Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Joann received her Bachelor of Professional Studies from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandising in New York, where she proceeded to work in the fast paced, “glamorous” world of fashion. But her passion for charitable work was always stronger than her interest in the garment industry, and ultimately would take her far away from Fashion Avenue.
In 1994, having left both the garment industry and New York City to raise a family at the Jersey Shore, Joann applied for a position at the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation (ECF) in Monmouth County. Little did she know that answering that ad would lead her to the demanding, and unbelievably rewarding, job as ECF’s Eastern Regional Director, a role in which she found the outlet for her desire to help others. In this position, she worked on behalf of area families struggling with pediatric cancer, running highly successful fundraising events, engaging the local media, being an ambassador for ECF, and leading many teams of active volunteers.
In 2015, Joann’s dedication to ECF and its families, her drive to grow the organization, and her contagious enthusiasm earned her the title of ECF’s Executive Director. In addition to overseeing the operations of this statewide organization and its four regional centers, Joann works with the Board of Trustees on developing the strategic plan, fundraising and budgeting, guiding 23 staff members, and maintaining a growing budget.
In addition to her 23+ years of work in the non-profit sector, she has also been, and continues to be, an active volunteer in the community, loves to spend time outdoors with her family and riding horses.
Executive Team Leader
After years of volunteering for ECF with her family, Lauren excitedly joins the team! She has 20+ years as a business and training manager, with a passion for leading and motivating teams to deliver exceptional experiences and pursue extraordinary results. Lauren grew up in Carteret in central NJ, studied Business Management at Kean University, before finding her current home at the Jersey Shore with her husband and daughter. She enjoys all things Disney, traveling, going to the theater as much as possible, especially time with family. Lauren is inspired to by ECF’s mission and vision to be a Beacon of Light – and proud to be part such an organization that has such a personal touch, profound and direct effect on local families.
Victoria Shestack Aronoff
Victoria Shestack Aronoff comes to ECF with over 20 years of experience helping nonprofit organizations raise money to support their missions. Though recently she spent a number of years at home raising her two children, she formerly worked as a Foundation Relations Manager for The Wilderness Society, a national conservation organization in Washington, D.C., and was responsible for grant writing and other development activities at the D.C. Jewish Community Center. Victoria has a B.A. in English from Wesleyan University and was born and raised in New York City. She now lives happily away from the city in Maplewood, NJ.
Gloria is ECF’s Office Manager, providing vital support to headquarters and the four Regional Centers for over a decade. She comes to ECF with rich experience after working for 21-years at Stat-A-Matrix in Edison, where she served in a variety of roles.
Senior Regional Director
Barbara has B.A. in Business Administration and Urban Planning from Montclair State and a Master’s degree in education. Prior to joining ECF in 2007, Barbara spent 20 years as the owner/operator of a meeting planning company where she worked extensively with the pharmaceutical industry for over 20 years. She has also spent time as an elementary school teacher.
Eastern Regional Director
Rose began her career in New York City in the field of customer service. Upon relocation to the Jersey Shore, she pursued a career in the service industry. Always having a strong passion for working with children led Rose to a position at Wall Township Public Schools and also to the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation where she volunteered for 19 years. In July 2015 Rose joined the ECF staff as Eastern Regional Director, bringing with her a multitude of talents which directly benefit the Foundation and ECF families. Rose takes great pride in assisting and supporting the families in the Eastern region.
Northern Regional Director
Inessa brings to ECF strong creativity and organizational skills along with a passion for volunteering. Previously a financial industry professional, Inessa followed her passion for fundraising and event planning, becoming actively involved in community service by leading a variety of successful events for several schools in Bergen County. She has a B.A. from Pace University, is trilingual, and is certified in Reiki and Transpersonal Psychology. A mother of three, she enjoys theater and literature and health/wellness activities including tennis, yoga, skiing, and horseback riding.
Southern Regional Director
Social Media Manager
For many years, as a volunteer and participant at ECF events, Melanie witnessed firsthand the wonderful ways that ECF has assisted children and families. Prior to her position at ECF, Melanie was an active volunteer for a number of advocacy and assistance groups, including seven years on the PTA at her son’s elementary school. Melanie is grateful to be a part of the ECF team.
Trish A. Picone, C.P.A.
Trish Picone has worked closely with the Emmanuel Cancer Foundation for over 20 years, providing accounting services and support for grant proposals. Her public accounting experience has been a valuable asset to ECF. She holds a BS degree from Montclair State University and is a CPA.