, and their two adult daughters live in Chicago.
Lisa joined the Gilda’s Club community in August of 2022, as a part time group facilitator. She returned to school after being a stay at home mom to her four children, starting at Black Hawk East for associates degree. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree at Bradley University in Psychology, and a minor in Women’s studies and sociology. She earned her Master’s Degree in social work at St. Ambrose in 2004. She worked in hospice for 18 years in the Quad City community before stepping into care coordination at a local hospital. She is happy and inspired to be working with such resilient people in the Gilda’s Club community.
Bobbi began teaching Yoga4Cancer classes at Gilda’s Club in July of 2021. She is certified through YogaAlliance as a 200 RYT instructor and as a Yoga4Cancer Instructor. Bobbi is a former teacher. When she retired in June 2019, she decided to pursue a long-term goal of becoming certified to teach yoga to children. Bobbi completed her 95 hour Challenge To Change, Inc. Toddler, Kids and Teen Yoga Teacher Training in April, 2020. Realizing the benefit yoga had been for her over this journey, Bobbi decided to continue on and pursue her 200 YTT training and completed her 200 YTT certification in November, 2020. Currently, she is working on her 300 hour YTT training.
Bobbi enjoys being with her family. She lives in De Witt, Iowa with her husband, Steve, and has 2 grown sons. When not doing yoga, Bobbi enjoys singing with her praise band at her church, doing puzzles on the computer, and reading. Bobbi is excited for the opportunities that yoga is bringing into her life, she looks forward to being able to help others learn how yoga can help bring calm, peace, and love in one’s life.
Board of Directors
2023 Board of Directors
Chair: Laura Hoss, Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C.
Chair Elect: Lori Serrano—Modern Woodmen of America
Secretary: Sherry Grubbs—Estes Construction
Treasurer: Carol Kovach—Open Software Solutions
Joy Bush—Gilda’s Club Quad Cities
Drew Dennis—Crescent Parts & Equipment
Tara Erpelding—Genesis Health Systems
Tricia Fisher—UnityPoint Health–Trinity
Martha Garcia-Tappa—Iowa Workforce Development
Alivia Hatten—O’Flaherty Law, P.C.
Tyler Mitchell—The Project of the Quad Cities
Andrea Schelin—Genesis Health Systems
Dennis VanDerGinst—VanDerGinst Law
2023 Associate Board
President: Alivia Hatten, O’Flaherty Law, P.C.
Vice President: Catherine Dittmer, Merrill Lynch Wealth Management
Secretary: Viminda Shafer, The Project
Board Liaison: Tyler Mitchell, The Project
Staff Liaison: Lexi Bull, Gilda’s Club Quad Cities
Ben Carlson, Camp Shalom
Kate Griffith, Hotel Blackhawk and The Current Iowa
Brian Keck, KLJB Fox TV
Kirby Reinhardt Marcure, Businessolver
Christy Pacha, US Army Contracting Command
Barry Shaw, Ascentra Credit Union
Professional Advisory Board
2023 Professional Advisory Board Members
Kelsey Allen, LMSW, LSW – Program Director
Gilda’s Club Quad Cities
Dr. Susannah P. Friemel, MD – Oncology
Iowa Cancer Specialists, PC
Linda Guebert, MS, RN, Parish Nurse Manager
UnityPoint Health – Trinity
Jennifer Hildebrand, RN-BC, Faith Community Nurse
Genesis Occupational Health
Doug McCollum, Retired Psychologist
Chris McCormick Pries, ARNP, Nurse Practitioner and Clinical Director
Vera French Community Mental Health Center
Toni Weeks, LMSW, Social Worker
UnityPoint Health- Trinity Cancer Center
Nicole Moore, MSN, ARNP, ACHPN, Outpatient Palliative Care
Genesis Health System
Cassandra Fury, RN, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Genesis Cancer Institute
Jessica Nicely-Green, MSN, BSN, RN, Oncology Nurse Navigator
Genesis Cancer Institute
Lindsey Allbee-Reid, Social Worker, School Based Mental Health Counselor
UnityPoint Health – Trinity