CSCGM Program Grantors and Sponsors

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Cancer Support Community Greater Miami
En Español / An Kreyòl


Pamela Katz Zakheim, M. Ed.
President and Founder
Pamela Katz Zakheim, M. Ed.
Pam holds a Master's degree in Counseling Psychology from Leslie College in Cambridge, MA, with a specialization in psychodiagnosis and group therapy. She has additional specialized training as a Family Therapist at both the Cambridge Family Institute, Cambridge, MA & the Centro Milanese Di Terapia Della Famiglia, Milan, Italy. She had a private practice as a psychotherapist in Brookline, MA from 1980 until 1995. Concurrently she founded an organizational and management consultation service for small retail businesses and physicians offices. She is the founder of both The Wellness Community-Greater Boston and the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (formerly The Wellness Community-Greater Miami).  To read more about Pam and her history with the organization, please click here.
Robert Stamen, Esq
Robert Stamen, Esq
Packman, Neuwahl & Rosenberg
Bob has spent his entire legal career at Packman, Neuwahl & Rosenberg, and has concentrated his practice on estate planning, pension and profit sharing plans, individual income taxation, and corporation law. He is a member of The Estate Planning Council of Dade County and a former Board Chairman of the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami.
John Arasi
John M. Arasi
Sharp General Contractors
John M. Arasi, our most recent Board Chairman, founded Sharp General Contractors in 1999. John is a State Certified General Contractor who is also licensed in Mold remediation. John’s career in construction dates back over 40 years.

As President of SGC, he and the team have continued to grow the company by attracting a high quality and specialized client base. Years of dedication and commitment to these clients have resulted in a continuous expansion of the SGC firm. Even during tough economic times - SGC has flourished. John is very proud of this and credits it to the loyalty of his team as many of the SGC employees have been with John since opening some 18 years ago.

SGC specializes in commercial building, mainly medical facilities and dialysis centers. Although the office is located in South Florida, the company currently has current and / or completed projects throughout the state including Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Tallahassee and Daytona.

In addition to CSCGM, Arasi’s charitable interests include DaVita Kidney Trust and the ACS Relay for Life of East Kendall. In 2014 John was instrumental in the creation of the CSCGM Haitian Support Program which provides free cancer support programs, in Creole, to Haitian patients and their caregivers.
Adam E. Carlin
Adam Carlin
The Bermont/Carlin Group - Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
Managing Director - Wealth Management / Senior Portfolio Management Director
The Bermont/Carlin Group at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney was founded in 1974. For more than 30 years, under the leadership of Portfolio Managers Richard B. Bermont and Adam E. Carlin who joined in 1994, the Group's primary mission has been to build close, cooperative, and enduring relationships with clients that judiciously help them preserve and grow their wealth.
Jane Forman
Jane Forman
Jane Forman Sports
Founder and Director
A former top 50 world-ranked tennis professional and Clemson Hall of Fame athlete, Jane founded the Jane Forman Tennis Academy in 1990. Born and raised in Providence, RI, Jane climbed the ladder as a national top 20 junior player before attending Clemson University on a full tennis scholarship. Jane has devoted the last 25 years to developing community tennis and sports programs for children, teens, and adults of all ages and abilities. Besides the Jane Forman Tennis Academy, Jane also owns and directs the Dade County Sports Foundation, a nonprofit sports scholarship fund.
Jane Mass
Jane Mass, M.S.N.
Jane recently retired after 33 years from the Jackson Health System where she served as Senior Vice President and Chief Nursing Officer. In her role she was responsible for the nursing practice of the 3,600 Registered Nurses throughout the system. During her long career she served on many boards and participated in many health care and professional organizations such as the South Florida Nursing Consortium - where she was a founder and long time board member. She was appointed by Governor Crist to serve as a Board member of the Florida Center for Nursing and also was a member of the University of Miami School of Nursing Visiting Committee. In addition to her work at the CSCGM, Jane serves as a board member for the Royce Nursing Foundation and is Chairperson for the Coral Gables Senior Citizen Advisory Board. She has always been committed to quality patient care and her continued volunteerism and leadership is a testament to that dedication.
Melanie Nennig
Melanie Nennig
Melanie has an Education Degree with a Minor in Languages from the University of Carabobo in Venezuela. She worked in the University for over two years until she graduated. Melanie has dedicated herself to several non-profit organizations such as Fundación Banco Real, Fundación Herrera Velutini, and Fundación Bancredito - all foundations associated with major banks in Venezuela. In that role, Nennig assisted in raising funds for educational, recreational and artistic development and the improvement of underprivileged communities in Caracas, Venezuela. Having a multicultural background and a great interest in volunteer work, the Cancer Support Community was a perfect fit for her and she started volunteering for the organization in 2012. Melanie is an avid tennis player and she put her passion for community and the sport to great use by becoming an integral part of the CSCGM Annual Tee Off Fore Wellness Golf & Tennis Tournament Committee leadership and – subsequently – now, the Board of Directors.
Arjun Saluja
Arjun Saluja
The Leasing Experts, Inc.
TLE Equipment Finance
Arjun Saluja was born in India and completed his MBA in 1982. In 1983 he moved to the United States living in Louisiana until 1987 when he settled in Miami.

Arjun is an entrepreneur and owns multiple businesses in several different industries (financing, distribution and manufacturing). His primary business is Equipment Financing to businesses nationwide.

Involved with numerous charities practically his entire life, Arjun currently serves on the board of Community Health of South Dade (CHI) where he serves as the Board’s 1st Vice-Chairman. He has been a member of the Perrine Cutler Ridge Palmetto Bay Rotary Club since 1993 and currently serves on the Board of Directors. Additionally, Arjun serves on the Board of One World Leasing, a national co-op of equipment leasing/financing companies based in Austin, Texas.

Arjun is an avid golfer and he and Ginny both love to travel as often as they can. Currently, they reside in Palmetto Bay.
Debra Schottenstein
Debra Schottenstein
Debra received a B.A. in English Literature from the University of Michigan, and holds an M.A. in English and an M.B.A. in marketing from The Ohio State University. She spent many years in financial marketing, but for the past 25 years has dedicated her time to philanthropy. She was a member, Gala Chair, and president of the Community Council, a volunteer arm of the Miami Children's Hospital Foundation and simultaneously served as a founding board member of the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami and past board chair.
Erik Sherman
Erik S. Sherman
John Hancock Life Insurance Co.
Investment Advisor Representative
Erik has been with John Hancock for the past 15 years. Recently, Erik has been recognized as one of the top ten producers nationwide for John Hancock Financial Network. His background in finance, insurance, and investments and his ability to embrace a team philosophy when working with clients has earned him the trust and confidence with his clients in meeting their financial needs. Erik has been involved with CSCGM for over a decade and is a former Board Chairman.
Adam Spiegel, CPA
Adam Spiegel, CPA
Morrison, Brown, Argiz & Farra, LLC
Principal, Tax and Accounting
Adam Spiegel, CPA, is a principal in the Tax and Accounting Department at MBAF. Adam has been involved in all aspects of accounting services and accounting systems for closely-held businesses and individuals ranging in size from start-ups to $1 billion. He focuses his practice in providing financial analysis and tax planning services to various industries including professional services firms, real estate and hospitality. A former CSCGM Chairman, and current Board Member, Adam is also a member of the United Way of Miami-Dade Young Leaders Society and a Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Leadership Miami Graduate.
Edie Spiegel
Edie Spiegel
Edie has a Bachelor of Science in Home Economics Education and has taught and worked in many areas of the field including public and private school education for teens and adults. Volunteerism has been a major part of her life. She has been affiliated with the American Cancer Society as a Chairperson of the Relay For Life for ten years, a member of the Relay Advisory Team for the Mid South Division of the American Cancer Society, and its Chairman of the Mississippi Leadership Council. She is the past president of the Kosciusko Rotary Club and the past president of Kosciusko Foundation for Excellence in Education. She has been part of the creation of many educational institutions such as Brandeis Academy of Miami, The Literacy Council and Adult High School of Livingston, Tennessee, and The Oprah Winfrey Boys and Girls Club in Kosciusko, Mississippi. Presently Edie is a member and President of the Rotary Club of Perrine Cutler-Ridge/ Palmetto Bay with their main local project being the support of the West Perrine Park of Dade County afterschool and life skills programs.
Richard Zakheim, MD
Richard Zakheim, M.D.* *In Memoriam
Miami Children’s Hospital (now Nicklaus Children's Hospital)
Founder & Director Emeritus: Pediatric Cardiology Department
Former Director: Adult Congenital Heart Program
Dr. Zakheim founded the Miami Children’s Hospital’s Cardiology Department and served as its director until 2002. Previously, he was Director of the Pediatric Cardiology Program at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio. Dr. Zakheim received his medical degree at Albert Einstein Medical School in New York and trained in pediatric cardiology at Children’s Hospital Boston. He was a diplomat of the American Board of Pediatrics and the Sub-board of Pediatric Cardiology. On June 4, 2013 the city of Miami-Dade made a proclamation in his honor declaring that day to be Dr. Richard Zakheim Day for his decades of medical service to South Florida.

Cancer Support Community Greater Miami Staff

Danielle Spiegelman
Danielle F. Spiegelman
Executive Director
Danielle F. Spiegelman has more than twenty-three years of experience in strategic, results-based non-profit fundraising and commercial marketing and advertising. A Miami native with a non-profit career emphasis within the healthcare and academic forums, she has strong knowledge of capital campaign development and execution, major gift solicitation, corporate partnerships and special event management.

Before she joined the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami in 2010, Spiegelman was the Development Director for Temple Beth Am in Pinecrest. There she managed and oversaw all day to day campus fundraising program including a $24 million Home for Our Heritage Capital & Endowment Campaign.

Prior to working at Temple Beth Am, Spiegelman was the Marketing & Corporate Sponsorship Director for The Falls shopping center. Spiegelman implemented a strategic research based marketing plan with the end result of increased center sales and traffic. She was responsible for all advertising, local branding, corporate partner solicitation and program execution, public relations, special events and on-line marketing.

Spiegelman came to The Falls from the Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center where she was the Special Events Director creating and fulfilling special event / fundraising programs that annually raised in excess of $2 million.

Spiegelman holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising from the University of Florida. Her professional leadership and personal community involvement is comprised of the following organizations: the Greater Miami Advertising Federation – Former Board Member; the National Society of Fundraising Executives; the Greater Miami Convention & Visitor’s Bureau - Former Marketing Committee Board Member; Greater Miami Jewish Federation – Former Board Member, Women's Division for Southwest Dade; Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center, Hadassah; Children's Home Society, Outstanding Volunteer Award 2001-2003; Nicklaus Children's Hospital Brain Institute; Howard Drive Elementary and Temple Beth Am.

Spiegelman is married with three children.

Peggy Rios, Ph.D
Peggy Rios, Ph.D
Program Director
Dr. Peggy Rios received her doctoral degree in Counseling Psychology from the University of Maryland in 1995. She further complemented her training with a post-doctoral appointment at the University of Houston where she focused on intercultural and cross cultural aspects of health. In 1996, she transferred to the University of Miami as a full-time faculty member. After five years studying and teaching about cultural influences on mental health and developing a private practice serving critically ill patients, Dr. Rios transitioned to The Wellness Community - Greater Miami, where she is the program director. The Wellness Community is now known as the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami. In the last twelve years, Dr. Peggy Rios has dedicated herself to the growth of Cancer Support Community programs to the benefit of cancer patients and in particular Hispanic underserved patients.

Presenting her work at conferences for the American Psycho-Oncology Society and the International Psycho-Oncology Society as well as for many local organizations, Dr. Rios is also an Adjunct Faculty member at University of Miami. She is also consulting with the Cancer Support Community Research and Training Institute on various projects including the translation of Cancer Support Source Distress Screening to Spanish and the adaptation of the Cancer Transitions program for Latino populations.

Amparo Alvarez
Amparo Alvarez
Education and Outreach Director
In this position Amparo is responsible for the implementation and promotion of all CSCGM's community education and outreach programming. She works closely with the Program Director to plan the development of programs in communities where a need is identified. She oversees the work of our Special Programs Coordinators that provide education and support to the Haitian and Latino communities impacted by cancer. Most recently she has supported the Miami launching of the Community Support Source (CSS), an online cancer-related distress screening program that identifies patient concerns and links them with available resources. Additionally, Amparo provides simultaneous language interpretation of cancer-related lectures to monolingual Spanish-speaking survivors, onsite at CSCGM and offsite for our Return to Wellness Breast Cancer Program participants at UM-Jackson Memorial Hospital. On a monthly basis, Amparo facilitates a nutrition-dense cooking class in Spanish for patients, survivors and their caregivers.

Offsite, Amparo collaborates with the Taylor Breast Health Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital to educate newly diagnosed breast cancer patients about support programs available to them at CSCGM as well as other community resources. She serves as point of contact for corporate organizations that provide volunteer service projects for CSCGM's participants. As CSCGM representative, Amparo participates in local professional groups like the Southeast Florida Cancer Control Collaborate (SFCCC) and the Baptist Congregational Health Program to educate cancer professionals and faith-based congregation leaders about the services we provide. In this capacity she has received awards from the American Cancer Society, the Baptist Congregational Health Program, and the Church of the Ascension for community partnering and collaborations in the advancement of cancer education, advocacy and community service.

Amparo has over 14 years of professional experience working with underserved communities both in Miami and in New Jersey. While in NJ, she worked with the Dean for Community Health at the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School (RWJMS) to develop an innovative language interpreting project to help non-English speaking patients communicate more effectively with healthcare providers. She is an alumna of Douglass College-Rutgers University in NJ and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish and Psychology, and a Certificate of Translation Studies in Spanish. At Rutgers University, she designed and taught the first course in hospital & community interpreting offered at this university.
Miriam Prieto
Miriam Prieto Lopez
Program Assistant
Miriam Prieto Lopez has been with the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (formally The Wellness Community - Greater Miami) since it opened its doors in 2002.  She holds an Associate of Science in Administrative Healthcare Management and has specialized training for physician offices, medical specialty clinics and hospital environments.  She has advanced knowledge of bookkeeping and accounting, standardized medical coding, records management, and the professional operations of the healthcare facilities.

Prieto Lopez is responsible for assisting the Program Director in all aspects of Community programming as necessary, as well as maintaining an open level of communication and hospitability towards all participants and inquirers.  She is also responsible for maintaining all of the participant records and data information as well as preparing various statistical reports for the Program Director and the National arm of the Cancer Support Community. Additionally, Prieto Lopez does all the graphic design for the monthly program calendar, and is responsible for distributing them to our participants, medical offices, and other interested parties.

As a licensed cosmetologist, Prieto Lopez has been trained to offer the American Cancer Society's "Look Good, Feel Better" program for women undergoing cancer treatment, which she volunteers to run every other month, if needed, at the Cancer Support Community facility.

Cynthia Mendez Tamayo
Cynthia Mendez Tamayo, LMFT
Children and Families Program Coordinator
Cynthia Mendez Tamayo is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. She received her Bachelors in Psychology from the University of Miami in 2005 and a Masters degree in Marriage and Family Therapy from Carlos Albizu University in 2009.

Cynthia has experience working with both children and adults of multicultural backgrounds. She has worked with children ages 3-18 in home, school and foster care settings. Through these settings she has been able to gain experience in addressing a variety of childhood issues. Also, while obtaining her Masters degree Cynthia completed a practicum at The League Against Cancer and later returned to assist on a pilot study about The Use of Complementary Medicine Among Cuban Cancer Patients in Miami at The League Against Cancer which she presented at the American Psychosocial Oncology Society 9th Annual Conference in 2012. She has worked with individuals, couples and families affected by cancer to address issues that arise from coping with treatment and illness. In 2012 Cynthia began working at Cancer Support Community Greater Miami (CSCGM) as a contract employee facilitating the Family Circle group. She worked on several projects for CSCGM and ultimately joined the team full-time as the Children and Families Program Coordinator for the new pediatric oncology initiative.
Isabel Trabanco, LCSW
Isabel Trabanco, LCSW
Special Programs Coordinator
Isabel is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and her Master’s Degree in Social Work at Florida International University in 2006.

Isabel joined Cancer Support Community in March 2012 as the Special Programs Coordinator. Through a Komen for the Cure grant, her work and dedication make it possible for us to bring our programs to Spanish speaking women (and men) with breast cancer. She coordinates and facilitates a comprehensive program including healthy lifestyle activities, support groups and educational workshops for underserved Latino population at Jackson Memorial Hospital. She is a facilitator for the monthly Gynecological cancer networking group, Family Circle Program, Prepare for Surgery workshops, Cancer Support Source Program and is part of the Pediatric Oncology Team.

Prior to Cancer Support Community, Isabel has had experience working for the Florida Department of Corrections, working in local hospitals and rehabilitation settings providing individual, family and group therapy. She completed her clinical internship at CHARLEE Program's shelter for sexually abused girls and at South Miami Hospital's Intensive Care Unit.
Pascale Denis Denizé
Pascale Denis, M.S.Ed, LMHC
Haitian Programs Coordinator
Pascale Denis Denizé received her medical degree in Psychiatry from Haïti and worked as a licensed psychiatrist for 7 years before moving to the United States. During those years, in her private practice, she worked with patients dealing with depression, substance abuse and other mental illnesses. She also worked for a couple of years with a team of psychologists providing psychological support to women victim of politically-motivated abuses.

Pascale Denis Denizé received her Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Miami. In September 2012, she began working as a facilitator at the Cancer Support Community Greater Miami while also developing her private practice. She is the Haitian Programs Coordinator and attends health fairs in the community as well as facilitates the support programs for Haitians with cancer.

Pascale Denis Denizé, M.S.Ed, LMHC

Maria Fernanda Garcia, Registered Intern

Oscar R. Hernandez, M.D.

Regina Melchor, PsyD.

Cynthia Mendez Tamayo, LMFT

Vivianna Cabrera Meneses, Registered Intern

Christine E. Spadola, M.S., LMHC, PH.D.

Isabel Trabanco, LCSW

Aymee Perez, Ph.D Cell Biologist and
Certified Health Coach

Felipe Azambuja , MA, LMT

Cathee Connor, BS, CLM/CLMC

Lise Efronson

Jorge Gonzalez

Nancy Greene Fishman, Certified Personal Trainer
Certified Spin Instructor

Rosanna Lamarche

JoAnn Sheehe


Cancer Support Community Greater Miami © 2017